As many of you may know from my dad's updates, Brian has been hindered from overall recovery by a rather persistent pressure wound since March. Though receiving regular care for this obstacle in Charlotte, its inexplicable persistence prompted my dad to seek a second opinion from a wound care clinic here in Raleigh.
Admittedly, I saw one perk in this frustrating situation: We got to have a visit with Uncle Brian! He & Faye met for the first time & though he loves Owen just as much as the rest of us, he too, was shocked that Faye was as calm & quiet as she was (& this was with no nap!). She enjoyed sitting next to her uncle as well as laying in his lap, sitting on his shoulder, his head, & any other place I stuck her. ;)
Traveling was so difficult for Brian, particularly given the need to stay off the wound, all the stuff he has to pack to be away even for just one night, & most of all being a passenger while his mom drove all the way from Charlotte to Raleigh--yikes! :). Given all these obstacles, I thought we had a pretty nice little visit. Well, till Owen got stung by that hornet thingy or whatever it was (He's still got a knot on the side of his head from that thing but I think it hurt Grandmommy to see him get stung just as much as it actually hurt him.).
Oh & Brian, those small ramps we made to ease your entry into the house (In quite a nice upgrade of a chair, might I say? I agree with you--the florescent green bars on the loaner just weren't your style.)? Well, Owen thanks you--he's got a couple of pretty sweet starter ramps he went up & down on his Strider bike the rest of the afternoon.
For those of you who haven't seen Brian in quite sometime--he looks GREAT! He doesn't see it but I tried to explain it to him like this:
In December, you really were almost dead, saved from a car crash by a miracle & some amazing first responders, machines performing most of the vital life functions for you. By March, you were alive (Breathing & eating on your own--hey, hey...) but you still really looked like you were almost dead. When we saw you last in May, you were, well, alive--though I'd have to say with a look that said barely. August 2009, you look almost really healthy. Really.
(I know he's not buying my observation but it's true.)
He's gotten so strong despite such limitations to what he can do physically, once again, because of that pressure sore--to see him lift in & out of the car, up a steep rise in our walkway to get to the house, to & from the sofa. He's so quick at it all now. His upper body is probably the bulkiest (in a good way) I've seen in quite awhile. I swear, even his legs looked more muscular to me than they had since he was released from the hospital in March (He says it's because he has a tan. I say, the jokester's on the come back!).
After a quick stop at our house, he went to meet up for dinner with a few friends kindly hosted by a friend & his wife, who, like so many of you, have been quite wonderful to our family through this whole ordeal. Brian also stayed the night there, as their house is wheelchair accessible. Though my family (aka "the nursery" as Brian so lovingly calls it--Told you, he's back.) did not attend, my sisters were there & said that Brian somewhat seemed himself...a bit more relaxed than usual & even joking around (Oooh, & I'm not the only one!).
So, all in all, I thought it was a great visit. Brian, though handling things so matter of fact, continues to remain so frustrated by it all. There are just so many countless problems that come with a spinal cord injury & a relentless pressure wound. So many adjustments, especially for a young single male with no ties who woke up facing paralysis-- so much equipment, a continual need for assistance, things you just cannot reach, doorways you can't even fit through---all constant reminders screaming in your face of all the things you now cannot do. It hurts to see him going through this.
Without actually being in his position, we all do the best we can to understand. One of the things I pray for constantly is for God to give me the words Brian needs for comfort, encouragement, & hope. Almost immediately following his visit, I got the answer to that prayer.
The night after Brian's visit, I read in one of my devotionals:
The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those you know Your name will put their trust in You; for You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You (Psalms 9:9-10).
A couple of days later, I was struck by this short commentary on Psalm 23, written by David (the King David, the David of David & Goliath, etc.) when he was a young man tending sheep:
The Lord is my shepherd...He restores my soul (Psalms 23:1,3).
I can't be that source. Only God can provide that refuge & hope to Brian. When I start wanting to be the one to fix things, I know that the best way to do just that is to keep trusting Him & praying...