Tag Archives: motherhood

A Peek Inside the Newly Re-injured Brain Part 1

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The one time ladder turned lesson.

On this past Thursday afternoon I climbed a stool to put away a few jars atop one of my cabinets. I knew it was a risky venture even before I began my short climb, but still, with a small jar in one hand and the other anxiously grabbing the nearby door frame for stability, I began to ascend the stool. I don’t remember if I had made it all the way atop the stool, I think I did, before I lost my balance completely and crashed to the cement floor of our sunroom.

I hit hard. Really hard.

I didn’t break my fall. The dresser I slammed the back of my head into broke my fall. I screamed, both from panic and the pain. Glass was shattered everywhere and I had two worried dogs in the room with me. I yelled for them to stay. At the moment I was more concerned about their paws than my head or my back (which took a beating when I landed on my tailbone.)  I couldn’t move to stop them; the pain and dizziness kept me in my place on the floor. Thankfully, they listened and thankfully my daughter was home on spring break.

She ran to me when she heard the commotion. Driven by fear and concern, she wanted to stay by my side but I asked her to go around to the sliding door and get the dogs out of the room. She did, but she quickly came back and so did the dogs, all wanting to check on me. I was still on the floor, unable to move. Fear and nausea were creeping in from the shadows as the reality of what happened took root.  I hit my head hard enough to cause another concussion, barely 2 years after my last one.

I sat without moving, but I don’t know how long I was there on the floor amid the shattered glass. My daughter kept checking on me, but I simply told her to close the door and leave the vacuum by the door. All I cared about was the glass; that stupid glass that lay around me in large shards and tiny slivers, like a physical representation of my brain right there, mocking me.

I don’t know how many times I’ve hit my head in the last two years. Lots, I know that. This hit, though, was different, and I knew it. I kept telling myself I didn’t lose consciousness and that was good—that maybe it wasn’t that bad. Still the nausea, the pain, and the dizziness that held me in place told me something different.  I pushed through. I forced myself to stand, using the dresser that I slammed against to now steady myeslf as I found my footing. I cursed the stool that stood in the same place, not even offering the courtesy of also falling when I fell, and reminding me it was my lack of balance that caused the fall, not the stool’s.

I grabbed the vacuum and turned my focus to the glass. I needed to prepare for the call I had with Ruth in only 2 hours’ time. I needed to shake off the pain and headache. I thought if I could focus on something else, I could lose the dizziness and, most importantly, I’d realize “it wasn’t that bad.”

To be continued…

Please come back Wednesday to read Part 2 of “A Peek Inside the Newly Re-Injured Brain”

And, for more about brain injury and recovery, visit me at www.insidersguidetotheinjuredbrain.com

 

 

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Why I Won’t Wish Anyone a Happy Memorial Day

Memorial DayThough I have left this blog quiet for various reasons (READ: life), sometimes life needs to be paused to reflect and allow gratitude to wash over us. Today, I will share time with my family, grateful for the simple pleasures afforded me by those whom I have never met and those gave their all.

This morning, I wrote and posted this (see below) on my personal and TM Facebook pages.

Yesterday, I decided I won’t wish anyone a Happy Memorial Day. Here’s why:

1. Yesterday, as I surveyed my garden, I listened to the (relative) quiet around me.There was no sound of bombers or air raid horns, no sounds of tanks rolling down my streets, no children, mothers, or fathers crying out in pain. The white noise of my neighborhood is birds and cars and the occasional passenger jet. Afternoon thunder and the possible tornado warning stir fears, not IEDs or the sobs of refugees.

2. I looked at the various plants in my yard, re-awakening in their predictable fashion, and I was filled with gratitude that my garden– MY LIFE– is filled with wonderful predictability.

3. I thought about the people in war-torn countries, specifically, the women, mothers and daughters, whose lives are threatened and torn apart on a daily basis by evil. Then, I thought about my own girls. I thought about my mother, who lived during WWII and all the subsequent wars until her death in 2004. Had she worried with a mother’s heart about the future of her own children and her grandchildren? She must have. I thought about my father, who served during WWII and the fears he must have revisited every time a story of war made the nightly news until his death in 2001. Had he become numb to the horror of it all or found a way to compartmentalize it? Did the fears change when he became a father? There were horrors he never spoke of.

4. I pondered the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. Whereas I am so very grateful to all that have and do serve and their families, there is a difference in these days. One celebrates all who have served, the other is to honor those that served and died while serving.

5. And then, I considered the BBQs and family gatherings that will take place across the county today, marking the “opening of summer”, and I realized these celebratory gatherings really are a way of honoring those that have fallen, by LIVING OUR FREEDOM OUT LOUD, gathered together, in our homes and in parks, toasting franks and marshmallows, WITHOUT FEAR. That is freedom. That is what the men and women who have fallen were protecting–our freedom to gather and to celebrate in individual ways, ways that make America diverse and America great.

6. So, I decided, as always, I want all to have a wonderful day as you gather with friends and family to celebrate the start of summer. But, this day isn’t happy for many who will be visiting graveyards, holding pictures to their hearts, or tracing the letters on a dog tag. Today is their day to remember, too. So,in addition to honoring those that have fallen, I ask you join me in honoring those family members left behind. Spend a few moments thinking about what you enjoy because someone gave you their all.

Along with wonderful memory-making, today, I wish you all a contemplative day as you remember those that served, and fell, protecting your freedom.

May God bless the fallen and may God bless those left behind that are mourning on this day.