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Monday, December 26, 2011

Wat! The holidays are over, WHAT HAPPENED?

Well, we survived another Christmas! In the last 5 or 10 years, every Christmas has been so extraordinarily different from the one before it, I never know what to expect, or, who we!ll be with. This year was no different. My mom and I were together at her home, where I grew up in Midcoast Maine. When I arrived, I declared. That even though it was just the two of us, were still doing stockings. For some reason, the whole experience of having a ridiculous goody bag to open before you sit down to breakfast, is something that I genuine,y love. After breakfast of almond torte and other assorted goodies, we ambled over to the tree in the window, and open-end many assorted goodies, from friends and family. I knew I wouldn't have a lot to open, as I'd asked my family o help me purchase a plane ticket toColorado, so I could do some adaptive snow boarding with a friend, I met last year at Sugarbush in VT, and ran into this summer in Winter Park, CO at the No ?barriers Summit, my.Ant brought me to over the summer. She invited me to visit, so now, I'm trying to make it happen!

After our little family Christmas, my mom and I headed over to the neighbors family camp, for their family Christmas gathering. I wasn't prepared to attend another Christmas, and felt slightly guilty when I received gifts, but hadn't brought any. The company was gift enough for us, as it was so much fun reminiscing about old times, and getting the latest news on the family members who couldn't be there. We all enjoyed a fabulous Christmas dinner of ham, stuffing, green bean casserole, squash, and the BEST chocolate creme pie Ve ever tasted. I love chocolate, but normally, the Che chocolate creme pie is nothing to write home about. But, this one was exquisite, very rich, and somehow light. I admit, if it had been my families dinner table,I might have challenged them all for the entire confection.
After Christmas, there were still so many things to be done, people to seen, etc. I accompanied my mom to a couple doctors or medical appointments, and have been so proud of her for sticking with the people and programs she feels will help her, because having your life examined by multiple people, for several reasons is no easy task. And then, somehow processing that information to decide a plan of action you feel comfortable with, is no easy task. The new family joke, I've been informed, is that apparently, my mom, my aunt and I will all be able to have walker wars. My mom asked me to bring my wailer home for her to use, but it was deemed unsalvageable by her therapists. I assumed that might be the case, given, what I put it through every day, for over a year. I dare say, I could probably write a book about the adventure I somehow created for myself with that thing. Then, I could do a sequel about the baby less jogger. Wouldn't that be a fun read? Well, if nothing else, interesting...
I'm am so happy to see my mom putting in the necessary time and effort into her rehab. As mindless, depressing, and frustrating as it is, it makes all the difference in leading a happy fulfilling life down the road, because you know that you've given your best effort, and you are, where you are that day because you put the time in, and did the work. That aspect of being home was incredibly rewarding.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the road...

When I was a kid, I grew very a cccustomed to making road trips with my family members, and/or neighbors, and friends. I really miss traveling, seeing the world from other perspectives, and also the many sights, pleasant and not so pleasant. Having spent over a year without the ability to visually process the world around me, has really given me a tremendous appreciation for the ability to see, period. Yes, I'm still insanely frustrated. That I can't drive, but am still holding out hope, that won't always be the case. Only time will tell.

After a ridiculously busy week, my Dad arrived around 730 Friday eve. We zipped over to Boves, for tasy plate of pasta. It has a very Dinerish ambiance, but they specialize in pasta dishes. I was so pleased, to go there because when're he visits, we always hit the same 5 or so restaurants, and there are so many fantastic places, that are generally pretty reasonable to check out. Trying to break the grain here.

Saturday morning, we intended to hit the road for NYC, but I had dropped the ball in terms of planning anything, so, we headed straight to New Jersey, had dinner at an old family haunt of my dad and his brothers. The next day, we reconvened at my Uncle Stu's 50th birthday party. I never really got to closely know my dads side of the family, and while they've all been really supportive of my injury and progress, it's really difficult to envision, going to a large gathering, family, or not, where you don't personally know people, it can be somewhat intimidating. I had intended to wear my christmas atrocity outfit, but chickened out, a) because it wasn't a holiday party, it was a surprise 50th bday party for my uncle Stu, and, because I didn't reallly have a feel for the crowd, and felt nervous about standing out more than I already do. Admittedly, I tend to not give people the benefit of the doubt, and it kind of, well, bit me in the ass, because, people were very open, and welcoming. Several people approached me, and told me that they had read the blog, back in the days when Sean was telling

