We learned that David had suffered a Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI), which is one of the most devastating brain injuries. With the brain’s back and forth movement in the skull, the axons, (the part of the nerve cells which allows to send messages to the body), are interrupted. Instead of an injury in a specific area, the tearing of the brain tissue is widespread and the signal process stops. Functions such as speech, motion and even life supporting movement can cease and causes brain cells to die. “About 90% of survivors with DAI remain unconscious. The 10% that regain consciousness are often severely impaired.” (brainandspinalcord.org). David’s injury was serious and real.
In one of her morning rounds, the ICU Neurologist suggested I take pictures of David. My first reaction to her request was on her insensitivity. How could she expect me to take pictures of my son in a coma with all the tubes coming out of his skull, arms, nose and mouth? Did she not realize these were very stressful moments for us? How could she be so cold? I said nothing. The following day she asked if I had taken the pictures and commented how valuable they would be in the future to show David how far he’d come. How wise her proposition sounded. I imagined David walking again. There were no guarantees, there were no promises but hope was all I was breathing. The next days, I would take many pictures linking them to the hope of a future with our David.
The virtues of hope, faith and love you experience in life, leave a path in your heart and soul which guide you thru troubled times. How important are all the “little” sufferings we experience were we can practice these virtues. I saddened to realize how society promotes and constantly proposes to numb or avoid suffering as if it’s not part of living.
At home we love rainy days. We have learned that when we are sad, it’s an ideal moment to pray, to read or to write a poem. Being in touch with ourselves at the lowest moments can build our character and at the same time help us discover hidden pains which need to be resolved before moving on.
We cannot fear to suffer for “suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4). Practicing our faith has built spiritual endurance especially for long distance challenges. Prayer, Bible study, retreats, inspirational books and CDs are great spiritual workouts.
(Job 11:18; Romans 5:3-5; Romans 12:12)