You won’t believe where I am…
After three years of constant dizziness and daily struggle we find ourselves in a dark room in Dallas, Texas.
I share this with you because something magical happened that really made me think about my own life and I think it might do the same for you.
None of you would know this but now three years ago my wife suffered a severe concussion.
She was just playing a simple game of catch with a friend.
Hit just above the temple by a high thrown ball she was knocked unconscious for just a split second.
She has nearly full memory of the event, and at the time a lump and a headache.
After being checked out at the hospital we assumed everything would be fine in just a few days or weeks.
Three years later and my wife is still unable to work, unable to drive, and spends pretty much every minute of every day dizzy.
She doesn’t have vertigo but a strange sensation that the world around her is moving, unable to focus on a specific point.
After exhausting a long list of medical and alternative health practitioners here in Canada, repeatedly being told she was fine we decided to travel to the Carrick Brain Centre in Dallas, Texas.
If you’re thinking that name sounds familiar it might be because this is the same clinic that ultimately helped Sidney Crosby return to hockey after a season and half delaying concussion, not to mention countless other athletes.
Within only hours we found direction and new hope at Carrick brain centre for helping Wendy finally recover and feel herself again, but that’s not what this is about…
Over the course of the week we met a number of other people.
We met Heather who had fallen through a railing on the upper floor of her home and suffered a severe brain injury. After lying injured in a pool of her own blood for 8 hours before being found she now finds herself a year and half later fighting through a compromised ability to speak and balance and coordination problems, she has two young girls she’s trying to stay connected with and was an avid skier.
We met Tom who woke up one morning and was basically paralyzed on his left side, and that was twenty years ago. On Monday he was walking with a cane, and really compromised gate patterns, by Thursday he was striding up and down the hall with a huge grin on his face.
His problems were not fully solved but he shared with us his story of unending diligence that was a roller coaster of initial success and regression, determined that there had to be a solution and he was going to find it.
My wife and I both noted that Tom’s smile was heartfelt and extraordinary; despite of rare and unexplainable challenges clearly nothing slowed him down
We met Kim who was poisoned by Botox and had now been unable to work for more than a year due to similar dizziness as my wife experiences (she was travelling with someone else from Australia who had a similar Botox experience.)
We met a young autistic boy and his mother as they experienced treatment to help him hold his head up and when arrived Katie (one of the administrators) shared a story of a young girl who was poisoned by a vaccine and paralyzed as a result. After years in a wheelchair set it aside and walked into the clinic one morning after 3 months of treatment.
There were dozens more stories like these as we spoke to the doctors each day, but that’s not really what this is about.
Being there as support for my wife, I spent a lot of time sitting in that dark relaxation room as patients came and went for their next round of therapy.
As I sat with them, listened, observed I found myself inspired, quite in awe really, and just a little ashamed.
There are times each day I think to myself how hard life is, how stressful things are. Or I hear clients explain how difficult it is to eat differently, to exercise more, to make that time to invest in yourself.
I know how much of a struggle it seems like, how “hard” it feels, but at that moment I couldn’t help but acknowledge how trivial these things are in comparison.
I think about all the clients who said they “couldn’t do it” and how each of these individuals I met could have given up at any time, and in many cases no one would have blamed them.
Seeing someone that had their whole life change, beyond their control, in the blink of an eye and yet find a way to commit to whatever is necessary not for just a few weeks or a few months (like a weight loss goal) but in many cases years or even a life time really made me think.
Something is only hard if you make it hard.
Each day we take so much for granted. Our world is so busy it’s easy to lose perspective that we become distracted and forget the true value of looking after ourselves.
Returning home I’m happy to report my wife drove with no symptoms, something she hasn’t done in years, we’re not there yet but invigorated with new hope and determination. I see now in new light each day the hours of research she does, the commitment to her therapy exercises, and most importantly the consistent attention to detail of the little things. It’s those little habits consistently adhered to that allow her to manage her symptoms the best she can. If she hadn’t stayed determined even with long periods of little or no progress she literally would have been “disabled” for the rest of her life (remember numerous specialists have told her they didn’t know what to do.)
Now think about our own lives, by comparison our challenges are less, our resources and abilities are greater and our progress will come much faster (whether that’s weight loss, increased muscle tone, increased cardio capacity or just improved feeling) all we need to do is remind ourselves it’s not that big of deal and stay on track!