Monday, July 30, 2012

Best Visit

Yesterday was awesome, we got to watch our son from noon until about 10:30PM. I'm proud of myself, I noticed that I am feeling much better now than I was even just a couple of weeks ago. Seriously, it was noticeable. Previously when we had him for a long time, I was getting too fatigued, irritable, annoyed--really just not able to function properly, behavioral-wise. Yesterday, I had an excellent time with my son. I didn't mind his natural whining or crying, that babies do since they can't tell you what they need. I was excited to have him with us the whole time, the whole visit I was just focused on him.

He has been saying "Dada" and "Nanana-na na" a lot recently and it is so cute, especially when he's calling for or talking to his daddy. I'm so proud of how much he's learned in these past 4-5 months, it's amazing how smart he is. He likes to stand up, try and walk and climb on hubby and I. I'm excited to see him start to walk, he tries so hard.

My aunt, husband and I are planning his first birthday. That's really exciting, I'm so happy his birthday is in the summer months so that we can have the party outdoors. We're hoping that the weather holds up and it's not raining by then. I bought cake mixes but I need cake pans so that I can make his birthday cake. I'm planning on giving him his own personal mini-cake so that he can dig in to it and have a blast. All of my friends are very excited about the birthday, they love my son so much and want to celebrate it with him.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Visit Tomorrow!!!

Woot! My aunt is bringing our son over tomorrow so that daddy and I can spend time with him while she and her family can enjoy a night out. I am so very excited, I really cannot contain myself! ***My Little Guy***
On a side note, I should pry myself away from my computer for a little while so that I can do the things that I wrote down and planned. Gah, stinking addiction to drama websites...

I'm going to see my son!!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Yay for Refills!

I was finally able to get Amantadine filled and picked up by Thursday and my first dose was this morning. I'm excited to be taking it again, I wasn't feeling too off for the last two weeks while I waited for the approval and when I could pick it up. It probably would have been fine to discontinue it but I'm going to stick with what my PM&R doctor recommended and stay on it until she feels comfortable with my recovery enough to let me trial off of it again. This medication is supposed to help with the chemicals in my brain while I recover. To me, obviously, it works because my confusion and inability to comprehend some things went away within a few days of restarting Amantadine.

I've felt better this entire week, I don't know if that is from being off of Amantadine or because my recovery is actually quite noticeable. I feel like I can do most of the things I did before the accident, but I also feel like my thought processes and energy need to improve much more. I think I need to take my time and test my limits, slowly. Like, wanting to get my son back, I need to have trial periods with caring for him for extended periods. I may get too fatigued, too quickly while I watch son so I really need to work on my endurance. As healthy as sleep is for me right now, since REM sleep is restorative and healing, I don't think I should take too much advantage of the fatigue I feel. The more I try to stay awake during the day, working on helpful, achieving goals, the better. I would need to take breaks and even short naps during this process but I believe that the more I work on my endurance, the better.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of months since I have plenty of appointments every week, which means everyday I'm healing for the better.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Anxious

Today I've been feeling anxious--all freaking day. I know where some of it's coming from and just now the feeling has been escalated. There's nothing I can do to make that feeling any better. I don't know what's going on and I'm nervous. I can't wait to see my psychologists in the next few months, I want to see them tomorrow I have such bad anxiety. I don't like that my appointments have to wait so long, I'm stressing out as it is.

I tried making myself feel better but it's not happening. I'm getting a headache now too, great.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Should Start Writing Things Down

I keep thinking about stuff that I want to do and instead of writing the thoughts down so I don't forget... I forget. Ridiculous. I can't even think about some of the things I forgot about just so I remember--What the heck?

I meant to go to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up my medication and I forgot, now I have to wait until my next appointment. Then hubby and I were asking questions about the case and we couldn't remember everything we meant to ask. Most of the time, I forget the names of things, what I 'm going to say or how to say it.