my story to all of you. And speaking of, I've thought of him a few times on this trip, mainly because the last time I was down this way, I was with him, and we passed his hometown on the highway. Weird, when things you work so hard to not think about, or personally address, come up and 'bite you' when you least expect it. Totally unpleasant, as I also met my cousin, who is about my age, for the first time too. Growing up, I never really had any opportunity to connect, or meet that side of my family, because my parents didn't really want anything to do with one another. Thankfully, they've resolved some of their issues,
and somehow managed to work together, in my best interest, when I ended up fighting for my life, Ive always felt that everyone did an amazing, and tremendous effort into coming together to support me, which I am unbelievably grateful for. It's like you don't realize hoy fortunate you are, until something profanely horrendous happens to you. As, I look back, and read my words, I feel they can be taken multiple ways, but my intent behind those words is only that I can't believe how supportive people were then, and often still are today.
Well, that's my weekend in NJ, now I'm back in my hometown, hanging out with my mom.
She's had unrelenting misfortune, or difficult sequence of events in the past few years, in dealing with her only daughters brain injury, losing her dad, having a seriously long-term relationship end, enduring chemotherapy and a mastectomy from breast cancer. She's getting back on her feet, so I'm super proud of her, but crazy jealous that her rehab. Is so much quicker than mine. I love being home to support her, but it hurts so much to watch her struggle, and get frustrated with the amount of time it takes to do things. I totally understand that, because I take a eternity to anything physical. Even writing, I think a million times faster than I can write it down, so even blogging takes multiple hours, which sucks, but I. Just have to tell myself the more I do, the more I do.
Yesterday I went with my mom to go check out her options for going to a gym, to do some PT, and help her rebuild some muscle. Of course the PT office at the gym was closed, so she headed to Xmas party with her co workers, while I stayed at the gym. After. 2hrs had passed I was so incredibly hungry, I couldn't function. My mom picked me up, and announced that. I had a teeth cleaning appointment. It took me couple moments to realize I had just changed dentists, and had this done recently, but I still had to go. Back to the office, so my mom could get hers done. I, unfortunately get somewhat irritable when I'm hungry, and demanded food, as compensation for waiting. Looking o home. It's still very comforting, and I appreciate my roots so much more now".
Today, I was soo excited to see my closest friend of all time. I feel so lucky to have the friends. And family that I do. I forget that occasionally when I'm back in Vermont, because I have support there, but it's not nearly as extensive as it is when I'm home. It's like a constant. Joyful stream of visitors this morning. My mom and I made pancakes and bacon, then her neighbors stopped by, then he home health muse, then my friend, who just came home from fantastic French horse and farming adventures. I was so envious, listening to her tales of life abroad with horses, but very happy they had such wonderful adventures, and even happier to see her again. While walking down the road, we got close to the river I heard someone call my name. I peered into an old lot with a camper, and recognized an old friend from childhood, who'd, apparently decided to. Return to the homeland to settle down. It was really fun to catch up, and see an old face from childhood. We both used to get dragged to her stepfathers auctions, and. Do our best to cause random annoyances, like switching tags, and misplacing things. Looking back, I'm sure that was insanely annoying for. The adults running things. I don't prefer to remember. Myself as the little devil, I apparently was. It's funny how you can always count on family. And friends to remember your finest and not so finest moments. Happy Holidays to whomever reads this! Wishing you a very joyous and happy. Holiday season! Thank you for your support!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Finally Friday...

. I woke up crazy late, just missing my friend who I'd made plans with to pick me up for brain injury support group, bonus, I'd also forgotten to charge my phone. As soon as I was awake enough to realize the absurdly late time that it was. I left my apartment to walk across town, to the meeting. I. Was 3/4 of the way there, when I heard from behind me, "Courtney! I am so mad at you! I just went to your house, bla, bla, bla. It was the gal whose Iucky enough to get paid to put up with my crap, and make sure I'm carrying out my random tasks that I'm supposed to carry out each week to get off the waiver program. Naturaly, I don't always respond kindly to being prompted to carry out tasks that I rarely have a vested interest in, in the first place. I didn't. This is a grat thing, but I've always had trouble appreciating it. I didnt loose the ability to look after myself, it's more to me like I forgot how, and now that I have a team of people, with whom I largely disagree,yo help me get there, wherever there is. it's becoming ever so infuriating. I'm being encouraged to just get over the hump, by basically placating the program, until, I'm 'released'. In theory, this sounds plausible, and more time effective, although, now that I'm exercising my right to express my thoughts, I seem to be having a hard time not expressing anger, disappointment, vulnerability, resentments, etc. I'm trying not to step my own toes, and still express my criticism in a constructive manner. Not really a talent I posess. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
Moving on, I finally made it to support group, which was awesome today, because the facilitator, Anna, had lined up a somatic specialist to give us a more clear ,perspective on how the brain communicates with the body to carry out movement processes. I was very interested in listening to this speaker, and was pretty upset with myself for having missed half of the presentation. I more or less got contact information, and came away with an trest in pursuing this type of therapy. There is such a resource of more holistic forms of medicine in this area, I just wish it was recognized by state and federal funding sources.

