Today, nearly two years since Eileen suffered her brain aneurysm (3/10/2015), she picked up the keys to her car (while I wasn't home) and backed it out of the garage. When I returned, I climbed in beside her and off we went to Edina Hairdressers for her regular Saturday appointment with her dear friend Mary, who took such wonderful care of Eileen during her weeks in the hospital and nursing home. What is even more remarkable is that she did it without hesitation, as if nothing had happened. Needless to say, the folks at the salon were blown away when we drove up!
When I brought Eileen home (way ahead of anyone's anticipation) in June 2015, her recovery had been so remarkable that I predicted she would be driving again, before the year was out. But that was overly optimistic because, as she went through hundreds of physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions in the year that followed, we learned that she had a neurological "cut" on her right-side that limited her peripheral vision. We were even told by a neurological ophthalmologist that that part of the brain would not rebuild itself and that she would probably not be able to drive again. But that pessimistic diagnosis ran contrary to what I was reading about the "plasticity" of the brain, i.e. its ability to constantly rebuild itself, especially if the conscious being in control of the body wills it to be so. Nowhere is this more evident than in the writings of Dr. Deepak Chopra, M.D., regarding ancient, eastern, "Ayurvedic" medicine.
The key component in rebuilding the brain is regular exercise, particularly walking long distances. So, as soon as Eileen could safely navigate, she began walking. We walked about three miles every day last winter, indoors at Southdale Mall, here in Edina. Then, last summer, she walked alone, three to five miles every day, crossing a busy street on her way to Bredeson Park, near us. We have continued our mall-walking routine all this winter, as well.
The more Eileen has walked, and the more she has willed herself to heal, the better she has become, in many ways but, particularly noticeable to me, her vision seems to have returned to virtual normalcy in the last few months. So, we started talking about driving again and today she did it. Eileen has always been an excellent driver and she proved today that it's something she hasn't forgotten how to do.
Let me emphasize, as I often have in these posts, that thanking Creator God, ahead of time for outcomes, is the spiritual key to healing, as advocated by Blessed Solanus Casey. That is my daily prayer for Eileen, as it is for others whom I hold close.