TBI beginnings

Another week has gone by…

I have a new psychologist. Dr. Shultz? I am not sure of her name just yet as I just met her on Thursday. Dr. Pierce, either quit working at the clinic or she got fired. Either way, Dr. Pierce is not working at the clinic and I got another psychologist.

I have to start over and my first session with her was a good one. I think it went well. I will meet her every Thursday. She said we can meet for about 45 minutes to an hour. Before my sessions were 30 minutes… (-_-)

I had to wait to be placed with another psychologist and that took about a month. This passed month has been rough. I wasn’t having patience with everyone. I would get easily irritated and get into a fight/argument with whomever I was talking to.

Just talking to someone about anything, someone who isn’t friends or family, was and is making my life easier. I look forward to it. If I have a problem during the week with anyone or myself, I write it down and bring it with me to my session.

I think everyone should see a psychologist. You’ll feel better.

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. 🙂

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 “PT” and I’ll know that it means to “exercise” 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.

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. 🙂

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 🙂 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. 🙂

TBI beginnings

The in-between…

So, I have a lot wrong with me thanks to this pleasant accident.

My prayers came true! (o_O)

I’ll warn you now that I will be sarcastic. I am not sure that my posts will be understood in that way or if it will be understood like “this girl is an ass.” Regardless, I told you, so :p

Man, I had spent two months in the hospital already and I had no idea. I could tell you all about where I thought I was. 😀 My family and anyone close to me know very well what I am getting at but most don’t know that it was where I saw myself. You know that dream that you have that was so real that you almost thought it was real life? Yeah, well it was constant. You hear those stories about how people see the “light,” well, I did not. My light was Disney World with my good friend Joey, his brother, and my sister. I thought everything was alright. I could function and do everything. All was peachy. I do remember having a choice between the real world and Disney. I chose Disney World because it was easier than what I was seeing of my real life. I remember talking to my parents on the phone to tell them we’re okay and having a good time. My sister wasn’t living with my parents and I, in that life. Joey and his brother were with me, so there were plenty of moments when I would get confused by what my mom would say, like that Joey was at the hospital to visit. It is so weird to experience that. What you thought was happening, wasn’t at all. Not even close. I don’t know how to explain this to everyone properly… Then again, no ones gonna understand it unless they’ve experienced it. :/

My mom and sister will tell you that when I was out of the coma, I would get upset when my sister would leave the room or I would kick her out because I already have lived in a world where she didn’t live with me. I would confuse my worlds. I chose the other world I was seeing as opposed to what was actually happening. Was it a choice or was it an effect of being put in a coma? Oh! I seemed to forget to mention that I thought I was at Disney during the time I was in the coma.

I think religious people who were in a coma or close to death talk about “seeing the light.” Religion is a big part of their life already. I believe that a religious person in a coma will see what makes them happy and “see the light.” I am not that into religion but I do have faith and I am extremely into Disney. This goes back to my childhood. I do, hold a special place in my heart for all things Disney, hence why I believed I was there. There is only one explanation for this, for me at least. Unless you are close to me, you will not know that about me. Mickey Mouse was my favorite along with Bugs Bunny. Weird I know-welcome to my world.

In the middle of that memory there were memories or passing images, of being in the hospital. That was me in and out of the coma but it’s weird. Weird is the ONLY word to describe this. I would see people in the room, how it would be dark in the room, see people in and out, whispers, and out of all of that, all I remember thinking is how I didn’t want to be there. It felt awful. The hospital was not where I wanted to be but, unfortunately, for me where I was wasn’t real and real life sucked ass. It was not a pleasant transition. >:I

I guess that is what I was seeing when everyone was seeing me in a hospital. I was having fun bitches! 😀 I thought I was at Disney after the accident. I’ll take that any day of the week, bro. Hospitals suck. (-_-)

Good day to you, Sir.

TBI beginnings

A fresh start.

Where do I start? I guess the best place is a exactly a year ago, the day my life changed. So, I’ll start with the accident. A year ago from today, on my birthday, I got up, got  ready for work with my sister,  and I was ready for the rest of my night in the city to see Phantom of the Opera for the third time with my boyfriend, Matt. I would be the one to drive my sister and I to work in my Chevy Cruze LTZ. This day was different from every other day- we never made it to work.

I don’t remember February of 2013 and the memories I do have of January, I get them confused. Ultimately, I do not remember the day of the accident or even that month. We got hit from the back and the front of the car was untouched. I believe we had to be cut out of the car. There was a lot of traffic that morning. On top of that, we caused even more traffic. If you would like to read about our accident you can click here. Or you can google Bahar Kaya. I was airlifted to Stony Brook Hospital. My sister did not have to be. The helicopter, from what I’ve been told, was there to take my sister to the hospital. The EMT wasn’t able to get my pulse and must have thought I was dead, I’m assuming. I had to have opened my eyes or something because the EMT ended up using the helicopter for me.

I suffered a bunch of things I still don’t understand but what I do know is, I had to undergo surgery to repair discs C6 and C7 in my neck, a titanium plate was inserted in there.

Image

I was in a coma for a few weeks, I do not remember anything from being in the hospital, except the last leg of my stay at St. Charles, and I have acquired a traumatic brain injury. OH! I also have DAF, which is called a Diffuse Axonal Injury. Cool man. You can do what I did and read about it on Wikipedia. If you ask me, it is pretty awesome and now, when I meet new people, I have something interesting to tell them about myself… Like I had nothing else.

( -_- ) I had sheering in my brain which causes a host of stuff, like you wouldn’t have guessed. My corpus callosum, which is the part of the brain that connects the left and right hemispheres of your brain together, has taken a beating as did the rest of it.  My short term memory is shot. I do not remember much at all but I do remember my past. Nothing affected what I have already created, only the new memories had a problem.

I was moved to St. Charles Hospital in March sometime. I do remember being moved that day. I remember being taken downstairs of Stony Brook, the elevators, being put into the ambulance, I remember that. I do not remember arriving at St. Charles. By the time I did remember the new hospital, a few weeks have gone by. It is hard to explain this to someone because in reality they cannot put themselves in your place… at all. I remembered leaving Stony Brook and because of that I automatically believed that I had just gotten to St. Charles but in reality I had been there a few weeks already. I had no time concept, like I had any before, and I had holes in my memory. Oh yeah! I will be getting a pair of glasses by the end of this month for my double vision. I will be given prisms. This girl, who had perfect vision, now has to use glasses. Thank you girl who hit my vehicle.

I had plans man. I had plans, even if I didn’t talk about it much with everyone. I still had them and they have been put on hold, indefinitely. The doctors, from what I have gathered, do not know how long recovery is going to be. I started my new TBI life in Stony Brook. I have been trying to keep, what is left, balanced with my new self. I am still trying to get a hang of this new person and understand her. I know it’ll take time but in the mean time it is so friggen difficult beyond belief. It’ll get there, one day. I have to have patience. It is as simple as that.

My friends and family have been amazing and I thank every single one of them with all of my heart. If they weren’t around this would be even more difficult. I will use this as a way to update the world of the past and present. I gotta start somewhere. The goal is to write something here every week. I will have to check my medical records to see if there was something important to write about.

Happy Birthday to myself.

(Ugh, I feel like I am just turning 25 but in reality it’s 26… Bummer.)

(-_- )