Brain update

It has been awhile since I have blogged consistently.  I went through a rough patch.   I lost motivation to write much.  It seemed my story had been told and I didn’t want to turn the blog into a whining session.   About the time I decided to return to blogging, Taliesin went to Rainbow Bridge.    His passing was hard on me.   He was the last of my original group.   After I was hurt, he became more affectionate, giving more kisses and sleeping next to me during his playtime.  He was a great ferret.

I started back to work on a limited basis about three weeks ago.   The limited hours impacted my energy level.  I found that I started sleeping more again and getting more migraines as my mind adjusted to the new schedule.  Work is going well.  I am on light duty.   I don’t see patients or run groups yet.   I’m working on a few different projects.  I miss seeing Veterans.  But, in time, I’ll be back.  I still have a bit of healing to do.   My speech is still slow, I have problems with concentration, and my moods are on the surface.  And I still get overwhelmed by sensory input.

Last week, my commanding officer called.  She asked me to come on active duty for a week to give my presentation about TBI to my unit.  My duties will be limited like work.  I am lucky that she understands TBI and is willing to work around my injury.  It will be good to be back in uniform.  I miss it.  I’m still bummed about not deploying.  It was the correct decision for the unit but it still sucks for me personally.   I hope my presentation helps someone understand TBI better.  It may make a difference to a Solider on deployment.   My injury wasn’t immediately recognized.  My worst symptoms didn’t develop for almost two weeks.  I also had “clear” MRI and CT scans immediately after injury.  My later MRI showed some injury.  It can take time for the swelling to become serious enough to impact people.  Much of TBI damage is on the microscopic level, so it’s not as apparent.

I also started speech therapy.   My therapist gave a long assessment the first day.  She identified issues with concentration, word retrieval, visual spatial issues, and logic.  Luckily, she is also an Occupational Therapist.  My treatment plan includes working on all the deficits she noted.  It is exhausting mental work.  She has me working on nonograms as homework.  Nonograms are puzzles similiar to suduko.  The object is to uncover the image in a grid using numbers.   It’s hard to explain.   Here is a link to a website with free puzzle games, including nonograms and suduko.  You can also join the site and print the puzzles.  I recommend trying nonograms.  They are fun.   I have to be careful not to play too long.  The headache isn’t worth it.

My running has also improved.   I still run slower than before and don’t tolerate long runs well.  I’m running on road in a limited manner.  I stick with the quiet, familiar roads near my house.  I have to be extremely careful crossing any roads.  I still can’t look over my shoulder for traffic and I sometimes loose my balance if I turn my head to rapidly when I run.  That makes crossing roads challenging.  Fortunately, the University is nearby and crosswalk laws are firmly enforced.   Crossing the main road on campus is fairly safe.  I don’t road run every day.  Most of my workouts are still on the track or on the path next to the gym.  Places where I don’t have to worry about traffic at all.   Every once in awhile, I just get tired of running in the same place.  I really want to run at the lake.  There’s a trail that is all gravel around the lake.  I wonder if I could run that trail safely.  Last time I ran there, the path was in good shape.   Maybe I’ll try in a few more weeks.

Kaliyah, Koda, and Tosca are all doing well.  They went through a time of grieving, as ferrets grieve, for Taliesin.  They looked for him in all his sleeping spots and were subdued for a few days.  Their grief was short.  They are back to normal now.  I rotate my polygamist Koda between “his” two girls.  Or maybe Koda is more like a captive by two Amazons.  Given how the girls both think they’re in charge, that may be more accurate.

I think about challenges and attitude.  When I struggle the most is when I loose hope.

Hope is a flower
Sleeping in winter snowy ice.
Awakening spring.

2 responses to “Brain update

  1. Lydia,
    I sounds like you have really made considerable progress as evidenced by your even being able to go back to work. You have been working hard and I would guess it is still very frustrating remembering how it was you functioned prior to the injury.
    Doing a presentation is such a gift you will be giving others who do not have the ability or resources to understand TBI from as many different points of view as you do.

    I’m so sorry to hear that Taliesin died. I would imagine it’s a bit like loosing a bit of your heart. What a sweet ferret to respond so affectionately to you when he sensed you were injured.
    with love,


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