clear the air, Feelings

I forget

I was in a car accident on February 15th, 2013. I was driving my sister and I to work. I was rear ended in traffic. As a result, my injuries involved my head. My sister suffered a concussion, as well. 

Fast forward to 2017, I am better. I am a worlds away from 2013. I can walk and talk. I can laugh and cry. I’m not at my prime. I can’t do a large chunck of things I used to do or that you can do. It’s okay, tho. I try to make it work for myself. 

I walked away with a TBI (traumatic brain injury) and an effect of that is short term memory loss. I have become very sensitive about this. It gets under my skin when my memory is challenged by, especially, someone that is supposed to know me or has some knowledge of my injuries. 

I understand the whole, ‘I’m not with you that often’ ‘I have a life that doesn’t always involve you.’ Trust me, I get it. But it’s kinda basic. This is the most uncomplicated problem I have. This doesn’t require a text book or doctor to explain to you what is going on with this brain injury. 

I have moments that are like Dory from Finding Nemo. You’re gonna say ‘that’s a movie,’ well, guess what? Shit like that happens. If you forget then why the hell am I held to the same standard you’re held at to remember?

Anyway, I repeat stories. I ask the same question, all the time. I don’t know what I last did with my glasses. I have to write things down. It’s to have said written thing at hand to make sure I have it at hand. I have to repeat things to have it in long term memory. Emotions I remember. A feeling I have is familar and brings back the memory. I’ll remember situations because I had a strong emotion tied to that moment. Strong feeling like sadness or anger. 

The reason for this post to explain that I’m starting to get angry when the person in front of me is talking to me like: ‘why don’t you remember?’ And they say it in a way or rather, the way I interpret is: ‘how can you forget something that just happened?’ I don’t appreciate it. It’s like a joke. No. I don’t remember. It would be nice to say it in a less demoning way. But hey, what do I know? How can I not remember? 

I’ve been taking great offense to this lately. The more it happens the more it upsets me. I do know that no one does it on purpose and they do forget, too. I understand that immensely. When I repeat myself don’t get angry and tell me I said that already. Don’t get frustrated. Without putting me down, gently, tell me that I told you already. Be nice about it. It can’t be a Duh moment became I don’t have those. 

Advertisements
clear the air, The new me

…So little time

This passed weekend I went to my first college alumni weekend. 5 years have gone by since I graduated. It feels like I was in Scranton yesterday… well, I mean I was there last weekend lol but you get what I’m saying. So many things have happened since…

What happened in the last 5 years, you ask? I’ll tell you…

We moved into the apartment, we’re in now, from my aunt’s house. I got a car. I attended Long Island University to get my master’s in Clinical Art Therapy. I purchased a car. A white Chevy Cruze LTZ with leather seats…I loved that thing. I didn’t want a white car but that was the only color they had on the lot and I wasn’t willing to wait. (>_<)  I graduated from LIU with my master’s. I took the art therapy licensing exam required to work in this state as an art therapist. I failed by 3 points. I was working at a small publishing company.  I got into a car accident with my sister on my 25th birthday as we were on our way to work at the small publishing company.

In that 5 years, A LOT has happened. Good and bad. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Those 5 years feel like yesterday but so much has changed. So manyy things happened…I don’t have enough words to describe what I am feeling but I do know, I wouldn’t be who I am if these things didn’t occur.

The accident was the worse thing to happen in that group but you know what? I can’t be miserable about it. What happened, happened. I can’t change it. Sometimes it’s hard to be in a good mood all the time. Cut me some slack. I do know that I have things to look forward to. I can’t make my new life miserable and wishing it didn’t happen. It does happen though. I do have those days and nights…after all I am human.

I had one of those nights the other night. I was just over everything and was upset that things aren’t normal. I was told, over the weekend, that I was normal two years ago. (-_-) I was normal two years ago. Let me remind everyone reading this that two years ago, I got into an accident with my sister on our way to work at a publishing company. Because of that accident, I will always have this TBI there. That TBI doesn’t just go away despite what friends and family think. It isn’t something that heals like a broken bone. It’s going to take years.