I understand I'm getting better, slowly but still it's a process. It's just frustrating that I have to go through all of this and this is a slow recovery to me.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Feeling

Woke up this morning with the thoughts and feelings of wanting normalcy, that "wanting home" feeling. I know I've had those feelings and thoughts for years and every year I hope they change, especially since everything is so much better now than it was a couple of years ago. I don't know--I can't imagine--what I could possibly want or need that would make things that much better so that those thoughts and feelings would stop.

These feelings; thoughts and discontented feelings by definition are not uncomfortable, but I feel uncomfortable experiencing them. I don't understand why they're so prominent in my mind. It's a good thing that (for the second time in my life) I'm choosing counseling, therapy and potential medication--somethings have got to give and darn it, it's going to be these feelings that go away!

Waiting for my appointments is nerve wracking. I don't get to go to them until August and then a separate department in October. I know that my PM&R doctor recommended the rehabilitation psychologist and that makes sense since they have more experience with trauma victims. It just doesn't make sense (now, after the fact) that she believed they would take me in sooner than the psychology department itself. The rehabilitation psychology department won't take me in until October, which is well after the psychology department. All of this I don't mind, it's understandable but I think it's odd that the recommendation and turn out were different.

Either way, I can't wait to start this whole endeavor. I need some outside support to turn to and talk with.

Monday, July 23, 2012

My Fears of Pregnancy

My husband and I want more babies and boy will it be exciting when we start trying and have another beautiful squish to care for. As much as we want babies though, I'm taking Amantadine and am healing from a fractured pelvis. At minimum, we have to wait a year before having more babies.

I was researching what Amantadine causes during pregnancy and I think it said "class C", recommended not taking during pregnancy, causes heart problems (like with formation). Then getting pregnant now, the process and then birth would be dangerous--my pelvis could break further--and I might have to undergo a c-section.

So, I'm worried about potential birth defects, c-section and breaking my pelvis further (sad face). We're not trying, but accidents happen so I'm hoping that the test comes out negative when I take it...

Update 7/27/2012:
Yay for negative pregnancy tests! (for now, while I recover, ha ha)

Taking Life in Stride.

I wonder how many people know me, how many people read this, how many people judge me...Thinking that for some reason what they think and feel is really relevant in the scheme of things. Here I am, wondering how many people think I lie, how many people believe second hand information, how many people really don't like me--here I am wondering about the talk, the judgements--the things that don't really matter more than my recovery and health, to me. Most of all, I wonder why the zombie apocalypse is coming to my general vicinity, trying to eat my brains.

Today, my plans were chillax on the interwebz, clean the apartment, do my PT exercises and maybe go buy some bread since we're out. What did I do? Heh, I chillaxed on the interwebz and cleaned the apartment. Hubby told me to stay in since it'll be hot today so I guess we can go a few more days without bread, ha ha. PT exercises? I should do those.

I miss my son, hopefully we'll see him this weekend. Have a good day, readers, time to go accomplish some mad awesome stuff.

Apparently.

I couldn't sleep earlier so I came back out to surf the interwebz but now I'm tired so I'll be going to bed after posting this. The reason I decided to make this random post is because I was going through Pinterest.com and saw a bunch of craft rooms (which are really cool and by-golly I want one!).

What I'm thinking is that hubby and I are going to have to buy a house somewhere that has a minimum of 4 bedrooms, a full finished basement, family room, living room, bathrooms, dining room, eat in kitchen, study---etc, you get the point. I want a freaking craft room!! I know that hubby will want a media/entertainment/game room type ManCave. I'll want a laundry room and a study for my books. So, I'm thinking a full finished basement will meet his criteria for a ManCave and I can just use one of the "spare" bedrooms for a craft room.

Now, obviously I want a minimum of three kids and I know that he's willing for just one more (which would make two). I don't think that I can bring myself to have the six kids I was initially hoping for just one and a half years ago. I know that even if we do go "all out" and have those three kids I want, we'll probably need more than 4 bedrooms just so that there's a spare for my craft room.

Why would I want a craft room, one might ask??? Well, I love crafting! I can sew, I have 3 sewing machines, I can knit, crochet, needlepoint, latch hook, sculpt. Dang it, I can craft! I'd love a craft room just so that I can have storage for the yarn, fabric and tools I am bound to use. I need a good sturdy table for measuring, cutting and designing fabrics for what ever it is I want to craft. I know that I can keep a yarn basket in the living room or by whatever chair I choose to do my knitting or crocheting--that would be comfortable and ideal. But, darn it, I want a craft room and storage!