After support group I wanted a mocha, so I got my little caffeine fix, and then we headed back to my apartment to take care of some of the tasks I have profound difficulty getting myself to do. Today, this meant finding an application for my iPad thatbwill ding, and remind me do whatever I'm supposed to get done. Honestly, I don't see myself using this tool. I'm sure it's very helpful and convenient for certain people, but in my little world, I'm not interested in carrying around a prosthetic piece of equipment to reminding me to do random things. In the world I want to live in, and used to live in, you gained from the things you did well, and in a timely fashion, and you suffered from the mistakes you made, but you also learned from those mistakes, by having to figure out how to pick yourself up after you crashed and burned. These programs don't have that capacity. Someone always intercepts whatever I'm doing to 'save' me from whatever disasterbIm about to cause for myself. This is helpful in the moment, but is actually harmful in the long term, because I wasn't able to realize it for myself, and then Ill always need to depend on someone else to bail me out of my problems. Awesome.

Oh, look, I'm still ranting...
After support group, we had a fantastic outing to goodwill, to hunt for tragically atrocious holiday outfits, for respective holiday parties. Some of my friends from college throw an ugly holiday sweater part every year. I must admit, I'm pretty pleased with my find of a red sweater with what is more or less discernible as santas face, holding up a mug of a frothy beverage. This is quite appropriate for this crowd, although, I returned to my apartment with my find, pretty pleased, and my roommate offered me a sweater, that was exactly what I had been looking for, with an embroider christmas scene on it. So ugly, it hurts to look at it for too long, because there is so much detail. I have a difficult choice to make now...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting through the week...

Never a dull moment these days... My week started off, with me arriving at my internship 3 hrs late because of miscommunication (what else is new). And some intriguing conversation following a spiritual chanting group Ive been attending. Tuesday was my psychologists app, which I've already gone into enough detail, with my frustrations regarding that part of my week. Tuesday eve. Is photoshop class. Wednesday was meeting with my case manager at 9, followed by a meeting with the woman who oversees my work exploits, to discuss how I want to proceed, and to finally orchestrate the correct paperwork, in the correct sequence, so that I might finally see theb$5/hr paycheck from voc rehab, I'm apparently supposed to be getting. Oh wouldn't it be nicer. I hope were finally on the right track, but I'm not holding my breath after 3 months. The experience in itself is priceless. To have endured 3 painstaking years in a physical state where professionals just weren't able to accertain the fact that mind was actually viable, just the operating mechanisms to express it were out of order. It was by no means in great shape, yet still vastly more intelligent than It was ever given credit for. And then there's the fact I most often give other people the benefit of the doubt. If there's a problem with something, I would venally accept the blame, as I didn't realize everyone makes mistakes. After so many days of your disconnects, failures, and weaknesses being pointed out to you repeatedly, I can't not assume it's an unusual pattern. Everyday, something is a struggle, but I'm finally putting prices of my old self back together, and had my ah-ha moment, when I realized that no one has perfect days, where all cylinders are firing in the correct sequence. In hear day in and day out, that these programs are onl here to help me ge back to being a self sufficient person. Instead of a clear path from A to B, it's quite possibly the most mind-glowingly, I'll-conceived, haphazard path ever conceived. Why because the w
Apparent way to fix a problem, is just to cover it up, and possibly pretend it's no longer there. And people wonder why were facing such economic devastation right now? Curious? Not really. I'm probably repeating myself, but I can use my 'get out of jail free card' because I have a brain injury. Oookay, I'm clearly still up in arms, look out world...
Well, today is Thursday, I got up and spoke to my dad on the phone. When zI ended the call, I was suddenly struck by a compulsive need to clean my apartment, anyone whose ever stepped foot in my little world, is well aware that I am not a neat freak, of any sort. My standards of cleanliness, equate to being able to see the floor, and trying not to have mold growing, at least visibly. Am I proud of this fact, no. Am I aware that everyone has different standards, yes. Do I try to maintain a passable standard of cleanliness to keep myself out of harms way (literally and figuratively) oh yeah.still crazy frustrated about being emotionally willed to live by someone else's standards. What's even worse is when the people who are paid to mind wash you into believing these guidelines (regulations). I say it that way a because they're presented as guidelines, but if you have any reason to counter these guidelines, you need to to prepare yourself with at least 3 definiveve reasons, as to why, specially you object, and alternative methods you propose to to provide yourself, and hopefully others with a more amenable solution. The real key trick, however, is to figure out how to present yourself, without coming off as egotistical, self-obsessed, or threateningly, in any way, shape, or form. When you challenge someone whose life's work is based on helping others, the last thing you want to do is make them feel like they're not appreciated. I wish that I had been able to put that together so, so long ago. Weirdly, it seems to be that simple. Why it isn't more clear in our society, is a quandary I may always have.
After my OT session, I needed to go grocery shopping. A typical week, I spend about $40 at hannafords. Which is not very much con siding I do my best to eat more natural or morganic simply because I'm not interested in finding out how some molecule that has been subatomically rearranged 9 zillion time is going to affect my body negatively. Based on my family history, I'm pretty certain I'll wind up with cancer at some point. I'm choosingvto put my efforts into taking care of myself now, to better my chances down the line. I hope it's that simple, even though odds are, it's not. We have created acworld that is too complex for our own good. Yard, Inkeep going off on these tangents, and forgetting about the actal story I was telling.
I do my best to attend a aqua fitness class at the YMCA every thurday. This is one of the best things I've done for myself, physically, it basically require my brai to coordinate my appendages when I tell it to. Which is not something I'm good at. The left side of my body responds way slower, and much more spastically, than my right. Being in the water, wearing a floatie, offers me resistance, and a much safer medium for me to try and move around in ways that I used to. One of the women, who often teaches the class, has taken a shine to me, and will directly ask me questions, offer suggesttions, and now everyone is really accepting of how I maneuver in their world, at least in that setting. Which is so cool, because sometimes all it takes, is one open mind. Who says were not herd animals? Ugh, case in point. That's all for now folks.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

So much to tell...