If you plan on dealing with a normal human being, find me in like 10 years. Then maybe, just maybe things will be normal. My life isn’t what is used to be and isn’t going to be what everyone considers normal. I am going to get better but I am not going to be 100%. I feel that everyone expects me to be 100% but I can’t be and won’t be. There isn’t enough time for that to happen.

Don’t expect it because you won’t be getting it any time soon.

clear the air, Feelings

I can think for myself…

This has been an issue for me. Everyone means well, I know this but I can’t help and get offended. In the end, I am human and everyone else would feel the same. A lot of people would be quick to tell me they wouldn’t but it’s time to stop lying to yourself. Nobody knows they’re doing this but I can’t help feeling this way. The accident has made me temporarily sensitive…

I can make my own decisions.

I know how to make my them with thought. I do not need help doing that for myself. When I ask for help making a decision, no one is there. Then it’s, “you need to make choices for yourself. I can’t do that for you” (-_-)

I get help when it is convenient for others.

I get that people work like that, naturally, but I don’t get a choice in any of this, so, why do you get a choice in when to help me? I can make my own choices. My brain isn’t that damaged. Everyone is quick to tell me it isn’t and that I can do so much. Stop treating me like I am damaged when it works for you. None of this works for me, so, if you are currently in my life, nothing about our relationship is going to be convenient. If this doesn’t work for you than you’re not supposed to be in my life.

I dunno. Maybe I am making assumptions and jumping to conclusions but I have nothing else to go on. That is what everyone is  doing and why I am feeling that way. So, everyone’s are doing that. There is a reason why I am feeling like this despite intentions being good. Good intentions don’t make the way I am feeling go away… But thanks.

I feel as if everyone treats me different because of my injuries. I take all this to heart. I don’t like being treated like a child or talked to as if something isn’t right. Yes, things aren’t right. I know this. I do not need to be constantly reminded by it. I didn’t forget. I am always looking at my injuries straight in the face. I do not need everyone reminding me of something I already know. It doesn’t just slip my mind (-_-)

I don’t like being asked if everything is okay. Especially, if that person asks in the tone as if I’m fragile.  I get offended. I am not fragile. If I was, I wouldn’t be here. Would I? Let’s think about this.

It’s like I don’t know how to express myself or tell anyone that something’s wrong. I didn’t lose my speech. I didn’t lose function in my brain completely. Just treat me like there isn’t something wrong and when I tell you I can’t handle it, well, then you should back off or start over. Again, this injury recovery thing, does not work on everyone else’s time. It doesn’t even work on my time. So, back the fuck off. If I need to learn patience, in regard to the time line for recovery, everyone else needs to stop rushing me.

I will get better. I am getting better. It is going to take time. I have all the time in the world, now. I will drive again. I will work again. I am pushing myself. I do a lot more than anyone else would be doing. It’s everyone else that isn’t giving me the credit that I deserve. I am not pessimistic but if I was as negative as everyone says I am, do you think that I would have gotten out of the hospital when I did? Cause I am pretty damn sure, I am doing so much better than I could be doing.

I’ll tell you when I can’t handle something. Thanks but no thanks.

 

clear the air

let’s get things straight

I want to use this entry to explain to everyone that talking about the accident does not bother me. I feel like I am talking about a movie that I haven’t seen, only heard about how awful it was and how I shouldn’t watch it. I have no feelings about the accident. Literally, there is a black hole, no memories for a good 4 months of my 2013 life.

The one thing I am upset about… is not having my car. I miss my Cruze. She was so nice to me. We got along well…

I just woke up like this. I don’t remember like a couple of weeks before my birthday. There are brief moments I remember. That is all messed up because I, for some reason, associate any memory that I have to be wayyy before accident. My time frame for memories are off. Wayy off.

I remember this guy, Justin, that was working with me at NOVA. I do remember him leaving for another job. I remember talking to him about Art Therapy and what I was looking to do. He emailed me, continuing our conversation, the next day. I thought this happened in like January. I would have said this was before the accident with confidence. I stumbled on the email and it was dated February 14. (-_-) Really?

My timeline for my memories were always messed up but now I have no freaking idea what is going on with them.

