It’s late and I can’t sleep. I have been titrating off the Topamax for about 2.5 weeks now. I notice my speech is improving in that I am not losing words as much. My balance is also a little better. I will be totally off in three more days. I have hope that since I am improving on lower doses that most of my symptoms will clear once the drug is totally out of my system. Or at least improve to my baseline post-TBI norm. The migraines enjoy the lesser dosage. They returned to 2-3 a week. The verapamil hasn’t started working yet. The joys of TBI: the gift never stops giving.
My mood lately is a bit depressed. I find myself thinking in terms of Before and After. My life right now seems directionless and without purpose. I still work part time and see very few clients, a situation my supervisor keeps saying will change but never does. Perhaps I truly have lost my ability to work clinically. Maybe she was getting complaints. I don’t know. The Army Reserve finally retired me medically. That’s over. I miss little freedoms. Sometimes I just want to get into my car and go for a drive to the mountains to do a trail run. Or even have the ability to trail run. Or be able to sign up for a marathon next month, knowing I’m in shape for it and not having to worry about who will drive me and if I’ll get overstimulated during the race. Hell, I can’t even do the training for a full marathon yet, never mind run one. Before and After.
On the other hand, I completed the Missoula Half Marathon this summer. I managed the overstimulation by using ear plugs, a hat, and dark glasses. I carried my own water and nutrition, so I didn’t have to try to make sense of the confusion of the aid stations. It is a beautiful course, too. Completing the run was a big accomplishment. I did face plant twice. Heh. Took home some Missoula road in my knees.
I run well in the familiarity of my nice, quiet park. There are several different distance options to run, depending on how I feel. I have a friend who is usually willing to drive me to out of town runs.
With any medical condition, there are times where hope is in small supply. Take it one day at a time and don’t give up.
Awake I ponder
Sheep jumping in the meadow
Why do they leap high?
Innocent ferret dreaming
Awake brings mischief.
I still have trouble with my sleep pattern. After the concussion, I spent several months trying to adjust my sleep back to regular pattern. The medication that I took for the anxiety symptoms helped. As my anxiety lessened, the dosage was lowered. Unfortunately, my improvement in sleep seemed to be connected to the side effect of the medication. This past month, I significantly lowered my caffeine intake. I wonder if I need caffeine to sleep? hmmm….
Concussions can damage the reticular activating system, or RAS. This area of the brain regulates arousal and the sleep-awake pattern. It is also associated with balance problems and sensory over-stimulation. I discovered an article on RAS while browsing on Brainline.com. It answers many of the symptoms I had directly after the concussion and currently. Unfortunately, damange to the RAS doesn’t always heal. However, there are some rehabilitation techniques. I need to discuss my ongoing sleep regulation problem with my doctor and neurologist.
I still nap in the afternoon. However, if I am fatigued after work or activity, if I miss the nap I end up with a migraine. Because of the pain and medication I need to take for the headache, I sleep anyway. I really don’t think the nap is related to wanting to be awake most of the night.
Brigid is getting annoyed with me. It’s past her bedtime. Diva-kitty. I shall go back to my bedroom and read so Brigid can go to bed.
Here it is, just after midnight. My mind is annoyingly alert. Last night, I woke up at 2 a.m. and did not fall asleep again until after 7:00. This post is the result of a sleep deprived, meandering mind. Read on, if you dare!
Blinking sighing deep
Blurry eyes look out at night
Stars dance in the sky
This is am awesome picture. It’s by Sherry Blue Sky. You can read her blog here:http://stardreamingwithsherrybluesky.blogspot.com/ She has some wonderful poetry and pictures.
I noticed something in the title of the post. The word “again.” Break it into syllables: a gain. What will I gain from this time? More haikus! =) Seriously, one life lesson from the concussion that keeps returning is being able to use something that can be viewed as negative to positive effect. “Again.” Often this word has negative connotations. Hey, I have insomnia again. I have to repeat the assignment again. Of course, if the activity is fun, again is good. I rode the roller coaster again. Yeah! Yet, doing something again can be beneficial. In music, repetition is used in practice and rehearsals to build technique. If I am not successful at a project the first time, doing it again gives me an opportunity to improve. It all depends on how you view it. Again can be a gain.
I am ferret! Hear me roar!
Life with me is never a bore!
Dooking, I dance and pounce
Through the house I play and bounce.
Before you laugh or even grin
I just stole your keys again.
Where I hid them you have to guess
And in the corner I left a mess.
A gentle kiss and soft the sigh
Seals the love between you and I.