Kara Swanson's Brain Injury Blog

March 26, 2018

All Over Again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — karaswanson @ 3:21 pm

I think I mentioned in a blog or two before this one how I have been dealing with the dizzies, vertigo, imbalance and motion intolerance now since before Christmas.

I’ve been to a clinic, hospital, three specialists, hearing tests and five weeks of physical therapy.  From a crystal in my ear canal to finding out I also have an eye component to the problem and maybe a neurological one.  Got new glasses.  Now waiting for a neuro-ophthalmologist to see me.  Hoping for an MRI.

Already I have recognized how similar this feels to when I was brain injured.  I don’t have answers for people who tell me they’ve never heard of this before.  I don’t have answers for why it doesn’t happen when I sit or drive, only stand and turn and walk.

What started out as “surely a virus” and not really a big deal has turned into something that is scaring me some.   Out of the four or five somethings it could be, there are a couple that are serious.

So…when everyone went back to work after the holidays…When the time between diagnostic steps began to feel torturous…I recognized that it was that time again like so many of us have experienced with our brain injury recoveries.

Time to get busy.

When we are brain injured, or suffering anything, really, we tend to want our doctors to fix us up and we tend to put off everything until we are fixed.

When we suffer more complicated conditions, it’s up to us to get on with things so that we don’t fall too far behind in our lives.

When it comes to cures and comes to healing, my theory is always to welcome it, invite it and encourage it with no time component.  But, in the meantime, we have to force ourselves not to simply wait for that healing and fixing.  We have to get busy in the meantime.

I am researching my current condition all over the Internet and, more importantly, I’m really getting to know what is going on with me.  By that I mean, I’m paying attention to what makes me better and what triggers my imbalance and dizzies and full spins.

Whether it’s your brain injury or mine…whether it’s your flu or my dizzies…our bodies and our lifestyles make each condition very specific to us.

Recovering is different from healing.  I know now that I am not healing like I thought I might so, until I can get this thing fixed, it’s my job to recover.  Does that make sense?

Right now I can’t even take ten steps without feeling like I’m falling over my skis.  I find that I start walking like I’m on a boat, side to side, instead of forward.  I can barely walk twenty steps and I need to stop.  It’s dizzying and exhausting and sickening.

Today I told myself that I need to reteach my brain to trust my steps and not freak out and send the dizzy symptoms so I forced myself to walk several sets of more than I’ve been walking for months now.

Doctors have hundreds of patients each week.  Therapists see hundreds more.  We can be tempted to wait and wait for the diagnostic course to be finished but, in many complicated cases, that can take six months or more.

In the end, they are our bodies.  Our brains.  Our days.  While we are smart to wait to learn from our doctors and tests, we are also smart to learn from our bodies and our lifestyles.  I think it’s great to read and to do research and to gather.

But, at some point, it’s up to us to start solving our problems.

For me, I’m learning to not look up when I take a dish or mug down because it sets off full spins and makes me dangerous.  I’m measuring my turns.  I’m using furniture to steady me.

When everyone I know goes off to work now, I am utilizing my time when I can sit and not be dizzy.  I’m writing another book.

What problems can we still solve?  What problems are you solving now?  After six months with a brain injury or a year or five?  What’s left?  What are the challenges, still?

We can always get better.  No matter the windows of recovery that they tell us are closing.  We can get better at ourselves and our lives.  We can replace the waiting with the advancing and the improving and the new.

 

What problem are you working today?

 

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