Anyways, I don’t know anything about the accident. Being in a car does not scare me. You can’t be scared of something that didn’t happen. I only know something happened because of what family and friends have told me. Everyone expects me to have PTSD or something but I don’t. I have none of that. This accident affects others more than it does me..

Well, this is what my beautiful car turned into…on my birthday… (-_o)
image

Can you blame me for not remembering? My sister doesn’t remember either… so there’s that…

The new me

Change

I’ve heard of people having brain damage but what no one thinks about is what that person has to do to recover or what they have to recover from. I have heard of people experiencing this but never did I sit down and think about what it meant. I just assumed that they eventually recovered and things were normal. It wasn’t anything I thought twice about. I never gave it much thought. This shit is fucking hard.

Your whole world is changed drastically without your clearance. There is nothing more than that. There are, of course, those that do experience brain damage on a smaller scale and doesn’t change much of their lives but we forget about the people who’s lives were drastically changed. I was thinking about this recently and may overall be the same person but things have changed. All my goals, all of my plans that I had for myself are done… for now. I have to alter everything about my life. It is not easy. Nobody asked me if I wanted to change- I was forced into it. I have to continue forward and make alterations in my life to make something of myself. People have a choice is everything they do or don’t do. I do not. I have to make these changes because nothing is the same.change-simon-wordle-24

Nobody likes change. People don’t react well to change. I am forced to change, whether I like it or want it. I am the same person but there are many differences. The way I think now and the things I feel now are so not even close to what it used to be. I guess it’s something that will naturally happen… My brain is not functioning the same way it used to and I see things a bit differently than before. People do or don’t mean the same as they did before. It’s interesting to me how I have become a genuine cold hard bitch with a lot of things that I thought I was before but I wasn’t even close. My feelings for a lot has become more drastic. I either feel with everything (more than I did before) or I don’t care at all for things I did before. It is weird.

I dunno how much sense that makes but please, keep in mind when reading my blog that I do not have the access to the vocabulary to explain myself well. So bare with me. 🙂 If I do not make sense to you, feel free to ask away- Here’s looking to you Louis.

 

 

The new me

Not so easy anymore

Every Monday, my mom, Nese and I try to catch Dancing with the Stars.  If we can’t catch it on Monday, we’ll have it ready for Tuesday on the DVR. Either way we watch it. I enjoy it immensely. This week was Disney week (mah fave!). This series has been going on for some time now and not once did I get emotional watching it, from what I can remember. Most also know that I have always been an emotional person…(-_-). Anyways, this episode hit home for me because I got it. I understood her feelings about the dance she was learning. The star dancing is Amy Purdy. She is a double amputee snowboarder. Pretty sweet, if I don’t say so myself. I had both legs and it took me about 2 hours to get down the mountain. I was getting lapped by my friends. Here is her website, if you’re interested.

It’s pretty amazing that she is attempting to dance and she is paired with one of the best dancers on the show, Derek Hough. The reason this week stood out to me was because she was having trouble with the waltz. The waltz is a slow dance and easy for most… Or at least it seems easy for anyone watching it being done, compared to the other dances. It’s slower than the other styles of dance. Amy makes a comment about how an easy move is no longer easy for her and how frustrating it is. I wanted to go thru the TV to give her a big hug and cry with her.

This is the video of their dance. I want you to watch the beginning of the video before their dance begins.

I have both my legs but she makes a statement that hits home with me too. She explains it better than I can even try. Like Amy said about herself that applies to my life, now. I have done 289739872409 things for 24 years that took no effort to do but now it takes everything out of me and it is so hard. So hard.

Couple of weeks ago my mom, Nese, and I went to a Turkish wedding. If there is one thing I enjoyed doing at functions is dancing especially at a Turkish wedding. Before the accident I wouldn’t think twice about dancing but nothing was more upsetting than not being able to get up and dance. I cannot do even a simple step without worrying about falling. A lot of it is I am self conscious of it but regardless I can’t do what used to be so easy for me. What was even harder was having everyone around me encouraging me to dance. There was nothing more frustrating than not being able to do something that used to me so simple. That used to be easy but now it’s even hard for me to side step to someone clapping.

