Tag Archives: post concussion syndrome

Hello October!

I’ve been gone a while. I had to get things back on track. It’s been a strange year. The update:

Don’t fall off a ladder. Just don’t. Doing so can change your life in ways you never imagined. October 11 will be exactly nine months since the incident. The cat is still alive, well, and continues to challenge me when she’s not being loving and adorable. I still can not get on a ladder. I have tried. I simply can’t. That’s ok. The broken ladder and shelves remain in my garage. They remind me of how fleeting life can be. Of how incredibly fortunate I am that I was able to get up from the floor that horrible day. 

Head trauma is no joking matter. Post Concussion Syndrom kinda sucks. The good news is, I am alive and it could be soooo much worse. 

I have more days now where the wires are handling life in a proper fashion than not. Some days, the wires are crossed and I am oddly emotional, forgetful, I can’t spit out words that I want to say, I become fatigued, and the lump on my head becomes…active.  

Active? It reminds me when I’m too tired, rundown, I lift something too heavy, and overdo it. I don’t even know how to describe it, except it tingles a bit and I get a headache. A different headache from the migraines or sinus headaches I get. I’ve named the lump Herman. When I have a bad day, I explain that Herman is letting me know he’s still there and I need to slow down. Sometimes I tell him to back off. Thank you Herman. 

Not Your Father’s Rootbeer. I discovered this around April/May. I now keep bottles at my bestie’s house for when I go over and hang out. Word of warning – two is plenty! Three may prevent you from getting out of the pool…or driving…or walking…or staying awake. The ginger ale is ok. The cream soda is just as good as the rootbeer. Yes, they contain alcohol. 

My mother has been gone since April. I’m still rather angry with her. Such a complicated relationship. The grieving process is not to be taken lightly. I don’t cry and yell at her everyday like I did the first few months. It’s less often. Grief sneaks up on me, when I least expect it. Then I get mad. Then I tell her to get out of my head. 

I still can not find a happy childhood memory that includes her. Everuthing is clouded in manipulations and questions. I hope that clears one day. I have many happy memories that involve my grandmother and others. In the last year I learned so much about her motives, her lies, how she manipulated us in so many ways…it’s been difficult. I’m not sure there is forgiveness for all that she did. Someday I may write about all that. For now, I try to tuck it away. It’s not healthy to dwell. 

I know a gal who lost her father yesterday. I told her that it doesn’t really get easier, it just gets a little less heavy as time goes by. That’s my best advice. That’s all I’ve got. 

I’ve become Penny the Great. My niece had a baby. I reject the great aunt thing. This is a good compromise, suggested by a dear friend. As one life came to an end, a new generation was developing. His name is Leo. He has a whole, brilliant, wonderful world of opportunities and experiences awaiting him. He has an amazing family to surround him with love and kindness. He will be brilliant. He already is. 

I now try to focus on the positive. I started this in earnest after the mother died. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the stuff spinning around in our heads. I have begun brain training. Huh? Check out Dana Wilder.  A friend introduced me to her site in March. It’s helped me in so many ways. 

Positive affirmations, being conscious of what I project and what I allow in these days. That’s not to say there are not pity parties and rants. I just try to do those quietly and in solitude. I allow only so much time for them, then I move on. I feel calmer these days. 

I’m still 50. I don’t look it! I don’t act like the parents or grandparents did at 50. None of my friends do either. We like it that way!

I signed up for a 5K. It’s in March. I’ve been out of commission so long, I need to start over. I plan to walk it. If I can do so in less than an hour, I will be thrilled. Training begins soon. That’s kind of scary because my ankle is so unpredictable. Cross your fingers!

So, hello October. I’m not sure how we got here so fast, but I think I’m ready for you. 

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Derailed…

When last we met, I was recovering from a fall from a ladder.  A few…developments, yes, we shall call them developments, have taken place since them…

  1. I joined a Direct Sales company.  If anyone had told me a year ago I would be in Direct Sales, I would have laughed at them.  What can I say?  Everything clicked.
  2. I turned 50, with zero fanfare. In fact, I had the flu and was pretty darn miserable.  Every plan I had was cancelled due to the ankle and head situation.  Then I got sick.  I will celebrate next year!
  3. I discovered I was mis-diagnosed, and had a pretty significant concussion.  Significant.  Concussion.  My doc was pretty horrified.
  4. My mother died. It’s ok. She’s in a much better place and is happy and at peace for the first time in years.
  5. I was forced to slow down and reassess my entire life – how I live, what I do,  my daily activities, what is important, what is not – there has been a big shift.

Let’s start with the head injury.  It’s been four months and twenty days.  I still have a lump  and swelling on my head.  I can no longer multi-task.  I am unable to lift anything more than about seven pounds without “feeling it”.  I forget my words from time time to time.  I tired easily.  Headaches are more frequent.  I become extremely anxious when I see anyone on a ladder.  I am now terrified of ladders.  Stressful situation trigger issues.  I have been forced to slow down, as I can not manage well with a lot of physical or mental exertion.  I mean WAY down.  Life is different.  It has shifted.

I am beginning to see small improvements.  They can not happen fast enough for me.  I’m told it could be a year before I’m “normal” again.  Normal.  What is that?  Do I really want to be who I was before the ladder incident?  Hmmmm.  I kind of like new me.

I named my concussion Herman.  I visualize him as one of those green gremlins that got wet and was fed after midnight.  Herman and I are co-existing.  Some days he takes the lead, some days I take the lead.  Some days he’s quite obnoxious.  I work hard to not aggravate Herman.

The ankle is healed and unsteady.  It gets sore easily.  I’ve not walked since I fell because I’ve not been up to the exertion.  I plan to start soon, as I need to do one more thing to move forward.

My mother died after many years of ups and downs with her physical and mental health.  I was unable to fly, and could not go out when it all came down.  While I would have liked to be there to support my brother, Herman saw to it that I kept my feet on the ground.  She is now at peace.

Life is different.  Everything has changed.  I have modified so many things in my life and how I live it, I look back in amazement.  I have a good attitude.  I do NOT let it get me down.  I get frustrated with it sometimes, but I will win in the end. Slow and steady wins the race.

That’s the recap of the last few months.  Taking life one safe step at a time.  Managing Herman.  Embracing the new shifts.  Living each day with intention rather than just living.  Life is a gift.

Lessons learned?

Cats will find their own way down.  Do not climb a ladder to save one.

If you are moving too fast, you will fall down stairs and off of ladders.  Slow down.  Look around.  Smell the roses.

Some people want to live and fight hard to do so.  Some don’t.  You can not force someone to live who no longer wants to.

Direct Sales is actually a pretty good gig.  Don’t believe everything you hear.

Meditation helps calm me and prepare me for what the day has in store.

Not everyone gets a second chance like I did.  I am eternally grateful and don’t want to waste a minute.