I came back on here to post this because I keep coming up with things I want or want to do or say--things that I think about but then forget (Boo!). I'm glad I wrote this all up though, when I come back again later today I can read what I wrote and make out some good solid plans. The one thing I know that I'm going to have to accomplish before any of this is college and a good paying job because how else would I afford the gigantic mansion I just listed?

Like I said, there's a lot I want and need to do so this recovery needs to hurry the heck up!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

This Weekend...

My husband and I have been seeing our son frequently since my discharge, because my aunts are awesome and know that we love our son and can't stand not being near him. This weekend, we didn't see him--not because we didn't want to and not because my aunts couldn't bring him--my husband and I were tired and I was sick with a cold. I miss my son! Hopefully, next weekend we'll be able to see son.

Also, a doctor called me to say that he submitted my refill for Amantadine. He has never looked over my case so wasn't sure about the refill and suggested I contact my PM&R doctor that has been looking over my case. (Thanks, doc.) I have to wait until Tuesday to pick up my prescription since that's the earliest day I have an appointment at the hospital and they provide free rides to and from appointments.

I can't stop my addiction to Pinterest.com either, I've been scouring the pages and pinning things that I like. I'm also looking for things as inspiration or potential "future purchases" since my GF is pregnant and I'm so excited for her!!!!

Even though time does move fast...this recovery needs to speed itself up and money needs to start rolling in because I have so many plans and ideas to accomplish!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Waiting, Nervous

I've been out of Amantadine since Thursday, July 12, 2012. The last time I stopped taking it as a test or experiment, I was becoming confused more often, overwhelmed, dizzy and not understanding people that were talking to me. After a week of experiencing those feelings, I talked with my PM&R doctor and she suggested taking Amantadine again. I refilled and took the medicine until 7/12/2012 when I ran out.

I've been nervous about experiencing those feelings again. I know that I haven't been having those feelings overwhelmingly this week, that doesn't reassure what could happen. I'm waiting for the doctor that replaced my PM&R's partner to renew my prescription. The medication requires contacting the physician if I run out and would like a refill. Why has it been five days since asking for the refill and I get no response?

Great, not only are my thought processes whacked out, now I have to be worried about the feelings I may experience being off of Amantadine.

Thanks, doc.

College

One of my plans for later this year/early next year was going to be applying for and attending college. That was my plan before the accident, now my whole plan is getting better--like normal, better. (Thanks, guy who hit me)

I really want to apply right now, I know that the acceptance of my application will take a while. Then there's the application fee, yeah I can't afford that. So, no. I will not be applying until I go back to work or get some form of payment (in settlement or SSD).

Boo, my brain injury. Boo, the inability to work. Boo!!!!!

The Insanity Workout

Considering I had a fractured left pelvic ring recently, I figured that anything I am inclined to try should be brought up and asked about with my therapists and doctors. Yesterday, while in physical therapy I asked my therapist about The Insanity Workout.

Now, I know that I have a couple of choices here in the decision to try this workout. I can follow the disclaimer and not even try The Insanity Workout, solely for the fact I do have an injury and the workout would strain my bones, joints and ligaments. Or, I can wait a year or two at minimum and try the workout.

My physical therapist did feel compelled to tell me that this workout is hard, even she wouldn't be able to do it. She felt inclined to remind me that the workout's are hard and would not be good for my fractured pelvis right now. She feels, like me, that I need to allow my pelvis to heal and strengthen my pelvic muscles before I attempt any workout routine. <--- This all makes sense, I perfectly understand and agree.

I'm glad that my physical therapist was able to give me very good information and insight. I feel very comfortable, as comfortable or even more comfortable than I did before I even asked. It's good to know, and have it confirmed, that I can try The Insanity Workout in a year or two (minimum) as long as my pelvis is healed and strengthened.

