Forgive me if this seems rushed. I had another blog entry all ready to go, but then two things happened that I decided were more important to write about, so I rushed to write this. That’s a bit of a joke, since me rushing to write anything these days means it takes me four days instead of seven.
But as you can see, my mind tends to wander a bit now, so my writing wanders too, and I really should try to get to the point a bit earlier, because I do actually have two this time, both victories of a small nature.
The thing with a brain trauma is there is no triumphant re-entry to the real world. There is no gigantic cast that comes off to reveal a healed leg, or realigned elbow, or un-discombobulated innards (is the opposite of discombobulated innards combobulated outtards?). All there is with a brain trauma is a bunch of little tiny steps back towards maybe normal, maybe not. Maybe yourself, maybe not. Maybe your old self, maybe your new self. You never know.
These two victories I think are one of each: one of maybe my new self, one of maybe my old self.
My new self graduated from physical therapy. I still walk with a cane, but that’s mostly for my own sanity. It reminds me to be careful. I think it makes other people give me wider berth. And it comes in handy when I am about to take a header, which is what it’s for, after all, and I do come close to falling way too often. So I guess I still need it. @$#%%@. And it gives me cred when I use a disabled parking spot. You should see the glares otherwise. Just ’cause you can’t see it doesn’t mean it ain’t there, folks!
But the big deal here is that I can step over boxes and stand on one leg and toss a ball and catch it and stand up/sit down repeatedly all so well that my physical therapist says I don’t have to see him anymore. Either that or we finally just ran out of stuff to talk about.
These therapy sessions take place in a big room, and everybody is talking and stepping and shuffling and bouncing at once, one big happy trying-to-become-better group. Some of the folks are from the rehab center next door, the one from which I fled, and others are outpatients like me. Occasionally I spot a client younger than I am, but usually I am the spryest in the room. My therapist is thrilled that I can throw a ball, and we got quite involved in kicking a soccer ball around, and then graduated to throwing it against a wall, which necessitated moving to a different room, which, I think, is what rang the death knell on my therapy. I was too good.
To which I say, good riddance.
So I hobbled a victory lap on that one.
And then there’s the old me victory. This one involves the two women who came to visit me when I was unconscious in the ICU, Julia and Teri.
I’ve known Julia and Teri literally since the first week I moved to Olywa. Our sons were all in first grade together, and I met them on the first day of class. Julia’s family and my family were new in town, and Teri and some other mothers fledged us as neo-Northwesterners. Julia has been caring for my conure (a kind of parrot) since August, and Teri has driven me to and from physical therapy once or twice a week. They have been wonderful friends, and they have wanted to take me to lunch for months.
And finally I felt ready. Finishing therapy had something to do with it. The new me was set free to let the old me emerge.
Going out for lunch with friends might not seem like a big deal, but it is a huge undertaking to someone who cannot multitask. It involves a great deal of planning and timing, and I got almost all of it right.
I had to start to prepare the night before, because I needed to set an alarm so I would wake up in time (my seizure medication can zone me out midmorning); I had to remember to give myself my insulin shot because my partner had left at 4:30 that morning and wasn’t there to do it; I had to remember to get my son situated because my partner wasn’t there to do it; I had to make sure four cats and a dog weren’t fighting like, well, cats and dogs; and I had to remember to get my little thank-you gift for Teri together and that’s what I forgot.
We had a very nice lunch and I had to trick Teri into coming back into the house with me so I could scramble around and get her gift together to give to her to thank her for schlepping me to and from P.T. all of those times so the slightly gimpy new me could emerge, able to step over 8-inch tall boxes and toss a soccer ball against any wall quite ably, and the old me could go to lunch with Julia and Teri and carry on a conversation, all the while downing a rather tasty lunch of Thai Ginger with Tofu.
It’s nice when the old me gets along with the new me.