September 28, 2009
I went to Woodrow Wilson Center for Rehabilitation last week for an evaluation. It went really well. I wont know for a while till I’m accepted, but I really do hope that I am. I am so looking forward to going up there for vocational rehabilitation and further physical therapy. Its a wonderful opportunity. It will give me the opportunity to receive training and classwork in a setting where I can get the special attention that I would need. And with their team of therapist evaluating me for the vocational training program I can train for and work toward employment in a field that would suit me best based on my weaknesses and strengths. I really would like to go there and I think that I’m ready for that. It is going to be a big change for me. I would live there in a dorm and there would be rules and curfews and things. I understand why they are necessary – because there are people with various degrees if handicap there on campus. That will be a little hard for me. I haven’t had to get permission and notes and follow rules in a long time – other of course than the laws and social standards. So, that will take alot of getting used to. But, I wanna go there so bad. It is such a great opportunity!
September 21, 2009
It has been a while since my last blog. I’ve been really busy. My caseworker found me a position volunteering at the Virginia Museum of Natural History. I love it. Absolutely love it! It’s a wonderful for me to see what I can do and what is hard for me to do now. I work on the computer, putting their artifacts in a database. I have been really happy with what I’ve done so far. I was afraid that it would be disappointing like “the test from hell”, my neurophsyce evaluation for social security. When I took that test it totally knocked me for a loop. I didn’t realize that the things I had to do would be so hard for me now and it really hurt my feeling, hurt my pride, just HURT when I realized that my memory was so bad and it was so hard to recreate images with a puzzle. Fortunately, I haven’t had any experiences like that. I write stuff down so I dont forget what goes with what. So, it is really making me feel so good and useful again. It was really starting to wear on my mentally to feel like I had no use and like I was just worthless. YAY!! I feel so much better. That is great! Now, for something that has been bugging me. I STILL haven’t cried, over anything – sad movies, sad books, sad stories – nothing! I haven’t shed a single tear since my injury in June of 2008. It has bothered me for a while. I mentioned it once in a blog and I someone suggested the term emotional lability. I wrote about how much it bothered me and ticked me off to have someone suggest that I was emotionally labile. I am still struggling with that term. I still havent cried….but I refuse to accept that I am emotionally labile. I am struggling with something else. I had a boyfriend and we were so close, had been for a little over a year when I wrecked. Had known each other for several years but didn’t date. Well, he had been so supportive of me when I was in the hospital. He came to visit me in the hospital for the first time, it wasn’t known what my prognosis was – not known if I’d ever walk again or even think straight again, and my grandma said to him before he went into my room that he could just walk away now that nobody would blame him if he just walked away. And he didn’t. He came to 2 hr drive to see me every evening for the 1 1/2 months that I was at Baptist hospital. We went through me in the hospital, me being in a wheelchair unable to walk for a few months after I came home. We talked on the phone every evening while I was living with my grandparents. We went through so so much together. Not only was my life just stopped and every dream that I had lost, but every plan that we had made together, every dream that we had together was gone. It has been just a little over a year since the accident and I have made so much progress. But, he and I just couldn’t stay together. Neither of us knows what the hell happened. I miss him! I miss the dreams that we had and will never come true! I’d love to hear from other people with a brain injury. I’d love to know if other survivors have this problem. Its like we fell out of love. We still love each other, so its not like we dont. It is just that we dont have a future anymore because of this fucking injury. I am angry at the injury, I’m angry at myself, I’m angry at him. I am just fucking angry.
June 29, 2009
What is up today with me? In all honesty, I DO Not feel like I am doing okay. If I had a friend that felt like this I would be very worried about them. So, I guess this is a mile i’ll have to walk alone. And that is scary, the pain is scary, the worthlessness is scare, the complete lack of direction in which to head is scary. So, in all my past years, in all of my past, I heard about people that committed suicide and I was like “what the fuck” they didnt even get to enjoy the pain that they were without. But now I understand that it isn;t about enjoying the benefit, its about it just beeing over. I just want to it to. I want the pain to end. I want what I think to end.
