Monday, February 29, 2016

The Worms Ate Into My Brain

So there was this one time (last March, to be exact) when I was ice skating and fell flat on my head.  Hard.  It did this:
Baseball sized goose egg...that did NOT feel good.

And then I couldn't function very well.  My brain kinda stopped working the way it's supposed to and I started making decision that weren't typical for me, and I wouldn't even think twice about it.  There were some clear issues I was facing that became very evident, especially with work.  My ability to focus, follow through tasks, or even remember the tasks at hand was severely decreased.  I noticed that I became very overwhelmed quickly and easily over things that didn't used to be overwhelming.  My brain was on overload all the time and things started to fall apart for me.  Badly.

I could write a book about all the events that transpired since the fall until now (well, if my brain was functional enough to think chronologically and detailed enough to recall all the experiences I went through and I had the ability to focus, then I could) but this is a mere blog post about what is about to happen...

After much research and encouragement, I will be attending a program all next week that is geared toward concussion recovery.  I had a functionMRI done on my brain to determine what parts were performing correctly, and what parts are not.  The results show severe cognitive processing problems in some areas, and these people at Cognitive FX have helped many heal from this same problem.  Here is the schedule of my treatment plan:

The schedule is full of different kinds of therapy, including Neuromuscular, Cognitive, Dynavision, Brain games, and Brainwave Entertainment.  Each of these things intimidate me and make me nervous. 

Now I'm anxious that I'll fail at every one of these, that I will perform horribly and embarrass myself and come back from treatment just as slow and unfocussed.  I'm overwhelmed at the thought of all these back to back treatments that are going to be demanding and difficult.  I'm afraid I'll still be the same, yet I am unsure of what I want to change.  I don't know what to expect, or how to react, or what outcome to hope for.

I wanted to document how I am feeling now so I know what to compare it to when I finish this treatment.  
Right now my daily struggles are with focus, being very overwhelmed very easily, being able to perform “normal” tasks and get things done that I feel like should come easily.  I’m also very obsessive in my thinking.  I get hooked on something very easily and have a hard time letting it go.  If I'm focusing of something and get interrupted, I'm immediately on edge and it takes me a long time to get back on track.  The thought of doing the daily tasks that should come easy to me are debilitating at times.  I just sit and think about it instead, or distract myself with music or social media instead.  Or write a blog about it...
I realize that doing the laundry, or making dinner, or any other daily task that takes little effort (especially mental effort) should be automatic.  But there are days I can't bear the thought of starting the task.  It's too much.  My house is a wreck.  I take care of the emergencies, but can't get through the piles that surround me.  I know that if I got through the piles and eliminated clutter in my visual sight, my brain might feel less cluttered as well, but I simply can't do it.  I've tried, and I become overwhelmed and confused and can't fathom where these things that pile up should belong.

Here is a mild example of how my line of thinking goes most of the time:
"I'm sitting at my computer at the kitchen table.  It's 4:00 and I haven't even thought about what to make for dinner.  
I should clean off the table to it's cleared off so we can eat here.  I start making piles and can't figure out where to put any of them.
I better go check what we have on hand so I can decide what to make.  I get up and go look in the pantry. I notice that we are very low on bread, so I write bread on the grocery list.  
While I'm here, I may as well figure out what else we are low on, so I start looking through the pantry to see what may need to be replaced soon.  
While I'm making a list, I might as well make a meal plan for the week and put everything we will need on the list.  Hmmm, what should I plan for this week for dinners?  
I better get online and see what some ideas are.  
I go back to the kitchen table to get on my computer and search for dinner ideas and realize that the table is still a mess, I haven't decided what to make for dinner tonight, I haven't made a list or a meal plan, and I am back where I started with nothing accomplished...15 minutes later.  The thought of deciding what to make for dinner is still looming above my head, but now it feels like a very large burden that's attached with so many other tasks that I just can't imagine completing. Luckily I have wonderful children, and my daughter came in right then and asked if she could make teriyaki chicken for dinner...just as I was about to become incredibly overwhelmed."

This example is a mild one, but gives the idea of my thought process throughout most of the days.  I'm hoping this treatment will help clear out the muck a bit.  I'm constantly hearing the line from the Pink Floyd song "Hey You"  that says, "And the worms ate into his brain" and I can almost feel it.

Enjoy a good tune here!

This is a very vulnerable place to be, me telling you all this.  But through this journey I have found that to be vulnerable is one of the things that makes me feel alive.  Really alive.  The times when I have hid who I really am are the times I feel like I'm dying inside.  The depression kicks in full force, the anxiety pushes me to the medicine cabinet, and that's not where I want to be.  I want to be vulnerable and rid myself of shame.  Mostly though, I want to fix my brain.


  1. I love you with or without any brain abnormalities you might have. Hope your treatments go well and that you feel better afterwards

  2. You had a brain injury love, you shouldn't be ashamed that there are deficits thereafter over something you couldn't control. You are wonderful and you will get better. I love you. And PS. You just described me perfectly. Lol! I see the list of things I need to do and run and hide from it. I call it "anti-adulting" ha!😚😘😎

  3. Oh my, how I wish we had known about "Brain Camp"!! Three years ago my son ( a father of five) had a TBI where his eye socket was shattered and had a severe concussion. He lives in St Louis and it was tough just to find a neurologist that would even handle concussions. He was never given any cognitive therapy/rehab etc. He was off work for more than a year, then six months for half days. He is now back to work full time but his marriage is falling apart...his wife and some of her family say a year was enough time for him to be "normal" again and that he shouldn't need to use coping skills.
    From your understanding and experience,is it too late for him to pursue Brain Camp?


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