Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tenth Avenue North - Worn (with lyrics)

Perhaps my new favorite song..........................WORN by Tenth Avenue North

I'm tired
I'm worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing

I've made mistakes
I've let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

I know I need
To lift my eyes up
But I'm too week
Life just won't let up
And I know that You can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Cause I'm worn

And my prayers are wearing thin
I'm worn even before the day begins
I'm worn I've lost my will to fight
I'm worn so heaven so come and fluid my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that's dead inside can be reborn
Yes all that's dead inside will be reborn
Though I'm worn
Yeah I'm worn

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I have never seen this before..........

Here it is, no possible way for my wrist to curl in this one, YAY!
Maybe it is good to be reminded what a medical "freak"/anomaly I truly am.  Yesterday, I went to a new therapist, an occupational therapist, specializing in hand rehabilitation.  My neurologist felt it was important to address the remaining tone/tightness in my left hand! As the therapist read over my medical history, he was silent.  Upon finishing,  he asked me to tell him what had happened and what my remaining difficulties were.  I began to rattle off my aneurysm(s) story as he took necessary measurements for the new brace my neurologist wanted! After measurements were taken and I was done rattling off my story, he looked at me in utter amazement and says, "I have never seen a hand do this," over and over! Of course, if you know me, you know I am thinking "....if only I had a nickel for every time a doctor said they have never seen, - you fill in the blank-........" Still I was curious exactly what that meant, so I asked.  He explained his utter shock that I was actually using my hand! He had never seen an aneurysm survivor ever regain use of a hand that was once completely paralyzed.  Adding to his shock was the fact that my rupture was in the exact area of  the brain that controls hand/arm movements! His reaction was very dignified and, for the first time, I was not scared by the reaction I got.  Perhaps, enough time and healing has elapsed making it easier to take or perhaps it was the calm, factual, not dramatic way in which it was presented! Either way, it is easy to become "cold" to your own amazing story.  It is easy to rattle off it's details, yet another time, and not consider the miracle of what you are saying!  So, maybe it is good to go to new therapists despite the fact that you are just plain "tired of all the appointments." I am glad I went and I think they have a  great treatment plan to help me regain some strength and dexterity in my left hand!  Happy Valentine's Day!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Skiing and EEGs

"Shadow of who I used to be"
FINALLY ready to go!
In an effort to find "something I enjoy doing now," I strapped on my cross country skis for the first time in 8 years! I just, 'flat out', find things I 'used to like' VERY exhausting now instead of relaxing!! Of course, it hasn't snowed in a few years (like enough snow to 'play' in) so when I heard,1-2 feet of snow I was cautiously excited! I can usually tell when weather fronts are coming through, by the area on my head that was removed to do my clipping surgery.  My head was not aching like it would for a big storm! I wanted it to snow so badly that I tried to deny my "head indicator" and looked forward to SNOW! It did end up snowing a few inches so I decided that, despite a "foggy brain day", I was going skiing, regardless!  It only took me a hour to find everything I thought I needed then a half an hour to figure out how to put the leg guards on (I didn't want snow in my boots!).  Unable to actually get my boot clipped in the ski by myself I found my hubby (whom I nicknamed 'Mr. Fixit' seriously the man fixes anything, except me. Believe me he has tried) I really was having a rough day, nothing was working together, N had already rescued me from a meltdown with our two labs and my camera! Now, I was determined to ski??? Being the good hubby that he is, he picks up my skis and listens to me begin to meltdown over getting my boot clipped in.  Another hour and several, "I give up, I'm not doing this today", and the ice was cleared from my left ski allowing my boot to finally clip in despite the spastic left side, now cold and tired! Feeling very down I was just determined that it was going to be a disaster. N assured me I could do it and gave me instructions about where I should go, knowing I would have trouble figuring that out myself. We joked about the length of time he should wait before rescuing me. Still not confident I was capable of going, I  took a picture of my shadow, determined it was "a shadow of who I used to be". Yes, this is how I get when I am exhausted and the enemy in my own head "attacks me".  I did end up enjoying my little "outing" despite the rocky start to the adventure and if it ever snows again I will dig out the skis and enjoy the quiet while I try to balance!  It was a much better experience than the bike riding I tried, for the first time again, this summer (I still  have NO desire to bike in the near future). 

"Wired"....look at that tail!
"All the cool kids are doing it" hahaha
     Today I was 'hooked up' to an ambulatory EEG to monitor brain activity for 24 hours!  Doctors are admittedly "overly cautious" due to the aneurysm history!  So, I have wires sticking out of my head, "carefully disguised" in gauze and connected to a monitor, which is carried in a pack with me!  Now, I have a strange sense of humor and debated walking around the mall like this, just because!!  Thankfully for everyone else, I didn't have the energy to do it and decided I would just go home and blog and share my "craziness" with anyone brave enough to actually read my blog! I am not looking forward to the removal tomorrow!  I have a feeling those electrodes are really stuck on there good by the smell of the glue!!  I joked with the technician about "how much hair I have, that must be making her job fun".  She laughed and said something like, "It really doesn't look like you have a lot if hair , but wow, when you get digging around to find a place to stick these things, I would say you really do have a lot".  Since this wasn't my "first walk in the park with an EEG" I had a cute little knit hat with me to more cleverly disguise what you see in pictures, for other people's sake.  I know before my aneurysm seeing someone walking around like this would have made me feel a little sick! Yes, I think WAY too much about everything, one of many flaws! Like sometimes this, too much thinking leads to things like; if I ever write a book, I think I will title it "Rediscovering (or Redefining)  Lisa"  Have a wonderful week all!!!!

