Saturday, July 30, 2011

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on."

This week could be summed up by "extreme fatigue".  That is one of the most frustrating "post aneurysm and living with a TBI" things I find to deal with.  Monday, I got up, ate breakfast, let my dogs out, and crawled right back into bed SO thankful I had nothing that absolutely had to get done or be taken care of that day! I was just exhausted, I didn't want to talk to anyone, go anywhere or deal with anything! Ugh, by Friday I still felt this way after a week of 'good night's sleep'. If only a 'good night sleep' would fix it!!!Some days, even weeks, are inexplicably better than others. There does not always seem to be a pattern or reason for this. Some days, I wake up having a good day and some days I just wake up in a fog. I'm not going to lie, I was beginning to feel discouraged and like "nobody understands"(okay, except my fabulous friend Mer). Yup, six years later and I still struggle with it from time to time. I became irritated at any request for me to commit to do something. I just wanted to yell (but didn't), "I DON'T KNOW, IF I FEEL GOOD ENOUGH TO GET OUT OF BED THAT DAY, THEN SURE". I know, I really shouldn't feel that way, since people truly cannot understand what it is like to live inside my head. Frankly, sometimes I don't understand myself or know my own "new limits". I am thankful that God is faithful and only through His strength I am able to carry on. It is so hard when the world still goes on at its usual fast pace, leaving you to watch it fly past you, but unable to keep up! But still, I am thankful that all the fatigue and frustration means I am here, alive and a "Walking, Talking, Miracle", Thank you, Lord!! A friend posted the above video and it gave me some measure of peace and encouragement after a rough, exhausted week! I hope it does the same for you!!

"There are no words in times like these
When tears don't hide the tragedies
And all you want is a reason for the world

No comfort in the greeting card
Cause God is good
But life's still hard
and your heart just wants a reason for the world

Maybe the reason for the pain
Is so we would pray for strength
And maybe the reason for the strength
Is so that we would not lose hope
And maybe the reason for all hope
Is so that we could face the world
And the reason for the world
Is to make us long for home

For God so loved your broken heart
He sent his son to where you are
and he died
To give a reason for the world

So lift your sorrows to the one
Whose plan for you has just begun
And rests here in the hands that hold the world

Maybe the reason for the pain
Is so we would pray for strength
And maybe the reason for the strength
Is so that we would not lose hope
And maybe the reason for all hope
Is so that we could face the world
And the reason for the world
Is to make us long for home

Well I know your past the point of broken
Surrounded by your fear
I know you're feet and tired and lonely
from the road that you walked down here
But just keep your eyes on heaven
and know that you are not alone
remember the reason for the world

No ear has heard
No eye has seen
Not even in your wildest dreams
A beauty that awaits beyond this world
When you look into the eyes of grace
and hear the voice of mercy say
Child, welcome to the reason for the world" -Matthew West

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things that plague me in my sleep!

Okay, these are the kind of dreams that torment me while I sleep. I had a dream I was in college and had a paper due the next day on 'Acceptance'. I was supposed to read the book "My Life" by an unknown author; the cover was a black and white silhouette of a girl with the title written in white graffiti. I was in a panic, I didn't have a copy of the book that I could find. It was late, I was tired and I had absolutely no idea what this book was about. I was so mad and confused about how I could have missed such an obvious assignment. It must have been junior year(the year I was writing at least 5+ papers a week) because I ran over to Christine's room to see if she had ever written this paper, NOPE. I jumped in my Beretta,drove to the library, and found Ellie in the 'new sun room'. I tried to find cliff notes on the book while she tried to calm me down! Apparently, I had a brain injury now too, because in college(real time) I would have simply skimmed the book, checked a few online commentaries and written the paper, making it up as I went. It is only now that I would have scheduled this to be done WAY, WAY before it actually needed to be and then rendered helpless to do anything in a hurry! My therapist had a blast with this dream. He says," WOW, well you are living your life now," then he sat pondering it, with a smirk. Then came out with "all your dreams are you panicking over performance, what you can't do". Yikes! I can't even take one breath without the Grace of God, so why worry Lisa, I mean, really???
Maybe these are the lessons from my scrambled brain.......
- Acceptance isn't done in a hurry. It is slow and methodical!!
-Acceptance may take the help of good friends.
-Acceptance can't really be found in any book, but it may be helpful to see what others say about it!
-Acceptance in 'my life' is still being written.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I know I am "home sweet home" when..........

