17 July 2007

memories that matter

I slept at the hospital last night. This was the view from the window, overlooking the major construction projects on Michigan Avenue.

Mostly my gaze stayed within the room, making sure my friend was okay.

The mind is a phenomenal thing. But head trauma, in this case caused by the fun sport of softball, is quite another.

Cathy's head injury compromised her short term memory. As a result, her questions made about a five minute cycle.

"How did I get here?"
"Do my kids know I'm okay? .... Should we call them?"

"Oh, it was a softball game?
Did I just ask you that two seconds ago?"

"What does the other guy look like? Is he here too?"

"Is my insurance lined up?"

"Didn't I get that set just like a week or a few days ago?
Thank God!!"
(In this particular photo from a few days ago, the "sleuth" discovered this display bottle contained a few drops of alcohol and promptly told the authorities.)

"Did I come by ambulance?"
"Is it Monday?"

"Was our pastor here?"
"What time did you get here?"

And about that time, she'd start all over again...
"Why am I in the hospital?"

"Hey, do my kids know I'm okay?"...
Despite gaps in the short term, all the "important things" were well within her grasp. She could recite phone numbers, medical history, medications, info about her kids, details regarding her job and co-workers. I don't know for certain, but I have a feeling that may be similar to conversations with those experiencing dementia, or Alzheimer's. It takes energy to respond and stay engaged in the conversation.

After a few hours of sleep, when the questions resumed about 6 am, the amazing thing is that her memory was sliding back into place. She recalled more and more detail and the repetition of questions subsided.

Slowly and miraculously, God heals her mind.


I can't profess to get it, the major miracle of healing that God performs over and over. To be sure, everyone does not heal. This friend may not regain every element of Monday. But He heals. And perhaps helps us to recall the things which matter most.

2 comments:

Jewels said...

Thanks for the updates, Diana. I'm so glad to hear she's doing better!

cindy said...

wow! she is really fortunate it wasn't worse. i know what it is like to continue the same conversation over and over. it was hard to watch bob's grandpa fight that same battle every day. it does take energy but more...it takes an incredible amount of love.