If only I could manage to blog everyday, I'd hoped to create a kind of journal from my posts, but I get so easily sidetracked, so here I am, after 3 weeks. My Thanksgiving was great, even though all of my preconceived 'plans' fell through, and when I realized how things would unfold, I shut down a little bit. I was really hoping to go home to Maine, with my stepdad, however, Id been warned ahead of time to not share the plans of possibly coming home, so it would be a surprise, and also so no one could be held accountable if plans were changed. I find these plans so frustrating, as Iv'e tried to make plans sand backup plans. I was very fortunate to receive another invite 2 days before and partook in a Flynn family Thanksgiving. My mom, her neighbors, who are like a second family, and my stepdad all showed up in a little camper van. I hadn't seen my mom since September, when she literally appeared to be on deaths doorstep, weighing under 100 lbs, every bone visible under her pale skin, as she had lost so much weight from how sick chemotherapy had made her. It was such a releif to her pushing her way back to her vibrant demeanor. I am unable to express how envious I am, of her rehab stint being as short as it was compared to mine, it's an utterly, disgruntling, frustrating experience, I sincerely wish that we could all be spared from rehab. Most days I am grateful to still be here, but I've spent the last 4/12 hrs picking myself up every time I fall, pretending that I'm not able to understand what's going on around me,, because no one actually understands what I verbally say. I feel like I live in a world where only the people who are actually willing to put the additional time and mental energy into what I say to them, are the people with whom I specifically make an effort to either maintain a relationship with, or in the case of my rehab. Professionals I put less effort into the asisstance they offer. However, I wasn't really aware that I had already been approaching certain team members this way, well at least to my own detriment. I feel like I'm constantly working myself, to get back to where I was 5 hrs ago. I think the biggest reason I prefer to hold everything in, is because I despise the reactions of shock, pity, and even sympathy. Although, in the cases where I do start to trust people enough to open up, it tends to be overwhelming for them, and me. It's easier for me to only look forward and not dwell on everything that I had and loved. My story has taken a different path than I'd ever imagined, but I need to embrace it and move on, because were only as good as what each of us does for ourselves and others.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Technology/life and I are ina serious disagreement

Well here we are Friday already. I was so pleased to start integrating my use of the ipad into my internship, at Essex CHIPS a youth/ teen center. I'm attempting to find accessibility options for their historic building, on 5 corners. I brought it with me on Monday, and it worked well, though, I was curious about why the screen looked a bit wiggly at the bottom. Its only noticeably to me on some backgrounds, but after 4 or 5 others had commented on it, I sadly relented, and brought it back. Supposedly, I'll get another one in a couple days, but technology is so frustrating in this respect, as you rely on t to store your schedule, and whatever info you'll need from day to day, and, if it breaks, or you have to bring it back, you lose everything. Luckily, I can figure most of it out from email, but I guarantee, I will miss something, and get myself into trouble next week. I guess I have anxiety about anticipating my own mistakes. FUNN (not) but the amount of pressure I feel as though I'm under to perform at the standards of my brain injury program is ridiculous. These programs are so concrete, which is particularly unhelpful to people like me, who don't think "inside the box". I need to do/learn things in a way that's meaningful to me, as an individual, otherwise, I wind up not being able focus, and feeling like no matter what I do, I can't move forward in my rehab. program. It's no wonder people get stuck on these programs. The 'professionals' running the show are all involved at the same time, stepping into each others outlined bounds, and I suffer because I lack the ability and willingness to follow each of the 4-6 individuals who control how and why I ' make the decisions I do. I just do not seem to be able to verbalize how frustrating it is to not be able to verbalize my intense frustration over lack of cohesiveness among my team o professionals. Individually, each person, has their own distinct merits, although, as a team, were an abomination. These programs are very single-tracked, and if you aren't able to take your pride, dignity, and objections off the table, while participating, or receiving 'assistance' it is nearly impossible to successfully emancipate oneself from federal -aid programs. Its impossible to relate to people in these programs, because each has a different difficulty, yet we all have very similar 'fixes' administered, and then suffer the consequences, when we are not willing or able to voice the truth of our opinions, for fear that one fault or serious change, will upset the delicate balance of each individual program. I've never felt comfortable expressing any of my opinions, positive or negative, as I learned early on that if you mention one opinion to one person, by the next day, all 7, are considering that comment you made, not realizing, anything you say to anyone will probably have a direct impact on your life in regards to how each person approaches you. While the attentiveness is commendable, I purely despise the fact, that each person will alter their methods of communication with me, if I open my mouth to voice a complaint, whether it be a trivial detail or a life-altering mistake. Also, the amount of guilt I infer, because I spoke up is unprecedented. I know its no longer a matter of just one persons disagreement, but it seems to change the dynamics of how each person approaches me if I say, for example, that one is too motherly, or one is particularly dense when attempting to summarize the thoughts and feelings I felt I had relayed to them. I have asked multiple time for a definitive list of tasks they feel I need to accomplish, to successfully 'graduate' from the program. I've also repeatedly had it thrown back in my face, stating that they need to be my goals, for the program to be effective for me. And, I unfortunately, am unaware of a way to diplomatically tell them to drop me. I'll either sink or swim, and yes, sinking is terrifying, but it's also the best way to learn, as hard, as it is. Well, I'm losing my ability to focus on what I'm wring, but I'll be back ...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Whoa, June already...

