Believe it or not, having a brain injury is not all fun and games. Let me take a moment to give you the rest of the story –
I’ve addressed this first point comically, I called it CRAM (Cognitive Random Access Memory – find that post here). The truth is, it’s exhausting. There are four personalities in my head:
1. “Therapist Jarrett” (The-Jar) – this guy is always telling me that there is certainly a more therapeutic method of accomplishing whatever it is that I have been be doing. You see, I’ve worked with A LOT of therapists; off the top of my head, I recall eight physical therapists, four occupational therapists, five speech therapists and three personal trainers. Every single one of those therapists left an imprint in my psyche (“Nose over toes” (occupational), “Slow and steady wins the race” (physical), “Sing along with your daughter” (speech) ).
EVERY time I stand up, “Nose over toes” rings through my head. EVERY time I engage in an activity, I have to remind myself “slow and steady wins the race.” EVERY time I’m in the car with my daughter, The-Jar gets after me to sing along.
The-Jar is a left hand Nazi. He’s constantly ridiculing me (“you could’ve used your left hand for that…”).
My left hand is painfully slow and pretty darn clumsy; tasks performed by that arm/ hand take a while, which upsets…
…2.” Taskmaster Jarrett” (Ta-Ja), this personality cannot be pleased; I can ALWAYS wake up earlier, make more preparations or find more efficient shortcuts. The-Jar always says, “Slow and steady wins the race!” Ta-Ja replies, “What in hell are you blabbering about? You just wasted 4.6 seconds thinking of such rubbish!”
These two personalities dominate my actions. Every movement has a purpose, be it for therapy or economy. When you see me doing something, Ta-Ja and The-Jar have carefully planned it out. Can it be done therapeutically? Can it be done any faster? Can I do something else at the same time? Adding to the commentary, but unable to take action is…
…3. “The Jarrett that was” (TJTW) likes to jump in to analyze how things should be or what I would be doing. This personality is the “Debbie Downer” of the bunch. He is all the more frustrated that he can’t make me do. TJTW has two modes of thinking – 1. “If this had never happened…” This is where he makes me contemplate how everything might be different (still married, another kid, still teaching/coaching, etc.). 2. “What I would be doing…” This thought pattern is more immediate. For instance, when I drive by the tennis courts at the school where I coached, TJTW makes me think I’d be coaching and playing right now if this had never happened.
The three of these personalities make it difficult for…
…4. “The Jarrett that is” (TJTI) to figure out what he wants. If anything, TJTI simply wants the other three to calm down. In essence, TJTI only exists to moderate the tyrannical urges of the other three.
I will go into more detail concerning the many Jarretts inside the Jarrett in the next few entries in a series that I will call “Morning Fun Time with Four Jarretts.”
Moving on, all four Jarretts have to deal with a body that continues to show signs of brain injury; most notably tremors. This is something that I, I, I and I have come to accept as “normal.” That said, it may look painful or annoying – but it’s just another part of TJTI. However, I do wonder what others think when they see me shaking. I am starting to believe that when people say that I don’t sound as bad as I think they are being honest, as opposed to being polite and sparing my feelings. Maybe it’s the same way with the shaking, but I still wonder.
At this time, I would like to introduce a new segment from Cavernofmymind industries – a segment that I will call ““Timesavers””. There are two sets of quotation marks -one to introduce this new segment, and the other to suggest that anything listed in this category is really not saving any time at all. As I have said previously, Ta-Ja is big on saving time. Sometimes he convinces me to do something pretty ridiculous to save 3 seconds. The question becomes what is more ridiculous? The task itself, or the fact that I sometimes actually do it. Here we go:
“Timesaver #1” “A Shirt Bag Built for Poo”
I recently ordered some clothes from Old Navy. I decided that I wanted to wear one of those shirts that was still in the plastic packaging. Ta-Ja saw the bag and suggested that I could put the bag in my back pocket to use as a baggy to pick up my dog’s droppings when I took her for a walk later that morning. Ta-Ja convinced me to take this action by explaining that I would save time not having to go out of my way to throw the bag away. I would also be a ready to go once we hit the door. This sounds ridiculous, right? Did I do it? Oh yeah! Probably saved me 6 seconds! Cha-ching! I do this sort of thing all the time. I plan to make this a regular part of this blog.
Until then… Ciao!