Given my frustration with the testing, I am sure you can imagine that the results were not as rosy as I would have liked. The diagnosis was Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). The accident must have caused a jostling of my head to the extent that I was experiencing after effects more than a year later. I was still assured that my impairments might be temporary, and that it was possible to retrain my brain to regain the function that I had lost. Even with the bad news, they gave me hope.
There were a lot of steps I took to start retraining my noggin, and I had to find some work-arounds for the short term. Google became my best friend—especially at work. While I couldn’t always find the specific word I was looking for in my head, I was able to use similar words to find the one I was looking for.
Hubs and I played regular games of Scrabble, a game that I had much enjoyed prior to the accident. It sometimes took me a little longer, but with practice my skills improved and the words started coming more quickly. I still have a trip every once in a while (like the time in the hardware store), and while it is frustrating, it’s happening less and less.
But there are still things that I feel like I’m missing. I need to write every appointment down and set multiple reminders now, whereas before my head would just know when we had something coming up. I store information in emails and use the search function much more than I ever used to.
I have trouble with planning now as well. Before the accident if I had something coming up, I would just know what to do and when it had to be done. Now, I forget things. Like this morning—it’s time to move Bae to a big boy bed. I got everything ready, pulled down his old bed, threw the sheets in the washing machine so they’d be fresh…and then realized that it was almost nap time, and I didn’t build in time to dry the sheets let alone get the new bed put together.
To work around the planning issue, I’m usually very careful about ensuring that I have lists ready for every event. I overplan. And for the most part, as long as I’m cognizant that it might be an issue, it works.
And the patterning…just hasn’t returned. I assume it’s related to the planning issues. I’ve tried Candy Crush. If given enough time, I can complete a puzzle. But I feel like I’m missing something. Like I can’t see the patterns. No matter how many times I try the same puzzle, it’s like I’m starting from scratch each time. In a timed puzzle, I can’t finish.
But the good news is, Candy Crush isn’t something you have to do every day. I’ll just have to hope I don’t come across a Harry Potter style life and death puzzle and I’ll be just fine.
It does continue to be frustrating. I’m less afraid of death now than I am of further losing my faculties. I worry that I’ll lose more and more of myself. But I’m happy that I’ve been able to regain as much as I have. And that I’m able to work around most of the other issues if I’m careful enough. But it’s not something I would wish on anyone. Especially a writer.
I’m participating in NaBloPoMo and NanoPoblano for the entire month of November! Click on one of the badges below to read more.
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