Oh, and Austin Collie works at CognitiveFX. He was a big-time BYU football player, he went on to the NFL where he played for the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots. So, I had him sign my football and we played catch.
By the time Friday came, I was anxious to get the results of the second fMRI. So I put on some scrubs, and went to the MRI room. The difference between an MRI and an fMRI is that an MRI they just take imaging of your brain. An fMRI on the other hand, they give you tasks to perform and while doing these tasks, they take images of your brain and see what is firing, how much it is firing, what is not working properly, and how everything is in sync. The fMRI has a scale of 0 to 6. 6 means that you are comatose and your brain is not working. A 0 means that your brain is as sharp as a tack, has not been injured, etc. The first fMRI I had was in December. Given my injury, the doctors thought I was going to be in the 4-5 range. I scored at a 2.32. After 3 1/2 months of hard, intensive work and various therapies including my CognitiveFX, my score dropped to 1.44. We talked to Dr. Fong for an hour longer than we were scheduled. She told me that she did that because she wants me to know that she cares about me.
Not too long after we got back from visiting with Dr. Fong, we headed to Salt Lake to see Brian Regan. About 30 minutes before the show, I took my friends Kestley and Logan backstage with me. When we first saw Brian he just said, "Hi, Shannon!" -- 'cause we're friends. Just that first moment made me feel great. Then, I started talking to him about how I felt uncomfortable asking to see him backstage AGAIN when I got the email back from his agent. He was so stinking sweet! He told me not to think that way again, because even if everyone in his life changes, and emails sound mean and everything I am always welcome in his family. I loved that he used the word family instead of just his life! His 2 kids were there on Friday and I got to say hi to them again. And I love that he used the word family because if you know me at all, you know that I LOVE kids, I LOVE families. One of my favorite moments was when he told me that I'm always welcome and he hugged me - and we got a picture of it!!! The concert was great, he was funny, the opening act was funny, and I still love Brian, just maybe a little bit more! :)
I believe that the final accumulation of the healing from the week happened on Sunday. Sunday was the Provo City Center Temple Dedication. What made the temple dedication so powerful is all of the inspirations that I felt during the session. It started out when Elder Ringwood talked about the holy, magnificent temple that came from a beautiful, spiritual tabernacle. Before 2010, the tabernacle was a wonderful building, a building that was closer to heaven than 99% of the buildings on the Earth. Before 2010, I was a fabulous, kind and spiritual person. I've gotten so sick of people telling me to stop praising who I used to be, because I was a tabernacle! In 2010 a fire came and destroyed the tabernacle to the ground, to the point it was almost completely demolished. An architect noticed the foundations of the building and told a church member, "you cannot let the church destroy this building!" In 2010 I was destroyed to almost nothing, I could have gone home. But no, I think I might have said to my Father, "you can't let this accident destroy my life!" Now, the once tabernacle is a perfect building; a building more beautiful and magnificent than any other building (besides other temples of course). The once tabernacle is now the very closest thing we have to God's kingdom on this Earth. Likewise, I chose to stay so that I can become a chosen, divine, magnificent daughter of my Heavenly Father. Granted, it will take a LOT of construction time, so in this way I am not so much like the Provo City Temple, but rather like the Nauvoo temple, which was also burned to the ground. I have always LOVED the Nauvoo temple, but never understood why, until Sunday. Elder Clayton said that faith + patience = a masterpiece. He continued to say that it's more than just faith and patience, but it also requires work and planning. With these things, using the Savior's atonement, I can become a great masterpiece. I can become His Masterpiece. What greater honor to have than to be one of His own?
It is going to take more time, a lot more time, but I continue to get better everyday. I'm starting to be able to feel it. It is a great feeling. I am more comfortable in my own skin, something you cannot even begin to fathom. I am relaxing a little bit easier. I am at peace with life, with happy moments and with turmoils. I am not 100%. I never will be, heck no one ever will be, not until the Savior comes again. But I am slowly coming back. Slowly, but surely. :) It has been a hard, long week, but it has been a good week. A monumental and important week. I am so very, very blessed.