Back to the Beginning: Understanding this New Injury (posted Apr. 13, 2009)

Hi Everyone,

The last week or so have been a complete whirlwind as I go back into the world of daily appointments, paperwork and phone calls. Migraines, head pain, neck pain, nausea and my eyes hurting have kind of been the battle of late. Not to mention the knock-me-off-my-feet exhaustion. I am learning I have to rest A LOT in order to just get through the day.

I saw the Neurologist last week, the results of the MRI were pretty basic. No tumors, no bleeding, swelling or other stuff that would show on an MRI. He did say I have three herniated discs in my neck. Maybe that’s why my neck still hurts so much. He made that is  rather common for anyone over a certain age. That was news to me.

My chiropractor is ordering the MRI from the Neuro’s office and she asked me today if I’ve seen it, I said no. She said she would show me if I had interest in that, I appreciated her asking and I’d like to see my inner self.

As mentioned above the nausea…I asked the Neurologist about it and he said he couldn’t say what specifically causes that. Perhaps this new injury caused something like motion sickness and maybe that is what is causing it.

The Neurologist referred me back to rehab because I want to learn tools to help me get better, especially this dropping stuff and balance.

Today I met with the Speech Therapist, I’m to see the Occupational Therapist, but she’s booked until June! The testing was hard and I don’t yet know how the results compare to prior. I am below the median for my age group which does not feel good, but I’ve been here before staring at a painful truth…I guess seeing the numbers may help with my denial.

At first, I felt that twinge of heartache and managed to not lose my composure and start crying. This is really hard stuff. I would never choose this for myself or anyone else. I’ve said before when going through this process it’s like a bunch of strangers are looking at my chest cavity that is torn open wide and they’re pointing out the things I struggle with and may or may not see.

It is awkward at best, heart wrenching at worst. I was not looking forward to these appointments or this process. My only direction was healing, getting better, not going backwards. Quite honestly, this sucks.

I think part of my painful adaptation to this lifestyle is to put blinders on and distance myself from what isn’t and focus on what is. This accident upset what I knew and am now having to learn another ‘new normal.’

I was talking with the Speech Therapist about the nausea. She said a lot of times with Brain Injury it’s due to too much visual stimuli. She said the OT is their specialist when it comes to the visual stuff, but she said the eyes use up a lot of brain bucks, I think she said it uses something like 90% of the brain budget just for the eyes.

I said that makes sense since my eyes seem to be tired all the time. I said I’ve given up watching TV for now, I even tried to watch a few minutes of the Today Show this morning and it was still too much for me.

I said I’d tried going to the Goodwill the other day, before this accident I had a routine of where I’d look, and what I was looking for specifically. When I was there this last time, I just got that sense of this is not a good idea and I have to get out of here! She said that was probably all the visual stimuli!

Oh my gosh, that makes sense! I had been on the computer a lot the last two days doing research for help keeping my house and the nausea has been huge!! Not to mention coming off another migraine.

She asked how I’ve done going to the grocery store and I told her I have not gone lately. I realized I hadn’t juiced or shopped for a while because the tomatoes in the refrigerator were runny and moldy! Eeeeeeew!

Finally I was able to label the feeling I’ve been having in my head. Aside from the dizziness, I get a swimmy head feeling because I felt it right after the first test! Not quite lightheaded, not quite dizziness, just a feeling like my brain became a swimming pool!

I told her I’m having to rest much more now than before. Prior, I had my afternoon nap at 2pm when my batteries would run down, I’d usually sleep for an hour and be ready to get back to things. Now? Reports are still done in segments with plenty of rest in between so I can function.

She also talked about the neurobiofeedback the Neurologist mentioned in his notes. She said that’s very expensive, but she had a patient who benefitted from it, she doubts insurance would pay for it though.

Because PIP coverage only goes so far, I said I’d like to be able to take with me as much as I can to work on at home to help myself recover. She suggested a website, I think it’s something like (will have to find the note she wrote it on).

She said it’s about $10 for three months and they have a lot of good things for specific brain rehab. That was nice to hear about since I’ve seen the Nintendo DS and their BrainAge for which I’ve drooled for, but could not afford. She said this site is good too, it’s just online, not in a handheld device. That’s fine with me, I’m getting slower at learning technology so not having to learn a new device is okay.

Maybe all this and the body pain will eventually get my brain to understand I have a new injury and I have to adjust. I think I’ve been in the survival mode for so long I’ve just fought so hard to keep the house and stuff I feel like if I let up, I will lose it all.

I think I’m realizing my ability to ‘do more’ is not a possibility and may never be. There still is quite a little go getter in me, but I think she needs to learn to be in the moment and just rest. It’s a matter of delusional control, if I continue to fight maybe I can change the outcome of things?

My non-injured ear is ringing, my head is beginning to hurt again.

Clearly acceptance is a process, still. I think underneath it all, I am overwhelmed and petrified.


About Resilient Heart

TBI x3, that's me! If you had a Traumatic Brain Injury (or Injuries!) and knew you might not remember dates, events, people, etc., would you live each day differently? Would you give more, forgive more, heal more? I am. The statistics for me developing Dementia or Alzheimer's is a high possibility - one, because of the TBIs, and two - because I'm genetically predisposed. Come with me as this present moment is all we know we have... Wishing you all the best - today & always. Blessings, Love & Peace, RH
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