Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Sun Is Shining In My Head Today

I belong to an online support community. After a recent post, the moderator of the group wrote to me expressing concern that I get Positive Human Contact. This was my reply.

Thank you for your letter. That is one thing that I can continue to rely on. All things change and my mood is in constant flux. It is raining here in New York City so my head is hurting but physical pain can be remedied to some extent with meds.

Being away from work has relieved me of a lot of negative human contact. I think I got so used to those uncomfortable interactions on a regular basis that it became better than nothing. I was out of work three times this year before I finally left. After 22 years of working in the same private school, only a couple of my colleagues called me. I can never go back there. The email that the administration sent to all the parents and staff was so vague it left many people thinking I had a terminal illness. There is no way I can contact all the parents of all the children I taught to say goodbye. Even if I did, what would I say? I am not sick. I just have brain damage. Sorry I thought I could teach your kid but it turns out I couldn't.

A few parents did call me and so I am doing some volunteer work. It is essential to my sense of well-being. I am trying to get into a rehab program here in the city. We have the Rusk Institute and the Brain Injury Research Center. I am just starting a study on how exercise helps mood, cognition, and something else TBI related I can't remember right now. As I wrote those words, I suddenly realized the word I sought was memory. I kid you not.

On a positive, albeit harshly realistic note, my disability from the private insurance company from work was approved yesterday. I can't wrap my head around the fact that I am disabled.

I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to me privately. I don't even remember what I wrote now. When the sun is out, I cannot conjure up any memory of the rain. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true. Like my husband (who is Irish) always says, every day above ground is better than the alternative.

Your letter helps me remember to make an effort to find the positive. Please know that you really do make a difference.

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