New Beginnings


11/15

Today marked a huge accomplishment.  It was my first day “back in uniform” with my unit.  My Commanding Officer asked me to train the deploying unit on TBI and what I have experienced.  It went well.  I worked a full 4 hours in a class room setting.   The members of the unit have also been supportive of me being here.   Then, I went back to my room and slept for another 3 hours.  And dealt with the migraine.  Oh well, one thing at a time.  I am fortunate to have a good unit.  I am allowed to work at my own pace and they make sure I have someone to help with transportation or just being with me if I need to go to a store.  I’ll see how I do tomorrow.  If I went too hard today, I’ll have more difficulties tomorrow.    It was also my first time running after dark- with two members of my unit at a slower pace.  Great run.  It had that nip of fall in the air.

So far, the most difficult part of the week was getting here.  I flew to SEATAC.   The airport was so busy and sensory rich.  I had an airline employee walk me to the baggage claim and make sure I connected with my unit.  I was really feeling sick and had a bad headache.   For once, I fell asleep before midnight!

I feel really positive right now.  I can see the improvement.  The only downside of this experience: now I really  want to deploy with them.  I know I’m not ready and would not be a full asset to them downrange.  But, my heart says otherwise.  Luckily, that decision isn’t mine to make.  😉   I decided to help in other ways.  I hope to make the rear detachment a supportive resource for the deployed Soliders.  I’m also helping a few Soldiers on their run times for the APFT.

Brigid is fully recovered from her misadventure.  She is a great little cat.  She follows me around the house whenver I’m home.  Her favorite game with me is fetch.  Seriously, she fetches.  The only real problem I have with her is bath-time.  She bit my right arm and clawed my left.  I had to bathe her.  She had an accident in the carrier on the way to the vet and couldn’t avoid the mess.  ick.  She had an upper-respitory infection.  When I left yesterday, she was feeling much better.

Koda started on Luprom this month.  Another ferret with adrenal gland issues.  I’m going to re-explore surgery for him.  There’s not an exotic vet who’s comfortable operating on ferrets in the area.  I know of one who does cryosurgery up in Spokane.  Perhaps I can convince my friend to do an overnight road trip.  The Lupron reduces his symptoms but doesn’t cure him.    Tosca and Kaliyah still have their battles.  I’m pretty certain that I have a ferret-Amazon group.  Both girls are “in charge” with one mere male to serve them.   Kaliyah has decided that Brigid is her personal play toy.  Fortunately, it’s mutual.  They play tag in the house.

11/16

It’s getting harder.  I managed 4 hours today, then lunch.  Unfortunately, I am having issues reading.  Print is getting blurry when I tire.  I came back to the barracks after work and slept for three hours.  In a way, this is good.  I have a clearer understanding of my current abilities.  That knowledge is part of why I tried longer hours.  I know not to try to increase my hours at the VA too quickly.  I can’t handle a full work day or week.   Like other activities, work has a cummlative effect.  It’s still progress.  Tommorow, I think I’ll go in for a shorter time period or even ask if I can have a “rest” day to recover.  The only problem is that I am really enjoying being with my unit.  Because I can’t drive, I don’t know when the next time I can attend drill again.   I gained insight into the life stories of some of the veterans whose  service was cut short due to injury.  The Reserves are a part of my life that is important.  I miss it when I’m not drilling every month.   I’m glad my command understands my issue and is willing to accomdate me this week.  I am still getting feedback from the presentation.  I hope my experience will help another Soldier downrange.

In the future, I want to expand and polish my presentation.  I’d like to work with CMI or another provider of Continuing Education.   Mild TBI often goes unrecognized.  Its symptoms overlap with depression and PTSD.  It can be hard to identify the real issue.  To make it more challenging, TBI often leads to depression as part of the injury process.  People can also develop PTSD from the incident that caused the TBI.

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