A recent report from my neurologist, an expert in traumatic brain injury, states his "optimistic estimation" is that I should start seeing a "significant decline in my functional capacity within five to ten years." So here I am at exactly the beginning of year number five! I won't pretend this doesn't frighten me, but I can't let this ominous prediction control me. God has already blessed me with a recovery that has far exceeded what was thought to be medically possible or what was predicted - I'm going to choose to believe this can and will continue.
Exactly five years ago today was a day I can't remember but one I will never forget.
I was off from work that morning so I decided to run into town and grab a few things at the local hardware store - but I never made it home.
I was hit by another truck that failed to stop at a flashing red light, resulting in my truck, and head, powerfully striking a concrete utility pole. I miraculously survived the crash but the impact of my head on the aforementioned pole resulted in a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
It was roughly two weeks later that I started to "wake up" in the rehab hospital and began asking questions about what had happened, where I was, why I was there, etc. I was told that I’d been in a near-fatal car accident and suffered a pretty bad brain injury.
For some reason, this really didn't strike me as that big of a deal at the time. Sure, I knew my recovery was going to take awhile. However, I was still confident I could make a "complete" one, even though my doctors were repeatedly stressing to that this was improbable, if not impossible. They kept on talking to me about something they called “finding your new normal,” that the person I’d suddenly become was going to be much different than who I was before. I remember thinking that this wouldn’t apply to me. I was confident that I’d eventually get back my old one.
Well, I was wrong!
Despite my best efforts, my old normal never returned. I finally gave up and accepted the fact that I’d need to find my new one. The only problem was I had no idea what this even meant. But then something amazing started happening in my life. When I stopped working so hard to find this "new normal" myself, God started revealing to me what it was and where and how I could find it.
So, here I am five years later and my life looks nothing like it used to. I can no longer practice medicine. My family and I have moved to Franklin, TN where I am blogging, writing a book, and just recently began trying my hand at public speaking. If someone would have told me this stuff five years ago, there’s no way I would’ve ever believed them!
When I stop and think about all that has taken place over the last five years, I believe now more than ever that even when it doesn't seem like it, God is in control. He can redeem anything. God can transform an apparent defeat into victory, He can turn our loss into gain. He can take what is unexpected and unplanned and turn it into just what we needed all along.