June 6, 2009
I am still not any better. I was put on antidepressants several months ago. I could tell a big difference when I started taking them. However, I am back to feeling the same way again. And again, its starting to scare me. I know that I am not feeling normal and I know that I should be treated, that this depression is not a normal thing. I go see my physician Monday and I am gonna talk to her about perhaps switching it or changing the dosage or something. I’ve been taking 40mg of Celexa for almost a year now, and I’m getting back in that funk that I can’t get rid of. I know that its more than just my sadness at the changes in my life. Things seem to be getting a little bit better there. I am able to stay in my own house some. I’ve started driving alone again. Alot of good things so I should be optimistic. Tuesday, June 9, will be the one year anniversary of the wreck. And in effect it is the one year anniversary of the day my whole life was turned upside down and everything that was normal to me was changed. It has really been bothering me lately. Alot worse than I had thought it would. Its bothering me alot worse than I had thought it would. Just thinking of it makes me so heartbroken. Just thinking of the things that are different now hurts. And, once again, I know that I could be so much worse, that I am really lucky to be this well off. So, I feel guilty about feeling bad. I would really appreciate some advice guys! I need help so badly, and I need someone opinion who has been there. I am stuck!!
June 2, 2009
Today it has been a while since my last blog. Only, now I feel that I will simply die it i dont tell somebody..but, I’m not feeling as okay as I once was. I’ved been going up and down. between feeling really out of control and feelling good. But, this has g0ne on as long as I feel comfortable with it. I have really startedd to worry myself about how hopless that I feel. I just cannot help but feel lost and completely w0rthless. I am so sad and I can’t even explain it to you. I just feel so sad and so hopeless. I’m scared!!!!
May 4, 2009
When I was first diagnosed with a brain injury nobody gave me a time frame. The only thing that anyone ever told me was that it would be slow. I had no idea what slow meant. So, that was about 11 months ago. I had really really gotten depressed. And I mean seriously depressed. I thought that I was about as good as I was gonna get. I know that having a brain injury is a constant state of growth, so I knew that I would improve slowly, for the rest of my life, much like no one stays the same regardless of their health. Life is a constant state of change. However, I thought that my memory would stop getting better and that I had no hope of getting any better, that I just had to get used to how different life is. But, a doctor told me last week that he had reviewed my files and tests and xrays and stuff and that with the amount of injury that my brain had suffered and with the length of my memory lapse that about two years is the time period for “recovery.” I’m not even halfway there. It is such a relief to be able to put a time frame on it. Regardless of how factual it is, at least I have a time frame now. So, that really picked me up. I thought that my depression would get better when I had a time frame. And now I’m staying on my own some now, so I’ve got some independence back. I’ve been driving again. Both of those things are great for me! However, I am still unhappy. It’s not that I’m unhappy. Unhappy isn’t the right word. I guess depressed is the right word. So many things have changed, and that makes me sad. I’m trying to get over the pain of not working. I never thought that not working would hurt this much. And I keep comparing myself now to the way I used to be before the wreck and I know that is not healtny at all. Because it just simply the past. But I cannot help but compare myself. I was so successful at my job, I was really going places. And that is lost, I don’t know if I can still do that. I relied so much on memory and figuring stuff out and I’m afraid that I cannot do that anymore. Only time will tell. I keep asking people of way that I improve. I ask people who suffer from a brain injury what they do…have done, anything…to improve after their injury. And I am just struggling to accept that no one has the answers. There is no right answer, no wrong answer, no new suggestions for me. The real struggle is for me to just pick up and go on with my life. This is my new reality. I”m trying to just move on and I want to not be treated differently. I want to be accepted. Im ready to just move forward but others, several of the people that love me and are concerned for me, are not ready to just move on. I understand that my family and my friends are still not ready to let me go, but I need it. I need to be allowed freedom, even if that means failure. And, I know that I will taste failure. I know that it will hurt and frustrate me to find out what is now hard for me, but I have to test the boundaries.
