It’s Been A While

Thanks for visiting.  It’s been a while.

The last six weeks, my health has taken an unexpected turn for the worse.

Many people with mTBI or other long-term illnesses understand.  Things were going okay, holding steady.  I wasn’t able to do all I wanted, but there was a sense that on the horizon, someday soon, I could hope for more.  And then suddenly I’m in free fall.

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There I am in free fall, skydiving in 2012. What I’m talking about here isn’t nearly as much fun.

Regardless of what I do, it is too much.  Regardless of how little I do, my symptoms get worse.  Regardless of how much I want it to be different, it just fucking isn’t.

I don’t know why.  That’s not quite true – I do know why.  I know it is because a 29 oz. can of Hunts tomato sauce fell on my head in January.

Human beings want a world full of cause and effect. I do this, and I feel this way.  I don’t do that, and I feel that way.  I want to live in that world.  But long-term injury just isn’t that way.  How can I have two and a half days off work, and wake up after an excellent night’s sleep without the clarity to drive?  I feel cloudy, absent minded, and I know I am not focused enough to keep myself alive behind the wheel of a car.  Then, instead of saying the wrong word ever few sentences as has become my life again, I find myself making random sounds for the missing nouns or adjectives.  No longer the wrong words.  Just sounds.  Not even sounds similar to the words I mean.  That’s scary.

The deterioration of my physical and mental abilities means I’ve fallen off the face of the earth, temporarily.  Over the last six weeks, I’ve shrunk my activities again and again trying to find the point where my life and functionality balance.  So far working six hours a week total, taking two hour naps every day, and giving up all of my hobbies and out-of-the-house socializing hasn’t made things balance out.  Hopefully it will some day soon, because I can’t think of much else I can give up.

The great thing about living in a finite, physical world is that – eventually – I’ll have to hit the ground.  There is always an end to the decline of a circumstance, the pain of a loss, the worsening of an experience.  At some point, things will steady out and I can again begin the long process of creating a life for myself.  When will it happen?  Who the heck knows – I sure don’t.  But it will.

Until then, may your spring be beautiful and your life be full of love.  Blessed be.

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7 Responses to It’s Been A While

  1. Skole says:

    Wishing you strength and courage to make it through this stuff. Your blog means a lot to me–you speak in a different voice from a lot of other TBI-related writers online, and I am glad you’re out there writing your life.

    Can I ask–since it sounds like you’re having new symptoms: Have you been to a neuropsychologist since January? Or your neurologist? If you have new symptoms, they might be able to teach you new strategies for them (especially a neuropsych).

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    • kwittorff says:

      Thanks for your supportive thoughts.

      I haven’t seen a neurologist through all of this (rather strange, I guess) – but I am seeing one at the end of April. I have heard such hot and cold reviews of various neurologists and whether they can help with mTBI stuff. I really hope the guy I’m seeing will rock my world – it took enough fighting to be seen.

      From your suggestions, I take it you’ve had a positive experience with the neuro line of doctors?

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      • Skole says:

        In my experience, neuros have only been good for medication adjustment and other technical things… A neuropsychologist made the biggest difference for my husband. He has so much more clarity and energy after learning strategies for outsmarting his symptoms. And I know his neuropsych was seeing (and successfully helping) people with TBIs so mild they had been mistaken for depression for years. If there’s a neuropsych within traveling distance, I strongly recommend scheduling a consult. We traveled 2 hours each way to reach one, and it was worth it.

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  2. Shereen says:

    Hi there,

    I just read your blog entries and realized we may have been injured on the same day! My accident was in a car on January 25, 2014.

    I also have very little energy and have very limited tolerance level for activities. It seems I only feel okay if I do nothing. Very frustrating.

    Sorry that you’ve had a rough 6 weeks. I hope that the tide starts to turn around soon for you.

    Thank you so much for taking the time and dedicating some of your energy to this blog. Any awareness raising about our daily struggles is much appreciated!

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    • kwittorff says:

      Thanks Shereen. Yes – we were totally injured on the same day – January 25, 2014! I think you’re the first person who I’ve met whose life changed the same day mine did. I’m sorry about your car accident, and that you’re also still experiencing symptoms.

      I’ve been thinking about what to do when I have no energy — recently even reading has been too much. If you have any suggestions on ways to entertain oneself without electronic devices or higher functioning, please let me know. Blessed be.

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      • Shereen says:

        I’m afraid I don’t have anything new to share, other than what some people have already written about – depending on your level of tolerance: auditory books (i borrow them from the public library), meditation, art/ colouring, paint your nails, nap, listen to relaxing music, play solitaire, crochet/ knit (I have yet to learn and try these). I was better at doing some of those things in the first year post injury. But now, I find I have a bad tendency to lie down and do nothing, or play endless solitaire on my iPad (even when it hurts!). Reading is very difficult and strenuous – but I try to read as much as I can about concussions and other people’s experiences (which probably isn’t always a good thing since it keeps me thinking about the funk I’m in).

        Do you have suggestions on things to do when feeling low energy? Maybe you could have an ongoing list as one of your blog entries ;-).

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  3. scoobyamh says:

    Kim ! I have to talk to you because I love you. Nothing urgent but maybe text when you can? I miss you. Sorry I haven’t been in touch lately. You are amazing and you will get through this. I know you will get better. You are a strong, intelligent, lovely woman. – Amanda Hawkins
    Sacramento

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