I also knew that this workout was hard, difficult and fast paced. I know, for a fact, that I can't do this workout at the pace the instructor wants one to do it. I don't know all of the workout routines that are done in any or each of the DVDs, but I do know what I can do or try. I know I can't run or jog right now, especially not in place and I especially cannot do anything that will beat up my hips, knees and ankles. I know that I can do situps, crunches, stretching, pushups and basically arm exercises and very light no impact leg exercises.

So, I can't wait to get better, I can't wait to start working again and I definitely can't wait until I do have the ability to at the very least try The Insanity Workout.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Roommates and Sitters at the Hospital

I don't remember too much specifically, especially not so much while I was incoherent. What I do remember is my first and only roommate and a couple of the sitters that watched over me during this time.

The Roommate

She was an elderly lady who was not all there upstairs, I think she had dementia. This woman thought I was a guy and always offered her food to me even though I was on breathing machines and being fed through stomach tubes.

I remember her having a few visitors, one an elderly man, one a younger/middle-aged man and one older/middle aged woman. I think that the younger people were her children and the elderly man was either her boyfriend or brother. I remember the younger man correcting her and yelling at her. Then the younger woman talked to the elderly lady nicely, just like the elderly man.

She was getting discharged soon, but our personalities basically clashed even though I was on tubes and couldn't talk. I knew I didn't really like her but I did feel bad that she was demented and poorly treated by that young man. The nursing staff and doctors decided that was the last roommate I would ever be "forced" to room with.

The Sitters

I had a few sitters and they basically watched over me to make sure I didn't get up and put weight on my pelvis or die.

One sitter was a complete moron, didn't pay attention to my suffering from choking on mucus due to the tracheotomy, he was always on his phone. The nurse that was watching over my case would check on me ever 10-15 minutes just to make sure this guy didn't fuck up and I die.

The other sitters, from what I was told and can kind of remember were better.

I remember having dreams about the CNAs and sitters that watched over me. A lot of the dreams involved talk shows like Oprah, Jerry Springer and Maury. Many of the dreams were about the sitters or CNAs family being in the hospital--in a section that was considered a nursing home, even though nothing like that exists in the hospital--and I would be helping the CNAs or sitters with packing up their family's belongings because they were being discharged.

I also had dreams that the room I was in was the back-break room of a Wal*Mart/Sam's Club/Target store. The beds in the break room (yep, that's right there were beds and no tables with chairs) were hospital beds, there were IVs and monitors. The hallway outside of the break room was dark and I didn't know exactly where it led to. In these dreams, it was the same CNA and for some reason I kept dreaming she was getting upset at my erratic behavior and kept putting "glove" hand-restraints on me.

The very first dream I had, while I was comatose, was in a hospital room. This room was not just a hospital room but also a children's karate self defense room and spine/backbone recovery room (completely nonexistent in the actual hospital). I dreamed that there were 3 nurses and CNAs watching over me and I was being taken and transferred to different rooms.

It's funny that a lot of all of this actually happened, but it happened while I was incoherent and high on the pain killers they were pumping me with.

While I Was Admitted in the Hospital

From what I have been told, the time span from when I came out of my coma until April 20th, I wasn't coherent so I don't remember anything that I had said but I did say some pretty off-the-wall stuff.

With my husband, I told him what street I was on which is the same street as the hospital is on and I was "getting out of there" and "going home". I also told him a lot of nonsensical things that really didn't make any sense like "Am I allowed to live in the old man" and "I don't have any food, they ran out of food".

While I was incoherent, I must have given the nurses, nurse aides and sitters problems because I found restraints in my nightstand when I was packing up for discharge. It's understandable that I was hard to deal with, in the state that I was in, apparently many if not all brain injury patients act aggressively, mean, disobedient and just bad.

I'm sure it was terrible watching over me those few weeks. When my aunts brought my son to visit me, I was getting up and walking around even though I was not supposed to put any weight on my fractured pelvis. Then, I would play with my son as if there was nothing wrong and treat him like a newborn infant but he was 9 months old. Obviously having my son there made me subconsciously want to go home and everything be normal again--which is bad for inpatient recovery. So, the nurses asked that he not come by anymore because I would be more trouble to them than it would be worth.

