Trust your Gut

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I learned something important this week. There are brain cells in our abdomen. The enteric nervous system is connected to the brain via a cable called the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is the longest of all the cranial nerves and is the connecting nerve between the enteric nervous system and the central nervous system. This is the brain-gut connection and is the reason we get butterflies in our stomach or a nervous stomach. It also explains our "gut" feeling. One more example of how fearfully and wonderfully our bodies are made.

Prior to our experience, I understood the importance of listening to my gut. Now I know it can be critical for survival. I encourage mothers of sick children to rely on your "gut feeling" as you search for answers. At the height of our illnessses I found it difficult to believe I had any intuition whatsoever. I was desperate and vulnerable. I was inundated with advice. I questioned myself as a mother and as a decision-maker. It was invariably my husband who would listen and knowingly ask, "What does your gut say?"

When we came to Arizona in December we encountered one obstacle after the other. Not molehills. Mountains. Kilimanjaro mountains. Numerous voices saying, "Turn around. Go back."

It was so loud inside of me that something good is here. Don't turn back. Hang in there. Again, my husband reminded me, "Just because it's hard doesn't mean we should leave." Only now am I seeing the truth. We are finding help. Things are happening that wouldn't have if we would have left. I'm grateful for the extra brain cells.