Summer 2008

Emerging From the Fog – Part Two

I’m sure that most of you know that last June, I was wrestling with my ninth grader (who claims to have won that match) and hit my right temple on the floor. Since then, life has been quite different and rather challenging. I have struggled with three things:

Dizziness This makes me feel, on most days, like I have the flu. Lying down feels best and I am not able to read or walk for very long without feeling sick. Some days I get extremely nauseas and have the sensation that I have been spinning and have suddenly stopped.

Pain I have had a headache every day for twelve months. Most days the pain is intense. Our doctor has been very compassionate and has worked hard to try to manage the pain but nothing makes it go away. Oftentimes the pain is so severe that I have to lie down and do deep breathing exercises so I don’t throw up.

Fogginess This has kept me from connecting the dots. We will be watching a movie and I have to pause 10 times to ask questions because I get very confused very easily. The fog has kept me from driving and makes me unable to concentrate. I have not been able to do simple tasks that I ordinarily take for granted.

In our last newsletter (late winter) I wrote that the fog had lifted and how grateful we were for that. I am still so grateful for the fog to be gone and felt like it was time to give another update. Since winter, we have seen no other changes in my health. The doctors were saying then that it would probably be June when I could get back to traveling and speaking part-time. Because I am currently experiencing the same level of pain, dizziness, nausea since the accident (and some short-term memory loss), the doctors are now saying that it will probably be another year until the symptoms are completely gone. (I have a friend who had a closed-head injury due to an accident four years ago, and he still is experiencing pain and symptoms on a daily basis.)

I had hoped and expected this would be over by last fall, but I know God will give us the strength to deal with whatever comes our way. The doctors have been straightforward with us in saying the brain takes a great length of time to heal and they just don’t know for sure. They have suggested that maybe by mid-fall I could try to do a short road trip and speak for a few hours and see how it goes. I am still sleeping 10-12 hours a night but this is an improvement from what was 16 hours a night last summer and 14 last fall. The doctors have told us that the brain heals during sleep and that this is normal for closed head injury patients.

I am officially tired of waiting to get better. So, in April I decided I was going to launch a new side of our ministry. I have, for years, wanted to have discipleship, mentoring and life coaching be a bigger part of Right Choice but have not been able to because of my traveling schedule. Well, this is something that I can do from home and the doctors have said is a great idea. There is a generation that we have ministered to while they were teenagers who are now grown, married and starting to raise children who we would like to disciple and mentor. Many of these younger people have expressed an interest in Carol and I to coach and encourage them in their marriages, parenting and personal spiritual journeys. So, Carol and I have jumped in and are meeting with these individuals and couples, most who are in ministry in some capacity.

I am very excited about this and feel like we are reaching teenagers and college students, at this time, by pouring into their leader’s spiritual journeys and families! The elders I have talked to in my life believe that this discipleship and mentoring is a natural next step for us to take in ministry. I believe that this is something very good that has come out of this painful trial we have been going through.

We will not be charging these young people as we invest in their lives in this way. Would you please pray for us as we are going to need to raise more monthly support so we can do this? I would greatly appreciate it.

Please keep praying for healing if you would. Most days it feels like we’ve got a long way to go. We are so grateful for friends (as we say at church) to lock arms with like you. Thank you for all your love and support.

God bless you,

Brett