I know I am home sweet home (the place I grew up) when "normal behavior" is anything but! Before venturing out on my 'own' I would not have found the events of last evening unusual. I am out at my parent's house visiting since my elderly grandfather is in the hospital having an ablation done on his heart to try to stop arrhythmia problems. The week started off like any other, my usual forgetting simple things. My mom and sister were supposed to come up to my house for a visit with my niece and nephew for a visit. We were going to take them to "Chuck E Cheese" for the first time. On Tuesday, my mom called to tell me my grandfather was admitted to the hospital again for his heart. So, we devised another plan to all see each other. At 5 pm on Tuesday I quickly packed an overnight bag and dog food, got the dogs in my Jeep and took off for my parent's house. About an hour into my ride it occurred to me that I didn't remember closing my garage door thus leaving access to all our belongings! I debated turning around but knew I would lack the mental energy for all that driving! I had our neighbor's cell number so I tried that! No answer, I drove for awhile longer before trying again, no answer, now I am so fixated on that silly garage door I can't stand it. Upon arrival at my parents I quickly got online and looked up our other neighbor's house number. I tried them, no answer. I know I'm not going to be able to rest until I know the silly door is down. I looked up the house number for the neighbors whose cell phone I had tried. Haha, success. I got my 10 year old neighbor friend. She very graciously ran over to my house, checked the door and called me right back. The door was down the whole time, I still don't remember doing it but that is what happens when I try to hurry! That is also way I neurotically plan and create checklists for everything WAY WAY ahead of time. So now, my family kindly teases me about 'stalking my neighbors'. I am so thankful for such wonderful and gracious neighbors. I even got a phone message and facebook message the next day assuring me all was well!!
Now, for the "this is not normal" We had a wonderful day at 'Chuck E Cheese' yesterday. I think 3 year old niece, 'B' ,had the time of her life and it was so great to be able to watch her discover all the fun there(eventhough I forgot to bring my camera, can you imagine that??). I even survived the bells, whistles and funny noises all around me. I was pretty tired/fried but it was well worth it!!! So, I rode home with my sister to her house where my dad met us. I rode back to my parent's house with my dad and his large bucket loader tractor in tow. He kept talking about how worried he was about the trailer tires blowing because he didn't have a spare. I just said a prayer and decided not to think about it(again, just stick your head in the sand, metaphorically speaking). We did make it home and I was still exhausted. He unloaded everything and by that time it was dark. I was notified that he "needs a little help". I drove my Jeep up to the building where he stored his tractor (so my headlights would allow him to see. We then have to pull the other tractor out of the building to make room for the one we just hauled back to the house. Of course, that tractor won't start so I am supposed to steer it while he pulls it just to the top of the hill so it will roll on its own. My dad now jumps on the 'dead' tractor and tries to 'pop' it started by coasting it down the hill and breaking while trying to start it. I have a funny feeling it wasn't all going to go as planned to I just waited for the next plan. As it ends up, I am now driving the bucket loader towing him down the rode as he continues to try to start it using the same method. It does start, it is unhooked and now I am driving a tractor down the road, in the pitch black with one headlight. Suddenly, flashbacks from my unusual childhood emerge. Just as I pull it into the driveway, it completely stalls out. My pride takes a little hit as I defend my driving skills. I am assured that it has just completely run out of gas, I was just glad I made it off the road and mostly into the driveway. Ah, the joys of rural living, I am told it builds character and I am quite a character, hahaha, so maybe 'they' are right!! Today, my dad had an appointment with a specialist to assess the stone blocking his gallbladder. He is currently racing home so he can have the better part of the day to CUT HAY. I assure you; once I know he has safely cut a majority of the hay I will be returning to my house for some R&R :-)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What's up with this week??