Some of the things I remember or was told about while I was admitted are just weird.

Attention Span

Apparently my attention span is nonexistent. Every single time someone tries to talk to me, I either can't focus, don't hear what they're saying or don't understand. Freaking ridiculous! I don't feel bad for asking some people "what?" because they understand my problems and are willing to repeat or rephrase.

It's not fair that my TBI affects my thinking and hearing so much. I don't like it. I don't like asking for repetition or clarification. I don't want to make anyone mad at me because I can't hear or understand them.

I guess I can choose not to listen to people who like to be outright mean and rude as soon as I express that I didn't hear or understand.

Perception

It's interesting how badly my mind and memory are affected by this TBI. I'm doing well with my recovery, I'm a lot further than I was in the beginning of my injuries. My perception and cognitive functions are a little off. I guess I can't drive right now--my doctors and therapists verified all of that--but that's because my perceptive abilities are down, I won't be able to react quick enough or properly to prevent causing an accident. I completely understand why I can't do the things I used to be able to do, before my injuries, it just sucks.

It's good that my husband is so supportive and understanding about my current abilities. I don't remember words very well, or what things are called. I end up having to describe what it is I'm trying to find the word for. What's bad is when people are talking to me and I can't understand what they're saying because they aren't being as clear as I need them to be. Sometimes I try and say something that should make sense but I use the wrong words or format

The more time and therapy that passes, the better I get. I just can't wait to finally be somewhere closer to normal.

Tuesdays and Thursdays

Every other day since my discharge I've had to go to therapy. This means every Tuesday and Thursday, but I also have to go to the hospital on Mondays and Wednesdays in case I have a follow up appointment with my PM&R, Orthopedic or Primary doctors.

I guess in the grand scheme of things, I don't mind going to occupational, physical and speech therapies as often as I do. The sum of it all is that I'm getting as much rehabilitation as needed so that I will be better sooner.

I really feel depressed about how much better I've gotten since discharge, in comparison to how much better I thought I was. I didn't think or expect to be normal or close to normal so soon but I really didn't think I was as bad and far off as I am. I thought I would be able to go back to work by the end of June or beginning of July but I'm nowhere near that possibility. I've had to watch my son for well over 16 hours 2 or 3 weeks ago and it tired me to the point of almost passing out and having a very bad attitude towards my husband. The stress and fatigue I experience after taking care of my son is just terrible. I couldn't believe how difficult it was to watch him for that long, compared to before the accident. I was definitely not prepared for that challenge. I had to spend two whole days and nights sleeping to recover. Just awful.

I want to be better soon and it's so upsetting that it's taking so long to accomplish little things.

Amantadine

Also known as Symmetrel, it is a medication for people with Parkinson's Disease. I have take 100mg of Amantadine 1/day for my brain injury, it alleviates my confusion more than anything. It's interesting I have to take Amantadine in the morning, at about 7AM because it is a brain stimulator and would prevent me from sleeping if I took it at any time past 10AM.

Two or three weeks after my discharge, I discussed with my PM&R doctor about discontinuing it and she said that it's worth a trial and if I or my family notice any mental changes I can restart Amantadine again. 1 week after discontinuing Amantadine, I started feeling significant confusion, becoming overwhelmed by busy sights and noises, getting headaches and dizzy. That was a horrible week and realization for me. I contacted my doctor to ask about what I was experiencing and she suggested again to start taking Amantadine again.

I just ran out of my refill for this medication last Thursday and sent  a renewal request just yesterday because it seemed to be helping quite a lot and I am nervous to go without it again. I haven't noticed any significant changes since Thursday but I'll never be too sure until I "check it out" at the store and look at the shelves and aisles of merchandise. Only then will I know if I start becoming overwhelmed and dizzy. I noticed slight dizziness yesterday and now while I work on my computer but I won't be too sure until it starts bothering my daily activities and life.

Hopefully I get the refill today and can pick it up while I'm at the hospital.

