Girls Write Out
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
I am fascinated with the human brain. Since I was 19 I've had MS, so I had some of the first MRIs and had a picture to prove my brain's existence from that time. Now, there's brain mapping and Dr. Daniel Amen's clinic (Change your Brain, Change Your Life). It lights up the parts of the brain with the most activity (so if you're screwed up, it will show why! And we're all screwed up.)

Recently, I read a book called "My Stroke of Insight" by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. This is by far my favorite brain book so far. It's about a brain scientist who has a stroke and recalls the experience almost verbatim. What's so fascinating to me, is this is a left brain woman (scientific, logical) and when she awakes, all she really has is her right brain (creative, flaky side). What I loved about the story is that Dr. Taylor sees the positive in everything because she only has her right, happy brain. She has to train her left brain back, and the right brain keeps her so happy where she doesn't care what others think, so imagine how hard that would be, to want to come back from that innocence!

What I came away with from the book is God has created an Amazing MACHINE in the brain. It can knit itself back together with love (from Dr. Taylor's mom & friends), training and sleep. Lots of sleep (as a non-morning person, I liked that -- I might be more put together if I got to sleep!)

I don't think we'll ever understand the brain in full, but wouldn't it be great if we could find out things like why some calm down with coffee (me) and others go mental on it? Wouldn't it be great to catch the mind of a serial killer before he acted and change it somehow? This book is a must-read because it really shows you how important your job as a parent is, and how those early coddles really shape who we are. A child without love is a Mumbai massacre waiting to happen.

In her right brain, Dr. Taylor is thankful for everything. She is drooling, but she's thankful she can swallow. She's falling over, but she's grateful she is upright -- and she trains herself to be more like this. As Christians wouldn't that be something? To show gratitude in everything? As a mom with four kids and MS, who some days doesn't want to get out of bed, I should be grateful that I CAN get out of bed, that this disease hasn't progressed again to the point I'm in a wheelchair and that my confusion comes and goes. It doesn't stay around and take residence. What about you, what have you forgotten to be grateful for?

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posted at 10:20 AM  
  Comments (8)
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At 10:54 AM, Blogger Valerie said...

I had brain surgery almost 18 months ago for brain tumor and have had the MRIs, brain mapping and all that good stuff done, too. :)

Before going into the surgery, I was absolutely terrified. I had to complete a living will at age 37 - it's scary to come face to face with your mortality at that age. Even though I am redeemed (praise God) and knew where I was headed if I died on the table, I was gripped with fear - fear that my quality of life would never be the same again if I did come out of it.

Well, here I am! I came out of that surgery with praise and a new song in my heart. God restores your faith and hope.

Mind you, my quality of life DID change. I have facial palsy on the left side of my face and my left eye does not blink voluntarily or tear at all. I cannot cry. I cannot smile completely. My face aches if I talk too much and I drool if I do. :) I have permanent tinnitus in my left ear which affects the quality of my hearing.

I have days when I can't take it anymore. When I forget God's goodness to me. When I wallow in self-pity.

I am reminded of the Psalmist's words "Until I went into the sanctuary of God... then I understood." So, what do I thank God for? That He kept me and still does. That the tumor was benign. That ALL that's wrong with me is facial palsy and ringing in my ears. It could have been so much worse - and IS so much worse for so many on a daily basis. I thank God for the prayers of family and friends and their love and support.

(Sorry for the length of this post.)

At 11:53 AM, Blogger Deena said...

I think I've forgotten to be grateful that this life isn't all there is for me. I get down about the economy, about the tragedies overseas, about the ongoing war....

....about my pain, about my weight, about my inabilities...

....then I remember Heaven and all that waits for me...conversations at Jesus' feet where I won't be the one with my foot in my mouth...taking long walks with Peter and Paul and my back not giving out....eating at the wedding feast and not gaining one ounce....

....yeah, that makes life easier to live:-) Thanks, Kristin--and I'm a human body geek--took anatomy in college and marveled at what God has created in US.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Valerie, that is the most AMAZING story. I'm just dumbfounded that our doctors can go in and work on the brain and we can live (and flourish!) to tell about it. I'm so grateful you're here.

I would love to get my brain mapped. Then, I think I could explain why I leave my shoes wherever I take them off.

And Deena, I'm glad to know there's another geek like me. Isnt it amazing how the more they prove with science, the more God comes into view?

At 1:45 PM, Blogger Rachel Holliday said...

Kristin-Thanks for this post. My perspective was a bit skewed by frustration today, but God used your post and Valerie's comment to remind me that He is in control. He knows our frustrations, our obstacles, and He will overcome. It's amazing how intricately we are made, and how intimately He knows us.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

WOW! What a GREAT post, Kristin! That book sounds fantastic! I wanted to stand up and twirl just thinking about HER freedom! Soooo cool!!

I'm thankful that no matter how challenging life can get, we are still blessed in too many ways to count.

Thanks for the reminder.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Had a terrible day...and then read your comments and Valerie's. Kind of put everything back into perspective. Thanks. :)

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Pam, I had a terrible day that day too. I was trying to focus on being grateful. It ain't all that easy when life sucks. How's that for a grammatically-correct comment. LOL

At 12:46 PM, Blogger ed said...




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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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