Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Mind Matters...

Today is the 7 year anniversary of my brain injury. I don't remember much of what happened. Here is what I remember: I woke up to go to work. I took some migraine medicine, because I had a migraine that was just starting. I got into the shower. The next thing I remember is waking up on the floor of the bathroom. I wasn't in the tub, but I was wet, like I had showered. My head was all "fuzzy" and I felt like I was in a fog. I started to pull myself up off the floor. The next thing I remember is waking up on the floor of the bathroom, only this time I was closer to the bathroom door.

My head hurt and I had a huge lump on the back of my head. I crawled into the bedroom, and started trying to tell Ryan that I needed help. I couldn't get the right words to come out of my mouth. I was slurring. Ryan could tell something had happened, but I wasn't able to explain it. He called me in sick to school, and called my friend, Bernadette, to make subplans for me. Ryan said that I just sat on the couch mumbling "call GP, call GP" (that's what I call Bernadette).

I don't remember much else. I made an appointment to go see a doctor (did we think to take me to the ER? No, we were dumb). The next day I went to work, but I was very fuzzy, wasn't talking too well. My boss told me that I couldn't come back until I was cleared by a doctor and sent me home. I remember sitting on the bed, staring at my pants. I couldn't figure out how to put them on. Another time, I walked away from the stove after I lit a burner, and just left it on (thank God Ryan was home).

When I went to the doctor, I remember that he made me feel stupid with the neurological tests that he was putting me through. I cried. He sent me to get a CT scan. I got lost on the way, even though I had directions. My parents were in Florida, but I called my dad to try to get me un-lost. He couldn't really help me. I called Ryan and he left work to look for me. I eventually got to the hospital and had the CT scan.

My mom called that night and told me to email my migraine doctor and let her know what was happening. As soon as I did that, my migraine doctor (Merle Diamond) got the ball rolling. She had me get an MRI, have neurological testing done the correct way, and had me get other tests, like an EEG, etc. That's when we found out that I had a brain injury. I had lost my short term memory.

I don't remember anything from the week before my injury, which is sad, because I was in one of my closest friends weddings, and I see pictures of myself in it, but I don't remember a thing about it. I don't remember anything for 3 weeks after my injury either. I try and try, but I can't. I fill in the blanks with things that I am told, but I don't remember it at all.

In the past years, I have learned accommodations to help me out. I carry a calendar with me to help me keep track of day to day things, everything has it's own special color in my calendar. I store directions to places in the car, so I don't get lost. I had a huge anger management issue for 6 months following my injury. I would go from 0 to rage in less than 30 seconds. I still have rage issues, but I am able to control it a lot better. I don't have a filter anymore. By that I mean, that I used to think before I spoke. I'm a blurter now, and that has gotten me in my fair share of hot water. I have to work hard to avoid blurting out everything that I say. I freak out and get very overwhelmed in crowds. I used to not be able to go into Meijers, because there are so many choices to be made, and it was sensory overload on my brain. I've trained myself to handle it now. I used to be able to have all my students' names memorized by the 2nd day of school. Now it takes me at least a month to do that. I have changed in many ways, but I have tried to stay as close to the same person that I remember myself as. It's been hard, on me, on my family, but I think I've been able to cope with it better each year that I live like this.


  1. Wow! I didn't know all of that. Makes me more grateful for you now!

  2. I had no idea! Praise God that Ryan was home & for your migraine doctor! Sorry to hear about all that you went through....your accomodations are ones that I need to work on....especially the not blurting out the first thing that comes to mind.:) That has gotten me in lots of trouble.... Glad you are doing well now.

  3. Frankly, I don't remember you having much of a filter before ;) j/k :) I'm proud of the way you've handled your injury and you don't use it as an excuse--you have adapted and noone would even know. Love you sista!

  4. I'm sorry we were not home to help you. I love you no matter what way you are. I am a blurter and I have no reason. Love, MOM