Howdy Hydrocephalus

Understanding my unique gyroscope


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Volunteering the Next Step

I hope to take big steps in my life for 2016. I am wanting to volunteer at the hospital to help with the recreation department. I know it will be portering and just helping out, but at least I will be able to see what the job entails and how I react in a hospital situation.

I am saying that I can only volunteer five hours max a week and those five hours can not be done in one day. So I am thinking two days a week for 2.5 hours. I know I can handle that…or at least I hope that I can handle that and maintain doing it for a period of time.

I am so excited…..BUT! I had to fill out an online volunteer application. This weirded me out. For example, it asked about me. Now what do I say there…I had no clue. I am human, female, breathing, alive but a little kooky and broken at the same time. So I scrolled down to the next question. Work experience.

Easy Peasy! I listed off that I worked in the environmental industry. Did contract management ranging from tree planting, silviculture, bridge and road engineering. My largest project was 20 million road to help get approved, built and inspected. I worked in compliance and enforcement where we inspected activiities and tried to work out problems without resorting to enforcement. However, I have and written crown council reports and investigation reports. I worked as a website coordinator for a government organization and had a budget for 120,000 for one website and 40,000 for another website. I took photos, worked with film crews and interviewed people. I also taught at MHC for one semester before my surgery as I experienced hydro induced dementia like stuff. (I still feel guilty for not being a good instructor…showing same video like three times) I loved my work. Work was my life that is the green in me coming out. I am a Green/Orange mix with True Colours.

However, after I wrote all that I was like wow…impressive but I am no longer that person. I can’t even pretend to fake who that person was. Although it never looked like I was organized, I was. I was able to problem solve and think on the fly. I could remember legislation and understand it when I read it. I could easily navigate, read maps, GPS, drive long distances, work long long hours and get up early and do it again. I supervised fire fighting crews and even been on nine wildfires as a sector leader. I could remember regular and scientific names of plants, shrubs, trees, soils, rocks etc… I was able to stand up for myself and hold my professional standards & practices even if it meant pissing people off. I was good at that . I would frustrate the bejesus out of contractors and companies because I would take any shit for their short cuts. I was a fierce one and passionate to boot!

Then it asked for education and awards. So I fill out scholarships,, awards, and my degree, diploma and certificates that i have earned. So now I know the meaning of looking good on paper and really sucking in real life. You know the potential hire that had a great resume and interviewed well but when they got into the job, they just plained sucked and you know exaggerated the truth…god I look like one of those people. How embarassing except I am not lying.

I am at a loss. How do I represent myself now? I have no clue. It almost feels like I am lying when I put down my work experience and education because it seems like so long ago. I struggle with so many things that used to come to me instantaneously and now requires time to think about thinks, process, work out, organize steps etc….

When the person interviews me for volunteering, I am really not too sure what to say. I really no idea how I will perform, if I will make it to every volunteer day or anything. It is like a blank slate in my head. I have nothing to go on.

But I need to go through this; it is the next step in my recovery to get back to the “real” world. I will figure it out and find out what the new me can do successfully at this time and find small goals to work for in the future. It is just today I once again realized the truth in what the Docs saying a seven year recovery time. I am almost half way where.

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Order amongst the chaos

I am not a New Years resolution type person. I am a person that is trying everyday to be a better person to myself, family, friends and community.

Pre-injury I was not a person who liked “routine”. I liked change, the unknown and diversity. I saw “routine” as a word for same old…same old nothing new type of life. I didn’t recognize how much of a “routine” I did have until recently. What type of routines did I have? The unconscious type for daily activities such as my 30 step morning routine that I had to relearn. The unconscious actions of thinking in logical steps. The ease of reading maps, driving, just knowing what to do and doing it. The unconscious reading and understanding what is printed on the page.

I miss having those unconscious routines. My life is currently chaos. Energy wasted on not making a decision. For example, I know I have stuff to do but where or how to start. It seems all so overwhelming. I can’t even think of all the different types of unconscious routines that un-brain injured people do but there are lots.

I use my smart phone calendar to document and keep appointments. I am getting better at knowing where my phone is, that my phone ringer is on, and remembering my phone.