Can't say I had a very exciting Memorial Day Though, the past week has been amazing!! I had some family visiting last weekend, and then, was able to go back to my homeland of Mid-coast Maine. While Martha and James were here, our major event was Shelburne Museum. We enjoyed splendid bagel sandwiches for breakfast, and then meandered into Shelburne Mseum. Each time I go, the ticket purchasing area is in the gift shop. This drives me nuts, because it's such a distraction. You buy the tickets and then pick out stuff to bring home, before even making your way out onto the grounds. I was always the kid who had to see everything in the gift shop, and now, it's like it'll be there in a few hours. We meandered around seeing the old ship Ticonderoga', the carousel, the blacksmith shop, some incredible art displays, and even, baby fox kits, peeking out from underneath a barn. It was ab eautiful, old fashioned Vermont day. The next day, we embarked our journey back to the Maine-land, full of many detours from the massive flooding, the Northeast has sustained this spring. What should be a 5 hr ride took about 6 1/2. Not too bad give the ridiculous detours.
The past week was all about me trying to figure out what do with myself this summer. I've been indescribably bored, before my injury, I simply could not understand why people did many of the ridiculous things they do. Now that class is over, and I don't have anything meaningful to do, I'm going a little crazy trying to find something meaningful to do with myself. Yesterday, I ran for 4 hour, because I needed to get my ass off the couch, and well, once I went out and ran with my baby-less jogger. I did a foolishly large run. About 7 miles give or take. I saw a whole lot of town, and I shockingly recalled my way around the north end of town.
I'm often thinking of myself as someone who must seem desperate for a child, because I push the jogger around, and I do et the occasional raised eyebrow or questionable remark. Although, interestingly enough, some of my concerns about others perceptions of me were somewhat lessened as I caught glimpse of a middle-aged man with a 5 o' clock shadow pushing an odd looking doll around in a typical stroller. I remember glimpsing this fellow before, and wondering what kind of a story I might hear, if I could ever muster up the audacity to ask. Never have. As terrible as it appears to my conscience, I felt somewhat relieved.I eventually made it to North ave. and felt relieved as I took a break in Battery Park.Once refreshed, and much happier, from a bit of food and water. Ended up making a strange loop, as I went down to the water front, andon the bike path to where North Beach was. The beaches we were all accustomed to have disappeared since the water level is so high this year.
I was probably gone for 5-6 hours and slightly tender in my calves, but no worse for wear, and a huge sense of accomplishment
In other exciting updates, I'm now working with a 'job developer' to help me find my way back into the workforce. Last week, we met with Greater Champlain Head Start, and Today, with an after school teen center program in Essex. Tomorrow, it's the ECHO center, where I worked in undergrad for a semester. I literally could not be more excited about this prospect. Thursday, were also meeting with The Lund Center, which has a similar mission to the Essex CHIPS program, however, is within walking distance of my apartment. Ideal, in terms of transportation.
Well, that's all for now folks, I'll try to keep better track of this life I'm leading, especially, asI begin to do more.

Monday, May 16, 2011

If this actually posts, here is my video testiony, I recently did hor the class I took this spring. While I was making it, and editing out the bloopers, I was so embarrassed listening to myself. And then, I went back and watched all of Sean's videos from inpatient, and realized how much more intelligible I am. So here I am, in all my dorkiness.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

oh, the life I lead...

