Being home alone and doing chores, taking a shower, talking a long walk or run. That's what my life contained before the TBI. My life was pretty routinized as I'd been working through PTSD issues. Then the nothingness, the forgetfulness after my head being slammed so hard I had Battle's signs on the left side although they didn't show immediately. I knew I was hurt more than I should have been. I was in such deep denial. My embarrassment wouldn't allow me to justify calling EMS. My subsequent memory loss allowed me to fool myself into thinking it had not been so bad.
My embarrassment earned me a near year of no treatment.
I was so lost. That is all I really remember of that time. Trying to keep it together in the face of a massive loss of memory. I hold no blame for anyone as it was a purely accidental injury. It's a black hole of loss and I don't know that I'll get it back again.
My routine, my new routine became one of day to day only. As I began a very low level cautious approach treatment I became very aware of my memory loss. Then I would get so angry, but this passed quickly too. I couldn't hold onto any thought, any short moment memory or any emotion before it just evaporated. My new resting place became one of the stillness which I'd come to be cautious of with the PTSD. It made me deeply uncomfortable and I was powerless to do anything about it.
Go to the store alone? That quickly became apparent was not going to happen for a long time. Take a shower while home alone? that wasn't happening either. Exercise, doing any hard exertion? Nope. Boxing to relieve my anger issues? nope not that either.
Going through my day was an exertion. Sleep an unending quest. The headaches beyond belief. Weaning off the inappropriately prescribed medications caused seizures as I slowly dropped the levels. I don't know how I got through this time. I really don't. But I did. The only thing to save me in so many ways was letting go of the feeling I should be doing SOMETHING.
Doing nothing. Or so it seemed to me was my new day to day. Get dressed, eat, don't forget to eat. Rest. watch TV. Netflix became my new 'thing'. DVRing shows a huge thing as I'd forget what I'd watched the night before. I often watched episodes several times to the irritation of my daughter. Put laundry in to wash....hours later get asked about it. I'd forgotten it again. Cooking was another thing I did not do anymore. God forbid I wanted to make cookies and forget them. Not cooking them at all or burning them.
My son started taking me to his job only to keep his eye on me. Then take me to eat after to make sure I ate. I wasn't allowed to drive until recently. So I lost a lot of independence.
Today it's changing slowly as activities are added back into my life. I still struggle with not remembering how I got to where I am physically (weak) with no endurance or muscle. I struggle with wanting to just push so hard in the gym, but I can't.
So much has been taken away by several moments in time. Yet I am still moving forward slowly, slowly. Memory is holding more each week. My brain makes connections with information I'd not had before and it's all new. All I can do is day to day. That's not changed. It's OK. It wasn't, but it is today.
We hold this line together. Without each other we do not heal. Healing begins when we connect with each other.
When we connect with each other we ease each other's plight, if we keep each other beyond that fingertip reach? we lose out on healing. Let us all hold that line TOGETHER. It's time.