Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Stroke Of Bad Luck?

"you see all these white dots on your brain scan? Those are mini-strokes. Over your lifetime you've had dozens."
I couldn't see any details of the MRI. To me it was a gray blur with white dots scattered in no distinct pattern. My neurologist explained to me that the gray blur was a shot from above looking down at a thin slice of my brain. The dots were actually just one spot which represented an area that went through about a thousand layers where a small section of my brain matter died. "I've had more than a dozen strokes? Why hasn't it killed me?"
Interestingly enough, these small episodes Known as TIA's orTranscient Ischemic Attacks can be quite serious. When a blood vessel in your brain bursts from too much pressure or blocked passages, they can cause paralyzation, speech impediments, loss of function and even death. A history of these attacks can indicate an upcoming larger episode. So they are little warning flags. Mine were due to low blood sugars and had been happening most of my life. Seeing the mottled landscape of my brain with these tiny warning flags all over was a little sobering, too say the least. The more I talked to the doctor and the more I asked God what it all meant though, the more I saw the beauty in the pictures. I wasn't alone. My body was screaming for relief from a condition I was trying to control and My Father in Heaven was answering the call.Despite losing a significant number of these little sections of my brain, God had not allowed them to cripple my mind or body. I could still function, love, speak, and hold my children. There was so much more I could have lost.  Sometimes we look at a narrow slice of our lives and shake our fists at the sky for bad luck, crappy family, or the mistakes others have cursed us with. Do we ever step back and look at the whole. Yes, there are hindrances to my life, even now with my transplants. Does that mean the ability to laugh, to wrestle with my sons, to walk up the street, or to write using my talking computer are less valuable? If I focus in on the scars and marks that cover my body I look like a road map of tragedy. If I look at my family, friends, blessings, and beauty which God gives me every moment of each day, then I am the luckiest woman alive.
It's up to us to decide who and what we're going to be. Tiny sections of disaster warning of worse things to come, or children of God standing as a tribute to his immense power and love?I realize my story of mini-strokes is nothing in comparison to the stories of people who suffer much more devastating results. My father-in-Law had brain surgery, a  near death experience and months if not years of trying to recover his body. My mother-in-law lost her life because of what started as TIA's. There is nothing we can change about what was or what is life after.
What ever your TIA's are or have left you with is in the past. Don't waste your energy wishing you could change it. You are so much more than your scars. Figure out what they left you with for a bright future.

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