Last week, my lovely EC and I were sitting in a hospital ER awaiting word on one of our loved ones, when my cellphone rang. It was a friend of mine informing me that FOML4 had "gotten his bell rung" at the war zone we like to call Mutual. Things happen. (Create a giant slip-n-slide on a hill, add plenty of water, dish soap and a zillion kids, and there is an itty-bitty possibility that somebody is going to get his/her bell rung.)
So, we left the ER and headed home, and got my son checked out, made sure he was in good hands, and went back to the hospital. He had a moderate concussion, and was out of commission for a few days. He'll be fine, but the effects linger. Back when I was a kid, the standard treatment for concussion was to shout at the victim, "Get up and shake it off you big baby!" Concussions are treated much more seriously nowadays, and rightfully so.
We are not strangers to brain injury. Another one of my kids went a step further and got his skull broken and received some significant brain trauma. As my EC and I were listening to the doctor talk about the recent concussion, we both thought, "we know far more about brains that we should have to."
One of the common elements we have noticed about both the severe brain trauma and the concussion is that, in both instances, our boys seemed utterly unaware of how the condition was effecting them. They would say or do something that made it completely obvious that they were experiencing symptoms, but they would be oblivious to it and keep repeating "I'm fine!" It isn't that they were lying, (see link here) it's just that in the jumble of the concussion the ability to self-evaluate had gotten muddled.
My older son that had the more extensive injury would get frustrated with us because of our concern, but now he looks back and is quick to acknowledge that he was more "fuzzy" than he realized at the time.
Our recently concussed son's recovery is taking a bit longer than we thought. In the meantime, he will be cranky at us as we worry about him, and he will be quick to deny that anything is wrong. He will tell us he doesn't understand why we are "overreacting," which is further evidence that all is not well in his noggin.
He's much better than he was, and we expect his recovery to be much faster than when he had his ribs broken playing ultimate frisbee at mutual last year.
As I was thinking about this inability to self-diagnose, it reminded me of something I wanted to tell you about:
Back in April, I wrote a series of posts about the dangers of living a Spirit-devoid life.
The basic idea behind these posts was that when we lose the companionship of the Holy Ghost, our ability to make wise decisions is diminished, and can quickly spiral out of control. There was a lot of interesting discussions surrounding these posts, as well as some powerful testimonies from readers.
So, the other day I was reading some blogs, and was catching up with a blogger friend Crystal's a Pistol, and read this quote:
"There is a line of demarcation well defined between the Lord's territory and the devil's territory. If you will stay on the Lord's side of the line you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil's side of that line one inch you are in the tempter's power and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord."
Ha! See? I was right! Guess who said it: President George Albert Smith. He was quoted in General Conference last April by Elder Ulisses Soares in his talk, "Abide in the Lord's Territory!" I'm feeling pretty stupid that I missed it, because it's a great quote. Maybe I can blame Elder Soares accent? Naw - I speak Spanish. (Turns our it is a Portuguese accent - which is dumb because I speak Portuguese too.)
So, there you go - the point I was trying to make from a much more legitimate and reliable source. Thanks to Elder Soares and Crystal Pistol. (Is "Blog Diva" a compliment? If so, that would be Crystal.)
Note: I shouldn't have to say this, but to those of you trying to keep up, no, I am not associating brain injuries with a lack of spirituality. If you thought this, you might want to get your head examined.