April 20, 2009
I have started to notice that I am so different now. I do and think things that are completely uncharacteric of me. Things hurt my feelings that didn’t used to. I worry about things that I never even gave a second thought to. I guess things bother me now when I didn’t used to give them a second thought because my view of myself is so different. I have some serious issues with self esteem. I realize it. I accept it. I just cannot change it overnight. I placed so much of my self-worth on my career, on my looks, on my intelligence. I realize that I was on my way, recovering from my divorce, going to school, getting accredidation in my field, really coming to my own! But then, BAM! It was all placed on hold, taken away in a millisecond, in the time that it took for two vehicles to crash into another. In that small portion of a second I lost so much of what I had worked for. Im bitter about that. But I do realize that I can get it all, or most of it, back. With alot of hard work and some time…at least I can get it back. When I was in the hospital, I met some people who had no hope of getting their life as they knew it back, some people who’s brain was injured in such a way that parts of it had been destroyed, people who had lost limbs, people who had broken their spine resulting in paralysis of various body parts and limbs. I am so fortunate that I still have the hope of getting skills back or hadn’t lost them at all. So, for that, I am so so so grateful! But, I have noticed the emotional changes, the changes in the psychology of me. I’m doing things that I just dont understand. I’m having thoughts that I just dont understand. Is it normal for people to change after a head injury? I take things so personl. I read more into things that are said. I dont even like me when I get like this, when I get offended over stuff that would have never hurt me before, when I jump to conclusions that are completely out of left field. It makes it hard on my friends and that makes me even more needy and even more suspicious, so I’m afraid than that they can’t stand me now and will abandon me. You see? I’m just so freaking needy!! I don’t like saying to my boyfriend “Can’t you just talk to me?” “I need you to talk to me” I need you to tell me what you feeling” How needy is that? That is so not me. Im whining and pleading and I cant stop. After I do it I hate myself for it. So this is a catch 22. I should talk to my psychiatrist about it, but I’m not sure he would have any experience dealing with people who have suffered a brain injury. So, if anyone knows a psychiatrist in the Roanoke, Greensboro, Danville area that could help and understand this, I would really appreciate you telling me about em.
April 18, 2009
One thing that has bothered me so much, that has made me feel so bad about myself, has made me feel so worthless. is that my stepmom used to bring my stepbrother’s kids to see me at work and would tell them that if they studied hard and worked hard then they could work in an office too, that they could have a career doing anything if they set their minds to it. It used to make me feel so good to see them coming and to know that I was setting a positive example for them. And now, that I dont have the same job and don’t work in an office, I feel like I can no longer be a good role model. That made me feel so worthless and hurt me so bad, because I love my nieces and nephews with all my heart. I wanted to be a role model for them and I felt like I wasn’t anymore. However, I’ve dealt with those feelings and have realized and made the decision that I can still, am still, a role model to them. They love me and look up to me regardlesss. And, I had it all, then lost it and it will take a struggle to get back, and I will. It is that struggle that can serve as an example to them. That working toward a goal and attaining that goal, and I WILL attain it, is a great example to set for my nieces and nephews. It took alot of soul searching and alot of acceptance for me to realize that my situation is only temporary and that my struggle of working my way back from where I was and reaching for my dreams beyond that can be a positive example for them. So, even more than my strong desire to reach my fullest potential, my strenth and persistance can allow me to still be a good role model. I will work hard for me, but also for them, I want to show them how not giving up and hard work will pay off. I’ve made the desicion that I can still be a good example and I will be. I will be a great role model for those kids!
