Along the Road


A few posts ago, I mentioned a spiritual experience I had during the accident that caused my TBI.  It’s the only thing about the accident that I remember clearly.  I recently struggled with one vital,part of the lesson: no matter what happens, I’ll be ok.

Recently, I am extremely anxious about my employment.  My injury was on the job.  After struggling for three and a half years, I don’t see enough improvement to let me return to full time work.  I struggle to finish a short work day.  I also can’t perform key aspects of the position.  I made the decision that it is best for me to medically retire.

Thus enters the chaos.  If I put in my retirement package, I immediately have to stop working.  My Worker’ Comp stops as well as all my pay and benefits.  Sounds good, right?  Well, it take up to 9 months for the retirement to process through federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  There’s no way I can retire financially without ending up declaring bankruptcy, losing the house and most of my possessions.  The worst part is I most likely won’t be able to keep Brigid, Bobby, and Kaliyah.  Those critters bring so much laughter and love  into my life.  It is impossible to watch ferrets play without smiling.  Brigid continues her role as service cat, waking me from nightmares and purring me back to sleep and snuggling with me when I have a migraine until I can sleep.

I have an appointment for a second medical opinion by a neurologist of OWCP’s choosing on December 11th.  This could end in three ways: 1. Return to work full time, no more benefits; 2. Stop work order pending retirement; or 3. Continue on as is.  I doubt they can kick me off benefits since my seizure disorder was recently diagnosed and is not even close to be controlled.  I’m hoping for option 2; send me home to wait for OPM to act on retirement.  This will continue my pay and benefits. However, it is their doctor.  They pay him.  I have a hard time believing it will be a neutral exam.

TBI gifted me in ways I haven’t mentioned before.  I now have anxiety, almost all the time I am away from my house.  I function decently in familiar places and following a routine.  I don’t go anywhere I don’t know without a friend.  The anxiety at work is unhinged.  I feel physically ill entering the building and have to really focus not to emotionally melt down.  Another problem can actually be amusing, if not annoying, in some situations.  My life has a soundtrack playing in my head quite often.  I’m sure people are familiar with “ear worms.”  Everyone gets a song “stuck in their head” at
some point. For me, it is daily and fairly constant. Last week, I was treated by having the theme song to “Adam 12” playing in my head constantly. Sometimes, I can change the channel and replace one song with another. Sadly, getting my mind stuck in a rut also applies to other situations. I get an idea in my head and I obsess over it. Right now, it’s the situation around my retirement.

So, here I am, awake at 0215 trying to stop worrying.

No matter what happens, I’ll be ok?

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