How do you eat an elephant?
You know, because an elephant is really, really big and could weigh up to 12,000 lbs, so it would be really tough to plan an eating strategery. I doubt anyone would want to eat a real live elephant so let’s instead ask, “how do you eat a 12,000 pound elephant cookie?’ Let’s say, you are a 120 lb girl and you want to eat a 12,000 pound elephant cookie, a cookie that weighs 100 times what you do. That’s a big job. How do you tackle something so daunting?
The answer: one bite at a time.
That question has been the theme of Katie’s recovery. Katie, my daughter’s friend, who was in a serious car accident the night of November 15. Please see here and here. Katie is in the process of eating the elephant cookie, of recovering from a traumatic brain injury.
Because I am old and jaded and have seen enough, I get very nervous when there are no Katie updates. The silence scares me. The first update was that Katie was being put into a medically-induced coma to help with the swelling in her brain. What concerned me was what wasn’t being said. Every time I expressed the slightest doubt or concern, Annie (my daughter) would tell me “She’s going to be fine. Why are you looking on the dark side?” OK. I will continue to think good thoughts and have faith that Miss Katie will recover.
She had surgery on her pelvis and bladder. She had a feeding tube put in and a tracheotomy so she could breath without an apparatus on her face. Bite, bite, chew, chew, bite and bite. There goes a bit off the elephant cookie’s ear.
Everyone continues praying and thinking good thoughts and sending positive energy, wrapping Katie and her sister and parents in love and support. Katie is taken off the coma-inducing meds but stays in a coma of her own making. Her brain is in charge now and it has decided that her energy must be focused inward so she will be staying inside for the time being.
Katie moved her fingers. Not a lot but she did.
Katie opened her eyes. She did not awake, but she opens her eyes.
Katie is moved from the Trauma ICU floor to the Trauma floor of the hospital.
The next benchmark is for Katie’s eyes to track. I suppose that means to follow movement. I think she has begun to do that.
Then yesterday there came this update:
Katie has taken another bite of the elephant! Yesterday, Katie gave us a gift! Her father was doing PT on Katie’s legs and she was looking right at him. He gave Katie the “I Love You” hand sign that he has given her nightly since she was a baby. Katie lifted her right hand and returned the “I Love You” sign! We haven’t seen anything else from Katie since yesterday, but SHE IS IN THERE!
Katie is still in a coma, but she continues to take small steps forward in her recovery marathon. We are asking for prayers for Katie’s nose to clear so she can continue to breathe with ease. Please pray to help her brain continue to heal. Katie is making baby steps toward tracking with her eyes and we are patiently hopeful that Katie will start following simple commands. Pray for Katie to awaken from her coma.
This is the season of hustle and bustle and shopping and cooking and partying. I remember when I used to have Christmas lists that were as long as my arm but as I have aged and had kids, I can’t think of anything that I want for Christmas. I know that is a hassle for people who ask me what I want but anything or nothing is fine with me, I don’t need a thing. With all the bustle of the season, it is easy to forget that for many Christmas time is the season of miracles. On December 25, those who believe celebrate a miracle. A miraculous gift of life and love in the birth of Jesus Christ. But there are miracles every day. Some as small as the twitch of a finger and others as large as the movement of a hand. Miracles.
I can’t imagine being Katie’s dad yesterday. I would imagine that December 10, 2013 is the best day of his life probably even better than the day Katie was born because she let him know she’s in there!!! She is not lost. What a gift. What a miracle. What a heartwarming, heartfilling reminder of what is most important in this life.
And because it is one of my most favorite Christmas minutes.