I think I last wrote just after Easter, and now,I've just finished the course I took this Spring, iin health-care policy and administration. I've really been appreciating these courses, as its been forcing me to re-integrate myself in a setting where I actually feel 'normal'. It's such a relief to be in a setting where I understand (for the most part) what is expected of me, and am not so insanely self-conscious. I do lack a certain self-confidence in regard to the lack of control I may have over my balance. in my body anymore, In addition,I can no longer trust actions or movement it may decide to enact, and catch me off guard. Yep, good times.
Well, now that I've finished whining about that, onto more exciting things that still frustrate. Sorry, it's just kind of day, it's raining, and school is done, so, I don't have anything to be doing.
It's funny before this happened to me I always wondered how and why people would get into drugs. I totally get it now, you ca only get turned down, or lose benefits so many times, before 'taking a mental vacation, from the idiot-holes who hold onto the puppet strings of your supposed well-being. I et that I should be appreciative of their help, and the assistance they are trying to provide. However, it's been 3 1/2 years of the same old story. Oddly enough, I keep making progress physically, all by myself, mostly because I've realized how snappy, and edgy I get if I'm not able to release any of my pent up anger and frustrations. Which leads me to my next story I have. Once again, about my jogger. I ran my first 5k with my dad on Mother's Day weekend. I used the jogger and it took 57 minutes. To be honest, I saw that time, and was pissed. In high school, a slow 5k was anything above 30 min. I'm often forgetting I need to have different standards for myself, and what I can get done. So, this week, I finished 20 minutes faster than last. However, I realized that I had taken a wrong turn when the lead runner passed me a second time, which meant had done a super short 2nd lap because I'm so sow he shoudve finished while I woul'dve been just starting my 2nd lap.
In school, I used to sit down, and write a 5-10 pg paper the night before it was due. I can't do that anymore, mostly because I type so so slowly. Which also makes life very difficult in terms of finding a job. I can use the speech to text software, however, my editing skills, aren't A+ because of my visual processing. Well, these are only some of my stories, but I'm done staring at this screen, so, that's all for now folks...


Thursday, April 21, 2011

If it's not one thing, it's another...

Yesterday, my case manager rang, and I was informed I needed to be at the hospital for 8 am today. Somehow, I managed rise from my abbreviated slumber. eat, and be dressed in time to be there for 8. Somehow, I was basically ready by quarter. There's a first time for everything. (sidenote about the help I refer to here. Many, if not most of accomplishments I've made, have been a looong process. often with subsntantial help from others, whether it be family, my team of various therapists, or friends).
Alright, getting back on track here, we (my aide and I) arrived promptly at 8, waited for about 2 minutes before my name was called. I was brought to an 'exam room' where I would normally expect to be seen by the doctor, although an asisstant eventually ambled in to have look holograms and track flashing lights in a box. After 3.5 hour of testing and waiting and more testing, I was seen by the actual MD around 11,and was for the umpteenth time, informed, that I have a limited field of vision, and when I questioned him and asked for suggestions or exercises I could do to improve my situation, the response I received? "No, I'm sorry, there's really nothing we can offer you. I then asked if he thought the exercises, I'd been given by my neuro-optometrist. He appeared genuinly confused, as if he was unaware that exercises, and the personal initiative to actually complete them existed. The thought that ran through my head, " so this is why health-care is so expensive, not to mention, why taxpayers see tax increases nearly every year for health-care. Upon leaving, I immeadiately tracked down the person who referred me to that office and an overly long message detailing my experiences, and then berated the entire medical community in this area I can't say I'm proud of myself for expressing my opinions in this case. as it falls on deaf ears.
We headed back down the hill, just in time for lunch, and after some quick grilled cheeses, we headed for the bank, as I had discovered my debit card was missing. On the way out, I misjudged the size of the curb, and went down hard onto my knees, slamming my face into the running board of the truck. After a 10 minute regrouping period, I was able to get up, actually get in the truck, with he, and nurse my wounds. I then got dropped off at the YMCA, as my plan had been to workout. I managed to carry-on and do most of my program, at an obcenely slow pace, and then cleaned up and went to the nearby grocery store to get a fe things before finding a bus home. The only good thing about day yesterday? Running into friends from college who I hadn't seen in a while, and then getting a ride home. My spirits were lifted. I ended my evening by going for a short run before it got too dark.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Golly, gee!

