Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Here is to the silly things I do "now-a-days". Yesterday, I was running a few errands. It was sprinkling when I left. I had my headlights on (it's the law), and my wipers were on too. I had to make a turn, yup, on goes the blinker. I turn, but not sharp enough for it to go off automatically. Now it is pouring rain, wipers on, blinker do I get the blinker off???? All of the sudden I couldn't figure it out. Good thing I never turn the radio on, I would have had a total meltdown! I hit the "lever thing" for the wipers, now they go is still pouring I can't see well. I hit the same lever again....ah at least I had working wipers but that silly blinker is still going and now driving me crazier than I already am, normally. I had to slow down and take a deep breath before finding the blinker controller. And you wonder why I don't want a 'new' No worries, all is well now. I think I need to label things again, too many things going on with all this rain :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Aneurysm Awareness Hike

As you know I attended a "hike-a-thon" for the Brain Aneurysm Foundation. We all braved the cold and rain but it was well worth it! The hike was in memory of a girl who was 13 when she passed away at Albany Med of a ruptured aneurysm, much like mine probably. Ironically, we walked right past the first school I taught at. For the first time in six years, I was able to walk past a piece of my past and not feel sad about all that was "lost", the life I had planned. That life did not include an aneurysm, three brain surgeries, a stroke, TBI, and permanent disability causing fatigue that is relentless. The Lord has given me something even better now though it doesn't feel like it some days! It was nice to remember the past and embrace it as part of me but, I honestly wasn't sad. It was interesting to think about how much life had changed since I last walked past that school. I had literally relearned how to walk since being there last! Thank you Lord for letting me walk there again!!At this walk I also met another survivor. 'K' found me on the Brain Aneurysm Foundation support pages and we have been emailing each other for months now. She was 23 when her aneurysm ruptured while on a trip to FL. We have a lot of things to talk about/in common as you can imagine (even a pet named Mookie). Meeting 'K' in person was the highlight of the walk and it was great to be able to connect with someone who can not only sympathize but truly understands because she has been there too. 'K' amazes me. She was released from the hospital on a Tuesday in FL and was the maid of honor in her sister's wedding in NY on Saturday! Six years later and I still would have a hard time with that!!! I was having trouble just trying to talk while 'K' brought her mom, sister, and a few good friends. The whole group of them were amazing, friendly, open people....did I mention how much fun I had?? :-) Thank you so much to those who generously supported the cause! Thank you also for everyone supporting me with love and prayers as I continue to recover, still!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Talk, talk, talk...................

It is so hard not to compare yourself to others. I have always thought of myself as one who "does her own thing". I am becoming increasingly aware that not comparing yourself to others is harder than I thought. I am also increasingly aware of how much of life revolves around talking and conversation. I can't begin to tell you how utterly exhausting this is for me. I can also sympathize a little with the autistic and their way of coping with communication deficits; simply recite facts or lines from movies that you remember. Spontaneous conversation is so much work!! I have the advantage of a memory of holding "polite conversation or small talk". You see language is more complex than I ever imagined before. Not only do words have to come out in the right order and context but they also must be accompanied with the correct body language to be interpreted by others correctly. SO MUCH WORK after an injury to your brain!! Hence the reason I much prefer communication through email or facebook. It can be done at your own time and eliminates the body language associated with face to face conversation. I know it too carries it's own set of misunderstandings and many people hate communicating this way! Can you tell my weekend was filled with lots of social events requiring polite conversation and talking?? Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy getting to know people but it is just exhausting and frusterating for me now :-) It seems like so much of lives revolves around TALKING......I hate to admit it but I am a "just send me a text" kind of girl now!!

Walk for Aneurysm Early Detection research here in Albany

For info on the Brain Aneurysm Foundation walk here in Albany check out this link..........

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Waking Up...........

In the last few weeks a few good friends of mine have made me aware of those they know recovering from ruptured aneurysms. My prayers go out for you even if I don't know you by name! I woke up from something doctors tell me "I should not have". Early on I felt like I just couldn't relate to people. Nobody could tell me what was "normal" to expect since I had actually woke up alive and could even talk about it! But, the injury to my brain made me feel like a stranger in what should be a familiar land! Imagine trying to relate to people when you are not exactly sure what year it is or why that is important. I only knew the bascis facts about myself and the name of the hospital I was at as I was asked to recite it several times a day. Being able to recite basic facts and actually understanding their significants are two very different things, let me tell you! But I was still desperate to relate to people as I remembered being able to. I would even try talking to nurses and those taking my vitals in a desperate attempt to find someone "who could really understand what this was like". I, of course failed, to relate to them when I got mad that "they didn't speak English" (but at least I knew what language I was trying to communicate in). My point is, I just wanted to find someone "who had been there" and could say "I felt like that too". Other brain injury survivors were, in my mind, not able to relate to all the complicated medical problems that I now had to deal with, I was 25 a many of them were much older and at a different point in life with established families. I always thought nobody could understand me. I so longed to talk to somebody my own age, at the same stage of life so I could finally relate to someone. Thankfully I found a few brave souls on the internet willing to talk/type. This blog is my desperate attempt to help somebody else who might feel like I did!

I thought I would try to describe, as best I can, what it is like to wake up in a hospital without any memory of that day (or several before it)! I remember very little from those early recovery days and I think I have probably created some memories to fill in the gaps! I remember a whole lot of confusion. I was confused about how I got there and what year it actually was. The seasons outside confused me and even my own dreams confused me. I was never totally sure if I dreamt about something, watched it on TV or actually lived it; this really freaked out my family! This often led to panic attacks for me. One poor radiology technician strapped me down for a CAT Scan and I literally flipped out. She remembered me weeks later and turned a little pale, making some comment about how scared I was the last time and tried to reassure me it would be OK this time. I remember new people's reactions to my medical chart scaring me. I had no idea how serious my condition was and was barely hanging on to reality as it was! The one last thing I will say is, that it was all SO EXHAUSTING. I just wanted to be left alone to sleep. Answering questions like what is your choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner were was just plain annoying and hard to process. First, everyone rattled off the choices so quickly I couldn't remember them. Then, I didn't think anything really sounded good and I wasn't able to analyze what would make one choice better than another. Over the last 6 years this has gotten better but I'm not going to lie, it is STILL a struggle!!! All small prices to pay for being alive and exactly where God wants me, relying daily on Him!