I know how easy things were and what it took out of me. Having easy things, like walking or brushing my teeth, take everything out of me is the hardest thing to move past.  There is nothing more upsetting than knowing something is easy and shouldn’t take effort to be the hardest thing to do. In that moment, I knew exactly what she was talking about.

Me dancing is not even close to Amy dancing but right now she is the only one who would sorta understand me when I talk about how things are now. There is nothing worse than seeing yourself doing something that you cannot do anymore.

Just try to imagine it… make my day.  Let me know how you feel with only the thought of it.

The new me

I’ll get it right. Eventually.

My friend Louis asked me some questions that he had after reading my last post. I enjoyed answering his questions. We’re human, we all have curiosities/questions, and I am happy to answer them. I don’t mind at all. So bring them on Louis… and World. I’m ready.

The conversation I had with Louis via Facebook was helpful in that it helps me to see what others are understanding or not understanding. I want to attempt to give others some idea of what is going on with me. I am not 100% certain, the doctors aren’t, and I don’t expect others to be after reading this blog but its worth a try. Anyways, talking to Louis gave me a glimpse of what I may or may not be explaining clearly.

I seem to remember events/moments specifically when I have a strong emotion attached to that event. Not to say I won’t remember anything… I surprise myself sometimes with the things I remember. When it’s a positive emotion or negative emotion though, I am more likely to retain the moment. I think that happens because I keep replaying that specific moment over and over again in my head. It’s like having a phone number constantly repeated back to you and you have the numbers or at least some of them, stored in your memory. I am functioning like a normal human, in the end, but I do have some odd things occurring that are not quite normal… whether I like it or not.

Like I told Louis that day (oh the I remember the conversation because I saved it so I refer back to it) I don’t mind the questions. I don’t. I don’t have many exciting things going on so I welcome the questions with open arms. I enjoy it.

I have the memories stored somewhere but I just don’t have it at my disposal. The way I like to explain it is like this: Before the accident my memories or files were organized. All my memories/files were stored neatly in the cabinets. Now, the memories/files have to be reorganized. Everything is are all over the floor. The memories are there but it takes a while to find the paperwork because its all over. It is going to take some time to get everything functioning normally again. New memories are harder to find out. It takes a while to sort through everything. Old stuff is easy to handle.

Before, everything was easy to find but now I need cues to help me guide me thru the files. Once I got the cue, I can bring in the rest with ease. Louis asked if I get confused by the tone of the conversation or frequency. I do get confused with frequency and tone but that has nothing to do with remembering stuff. That has to do with misunderstanding people and how I am not processing information the right way.

I misunderstand A LOT but that has nothing to do with what I remember… at least I think. Remembering moments without help, takes a lot out of me. I write in a journal. I have been keeping it since I got out of the hospital. Mostly for the memory part. If I miss a day it isn’t a big deal but two or three days – I need to ask mom or my sister. Again, they tell me one word about the day and I can bring up the rest on my own. I will eventually remember on my own… but like a week later. I’ll be doing something else and I’ll randomly remember what I did last Wednesday. (-_-) By then, a week is too late.

We shall see if I am able to remember what Pluviophile means.

In reality, most people don’t remember things like that with ease, that I know, but it is not about a word or definition in specific. Everyone forgets small stuff that they did or said that day and I shouldn’t expect a lot of myself. But the reason why you’re forgetting is different than mine. You forget things not because your brain isn’t working properly it’s because you have other things to worry about. If you didn’t have other things to occupy your brain with… you’d remember. I, however, do nothing but sit on the couch and forget things… just because.

I hope I’m not confusing you more, Louis. I am not completely helpless- I know this despite what some people might think- I am talking to you cousin- but I or anyone else cannot forget that some things are happening and I am trying to work them into my life now. That is what is occupying my life at the moment and it is not easy. Things you, the reader, don’t think about because it’s second nature, well, I have to. I remember how things were for me once upon a time and the things I never thought about, like walking down the stairs or drinking water while listening to music, I have to think about now, (otherwise down the stairs I go or choke on the water). Don’t get me wrong, everyday is easier than the day before but I’ll get into that next time about how I can’t do two things at once.

Feel free to share your questions with me. I will try my bestest to answer them without confusing you more… that’s to you LuLu.

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.

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 😀

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. 🙂

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.