TBI beginnings, The new me, Update

Memories.

My memory has gotten better. I am not 100% just yet but I have come a long way. I am not good at remembering a lot of simple things but I make due like keep a chart. I have so many childlike tendencies that I don’t know what to do about it. I am working on changing that but, alas, in time.

I used to not be able to recall anything at all, then I upgraded to remembering a few hours. I am now able to remember the past day, on my own. I am able to recall more than a day with help. If my sister were to give me a general idea of what happened I can recall the details after that. I know this because I keep a journal and there are some days I don’t have time to fit an entry in. I cannot miss writing in my journal anymore than a day because I like to remember events on my own. I will ask for help only if I am desperate with it.

My short term memory, according to me, is still pretty bad but it has come a long way. It is new memories I have trouble with. My old memories are untouched. I know who I am, where I come from, and where I was headed. Now, not so much. Anyways, I know that humans cannot remember more than 7 items without trouble. That is why phone numbers are 7 digits. I may have learned that on Brain Games. Who knows. My point with this is that I cannot recall 7 digits or anything 7 without having trouble. Unless, it is something I already knew then we’d be in good hands but new? You’re shit out of luck. I forget the beginning of the list by the time I get to the end. This is so hard to explain in writing but I hope you got something out of this. πŸ™‚

Going back to my chart, it is much like a kindergartener’s chore chart. I check off the items I have to do in the day. Like this:
Chart

I can write β€œPT” and I’ll know that it means to β€œexercise” in general- like walking or doing some squats at home. It is just letting me know by the end of the night what I did in the day. Taking my allergy medication was a problem. When I didn’t have the chart, by the time I went to bed I would forget when I took it last. I would forget and run the risk of taking it twice in the day. So, the chart is a simple reminder, like how Nese has to help me remember certain days, if I forgot to write in my journal for more than a day.

Things that are simple for most people, give me the most trouble.. Go figure.

The new me

Bahar 2.0

I am working a bit backwards. I apologize but I am taking everyone’s suggestions to heart. Everyone is curious (its human nature) and I made this happen because that curiosity exists. I want everyone to know what is going on and not to make assumptions of what is going on. This is the perfect outlet.

Getting feed back from friends and family is giving me insight on what they would like to know more about. So, I thank everyone for giving me that.

It helps me more than you know.

I make assumptions that people know what I am saying when I talk about what is going on with me. One of those things is my eye sight. I forget that I have to explain what’s going on, especially, because people don’t see an injury like this everyday. I have to remind myself of this constantly. I don’t mind answering questions but there isn’t enough time in a day to, accurately, explain what’s going on. Forget time- I don’t have enough words to explain it accurately. I’ll get to that in another entry.

I see double. I’m gonna attempt this: Imagine yourself looking at the Tv. Try to imagine another Tv next to it but over lapping the real Tv. Now, try to imagine the second, over lapping Tv, crooked. IF you somehow can get something close to what I see you’ll find yourself saying, “fuck that” or “thank goodness I don’t see two.” Well, that is what I see. I see double of whatever I am looking at and I cannot undo it. Because of this I am even slower when I function. Since I started walking, I lose my balance very fast and I am even worse with the double vision. I only know this because the glasses I have that bring the images closer I am better with my balance.

It has been about 3 weeks since I got this pair of glasses. This pair has the prism in the lenses. The other pair of glasses the doctor gave me was a try out. The doctor put a prism sticker on it so I get used to it. The sticker was only on the left side. The left eye is weaker than the other eye. I had gotten to the point where I felt incomplete without them. Now it is permanent… for the time being. The doctor isn’t able to say about how long it’ll be like this.

The glasses do not fix the double vision completely. The images are only brought closer together… that is the best thing the doctor can do right now. The second image is there but it is also crooked. It makes it even harder for the doctor to fix. The crookedness is nothing the doctor can fix :/ Having the images closer together is less work my brain has to do looking at stuff… so I’ll take it. I just have to wait for my brain to fix itself to have things working properly again.

So, when I look at someone whom I don’t like, I see two of their beautiful faces. Oh Joy πŸ˜€

The glasses make looking at everything so much easier. I ignore the second image so much that it is hard to find at times but once I locate it, I cannot unsee it. Without the glasses, I move a few seconds slower. I have to really look at things to see where things are. I have to locate the originals of everything but with the glasses I can do that a bit faster. It’s only a few seconds but it makes so much easier. I don’t have to do so much thinking when I get up to go to the bathroom (-_-)

Oh man, this is even worse when I am with a crowd of people. I see more people than there really is. Not only am I getting tired by the all talking going on but I am getting tired looking at everything trying to figure out what is the double vision. It is tiring when it is what you are doing all the time in that couple of hours. Two hours isn’t enough time to get you tired when you are walking around but when your brain is tired it is hard to fight the urge to sleep. There is no sarcasm anymore when I say I’m tired… When I say I’m tired I am fucking tired.

A lot of everyday things you do that don’t take much thought takes everything out of me…One day I’ll be where you are but for now, it’s a shit ton of work. Welcome to my life.

TBI beginnings

Hospital fun

At the hospital, I had my therapies to look forward to. That was my life.

