Today's title is on of my least favorite 'endearing terms my stepdad, often mocked me with, as a teenager. Unfortunately for me, I still haven't learned to move myself more gracefully, as well as the fact my brain injury has required me to relearn to move. While, it can be super frustrating, to not gaily move around, at least I'm still progressing. But, I also rely on anti-seizure medication to a) stop my brain from giving me grand maul seizures, and b) keep me from twitching, and putting my face in the cement (always helpful). I know that my movement patterns these days are far from normal, but, they work, I can walk, and I run so much, mainly so that I will (hopefully) have the opportunity to move myself more easily, and fluidly. I'm so used to moving awkwardly now, that it's easy to forget that I move differently, that is, until some brave soul inquire about it, or I forget to take my meds (which is most often the case). Being dependent on meds has never really been my style, but, I'll take a pill over seizing any-day. I haven't actually had one in three years now, (Yay!) but, I left my apartment this morning, not having taken the kepra, and, was fine, in support group, not shaking, or unbalanced. Only did I realize my forgetfulness when I unlocked my door. I stepped up, to get in and my foot began wavering, and next thing I kew, it was like slow motion fall. This is not an unusual feeling for me, I always have this ability to recognize I'm unstable, and will fall. My problem is, that I don't listen to it, because if I did, I probably would be a fat, depressed lump on the couch, watching other people lead cool lives on tv. And, I don't know about you, but that is not one of my life aspirations. But, anyways, I just had one of those infuriating moments, where I realized I'd forgotten to take my meds, and then fell over immediately in my doorstep, on the sidewalk. So graceful. I picked myself up, and slinked into my apartment, feeling ashamed. But, as soon as shame hits, fury is in its footsteps, because I'm not ashamed of myself for falling, or anything else, at the moment...
Shame is a very bizarre emotion, when I think about it. I know, I think that, because I avoid it at all costs, and people who have a penchant for bringing shame upon others. No thank you!
If I had to find one thing that I can say I appreciate about having a brain injury, it has to be how much more perceptive and more able to deal with emotion appropriately, I've become. I would never stick up for myself in a situation before, as it took me a while to realize what was happening, if I did at all, until someone pointed it out. What I like about doing this on my own, and getting myself into precarious situations, is that I always learn from them. It works well for me, especially since people generally assume, I'm about 10 years younger than I am. This may enable me occasionally, but, for the most part, I find it annoying. Like when I get asked if my parents are available to sign a waiver so that I can have eve surgery, or rent a kayak. Or, my favorite, when I'm waiting for the bus, and a stranger lets off some steam on a nearby couple I'd been talking too, for not 'helping their 'daughter' get on the bus. All I could think to say in that moment was, 'Don't assume, it makes an ass out of you, and me.'. Although, I can't ever bring myself to speak in a confrontational situation among strangers. They can't understand me, which just makes it worse, and more embarrassing for me.
While I'm thinking about being unintelligible, I'll go off for a bit on my frustrations with getting speech therapy. A few months back, my physiatrist wrote me a script for The Luce Center at UVM. The train speech pathologists, and are very forward thinking. I went there in 2010, and had a great experience, as far as therapy goes. They, however, do not accept Medicaid, and tell me to inquire again in the fall, in case grant funding HS available. I'm so frustrated because right now, I feel like my biggest disability, is my inability to clearly communicate my thoughts. It might as well be August, so by now, fall is just around the corner. But the fact that it took me so long to get that answer from them is infuriating. And to have it basically be," you can't pay the way we'd like, so we can't help you right now," is mind-boggling. In this situation makes me ashamed I have a degree from UVM. I spent a lot if money on an education that fostered community inclusivity and well-being, and then they turn their backs on me because I have state funded health insurance. And UVM is not a private school, it's a state school. I realize that health care politics are mind boggling, but, I'm unable to draw a conclusion about why my state-funded healthcare won't get me services at a state school. I don't want to waste time and energy on getting services I clearly need. It's injustice enough that my heart stopped because I took Yaz, and now I have to fight to obtain services, to overcome the disaster that event created for me. we can all agree I need, to be as effective and purposeful out in the world, as we all do. I'm ashamed to be American right now. This is not the land of the free. This is us the land of; 'if you can pay, than you shall be set free'