I have been out of the blog for a few weeks now. Mostly due to dealing with health and work issues. It has been a very long few weeks. This will be a longer blog, but it will have lots of info, so hang in there!
In the beginning of this month, I had a new project at work I was focused on. I will admit, it was a lot of work, but I enjoyed having something else to focus on. Good news was that I was able to focus. Bad news... well... in looking back... I don't think I did much of anything else besides the project (and it appears that by "focus", I use it in my own definition, not in the one I believe most of us think of right away). :) In speaking with my doctors, they felt it was probably due to the fact that I cannot adequately multi-task, and that when something takes a lot of focus (that word again) and energy, it will drain me of being able to place the attention and focus on anything else. Bummer.
After a few days, the excitement became increased stress, and the stress got to me worse than ever. This stress, of course, lowered my immune system, and my body responded (not how I would have liked). Amazing how this cycle works.
Early this last week, I thought to myself how nice it would be to be able to take a break from my head for a minute- just a minute. The best way I could describe the feeling I am talking about is for you to imagine wearing a tight hat, or having your hair pulled back too tight. I wanted the feeling of relief that accompanies taking off the hat or removing the ponytail. Alas though, this is not possible. Fortunately, my head is on my body, and I don't want to deal with any of the ways a temporary reprieve would even be possible. So, instead, I continue about my day and life, knowing that there is this giant aching bulb on the top of my neck, keeping me aware of it's presence, but not exactly working the way I would like it too. Darn focus again.
I did feel some sense of accomplishment through my project, and was happy that I was able to pay attention to some detail surrounding it that I may not have noticed a year ago. On the contrary, I don't remember much of some of the information any longer, so I am really glad I wrote things down.
For those of you who are new to this thing called TBI, or just have issues with your own memory or brain for other reasons, I definitely suggest writing things down. Also, remembering where you wrote them down can be a challenge (from experience), so try to make it in the same place every time. Even if the information is out of sequence, it is much easier to put together if you keep it in the same place.
Let's fast forward to this last Wednesday. I did not have some of the medication the doctor prescribes for me, but I felt ok. (I have been waiting for an issue with the insurance company, that I was completely unaware of until Thursday). I thought it would be ready by Thursday, so I wasn't too concerned. Thursday- I felt very different... not quite sure. I was actually, I think, quiet. Quiet Rocky is a Rocky that was not around much before the conquering the floor with the back of my head. Quiet Rocky is one that I still have a hard time figuring out. Regardless, I worked through it, without the medication I needed, and got through the long day. Friday. Ooooohhhhhhh Friday..... not so good. Three days. THREE DAYS. That's all it took. The cycle of headache>focus/attention issues> emotional response> vision issues, speech issues, processing issues>emotional response>headache>nausea>headache, and around again was at it's fullest. To the point where I actually had to miss work. My kids thought taking me to a funny movie would be helpful. I actually cried during funny parts. What the heck??? Seriously not right. Of even greater concern was the fact that a little pill helps me to avoid this entire cycle. It's not a miracle, but woah- I didn't know it was that effective until I didn't have it. It also helped me to realize that without the doctors and the treatment I am lucky enough to get, I would be no where near where I am now (even though I am not even anywhere near where I want to be yet). It is scary.
I am such a different person than I was before... so much came to light. Like the Incredible Hulk though, I don't like being green, so I decided to fork-out-the-dough for some "lay-over" medicine (I could have used the Jeckyll and Hide analogy, but I like Hulk better). Luckily, my pharmacy was able to get me a week dose until the insurance issue is worked out, so late Friday I started to new "normalize", at least a little, after taking my medication late in the day. It was enough to subdue the emotional response and relieve some of the cycle's symptoms. The headache remained, but I hosted an essential oil class, and the facilitator had an AWESOME essential oil mix that I rubbed directly on the back of my head, my forehead, and my temples, that actually relieved most of the headache within minutes. SOLD!!! I am trying essential oils. I will, of course, continue to take my anti-gamma-radiation-Hulk-pills in order to avoid the vicious cycle we all try to avoid, but I am going to try to combat some of the other symptoms more naturally. I will keep you in the loop.
For this next week.. weekend... day... hour... minute: I will make it a point to try to think more positively about the medication I am on. Though I don't like the idea of needing medication to make me feel more "normal", I don't like how I am even more when I am not on them.So, I will try to think more positively about them (plus, I will get them refilled sooner so I don't face this issue again). Second, I will try to stay more dedicated to the essential oils and the natural symptom remedies. Maybe this will help my body to feel cleaner, and my mind to feel clearer. Third, I am thankful for the days I feel like taking a momentary break from my head. It means that at least it is working. It may not be how I want it to work, but it is working. I am so glad for that.
Be the reason someone chose not to give-up.
Photo credit to https://beacon.wharton.upenn.edu/entrepreneurship/2014/11/scale-your-mindset/