Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Real life now.........

Crashing again after doing too much!  The mental exhaustion is hard to explain.  I often say, it is like living life, permanently in finals week at college! Everyone is asking too much of you, all you want to do is go to a quiet dark corner and pull the covers up over your head and begin to rock as to warn people to 'stay away'!  So, with that being said, I am just going back to bed today.  I am forgetting about my "to do" list, I am in survival mode!  Vacation was wonderful and I actually didn't feel too bad after coming home.  I should have stayed home from a Memorial Day picnic though, too much talking and too much noise! A movie blasting in the background as people kept trying to talk to me!  I am so fried now, I have to get better at advocating for myself instead of trying to fit into the "normal" mold!!! I'll post pictures when I have recharged. Our anniversary trip to Cape Cod, MA was SO amazing, I loved every single minute of it! Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Finding Nemo - Just Keep Swimming

According to the Brain Injury Association, Dorie the fish, portrays people with a brain injury. Perhaps she is just a forgetful, unorganized, free spirit suffering from 'short term memory loss'. I'll let you decide for yourself. Either way, she is a faithful friend even if she struggles! I just love this scene and sometimes sing the first few lines to my coworkers when the library gets especially busy or people are particularly miserable to us. It is my way of lightening the mood so we all laugh, and keep going; instead of running out the door! So, "just keep swimming" my friends!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

laughing to myself about myself, again!

I had to just stop and laugh at myself the other day.  I was asked to present at this year's NYS Brain Injury Conference.  I was just SO honored to be asked I couldn't even stand myself.  I snapped into 'teacher mode' (yes, it is STILL buried deep in the depth of my fried brain.) I was asked probably in the middle of March. By the end of March I had a 15 minute "presentation" all laid out including a video of my story, handout, and a Power Point to go with my handout (I even lined up borrowing a projector from my dad)............the presentation is in June!! It wasn't until this week that I was actually able to speak with the person presenting with me.  He has spoken several times in the past, and together we decided "less is more".  I am going to scrap my Power Point!  I will still bring the handout and my computer if anyone wants to see my video and doesn't have computer access/knowledge.  After hanging up the phone, I had to laugh at how much has changed since my aneurysm.  Before, I was a "Last Minute Lisa".  Seriously, I was writing final papers at midnight, cramming before exams (working best under pressure).  It worked pretty well, I graduated from a private college with a 3.29 something GPA, definitely NOT amazing, but respectable, considering I always tried to make people and friendships more important than perfect grades!!  Not to mention, having a horrible headache every single day of college.  There were varying degrees of migraine, from convulsing and throwing up in pain, to just a constant headache that no medicine would even touch (and believe me I tried EVERYTHING legal). I don't know how I did it, perhaps it was just preparing me for the insane relentless fatigue I would live with now! As wretched as the debilitating fatigue, confusion and overall inability to cope is, I'll still take it over those headaches!!

Okay now back to my actual point; before TBI, I would not have even thought about the presentation til probably next week! That Lisa is LONG gone(the one that was a terrible procrastinator), I remember her but I can no longer identify with her.  I have to be 15 minutes early to everything allowing my brain proper time to "readjust and prepare," for whatever it is I am going to do!  No more getting up last minute and putting a hat on instead of taking a shower (that would totally ruin my whole day now!) If I wear a hat now to hide my hair, it is probably because I didn't have the energy to shower not that I didn't have time.  Most often, I wear a hat for the brim, to block the annoying amount of light searing my light sensitive eyes!!! Perhaps, this is just a result of natural 'maturity' but I prefer to blame it on my brain injury, since it changed drastically, in a single instant!!! :-) I am still glad that I went all "crazy lesson planner" since it has helped me prepare for a simpler presentation (so simple I will just share my story and have a handout of how it affects me daily, then answer questions, SIMPLE is such a relief) and has given me the opportunity to think through things which I think will make answering questions A LITTLE bit easier! I am so excited to be even a very small part of the conference this year!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

poem :-)

The Diary of Me by Candi Vandegrift

 What happened to the girl who danced like no one was watching?
What happened to the girl who sang like no one could hear?
I seem to have lost her along the way.
How do I get her back? I don’t even know where to start.
What happened to the girl who gave her whole heart and nothing less?
What happened to the girl whose passion was equal only to her stubbornness?
Well, I guess the stubbornness remains, but where is the passion?
Being just fine has become good enough.

I used to eat, breath, and taste life.
I would leap before looking…and it felt great.
I wanted to try everything at least once and travel the world.
Now my world may as well be a box.

Did I lose that girl when I became sick?
Did I lose her when the passion became fire and she got burned?
But, I need to get back to her; she is a part of me.
And without that part, I will never be complete.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Story of Ian & Larissa (Original)

"Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically. It is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and His Church. Knowing Christ is more important than making a living. Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children. Either way, it is short. It may have many bright days or it may be covered with clouds. But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be, no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way. Every one of them will be not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed." -John Piper
Okay, this clip made me cry, like 'find a box of tissues cry'!  Probably because, I know this is the reality Nate thought he would have to face.  He has told me about his early days in the hospital designing wheelchair ramps for our house and trying to wrap his mind around doctors suggesting he begin looking at nursing homes before I "woke up or came out of my drug-induced coma".  Either way, he was going to be there for me, honoring his commitment "in good times and bad, in sickness AND in health".  Sometimes it feels like there has been more sickness than health but then I watch this and in reminded of how blessed I am and, maybe there is more "health" than it sometimes feels like! Either way, I am so inspired and encouraged by this couple!! I hope you are too!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

"But, you don't have to take my word for it....."

Here are a few of my favorite "survivor books" (job hazard) in case you don't like what I have to say or how I say it, get a copy of these or look for them at your local library(or request they purchase them and help raise awareness):

Gifts from the Broken Jar: Rediscovering Hope, Beauty, and Joy by PJ Long and she writes a guide that helped her reorganize her life Brain on a String: And Other Ways to Stay Organized When Your Mind Isn't
In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing by Bob and Lee Woodruff
Over My Head: A Doctor's Own Story of Head Injury from the Inside Looking Out by Claudia Osborn
Where is the Mango Princess? A Journey Back from Brain Injury by Cathy Crimmins
Rebooting My Brain: How a Freak Aneurysm Reframed My Life by Maria Ross
The Other Side of the Rainbow by Mickey Antu-Urias

AND unrelated to brain injury specifically:
The Emotional Struggle by Brandon Ryan

BUT if you want the most wonderfully illustrated children's book out there:
Where is Paco now? Donde esta Paco ahora??  by Cristina Louise and illustrated by Michelle McIlroy!!!