Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting better?

On August 20th I went to see my doctor. He is one of the leading brain injury physicians in the U.S. We had a great session. I told him about my vacation experience and how confident I have been feeling. We talked about how much I have been learning from my new cognitive therapist. The doc pointed out that while I was seeing my previous cognitive therapist, I was still working. He pointed out that if getting through the airport was so difficult, there was no way I was going to get better while I was working.

It left me thinking about the phrase "get better." I am getting better. I have more self-control during non-stressful situations. My coping strategies have improved. Acceptance of my leaky brain is improving my relationships due to increased trust and fewer arguments. As I floated down the street, I allowed myself a little fantasy. What if I get so much better that I can teach again? It's true that I donated all of my math and gifted education books to a good cause. No matter because I would be walking into a new situation where I would need to be told what to teach. It's also true that I dropped out of my master's program. Also, not a problem since I could use the credits towards certification in New York.

cloudy vision
Then I imagined getting through one single 45 minute class and I my stomach cramped up. Some aspects of my brain injury are pervasive. I'm not fatalistic but I need to take it slowly. I did walk around in the lovely cloud of denial for awhile.

Case in point:
  1. In the last ten days I have lost:
      1. my favorite new hat
      2. the keys to my storage room
      3. a check
      4. my mini voice recorder
      5. my iPod touch
      6. a prescription I was supposed to get filled 
  2. In the last ten days I forgot:
      1. to bring checks to my doctor's appointments
      2. to pick up laundry from the basement
      3. to put milk back into the refrigerator
      4. to mail a letter and ended up carrying it around for days
      5. to take the remnants of a sandwich from my purse
      6. the point of this blog entry
      7. to eat lunch twice, leaving me cranky and confused until dinner
      8. to feed my dogs one day
  3. In the last ten days I found:
      1. a gift certificate that I keep misplacing
      2. two checks that I never deposited, one 18-months old and the other 3-years old
      3. three prescriptions from 2010
      4. four doctor's bills from 2 years ago that I never submitted for insurance
      5. and no golden rings - "Engagement ring, I miss you so much!" 
  4. In the last ten days just out of anxiety I bought:
      1. knitting needles that I do not need
      2. 3 new bags that I do not need
      3. pounds of candy that I should not be eating
      4. four poly-cotton t-shirts online for Brian, absolutely certain they were 100% cotton
      5. articles of clothing that do not fit from the thrift store to alter
      6. a cheese quesadilla 
I also double booked appointments twice causing last minute scrambling. I have not made two important phone calls I was supposed to make. I spent a whole day trying to mail one reimbursement form. I went back home several times because I forgot something I needed. This caused me to be late or unable to complete tasks. I yelled at a sales person. I tripped and fell down in the subway. I screamed when someone walked too close to me. I called my pharmacist stupid because he didn't fill one of my prescriptions. I interrupted every single person who tried to talk to me. I misunderstood at least a quarter of what was said to me. I argued with my neurologist about how to read my MRI. WTF!

All of this is not so unusual for a ten day period. In general I note my limitations and keep working. I guess it just hurts now because I kind of thought I was "getting better." 


Elizabeth, John, Jack, and Luke said...

I'm sure you are getting better. Imagine what the list would have looked like one to two years ago. Despite my deficits today, when I get frustrated I think about where I was at last year...I'm way better today.. but certainly still a work in progress. I have a lot of work to do, and maybe you do too. The great part is we get to do it!! We can do it!! We'll get there. Patience and persistence is the name of the game.

Unknown said...

I agree. It's good not to be in denial, but at same time keep a list of good things you do . Remember you are loved . Mom