I always go to sleep with the best of intentions for the next morning, although, I almost always wake up with the least of intentions, and mentally beg my alarm to silence. This morning began this way, until I recollected my plans to meet with a potential work-site. I got up, ate and jogged 2 mi. with the infamous 'baby-less' jogger. It was a good morning to be out, nice weather, and the bike path wasn't busy. As I walked to the crosswalk, before the pathstarts, I started to awkwardly leer at the traffic zooming by. I imagine I had nervous written all over my face becauase a fellow runner stopped, and asked if I wanted some help, which I gratefully accepted. I later returned home and started getting ready for my day, when I looked in the miiror and discovered a narrow, though distinct goatee and 'stache' from the glass I had put my smoothie in. Very classy move to go for a run, trying to pay tribute to graucho marx, or whomever had that fashion of facial hair. My job developer, Michelle, who is presently approaching potental worksites to gauge their interest in hiring. We visited hunger free Vermont. Their mission was intriguing,and I loved the work environment. I would be open to trying somethings they had to offer, so, Ill keep my fingers crossed.
Next, in my my day I got drooped off at the Y, to put my swim stuff in a locker, and then, headed back to the streets to meet my vocational rehab. counselor from the state. 0n my way, a woman kind of gawked at me and said hello, and I also said hello, but quiclky moved on. About a minute later, the same woman ran up from behind me and asked if I was Courtney Blasius. I was totally stupefied, though managed to ask why she knew who I was. Her response? The promotional video for crotched mountain, the rehab ctr. I was in. I remember being part of that, but never, did I expect to be stopped and recognized from it. Weird, though awesome. On a similar note, this evening I was cutting through the city mkt. parking lot, and a woman stops her car, and again asks me by full name and says she recognizes me from this blog. Turns out she worked with Sean, way back when and followed the blog. At that point, it was a decidedly small world kind of day.
I then finished up my big day at the Y for a water aerobics class, which I generally feel slow and behind in, though, I'm getting more and more coordinated most times I go. So, there you have it, my big day out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Alright, alright, this is my first entry of the week, and I was focused last week. I definitely suffer from poor time-management skills. In general, this not a newly acquired fault of mine, since my brain injury, it has gone from a mildly annoying trait that people put up with, to a nearly weekly occurrence, that inconveniences health-care professionals, and general acquaintances. I seem to have gained a reputation as the 'typical' medicaid patient, that being someone doesn't particularly care about making an effort to appear at their scheduled appointments. Granted, I do have difficulty with this, I consistently confuse times and dates of app.'s, or show up early or late to activities because I confuse the times and dates of many things. Tonight, for example, I wnt to the water aerobics class, I go to nearly every thursday night at 6:30. For whatever reason, my brain decided it was at 5:30. I got there at 5 and arranged for a ride home around 7. My first inclination that I had misinformation about the times. I was in the pool. I hate that I confuse times so easily, and so often, Oh, the woe's in life.
I spent most of my week working on a paper for my health-care policy class. Such a reli3f to have that finished. More tomorrow about adaptive snowboarding.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Yay school

Had a productive Saturday, my roommate and I put in a thrilling 8 hr day. I was trying to organize my paper, which has many requirements for each particular segment. I'm finding I don't mind the research, or the actual writing itself, however, the process that i fashion. I'm always afraid I'll forget thoughts that are related, but don't necessarily remember to go and pull these random taglines out. Probably looking towards a similar day tomorrow. Yup, I lead a truly exciting life presently.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Finally Friday!

Alright, I'm getting ready to turn in for my end to this fabulous friday evening. My day was spent working on a paper for my healthcare management class, with a break at noon to meet with a job developer, who is hopefully "the" person to have when you suffer from extenuating services. Quite frankly, I walked into this appointment, because I've endured 2 years of friendly chats with vocational rehab, as I moaned about yesterday. I received answers which satisfied my doubts, and came home with a definitive "action" plan, and an appointment next week, so with anyluck, I'll soon enough be detailing my days as a person with gainful employment. Well, one can only hope. We came back to the apartment and put in a couple hrs on my paper, I fee like such a slacker, having others type for, I also feel rather exposed speaking my train of thoughts, and then composing a sentence with my piece-meal thoughts. After a couple hrs of that, I got a ride to the gym, where I stumbled upon a spin class. I interrupted the class and started riding. It was fantastic to actually be part of a pysical actity and not be totally self coscious about my ability to participate and keep up with the class. There was also an aerobic portion tat my bala could'nt hndle so I made an idiot of myself gracelessly climbing on and off the bike, and awkwardly trying to handle free weights and do lunges. After a couple reps I tried staying on the bike and prolonginging my aerobic workout. I got home and continued my workout at the gym in my apartment complex. I headed to the tradmill, since I wont be walking outside any ttime soon, with all of the snow and ice. Alright, that's enough of my gripping day. Reading my thought, they are appearing pedestrian, empty, and lacking any depth. Well there's something to work on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Well, it was a pretty standard day in terms of me not allotting my time properly. I have a massive paper due on Monday, and I type extremely slowly, and was also informed that aide perceives my ability to reflect and understand concepts to be sub par, and shared these thoughts with my brain injury team, minus myself. As horrified as I am, it did strike me as a wake-up call. Once I finished my initial tirade, it really struck me that I truly do not understand how to present myself to the world. I understand how my mind works, though lately it feels like a constant barrage of of thoughts and connections from my "previous life". I've ultimately concluded that while it amazing to feel like myself again, many good things and many bad traits have returned. For example, insecurities. For the longest time I was really unable wrap my head around the fact that I know suffer from a disability, that most people are llkely to notice. I had not the slightest inkling that the gravity of my situation would allude to such circumstances that I never could've imagined n in my forseeable future. Life certainly has an interesting book of tricks
To rapidly conclude my strangely detailed list daily activities, I decideded to take part in water aerobics class at the YMCA. One of the best decisios I've made all year. Though, seriously my fluidity in motion, balance improvements, and my reaction to step if I feel off balance, have all improved, and I have yet to get a black eye, though, I'm sure it's possible. I suppose I'll wraptp this up now and back to stressing about my paper.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wicked Wednesday...

