Thursday, December 7, 2017

FLASHBACK - A Blog Entry from September 2011

I recently re-discovered the blog that I began in September of 2011, just 6 months after the injury that changed my life. For the next week, I am going to post FLASHBACKS from this older blog, as I have felt recently that I have been revisiting this time in my life in sort of a fractal healing process. With that in mind, here is my very first attempt at blogging post traumatic brain injury. Enjoy!

September 2011
Thank you for visiting my blog entitled Grasping at Fog. Although I have blogged for quite some time about issues related to business management, strategy, marketing and growth in the healthcare sector, I felt compelled to begin a new blog – one that is based upon my intensely personal journey to heal after suffering a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)/closed head concussion with post-concussive syndrome.

The purpose of this blog is simple – to get me writing again. I am writer…that is at the core of what I do in business and who I am. Yet after the injury (the hatch of my SUV fell on my head in March of 2011), I was unable to write. The first time I tried, I wrote for just 20 minutes. My cognitive rehabilitative therapist suggested that I start very slow, as the brain has to rebuild stamina after an injury. I didn’t realize at the time how profound my brain had been affected…so I wrote until I felt “brain fog.” I was rather proud of myself for taking this first step into writing! Then I crashed for three or more days. It’s hard to remember, because I literally could not get out of bed. That’s what happens when the brain is injured – if you overdo it, it simply shuts down until it is ready to “wake up” again. This first attempt at writing was more than three months ago…today, I am trying it again, using my new blog as a vehicle for discussing insights, challenges, successes, and frankly anything else that arises on my path toward healing.

While this blog will benefit me by getting me writing again (and we shall see how I improve over time), it is also an opportunity to share my experiences with others. In the wake of a brain injury, it is easy to feel like an “alien.” In fact, I continue to find it hard to believe that I could be affected so dramatically by a closed head injury – no bruises, no cuts, no bleeding…just a wounded brain that requires a great deal of time to heal. It continues to be so important for me to reach out to others who have shared this same experience, and to hear that my symptoms are normal. Therefore, I am using this blog as a vehicle to convey my story to others in the hopes that TBI survivors will feel a little less “alien,” while helping caregivers and others to understand what this journey is like.

I have so much to say, but I am having “brain fog” again…so I will hold off on explaining the story behind my blog title: “Grasping at Fog…” You will just have to wait until the next installment! But, for those of you who have never experienced a TBI, allow me to explain what brain fog feels like: it starts behind my eyes, almost a disoriented sensation similar to when you relax your eyes and stare straight ahead while not actually looking at anything. If I continue and attempt to push through the early stages, it will progress to a more extreme disoriented feeling, along with a nasty headache. Soon after, it begins to feel like I have a 104+ degree fever in my forehead. My eyes hurt, and I can’t keep them open because any visual stimulation is overwhelming to my brain. Any movement on TV or in front of me becomes dizzying, and I feel nauseas. My ears become extremely sensitive, as noise overwhelms my cranial circuitry. The brain zaps start, which literally sound and feel like a zapping noise in my deep inner ear. And finally, from the moment this process starts, I can no longer think. Sometimes brain fog is gone in an hour, sometimes it takes a week. Needless to say, it is uncomfortable, humbling, and an extraordinary opportunity for me to learn my own limitations and live within the present moment.

With that in mind, I will sign off for now…I have already written too much and the brain fog has begun. But I am fairly certain that if I sit down, meditate, and quiet my mind, I will find that it dissipates – hopefully before my bouncing 3 year old daughter is home from preschool!

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