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Friday, April 22, 2016

Life, unedited

I was just going through old notes on my iPad, of which, there are over 100.  Some are things I wanted to research, to do lists, and many unfinished blog posts/writing ideas.  I easily have just as many draft posts on my blogger app.  My problem isn't that I'm not writing, I am, though, they've gotten darker than I ever intended.  Once I go to that darker place in my mind, my writing doesn't recover, to spin it favorably.  There are so many awful thing in life, it's all about balance.  Learning how to deal with, and accept my life now, has not been easy.  Neither is admitting that.  Frankly, I've written this blog to remind myself of all the wonderful things I do have in life.  Although, I find that as more time passes, I'm no longer satisfied with pursuing adaptive recreation, as a chief source of activity.  I'm closing in on 9 years post injury, and find myself facing this ever growing fear that I'll never find my way back.

The crazy thing is, the more time passes, the more understanding I gather of the impact of my injury.  In the early years, I was very much like a young child, being that I wasn't able to understand the gravity or impact this injury would have on my young life.  In the rehab hospital, Sean once asked me I wanted to drive. I did, but I was about 90% blind at that point, which I now realize is something I rarely talk about.  No one could understand me then, and I was never alone, but I still remember the first thing I recognized visually.  My knees, in the bathtub.  My mom was there, but I'm not sure she even understood why I was so ecstatic, in that moment.  Very slowly my world began to piece back in.  I recently had an MRI, on looking. At it with my neurologist, he said, 'See where it's dark?  That's your visual cortex, I'm amazed you see at all, let alone as well as you seem to.'  I've always understood that I'm now visually impaired, but hearing that was really tough to swallow.  I'd gotten so used to steady improvement, in nearly every area, in the first 5 years, that finally having a doctor say something that definitive about my injury, was like a kick in the gut.  The past 8 years, has been, 'I don't know' or 'It's possible...'  Early on, it was miraculous that I survived, but now, this is my life, and I feel as if I'm barely on the edge of understanding it.  More frequently, I have had bizzare realizations, like mow impaired my perception of emotions had been, which, frankly was great.  Or every day things, like how much easier keeping my apartment clean is, if I keep up with it daily, or little social things, like responding to messages in a timely fashion, so I don't forget about them.  That's the  other thing about my vision, my visual memory is now terrible.  I'm usually okay withe things I see, and hear, but just seeing, like faces, pictures, directions, posters, it's all lost on me, as soon as think about something else. It might resurface, but I can't count on it.  Hence all the notes, I then forget to read...

Now that I'm finally beginning to understand my life may look like this, from here on out, maintaining my positive energy, and enthusiasm, has been more of a struggle.  On the upside, I always knew the day would come, where I'd have to learn to understand, and accept my differences.  Now that I've been struggling with that, it's way too easy to give in to the dark, soul wrenching disappointment.

I know life still has its beauty, strength, and motivation, but feeling like Humpty Dumpty, who fell off the wall and shattered into a million pieces, isn't a thought I can shake, now.  Slowly, way too slowly, I'm getting put back together, but the emothion is catching up to me now.  Time to get back on the bike more, keep running, and attempting to stay busy.  Being outside, has always been my way out.

Last year, I applied for accommodations, on the GREs, the entrance exam for most graduate programs.  My ultimate goal is to study public health, work towards changing our countries demented public health care programs.  I wanted to get my graduate degree in public health, as soon as I managed to pay off my undergraduate loans.  Unfortunately my cardiac arrest, and resulting brain injury postponed that goal.  Then, I had hoped to work internationally, and learn about healthcare from a more worldly perspective.  Although now, exploring third world countries, and their healthcare management systems, just seems out of reach, in terms of remaining safe.  Back to the GREs, my accommodations were denied because I didn't have current medical evaluation, outside of 2 doctors letters documenting the scope of my needs.  They wanted definitive testing, which I had get a doctor to prescribe, and later evaluate the testing.  In January, I did that.  The evaluation indicated that accommodations are necessary for me to have a chance of scoring remotely well, but I'm still pretty angry about the expense, and frustration of the whole experience.  I submitted the results a few weeks ago, and have to wait 6-8 weeks to find out if I have fork over another $150 to actually schedule a test date.  When I think about hpthe fact I'll also have to create a way to pay for school, without the help,of federal aid, it almost seems too daunting.  My undergraduate loans were forgiven, due to the severity of my I disability.  Although, there is a clause where one cannot borrow again, without reaqquiring the original debt.  Oh well, one step, at a time.  I can't seem to find employment worthy of a high school grad, let alone a college grad.  I have worked unbelievably hard to be where I am today, though lately, it's been more, and more difficulty of stay positive,  because each time I succeed at one thing, something else kicks me back a few steps.  I want to look at the world, and see all the opportunities again.  I was pretty good at it for quite a while, and then I hit this wall, and my goals began to seem less, and less possible.

I don't enjoy being open, and honest about the crap I face in life.  But, then I remember we each have our own struggles, no matter what our circumstances, and that I really have to thankful for where I am today, because, as slow as rehab is, fate brought me back.  Not exactly how I would've liked. Then again learning about, and participating in adaptive recreation programs, has been a true gift.  Ive had to learn to accept that I can't participate in most our door activities, with out the help, of an able bodied person.  That's been hard to accept, at first, but if it's the difference between participating in something I love, or not.   Because I'm too stubborn to accept help, I had to force myself to accept that my vision will likely be a limiting factor for many of the things I love.  What I see, isn't the problem, it's the delay I have in processing those images.  Sitting writing, is fairly normal, because there's no movement.  Out in the word everything is moving, and the extra second, or two, I need could bedisasterous, and has been if I don't slow down, and be mindful of my environment. On the upside, my hearing has attempted to compensate.  Which is amazing, consideringmy younger selfs enjoyment of hard rock, and some heavy  metal concerts.  So fun:)

In conclusion, I'm still fighting my way towards my goals, despite consistent frustrations.  Although, if it was all easy, reaching our goals wouldn't be such achievements.  And that's my wisdom for today...



6 comments:

Dad said...

Hmm
I'm a student in this world :)
You, I think are a teacher... The wisdom is apparent. It may not feel like that to you, but others will see your message and benefit:)

Those things that are worth doing are worth fighting for! Setbacks are normal, conviction and motivation not necessarily.

We are all human... We all have are strengths and weaknesses. Intuition is ignored way too often.
Finding our passion and living through it is the key to beginning to enjoy and have a fulfilling experience on this planet.

Rock on :))))

Ash said...

Arizona!!!

Email...

Marti said...

I love what your Dad just said, Court. And I love what you said in this blog - take everything one step at a time.

I think your feelings of frustration and disappointment are completely normal and certainly understandable. The fact that you're feeling your emotions in a more direct and powerful way, I think, means that your brain is continuing to heal and make the new connections that were lost. You have to go through this process, as we all do, in order to evolve.

Keep pushing! I love you!!

Aunt Marti

Julie/Mom said...

Such insight....love reading your thoughts, the good ,the bad and the ugly. All are valid....
Love you the most!
Mom

Patricia Mcdonald said...

Everyone already said what I am thinking! Just keep writing, please???
Love,
Patricia

Allie said...

I remember the days of sitting at Spaulding, and you have come so far. I'm so proud of you. Whatever happens.

Allie