Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting Lost on the M trail is easier than it looks...

Today, I went for a hike with my friend Elaine from massage therapy school. We hiked up the M, taking our time, and decided when we got to the ridge just to trundle on up to the top of the second little peak there.

Since I had all my appointments on Thursday, I've been feeling much MUCH better, Friday was an incredible day, Saturday was harder, as I had a lot of errands to run for Bodhi's birthday, so the day got harder and harder, then 14 five year olds and their parents came over for a couple of hours, which was fun but exceptionally overwhelming. (photos coming soon)

I spent most of the party internally coaching myself through the chaos... one of the things that I used to be pretty good at which I am really struggling with now is keeping a train of thought when there is a lot of noise or interruption. That, of course, never EVER happens when you have 14 five year olds running through the house.

Cassy, babysitter of doom and another friend from Massage Therapy, came to the party and was lovely enough to run to my rescue, hiding skelleton pieces, playing games with the girls, and handing out spiked cider (with pomegranete liquour and cogniac! wheee!) to the adults.

Our good friends the Hustons stayed after, and Mama Jen cleaned up my entire kitchen while I sat in the playroom trying to get my mind to be still.

This morning, I woke up with an even worse headache (I've had one since the accident, but it has really intensified lately), and I found myself wishing wishing for a day of therapy appointments, because I want to feel good again!

I met Elaine out at the M in the morning, as I said, and we hiked up to the second peak, I think its about 7 or 8 miles round trip. It was GREAT to get out there on a long long hike, to be way up high and watch the rain moving across the valley.

My balance is still totally whacked, which makes me worried, I lost my balance several times on my way up the trail, and had some LOVELY vertigo once we were standing on the top, which never happens to me on rock. On the way back down, I had the odd experience of thinking that we had turned down off the ridge and were heading down the main M trail, when we came out of a clearing and I realized that we were just NOW at the end of the ridge and turning down the trail. This kind of disorientation is bizarre to say the least. We hiked on again for a while, and I had that lost feeling one more time before we got to the fork that takes you down the steep way or over to the M itself. I recognized the fork and from there on felt fine, but definately felt my body on the way down.

The stress and distress of feeling lost on such familiar terrain was something I had to breathe through and actively let go, I could feel the physical manifestations trying to take over, with my headache increasing like crazy and my body getting tight and tense. When we got back to the car, my legs were shaking, and I felt like crawling in the back of my truck and just laying there. I wanted to curl up in a ball and rock and cry for a few minutes, but I hugged Elaine, and tried to breathe through it, let it go into the wind, found the feeling of some raindrops on my face, which made me sane enough to get to the Daily Coffee Bar on Rousse, where I thought, perhaps, a latte might help.

I've been off caffiene completely for a week now, so I thought it might kill the headache, no luck there, but being in the Daily made me feel warm and loved and well fed, and on I went to home, where Tom had spent the day cleaning after the party.

I went into the playroom (after medicating and then counting the minutes for the meds to kick in) and then embarked on the most therapeutic thing I can do: a transformer rebuild.

The transformers had been trashed by the kids at the party, so Ethan and Bodhi and I systematically sorted the parts by color and type, and slowly rebuilt them all. My speech therapist says this is a great activity, and it was terrific. I sort of Rain Man'd out in the corner and just worked on Transformers for a few hours, and then felt much better.

I've had to coach myself through every activity this evening, answering emails and working on scheduling, but I got through it all. I have my first midterm tomorrow, but I am going to prepare for it by going to bed early and hoping for a passing grade, I'm afraid of putting any more stress on my brain tonight!


Liat said...

Wow, great post, Kate! Keep up the incredibly hard work, and good luck on your exam tomorrow!

a said...

Thanks, Liat! I can't tell you how awesome it has been, I have gotten so many great emails and facebook messages from people who have been through either Traumatic Brain Injury or other similar LIFE issue; I feel like there is an army behind me, or more like they are actually marching along with me.

Its awesome. I never ever would have guessed.

You have been so lovely and supportive during this, I really appreciate it. Thanks again for understanding when I have to hang up on you because my brain hates the phone right now!