Wednesday, November 5, 2014

TBI - Long Term Effects

So I was plodding along, going about my daily routines and life was pretty good.  Then suddenly wham!  By adding one new activity to my daily routines, swimming at the Y, all my routines are thrown way out of whack and I can't keep up with even the simple things.

What is the best day for grocery shopping?  What about the bank? the laundromat? the fabric store?

I know.  You're looking at this and thinking, what's the big deal?  It's just swimming at the Y.  Just go do it.

Well, it's not that easy.  At least not for me.  Scheduling is hard for me. Even just changing an already established schedule is hard. It's really really hard!! And I'll tell ya why.  It's a big deal because of the long-term side effects of TBI* from a car wreck that happened 28 years ago!!

So, why share this? It's because if you know someone who had a head injury at any point in their lifetime, and at times they struggle with what seem to you to be the simplest of tasks, ask them how you can help.  Ask them if this type of task is difficult for them every time they have to do it. It's possible they don't even recognize these long term effects.

I share because if I can help one other person who is facing the same struggles and challenges that I am,  then it's worth it to put my story out there.

Yesterday, I wasn't feeling well.  I was physically exhausted and spent most of the day either resting in bed or in a comfy chair in the living room.  I was totally overwhelmed with trying to write my new schedule.  For 2 days, I had been trying to slot in all of my Daily Living Activities into my daily calendar and couldn't make it work. I didn't know what to do or when so I shut down.

Is it fair to my family? No.  Is it fair to me? No.  But I didn't know what to do.  I really didn't know what to do next.  It's really hard.

This morning, I've woken up with some clarity on the situation, and I've decided to go swimming only on MWF which leaves T and TH open for running errands. This is totally doable and seems so simple.  Why didn't I think of it before?  Why was I so stressed?  I don't know.  It's just the way it is.

So my new schedule is set.  Except for today.  Because no shopping got done yesterday, I have to go today.  But that's ok because  now I have a plan.  I do ok with a plan because when I get off track, I can just refer back to my plan and get back on track.

*TBI is Traumatic Brain Injury - in my case it was a cuss - countercuss injury (bruising in the front and back).  My long-term symptoms include short-term memory issues, scheduling/sequencing issues, depression-like symptoms, moodiness, and concentration issues.

This is not a brain chemistry issue. This is a change in the physical way my brain operates. Expecting me to function the way I did before the accident is an unrealistic expectation. Expecting me to function the way everyone else normal does is an unrealistic expectation.  I can only do the best that I can do.

2 comments:

  1. I am so sorry that you have to live with this, but it is a great thing that you share your stories in this way. Different brain issue, but when Bill had his stroke a couple of years ago, it was so helpful to us to hear the stories of other people who went through it. Even though the stroke was quite mild, we still see the lingering effects, especially when he gets tired, which he seems to do more easily now. Your post will be helpful for many people--those who have had a TBI and those who are friends/loved ones of people who suffer the aftereffects of TBI.

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    1. Thanks Shari. I think the hardest part about it all is that I don't see it for what it is while I'm in the moment. So I don't ask for or accept help when it is offered. Have to work on that.

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