So much has been going through my head lately. I was recovering at my parent’s house for 6 weeks starting July 26th, which feels like a short and long time. I’ve been in Santa Cruz since Wednesday, preparing for work on Monday.
I completed 12 sessions of PT and OT while in Fresno, and I made substantial gains. Seeing objective improvements is important for my motivation, and helps me see the results of my hard work. I increased my walking speed and balance substantially, and my strength is almost equal on both sides of my body. I’m mostly waiting (and coercing) my proprioception and fine motor skills to come back. My right side doesn’t completely know what’s up, but I know my brain is working on building new connections for me.
Before I move on, it’s important for me to note how important my time was at my parent’s house. They provided a safe and cozy nest, and were incredible Mama and Papa birds to their injured abnormally old hatchling. They not only drove me to endless appointments, they also made sure I was always doing something I enjoyed, and provided endless emotional support. I was allowed to be as independent as possible, but they were happy to help when I asked.
How to Talk to Me
Now that I’m back in town and bumping into friends, it’s great and it’s also difficult. I’m more emotional than usual (probably partly my medication), and it takes energy to appear normal. The movements on my right side don’t look smooth, and have a slight lisp because half my face is numb. People sometimes treat me differently, and I just want to be treated the same. I want to hear about what you’re up to, and I would love to make plans with you. I don’t want to talk extensively about my brain, but I’m okay talking about it one on one. You don’t need to say I’m brave, I’m just handling this situation as best I can.
Understanding and Acceptance
It’s been an important experience to be differently abled. I thought I understood what people go through, but I didn’t. As much as I’m certain this will make me a more compassionate, strong, and thankful person, it can feel isolating at times. I’m still feeling very motivated and optimistic about my recovery, but it’s challenging being in a body that’s different than the one I’m used to identifying with. It’s also a journey to love my current body. I’ve been trying to be kind to myself, and being okay with not always being okay.
In the past I’ve mostly focused on being positive, but it’s not always what I feel. It would be weird if it was. Struggling is part of the process, and I’m okay with having weaker moments.
On a more positive note, I’ve developed a list of goals, and I’ll share some of them with you. I often think about my goals, but I think it’s important to write them down.
Meditate daily. Body scan, Yoga Nidra, or other.
Visualize what I want in the future.
Do all PT exercises every day.
Do yoga at least 3 times a week, and attend yoga class at least once a week.
Trike more with a goal to be biking in 2 months.
Exercise on beach 2 times a week.
Work on gaining strength at rock climbing gym. Start with weights and yoga, and work towards the wall.
Start surfing/paddling/swimming once every week.
Get 9 hours of sleep. (I know, crazy)
Make healthy work lunches for the whole week on Sunday.
Keep health journal chronicling general health, energy level, and exercise.