Haven't Taken Care of My Son for 4 Months

I left my son, my infant son, with my sister-in-law on 03/29/2012 so that I could go to work and he would be safe/happy. Getting into the accident, she decided to keep watch over my son until I could again, because my husband had just had heart surgery and was in no shape to look after our son just yet. --Ha ha, when it rains it pours.

She wasn't able to take care of my son for very long, at most 4 days, so my aunts had to take over his care. I really appreciate my aunt’s help because my sister-in-law did something I will never forgive her for; she is now dead to me.

My sister-in-law decided that instead of bringing my son with her where ever she went, she would drop him off with one of her friends. These friends, I didn't know and still don't know, she didn't even get permission from my husband or I. How the heck do we know that her friends didn't abuse our son? I mean, really, what kind of dumb move is that??? --Especially considering both of her sons were abused by "friends" of hers and her boyfriend's. Irresponsibility and lies piss me off.

My aunts, however, are awesome. They take care of my son just like I would and love him so very much--they would never think of giving anyone I am at odds with time with my child because we're fffaaammmiiilllyyy. It's a very stupid pretense to do anything just because you're family, I mean sexually, physically or emotionally abusive family members don't get the privilege of rights to other normal and sane family members.

I haven't taken care of my son since 03/29/2012 because of the accident and brain injury. I'm so very upset because I've missed all 8-11 months of his life and he is now 11 months old. I missed him learning to crawl, stand up, sit up, and eat "solid" baby food, clap and other things. It's heartbreaking that I haven't been there for him these 4 months and it will probably continue well past Halloween!
I really hope that he won't resent me when he's older and learns that I couldn't take care of him. I know I resent my mother, mostly because her lack of parenting stemmed from her need, want and addiction to men and sex. I resent my mother because she is a selfish, terrible person, to the point that I would use foul language to describe her. I hope that my son understands that I had gotten into an unavoidable accident and due to the injuries I sustained I couldn't take care of him.

It is really hard for people to grasp the significance and difficulty associated with brain injuries. My personality has changed, my voice has changed, and my looks changed, my thought processes have changed, a lot of things that made me have changed. I wish that I was like normal, like before the accident but that just will not happen. I get too fatigued, too often. I cannot lift things like I used to. I cannot cook, clean, shop, take care of myself; I can't even take care of my son! I'm glad that my brain injury doesn't affect my temper to where I'm exploding into rages, physically and verbally harming those around me, like so many other TBI victims. The whole fact that I am completely unable to care for him right now breaks my heart and gets me so depressed.

This whole situation sucks.

03/29/2012-05/04/2012

I acquired my brain injury on Thursday, March 29, 2012. I was leaving work at 7:40PM and pulled off of the side street onto the main street at 7:45PM. The side street is posted at 25MPH and the main street is posted at 35MPH. Anyone with a bit of common sense would think that it's obvious someone should follow the driving laws and posted speed limits. Under that assumption, I pulled off of the side street thinking the oncoming vehicle was traveling at 35MPH and at a far enough distance (at the posted speed) that I would not have any problems. Little did I know he was going 65MPH.

He T-Boned my car, hitting me full force in the driver's side door, fracturing my left pelvic ring, breaking my #11 left rib and causing a subdural hemorrhage that led to a subdural hematoma. With these significant injuries, I also sustained cuts, scrapes and bruises caused by shattered glass and significant blunt force.

We were both injured and sent to the same trauma hospital. He was discharged the following day with minor injuries and I remained in the hospital until 05/04/2012. When I arrived at the hospital, according to my medical records I was awake and responsive with deteriorating mental faculties. I lost consciousness and remained in a coma for one week.

The hospital performed a tracheotomy, inserted a bolt into my skull to relieve bleeding pressure (which I ripped out as soon as I was "awake" from my coma--was not coherent), they also catheterized me and kept me in ICU then the brain/spinal cord injury floor. I continued inpatient therapies from the time I was awake and could physically go until 05/04/2012 when I was discharged. Being discharged, I now continue outpatient therapies, every other day of every week until my doctors and therapists agree that I can discontinue and go back to work, with an almost normal life.