Yeah, those are going to leave a mark!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My tips on driving again!

As requested, here is my suggestions for driving post TBI:

- Driving is EXHAUSTING(I'm not going to lie).  It will take more energy than you realize or remember!  There are so many things going on all the time, decisions to make, sequencing to keep straight. It can easily become overwhelming but CAN be done!!

- I took at driving "recertification" class at the rehab hospital I stayed at.  They checked my reflexes and drove with me to make sure it was safe for me to be "out and about".  See if a rehab hospital or OT (occupational therapy) program in your area has a class like this!!

- Drive short distances in familiar places.  I still find it almost impossible to drive and navigate.  I can do one or the other (OK, navigating is not my strength, even if I'm not driving.) At first the 5 minutes to Target and back was all I could do for one day! Eventually, I have worked up to the 1.5-2 hour trip to my parent's house which mostly takes me down a small interstate and rural country roads!

- When I drive I still talk to myself out loud to help me remember things like "look left, right, left".  I used to have left and right labeled on my dashboard (on less thing to think about.)Because I had a stroke on my right side, my brain sometimes ignores my left side, I have to always be conscious that I am paying attention to what was on my left side! ( the driving class at the rehab hospital addressed this problem with me).  I also tell myself what I see when I look left OR right to make sure my brain is processing what is going on)

- I had a list stuck to my radio that I looked at when getting in and out.  It had a list of things to do/check before leaving.  It went like this :1. seat belt on 2. start car 3. look both ways. Getting out looked like this: 1. car in park 2. turn off key 3. key in handbag 4. take handbag with you 5. lock the car.  It just helped me to organize the basics and safe a little mental energy!

- RADIO OFF at all times!  Limit as many distractions as you can!

- Always carry an extra pair of sunglasses (I have to wear sunglasses even in the rain or I get a headache) and a snack to refuel if needed.  I always have water for taking "pills" if I need to while I am out!

You'll do great "V"!! Take it slow and build up gradually! Start on quiet familiar road with a very patient and loving, and brave person (hehehe)! You will do great! God bless and thanks for reading my blog!!!! -Lisa

Monday, February 4, 2013

8 YEARS!!!!!

      I confess, football just isn't "my thing". Some of my most favorite people in college, loved the sport and I tried, I really, really wanted to like it (or even understand it fully), but I just don't!  My opinion of the game is now forever tainted by my knowledge of, how little impact it takes to cause damage (even small areas of 'gray matter') to the brain! It just doesn't seem worth it to me to choose to cause such impact on your brain!  Brain injury is no fun people! With this said, I blog while my hubby enjoys the game!!
     Friday marked 8 years since my aneurysm rupture. N(my hubby) surprised me by taking the day off!!  He got up at his "normal" time and left like he was off to work.  What I didn't know was that he pushed in the clutch of his truck and rolled down the driveway.  We have a "long"(ish) driveway so when he started the loud diesel engine in our culdesac I didn't wake up and didn't suspect a thing.  He went to Home Depot for a few hours to let me sleep until my "normal" time.  Sticking to a structured schedule really helps me function so much better!!! Right before my alarm, I heard a loud diesel motor pull into our driveway.  I was thinking, "who in the world would deliver a package that 'early'",and "I don't even remember ordering anything." I looked out the window and saw all our vehicles in our driveway plus my hubby's work truck.......I was SO confused (normal for me)!  I didn't have my glasses on so I couldn't tell that my hubby was sitting in his truck waving at me!  At least, there was no delivery truck! N came inside with a dozen roses and told me he took the day off to spend with me! After my PT appointment (again, stick to as much of the original schedule as you can) he took me out to lunch, YUM!  I was having a good mental fatigue day which was such a gift!  I actually really enjoyed the day!!!!  I even ran a few errands!  I sent my sister's birthday gift like I did 8 years ago according to a receipt found in my Jeep as everyone tried to figure out how long I sat over that bank unconscious! And, I was extra thankful for being alive as I drove past that very road.  I did not revisit the accident scene because today was a celebration, not a day to dwell! We now live very close to the "scene of the accident".  I feel renewed thankfulness every time I drive by it! It was a wonderful day, even getting several sweet messages from friends on Facebook, most of whom remembered getting "the call". This is a very humbling idea for a girl who spent most of her life (at least middle school through college)feeling pretty much completely invisible to people!
     Now (Monday) it is back to" real life", life post surviving a rupture!  I had an eye appointment/checkup.  All the lights and tests and lights and questions, and lights and more LIGHTS in my eyes, I was so fried my poor little brain just shut down in a exhausted, nauseous heap!  Thankfully. my father was able to drive me to and from the appointment since we knew it would totally "shut me down"! The doctor says, I am "pre glaucoma". I don't understand exactly what this means but I suspect an aneurysm rupture played a role in it since I am only in my early 30s !!!! Next Monday will be an "Ambulatory EEG" to ensure scar tissue hasn't caused "seizure activity" of any kind!  This is a "overly cautious" measure.  Better safe than sorry, I am thankful for doctors who care enough to be proactive with me!! 

This is how I left the office, I didn't care! I loved those glasses and will be wearing them again because they block SO much light!!!