Blog by Liz Rooney
I was passed around a bit after doctors learned the complexity of my case. I was finally referred to an Integrative MD who did an exam, ran some tests, and then told me I was the poster child for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post concussion syndrome.
I was confused at first, but started to think of what could have caused a TBI. There was that time as a toddler, I slipped through a railing at the top of a staircase. I also had multiple falls on my head while participating in school sports, but I never thought they were a big deal. I didn’t know a choking incident that I had in 7th grade, likely caused a hypoxic injury, depriving my brain of oxygen. Then there was the time I was hit by a car and my head smashed through the windshield. I counted up over 7 different motor vehicle accidents since the age of 10, from fender benders in traffic, to being hit by other vehicles who were driving 60 mph.
By now my Doctor was just shaking his head. It wasn’t until I matched these incidents in my life to my medical and school records that it all made sense, and special imaging scans later revealed evidence of repeated head trauma similar to that of an NFL player or a Combat Veteran. It’s crazy how we can totally overlook the lasting effects that head trauma can bring to our health, after all, our brains are the control center for every system in our body.
I was so relieved to finally know what I was fighting and to be diagnosed by a doctor that believed in neuroplasticity and the brain’s ability to heal. Since then, my journey has been filled with cutting edge research, testing, therapies, special diets, supplementation, and most importantly, seeking wisdom from God so that He remains the orchestrater of it all.
I’m still learning how to keep the balance of spirit, soul, and body. I’ve found it’s like rowing a boat. One oar is working on my mind (soul), and the other is guiding how I physically take care of my brain and body. When I find myself spinning in circles, it’s usually because I only have one oar in the water. And no matter how well I row both, I’ll be sinking fast as if there are holes in my boat, which I liken to my spiritual foundation.
I am also learning to keep dying to self, even as life gets good. It’s amazing how easy it was to give God my life at the bottom of a pit. It’s even more fascinating how many times I have to fall on my face in order to learn how to stop taking it back every time I feel better. With selfishness comes fear and confusion, blocking us from living God’s purpose for our lives, but I’ve heard, it’s hard for the enemy to scare a dead woman.
…and I think I am finally getting the hang of learning how to intentionally rest. Did you know that laying around and worrying about how all of your problems are going to be solved isn’t rest? Because of the nature of Neuroplasticity, it is very important for me to be diligent and active, doing the things I need to do to heal, but then I can also find myself stressing over decisions, my next treatment, or wondering where the money is going to come from. It takes discipline to intentionally shift my focus to the many miracles that God has done so far in my life and will continue to do. Even the setbacks have always led to wisdom that has allowed me to help more people. I can easily grow weary if I try to control everything or focus on how long the journey has been, but every time that God connects me with someone who relates to a certain chapter of my story, I am reminded to trust Him through it all.
Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Lord, Thank you for the healing power that is flowing through my body right now. Help me see your hand in my life, and that I am not alone. Please give me wisdom and lead me to the right people and knowledge that will help me have breakthrough in my life. Forgive me for anytime I have given into anxiety about the future. Give me the strength, I need to do my part, and help me to trust you with the rest. I pray this in Jesus’ name
I confess that by Jesus’ stripes I am healed. I acknowledge the Lord in all my ways and He directs my paths. I confess that I have the mind of Christ for every situation I face in life. God is fighting my battles even when I don’t see it in the natural yet. I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name