I just have trouble re-learning those unconscious routines. When driving I have to consciously think keep your eyes on the road…keep eyes on the road…keep in the lane. That is a lot of thinking and energy just for something so small as driving. Figuring out logical steps in getting dinner ready & done all at the same time is still a work in progress.

I am getting a person to come into the house to help me create a daily routine. I need to re-establish strategies. I will start out great with strategies and then forget what the strategies were and I will end up chaos again & again. Maybe I will actually be able to meal plan rather than sit there with my mind void of any recipes. So I then go to those amazing websites with thousands and thousand recipes and I spend time searching and searching and searching unable to make up my mind. So meal planning that should take 20 minutes including grocery list can take me hours or even the entire week and I only get three dinners put on the list. This is not a very time or energy effective way to live. It is a very frustrating

I need to get new routines & strategies past my short term memory and into the unconscious memory & muscle memory stages so I can re-direct my energy into other areas of my recovery. I am aiming for a kick butt recovery year so I can move forward into the work force again.

I am focussing on organization, creativity, meditation & being in the moment (mindfulness).

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Unhinged

I began a little blue pill a little three weeks ago so I could sleep at night.  I began at 1 pill (10mg) and then went up to 2 pills (20mg).  Within the first six days I had some crazy thoughts and weird thoughts.  I had not been depressed up to this point so I just thought it was probably a side effect.  I also know that I began to feel unmotivated and zombie like – just numb. Well then last week I had the emotional roller coaster. The medication was working that I was not waking up for long periods; only up for fleeting moments and the  headaches still happened, but man I was becoming unhinged.  I am not ever usually an emotional mess like this.  Of course I am super anxious.  So my medication has shifted to a yellow and white capsule.  We will if see I don’t feel like a tired unomotivated zombie.  Even with a sleeping pill last night I slept from 1030 to 2 then up and it is now almost 7am.  I would rather feel normal and not sleep than sleep and feel like an out of control zombie. Of course I am stressed…I would like to drive again.  Driving would make my life easier and help me determine if I could be an environmental field person.  I am uncertain if I want to teach again.  I know I successfully did the two hour bugs session three grade one classes.  I also know at near the end I was tired!  There is so much I need to learn to be able to teach again.  I know that my job at the college is not there anymore.  I was only part-time and so there is no going back unless there is another opening.  But who knows maybe I can convince them they need a field trip/lab prep tech or something. Yes…I am anxious; money situation of course, my disability EI ends next week.  I hate not being in control of not knowing a final outcome.  I know everyone says it takes time!  I realize that but sometimes hearing that is not enough.

It was a touch and go situation with letting me go home for the weekend.  Geez…I was taking the shuttle.  I had already been at home prior to being in the unit.  So after being told yes, then being told no, then being told yes, then being told no, then finally yes.  I was relieved because money had already been spent on a ticket.

So my homework to myself this weekend is to not be anxious and relax begin to meditate and  to practice walking with my right foot and repeat heal toe heal toe!  I think I will bring my computer down to speech because I can show how much more easily it is for me to get my point across by typing than writing with pencil.  My god.  I was asked a question and had to write down an answer with a pencil.  Super easy right – ummm…my writing looked worst than wyatts and I wrote a sentence about the same grade level.   Crazy.  I am chalking it all up to bad meds and stress!

When I get home Chris is trying to be nice because he says he likes that I am slower now with walking and talking.  Before I would walk and talk to fast.  I really don’t know how I feel about that.  If ya didn’t like me before with all my high energy and go-go-go why did ya stick around.  Were you waiting for the slow mode to kick in.  Thanks for the compliment – I think?!

Guess who I got the best welcome home reception from – yup you guessed it Echo, the dog!  Ahhh the boys missed me maybe a little.  But I know them, they will glom onto daddy because daddy does all the fun stuff.  I finally did get hug and cuddle from Wy.  D had a meltdown and was sent to his room.  After he came out he fell asleep on my lap.  So it took a bit but mommyy was missed after all.  Today will be a fun day.  We are taking the bus to Ruckers, a very noisy and crazy lights place with video games for a birthday party.  Yay!  I will be bringing ear plugs and sun glasses (if needed) and I really don’t give a shit what people think!