No more tears

The things that were so easy to do before the accident have now become incredibly difficult. I have shed many tears over this but it is time I stopped crying. It is what it is and tears will not change a thing. Instead I will focus on the fact that I can at least do them somewhat.

For instance, I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I can no longer write in the composition notebooks that I so love to use as journals. My writing is off (some letters are upside down) and trying so hard to write in something I cannot see properly is ridiculous. I have retreated to using Scrivener now to keep track of my life. I miss my journals terribly but at least now I can see what I’m writing and can keep track of my days. Should my vision improve (I really hope that it does) I will return to my beloved notebooks.

My dogs have realized that I cannot determine when they are out of food and water and that I forget to check. They have become quite creative in telling me when their bowls are empty. Lily (my big dog) pushes them over to me and gives me a helpful nudge as if to say “hey, need a little water down here.”

All of the animals have been very patient with me. The dogs insist on remaining close. Lily is currently laying at my feet while Angel is curled up in a chair nearby. I discovered Angel’s current spot when I tried to prop my feet on the chair to avoid hitting Lily. I made her yip unfortunately but I apologized.

Even the cats have joined in on watching over me. Loki (my black cat) now dashes into the house and refuses to leave my side even though his food bowl is outside but the other two don’t fool with me much unless their bowl is empty. When this happens they mob me whenever I let the dogs out with their demands to be fed.

I am so very grateful that I have my little laptop. Thanks to the changes I have made in the settings I can actually read a bit and I close my eyes when I type to rely on muscle memory. Thank goodness I learned how to touch type! I would be quite lost otherwise. As it is, the screen is too small for me to format my latest book for print so I have sidelined that project for now. If this is forever I will save up for the iMac with the really big screen that I was eyeing before the accident. That one should be large enough for me to view a whole page at a time in order to properly format my book and the ones I will write in the future.

Screenshot 2015-08-30 13.16.54
A view of my screen

Oh no, my friends. I am not going to quit. I have been writing since before I knew how to read (I would copy the pretty letters to make “words” back then) and I will continue to write even now. I will just have to learn to be patient with myself as this experience makes me stronger.

But for now I need to dry my tears and keep moving forward. I have been told by my doctor that most of the problems will heal with time—all I have to do is wait. In the meantime I will dry my eyes and do what I do best: survive.

What adaptations have you made to overcome challenges? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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Walking fear

Despite my current challenges I refuse to become dependent upon others. I have been on my own for almost all of Katie’s life and I will continue to be independent for as long as I am still breathing. Because of this I have to deal with something that frightens me on occasion: going places.

Having lived in this small town on and off for most of my life I am quite familiar with the locations of various places from before the accident. This allows me to navigate using memory. I am forced to watch my feet constantly else I will trip. I wear flip-flops out of necessity because I need the tactile feedback my bare feet can give me. The thin soles of the sandals allow me to navigate rocks and other hazards because I can feel them easily through the thin sole. However, I jump and sometimes scream when something unexpected touches my feet because I cannot see what it is.

As I walk I try to avoid any hazards. When the ground before me is confusing I carefully skirt the area, aiming for the pieces of sidewalk or street that I can recognize. Sometimes (due to the condition of the walking surface) I am not able to determine a safe path. When this happens I do the only thing I can: I slide my feet along very carefully until I can reach safety.

To do this is quite frightening. My breathing quickens as my pulse beats a staccato in my chest. The kid asks why I breathe funny sometimes when we are walking (usually after making fun of my navigational efforts) but it will be a cold day in hell before I ever tell her why. There are some things kids do not need to know and my kid has no business learning that I am frightened of walking to the store. I would rather her think that I am just being silly instead.

Some day this will all be behind me and when it is I will look back on this post and laugh. Until then it stands as a testament to my journey.

What fears must you face in daily life? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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My First Face

I saw my first face today, my very first face since this nightmare happened. It was my doctor’s. He invited me to come as close as I needed to so that I could determine the color of his eyes.

They were the most beautiful brown I’ve ever seen.

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A Thank you to “The Rock” – Dwayne Johnson

In today’s post I want to publicly thank Dwayne Johnson, AKA “The Rock” for being such a wonderful role model for the children of single parents.

Mr. Johnson, my daughter has heard the stories of how your mother struggled during your childhood and how you do things for her now that you are successful. She approached me the other day to tell me about the Mother’s Day tale you shared on Instagram. Over the years she has watched me work multiple jobs to provide for her needs so the story resonated with her. She then informed me that when she becomes successful she wants to follow in your footsteps where your mother is concerned.

While my only goal in life is to see her happy, hearing those words brought a tear to my eye.

Thank you for being such an excellent role model. I appreciate you.

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Makeshift Salt Shaker

My salt shaker died some time ago. It had a metal cap that rusted through. I’ve been looking about for a shaker with a plastic top but have yet to find one that will suit our needs.

In the meantime I’ve decided to go makeshift. I purchased a disposable salt and pepper combo that is made of plastic and waxed cardboard. When the salt ran out (we use considerably more salt than pepper) I pried open the top and refilled it.

redneck salt shaker

It works.

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A tsunami is a wave that is caused by a disturbance far out in the ocean. They surge to the shore, flooding and destroying everything they encounter.

Tsunamis are not always made of water. A tiny little thing can cause gigantic waves to sweep through our lives, changing us forever. A silly box of cookies has created a tsunami in my life. Right now I am busy riding the wave that has resulted. I will not know the extent of the damage until this wave recedes.

And this is okay. As long as I can keep my head above the water I will not only survive but I will rebuild.

That is just how nature works.

Please share the stories of the tsunamis in your life. I may not be able to reply but I will read them and they will help me feel not so alone. Thank you.