So yesterday, I went to get creamer and never did get it. Today, I was determined to redeem myself and make a "BJs run" to stock up. I took a shower, got dressed and drove all the way to the store. Upon arrival, I went to pull out my list.... my list??? list?????? I never grabbed it off the fridge. All I could do was laugh and call Nate so he could laugh with me, and to see if he remembered anything on the list :-) We both had a good laugh; I can't imagine what sort of things I would do if I were sleep deprived too!! Now I may be like the ostrich, and just stick my head in the sand!!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't I have a teaching degree???

Summertime at the library has proven to be just as insane as I remember it being (maybe worse). With that being said, I worked Saturday and I was about one book away from a nervous breakdown!! Switching tasks was something I had to relearn; doing it is still exhausting, I mean 'wit's end mental fatigue'. After a few switches I am mentally spent! Most days I have some recovery time between the task changes but, not on the weekends. It is just one person after the next demanding answers to their questions, not even realizing how taxing it is!! Barely recovering from that, I had already agreed to switch with someone and work today (in the afternoon). I survived and even with a smile! Then, I made a bad decision.......Nate was all out of creamer for his coffee. WalMart is the only store that sells the kind he likes. I HATE WAL MART. On top of my usual confusion there, they are completely rearranging the entire store. So, I am essentially going there mainly for the creamer. I became so distracted by the remodel that I grabbed a few grocery items and got in my car; after taking a deep breath, I drove home. Upon arrival at home it occurred to me that I never did get the stupid creamer (the purpose for braving the dreaded store). While this is a very small matter in life it is still rather annoying!! To make matters even worse I can usually just grab what I need at Target (much less dreaded than WalMart, okay, yes, I love Target- way less exhausting than a mall- I am always looking for an excuse to go) BUT, they too are remodeling! Are you kidding me, that should be illegal (but at least Target has evenly distributed employees to help you find what you are looking for-or in my case a general direction since right and left can confuse me, especially when going on 'short term auditory memory')!! So, I will be spending the next several months trying to relearn where things are located. More likely, I will just shop at the little Hannaford in town and pay a little more for the items they do have and just forget about the ones they don't!! :-)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Random thoughts as one post :-)

My friend 'M' was in the hospital having a procedure done on her heart this week. Doctors were trying to stop some of the worst arrhythmia the doctor had ever seen. I thought visiting her in the hospital would be really hard for me to do,but it wasn't. Actually most days, I feel just like Thomas C., who also sustained a TBI, "I feel different now, I don't feel alive." However, spending the day with 'M' was one of the few times in the last six years (since the aneurysm) I have actually felt alive! It is amazing what a little 'M' therapy can do :-)

Now, when I was in the hospital I had to have a hole drilled into my skull to relieve the pressure building in my head. The "hole in my head was literally saving my life. It is commonly defined as a "Ventriculostomy is a neurosurgical procedure that involves creating a hole ("ostomy") within a cerebral ventricle for drainage. It is done by surgically penetrating the skull, dura mater, and brain such that the ventricle of the brain is accessed. When catheter drainage is temporary, it is commonly referred to as an external ventricular drain, or EVD." One of my Aunts, much later in my recovery, said that she will never look at the expression "I need that (insert object here) like another hole in my head". I too have never looked at that expression in the same way! 'M' had ablation procedure(Ablation is removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other erosive processes) done in her heart which which essentially burns tissue causing heart arrhythmia. Now as I was driving home I passed Albany Med and they had a new restaurant called "Recovery Room: sports grill". If they only knew they would have kindly chosen a different name. Only 'M' would be able to have a good laugh about it with me as we plan our own BBQ get-together! I think we are kindred spirits!!!!! Now I will close with this life lesson: If you ever wake up in a hospital and don't know where you are, DO NOT read what is stamped on your bed sheets. I kid you not, there was a completely different hospital name stamped on the sheets of the hospital 'M' was at!! What kind of sick joke is that?? Of course, this would not have helped me, since I would not have been able to read after waking up; but for the rest of you, don't forget!