Alright, I'm trying oh, so very hard to write everyday this week. For a recap of my day (I'm sure if anyone actually bothers to read this, that is not the most thrilling lead-in to a story, but, hey, ya win some, ya lose some. Yup, getting more captivating with ever word. My day began with deciding I wanted to make minestrone in the crock pot, while eating my breakfast and listening to my 'life skills trainer' read me the bill I've chosen to review and critique for the health care policy class I'm enrolled in. Probably one of the most productive mornings I've ever had. If you know me, I'm not what is considered a morning person, and I dislike coffee, not the greatest combo, when I need to interact with others. Moving on, we finished the bill, I came up with a mess of questions regarding the bill, and then rushed out the door to meet with my vocational rehab counselor at noon, which, I, for the umpteenth time appeared to have the of transcribed incorrectly. Although, for once, I had not missed it, which was a relief, because, when you desperately want a job, and a state agent is supposed to meet with montly to evaluate your abilities, it reflects quite poorly on you, when you incorrectly tanscribe the date and time incorrectly, or better yet, forget to look at my calendar. And I wonder why no one will hire me. In other news, I have a new fairly crazy, but VERY exciting goal of running a half marathon this August. I'm relearning how to balance myself, so I presently run with a baby-less jogger. I n lieu 0f a baby, I have 10 gallons of water in it, for weight. I get to be referred to as babyless jogger girl instead of walker girl, which haunted me all last year. Was certainly worth it though, because I no longer need it these days.

Just another day

Another standard Tuesday:: horse-back riding was canceled due to the obscene amount of snow we got yesterday (18-23 inches). Next, I was informed that the adaptive yoga class I attend, was also canceled, for a similar reason, that being inability to leave the driveway. In lieu of the events I look forward to each Tuesday, I sent the first part of my day reading a new bill recently put out by the Vermont legislature, and their planned changes for the states health-care costs. I imaine this sounds completely mundane to most of you, however,as someone who receives state funded health care from 3 different sources, and still gets turned down occasionally, it is necessary in my case, and even gives me a leg-up in my education. and with any luck, I'll be able to more efficiently help others, having gone through the unbelievable hassle of the system myself. Well, lookie there, I've established one of my wierd little dreams, a uniform, just healthcare system for all. Well, that'll be the day. Moving on from my slight divergance there, I then went to speech, where I got to practice openly working into a conversation (with a stranger, the fact that I have a brain injury, and that my voice is a liitle difficult to follow at times. My initial reaction is a bit like, "boo-hiss, I'd rather not have to introduce myself, that way." For some reason, introducing myself as someone who's suffered a brain injury is waay outside of my comfort zone. Although, recently, I've become acutely aware of much I do stand out as a result f my disabilities, and ultimately decided I don't need to be judging myself for things I have no ontrol over, besides, the rest of my little world seems to have a handle ot. You've got to pick your battles.

Monday, February 21, 2011


Today is a snow day for me. Ordinarily I spend 6 hrs in class, though it's also UVM spring break. However, today's weather, which shut the city down. There was a red alert this morning prohibiting motorists from attempting to use roads, because the city was having difficulty getting to their snow removal equipment. Alas, I've been more than pleased to be holed up in the apartment.Well, I'm new to the idea of sharing my thoughts with the world, though here I am. My friends, family and therapists all say that looking back on the progress I've made is a really important part of moving forward. I am now 3 1/2 years into my rehab. It's extremely odd to me how long it has taken for me to realize the severity of my injury mentally. I've never been all that forthcoming with my feelings, and looking back all I can see is where voicing my thoughts would've benefited me vastly. Early on, tthose thoughts and opinions simply weren't available to me. Knowing that my opinions were being overlooked and or disregarded because of my inability to verbalize them has got to be one of the most fruSTrtrating experience one can endure. Add a loss of all motor ability, and a lack of clarity of speech and weclome to my world. My words here wont ever give justice to the anguish (in every sense of the word) that is endured. These past few month my brain has figured out connections to feelings again, which is great at first. Then, I get out in the world and am suddenly nervous about how strangers view me, and finding myself fuming when people talk over me, or less than tactfully close me out of a conversation, whereas, I barely even noticed or cared when others treated me with such disregard a few months ago. I'm not entirely sure how wrap this up, I guess to put things in my perspective, I sti have truely haneous days, many mediocre days, as well as the less often, though always revered amazing days. I never would've viewed myself as some who took things in life for granted. Looking back, my definition of taking life for granted was so skewed. I foolishly assumed that because I had put time and energy into learning something, I would more or less always have that ability. I now have to consider myself extremely fortunate that my brain still has the capacity to create new pathways. Let me tell you, coming around to a concept like that is slow painstaking work, but the only other option is lying around in a heap, always needing help. Let's face it, if you actually know, I don't really have to say, "why bother?" Well, on that charming note, I'm off to go flounder in the snow for a bit.