OT helped me with a lot of things. My OT’s name was Kaity. I am pretty sure that was her name (lol). Then, I could not remember the therapist’s names, so I would rename them as I did with Kaity. I renamed her ‘Heidi.’ I am unsure of why she reminded me of that name and I had no problem to espress this to her. If this had happened now, I would be embarrassed to tell her but I had no problem with it then. Anyways, from what I remember about her is that she was a year older than I (or was she a year younger?). I guess I don’t remember? I do remember her birthday was a year from mine, but I do not remember if it was on February 14th or 16th. It wasn’t on the 15th like mine, that I am sure of. We were both Aquarius’s. Remembering that is pretty sweet, if I don’t say so myself. πŸ™‚

She was the reason why I had to wear an eye patch (because I was seeing double), I was given the chance to play Wii, play balloon badminton, and ride an adult tricycle with her in the hospital hallways. I’ll explain the double vision now. This has gotten better since last year. I see two of, for example, of the TV. I am assuming that will get better as my brain heals. With the eye patch, I was forced to use one eye. I see single when I use ONLY one eye but used together, I see double. So the eye patch fixed my sight temporarily. I use glasses now. It doesn’t make my double vision single but it brings the two images I see, closer together. Makes things easier for me… a lot better. My walking and balance is better with the glasses… or so my people tell me. OH! The doctor can bring the images closer but can’t make it un-crooked. lol πŸ™‚ This is the best the doctor can get the images. I was given prisms. What are they exactly? I am unsure but the prisms make it SO MUCH BETTER. The doctor gave me the option of putting the prism in lenses instead of sticker prism for the glasses. This was because my eyes has been stable for a few months. In time, there will be no need for them completely.

She (Kaity/Heidi- my OT) also taught me how to get into and out of a car and how to get into and out of a bathtub. This hospital had everything. They had a full car, gas pump, full kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. All of those were decked out and all for the patients to be ready for life after the hospital. The hospital also had a mock store, to shop in. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Kaity was incredibly helpful more than she knows. Well, that day when she had me ride the bike/tricycle thing I had tons of fun. So much fun. I was on it but Kaity was also riding it with me. It was a good thing she was. I know I had bad control of the bike. I wasn’t able to turn left or right while pedaling. That is when she took control over the contraption. I did not know the difference.

I remember doing much better than I thought I would but that day I had my X-rays with my Speech Therapist. I needed the X-Ray to see how my swallowing of liquids were. At this point, I wasn’t cleared for regular liquids, so I was drinking thickened liquids (gross). It turned out, after my bike adventure, I couldn’t go for the X-Ray because I felt nauseous. All I wanted to do was sleep, this is what I would do before when I felt that way. Sleep was my go to response when nauseous was on the menu. That was the first and last time I felt nauseous since the accident. I remember having a blast that day with Kaity.

TBI beginnings

Small changes

My right foot was wrong. My left foot was pointing forward (like a normal foot should) whereas the other foot was pointing the other way. My physical therapist told me I had to make a mental note and force myself to correct it. Alas, my foot now, without thought, looks correct and feels natural.

I remember a different group of faces visiting. I remember getting into a fight with my mother because Matt was there. Mary was there of that fiasco as well as Maryann, our family friend. I know Theresa came to visit. That was exciting. I remember getting my hair cut (finally). I did not make it to my friend’s wedding like I had originally planned, so, my hair had to go. I had trouble keeping my head up for that. I had trouble keeping my head up for even the shower. I have come a long way. Oh! I remember when the speech therapist had taken me for an X-ray see how my swallowing and my throat was. That went well, so she cleared me for regular drinks rather than the thickened drinks. Those, the thickened drinks, were the best thing, at the time, and apple flavored was my “go to” but it was AMAZING to have a regular beverage.

As I have mentioned before, up to this point I thought I had just gotten to St. Charles so it was very weird to have everyone tell you that your stay was longer. I also thought I was 24 for the longest time. When I was asked about my age by anyone I got looks like “your wrong. Try again.” It was because of that I changed my response to 25.

I owe everything to the therapists that helped me at St. Charles. They are pretty amazing if I don’t say so myself.

TBI beginnings

One day

My short term memory was non-existent at the hospital. I wouldn’t remember past the hour forget the day, so, it is safe to say that I started remembering my hospital stay when some of my short term memory came back to life. My memory of my stay at St. Charles, begin, after being there for about two weeks. I remember leaving Stony Brook but I do not remember anything more than that. I remember leaving Stony Brook and just being at St. Charles. I filled in the in-between, because I don’t remember anyways, and started to believe I had just arrived at St. Charles hospital. (-_-)

I started my therapy at that hospital. They helped me out a lot when it comes to walking, functioning, and getting my thoughts together as much as I can. PT helped me a lot with my right foot. It would point to the left rather than pointing straight. I remember my PT telling me to point my foot straight and about a month later it is now normal looking. It is moments like those that I tend to forget where I cam from. I still do not remember my therapists names. I would rename the therapists that I thought they looked like.

My right leg is weak and my left arm is weak. My right arm took on what my left arm couldn’t. It still is like that. Sitting up in bed or in a chair would have to happen in increments. Having people in the room visiting would wear me out. I slowly started remembering people coming and visiting.

I remember my hair being longer than I usually let it go, for my friend Stephanie’s wedding, and wearing a neck brace made it worse. I wore a neck brace because I couldn’t keep my head up on my own. Anyways, the long hair would stuck in the neck brace and it was super annoying. My mom would put my hair up, which I found out looking at pictures it was in pig tails (-_-), so one of my good friends, Oz, came to visit and lucky me, agreed to cut my hair. He agreed to cut my hair short. He cut men’s hair but that night he was cutting mine and thank God he was around. Since then, I have been keeping my hair short.

There are moments I seem to have remembered in detail especially when I was feeling anger or happiness, intensely. I think that happened because I kept replaying it in my head over and over again until the next moment. This has become my normal. One day, it’ll get better and easier. One. Day. πŸ™‚