April 9, 2009
I have stayed in my home by myself again for the third time. Its working out well. I miss having my career, but, you what, I can still go back to having that career, or a similiar one. Just because I’m not working at the same place doesn’t mean that I can’t work doing the same thing somewhere else. So, my career is what I want to write about. When I first wrecked it took a long time to get my interests back. Slowly, bit by bit, I got them back, one by one, a little at a time. So recently, I’ve begun noticing things that I would’ve noticed last year, right after the accident. I’ve started thinking about ideas that I used to get. See, I worked in Commercial Real Estate. I did site selection and property management. So, I’ve started noticing what sites would work for which businesses and noticing things that a Tenant of a property would notice and call the Landlord about. That was my career. That was my business. I’m taking my interest as a positive step for me. It makes me proud of myself and happy for myself that I am still interested in things like that. I was starting to be afraid that I had changed, that my personality and what made me be me was gone. I’m pleased that it’s coming back. I’m glad that I’m thinking like that. So, much to my surprise, a brain injury does not mean that life is going to be drastically different. Yes, some things are different for me, but I’ve learned that some things can return after time. Patience is something that I am lacking, but something that is totally necessary for handling a brain injury. The doctors told me that time to heal would be necessary. Time! No one said how much time, so there is no way to figure it out. That in itself is hard for me. I am the type of person that needs to have things scheduled, that needs to plan ahead for things that I know are going to happen, when they’re gonna happen, what’s gonna happen. So, this whole thing has me as a fish out of water. I can’t know whats gonna happen next, I can’t plan ahead, I can’t count on anything, Shit!, I dont even know what to count on!! So, a special gift that someone who has suffered a brain injury can have or earn is patience. I wish all of those people patience.
March 24, 2009
I had a busy and eventful weekend. I stayed at my house for the first time. I stayed by myself friday night. A friend came over and we cooked dinner and watched a movie. He stayed with me till about 1:30 am, then left. I slept well. It was great being in my own bed again. I never thought I’d be so homesick, that I’d get ready to go to my own home and not stay with my grandparents in my childhood home, but I am so ready to do that. Maybe it’s because I can’t go home, that I want to go home so bad. I understand that I can’t go home because it isn’t prudent for me to do that, that it would be something that I need to do a little at a time. The reasons make sense to me. It is just hard to accept that is all. But, anyways, I did get to stay at my house friday and saturday night. I spent most of the day Saturday alone at my house after I got up. I cleaned the bedroom. The first time in months that I had been cleaned. I took a bath in my own tub. I read in a book laying on my own bed. I really enjoyed me time. I needed the me time in my own house. Then my friend came over and we met our friends and their kids and her sister and bro in law at the bullriding event. We all went to the civic center and then out to eat at IHOP. It was great seeing all of them again. I used to work with my friend and I hadn’t seen her in a long time. She came down to the hospital to see me when I was in the car wreck, but I don’t remember her. She really did alot for me, was really concerned and helpful. I miss her alot! It was good seeing her, but yet, it made me wonder if I am now really so different. It made me miss how I used to be. There are alot of things about myself that I wouldn’t go back to. In fact, I guess I like “me” better now after the accident than I like the “me” before the accident. I had alot of baggage that I was hauling around. I kept living a nightmare over and over. Now, with all the great things that I have lost, I have also lost the bad stuff too. So I guess, in hind-sight, I wouldn’t trade all of these things I’m dealing with now for all tbe misery I was putting on myself. Anyways….enough already huh?…after we all went out Saturday night I came back to my own house and he stayed with me Saturday night and we went out Sunday to a bird show. We got back to my house around 5 and I called grandma and papa to come on down and get me and bring me back to their house. It was a busy busy weekend. Physically draining and emotionally draining too. It was emotionally draining because emotionally I ran the gammut. I ran back and forth between feeling happy and sad, smart and stupid. I had to deal with what was different and that hurt. I had to deal with what was different and that was great. Emotionally…it was draining! I don’t know what is gonna come up. I don’t know what direction I”m going to head in. I don’t know what my future holds and that is scary for me. That scares me to death to not be able to plan. I need to revise my old plan. And that is scary. I’m having such a hard time dealing with all of the differences in my life. But, I have faith that I can handle whatever comes my way. I have faith that I can figure something out. Basically, I just have faith in myself.