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The Pillow Hack

After over a decade of service one of my favorite pillows finally decided to give up the ghost. It was horribly lumpy and my attempts to revive it only made things worse.

Since I wasn’t in the mood to splurge for another one I decided to look around my house for a solution. I took a soft blanket, folded it neatly, and inserted it into a pillowcase. It isn’t very fluffy, but for now it serves my needs.

What have you hacked around your house lately?

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Bad News and Facts

I have been informed by my doctor that it could take two years to heal from this. I have had a good cry so it is time to move on.

The Facts

These are not in any order. I will try not to repeat myself but cannot guarantee this.

  • There is swelling in my brain. The doctor gave me a pill for that.

  • My head tilts funny now and my eyes keep wandering off from what I want to look at. My doctor says that this should fade.

  • My head hurts all of the time now. Sometimes it feels like my head is going to explode and I wish that it would because it might feel better. The pill is supposed to help with this but it doesn’t.

  • The pill has improved my sense of taste and smell. I do not know if they were broken but I can sure tell that they work now!

  • The pill helps me to think a little bit clearer. Not much but I am pleased.

  • Light and movements really hurt. I wear dark sunglasses most of the time because of this. I try not to watch things move fast to prevent pain as well. Looking at my computer or iPad hurts as a result, but now that I can think a bit better I have an idea that might improve things. I just have to remember how to do it.

  • I forget to check my notebook for stuff I need to do now. I have adapted. I keep a list of essential tasks and info on a whiteboard that is stuck to my fridge. I sit near there so I see it to remind me of stuff. Since I am a bit absent-minded now I bought another whiteboard so that I can copy the data over every day, changing as needed. This helps with frustration levels because I would erase something to move it and then forget what I erased or something silly like that.

  • Writing hurts and is really hard. I compensate by working in very short stretches and reviewing often because I forget what I’ve written or what I want to write. I have been working on this post for several days now already.

  • Words seem to be coming a bit easier now. I think that the pill has helped with this. It is far from perfect but it makes writing and speaking easier.

  • My vision is messed up. I wonder if I don’t recognize people because I simply cannot see them.

  • I am going to be really pissed off if the vision thing is permanent.

  • I haven’t told my doctor about my vision yet. I can barely admit it to myself and I’m angry and I’m scared.

  • I have trouble swallowing things now. Sometimes I choke. I thought it was just me but I asked and the doctor said that this could be caused by the cookies.

  • I remembered the name of the doctor that my doctor introduced to me the other day. His name was Doctor Smith and I can remember because when I heard the name I saw him wearing a fez, a bowtie, and carrying a mop. I am very pleased that I remembered this.

  • I rest and sleep a lot. It helps me to deal with the pain. I am probably asleep more than I am awake these days but I do not keep track.

  • I spend a lot of my awake time writing notes to remind me of the things I wish to tell my doctor about. I keep a stack of index cards on the table to remind me to do this. I want him to be well informed so that he can fix me.

  • This post is being composed from my doctor’s notes. I could not remember what to tell you otherwise.

  • I write things funny now. I print instead of using cursive. Sometimes I write the letter “i” upside down so it looks like “!” and the word “to” comes out “2o.” I write the letter “L” instead of “T” and sometimes the letter “m” for “n.” I do not catch myself when I do this but I notice it when I edit. I was hiding this from people but I was tired and kept messing up my notes so I gave up and the doctor found out. I am fascinated by this but embarrassed as well.

  • I also spell things wrong now. I forget letters and stuff.

  • I spent $500 after the cookie attack and I do not remember doing it. The kid has a nice school wardrobe, plenty of school supplies and I even got some shirts for me. It would take brain damage to make me loosen my wallet (funny). I have been told by my kid that she tried to talk me out of the spending but I would not listen so she finally had to drag me out of the store. I wish I could remember doing this because I think it is funny, even though I am now broke.

As you can see, my life has become very interesting now but it is boring as well. I have minimized my life to the extreme so that I can cope with this. I am simply not able to function normally and I refuse to push myself. I want to heal and move on and the doctor says rest is essential.

Do not worry though because I will be just fine. Maybe a little bit different but I am alive which is all that really matters. My doctor is worried that I will give up but he doesn’t know me very well, does he?

I am sorry but I am getting really tired now so I am going to post this. I apologize for any errors and hope you understand. I have been working on this for days and days and I’m really ready to move on from this one. I will write more later.

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Irrelevant Posts

I have decided to delete some of my scheduled posts because they are now irrelevant. I left the ones scheduled that may benefit you though.

Hopefully this will ease some of the confusion.

Thanks for hanging with me.

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The other day Katie and I had to walk to the store. We had not been since BC (Before Cookies, hehe) and really needed some supplies.

While we were there this gentleman started talking to me. I started edging away because I didn’t know this guy and he was beginning to creep me out.

“Who is this dude?” I whispered to my daughter.

“That’s your nephew,” Katie said as she gave me a funny look.

I looked him over thoroughly and while the tattoo on his arm was familiar he was a stranger to me. I forced myself to approach him and just winged the conversation.

This makes me wonder about something. I’ve had people come up to me while going to the doctor that I didn’t know. They talked to me but I just wanted to get away because my “creep-o-meter” went off — you know, like the strangers who tell kids they know Mom to lure you into their car and disappear you.

Maybe I do know them but somehow forgot. This is a frightening thought to me. I’ve made a note to ask my doctor when I see him again. Maybe he will have some answers. Until then I will wing it and just pretend I know everyone while I freak out inside. I don’t want folks to think I’m stranger than they already do.

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book or make a donation today. Thank you.