Favorite people

“Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow creatures.”

– Cicero

The above quote is etched in stone above the fire truck doors at the Stillwater fire department on the southeastern edge of the Oklahoma State University (GO POKES!) campus. As an idealistic, unjaded, starry-eyed undergraduate, I had great respect for these words. I use the word respect because, knowing what I know now, I can say that I didn’t know what they really meant.

I’ve since experienced things that have given me a more complete understanding of Cicero’s words, taught me the true meaning.

Some are quick to say that man, by nature, is selfish and motivated only by things that will advance his station in life. Still others will point out that man is a social animal.

What is the point of all this philosophology? My point is that, I’ve been blessed to meet a crapload of people who have successfully suppressed their selfish nature and become gods in the sense that Cicero was talking about above.

I refer to these people as “my favorite people”. Being “differently abled” like I am, I get the privilege of seeing the altruistic side of the everyday person and the godlike individuals who have chosen to work in some variation of human service. In no particular order, I’d like to recognize these awesome people –

Emily, Occupational Therapist
If you were to go to the Pate brain injury rehab facility in Anna, TX, you’d find a very pleasant blonde working with a patient with a wonky arm. If you were to go inside my head, you’d be covered in neurons and gray matter and all other matter of brain goo…Let me rephrase, if you were to see inside my mind, you’d see the head of a very pleasant blonde floating around, reminding me to use my left arm more often.
I’ve been fortunate as concerns the therapy game – I haven’t had to work with any crazy, ex drill sergeant “therrorists” (well, there was one who put electrodes on my arm and shocked me, but that’s a different story…). Still, it’s not hard to get cross with one who hounds you to click when a dot appears on a computer screen and constantly reminds you to grab that…whatever, with your left hand. I think that’s why she’s so good at what she does. She continuously hounded me, but I couldn’t get mad a at her soft voice and diplomatic word choice. For being the occupational therapist inside my head, Emily is one of my favorite people.

Here is her driver’s license photo, you know how those don’t always turn out –

Hand

I jest. I don’t have a picture of her, so this is what I think of when she comes to mind.

Teresa , Bosslady
My education is in sociology with a focus on research and statistics. Even though I chose to switch gears and become a teacher, sociology has never been far from my heart.
I figured that, having been away from research and statistics for almost ten years, I wouldn’t have a chance to use that skillset.

Enter Bosslady.

image

I didn’t like my facial expression on the original, so I fashioned myself a new one.
She took a chance on me and now I get to use those skills to pay the bills. Sometimes, as I’m writing the narrative for a grant or calculating the percentage of people with diabetes in south central Oklahoma, I think to myself holy cow! I’m getting paid for this!

I remember in my first week working with her she made me a list of statistics and data she wanted, I looked at the list and thought who does she think I am? Stephen Hawking? Then I started to think, she believes I can do this so I can, NAY, WILL do it! It’s been like that since I’ve been working there. I’ll be faced with a task that I reckon is too difficult, then her perky voice pops in and says, “Just try it!” And my personal motto is “Try not, do or do not, there is no try.” As such, Yoda and my boss have instilled a great sense of worth, of purpose (porthose?) in me.

It occurs to me that some of you, dear readers, might be thinking I’m just sucking up. I’m willing to grant that. Thing is, everything I’m saying is true and I’ve already said this stuff to her in some capacity.

For being the inspiration to tackle all obstacles inside my head, Bosslady is one of my favorite people.

Allen, Orthotist
I don’t walk so good :), I’ve had quite a variety of assistive devices for my left leg – Donjoy Fullfource knee brace, Swedish knee cage, a black mesh knee brace number that certainly has a name that I don’t know, and two AFOs (Able Foot Orthosis, read more HERE).

The latter three have been acquired through Allen.

Listen, I am pretty hard on these things, have a look at how I violated my first AFO –

wpid-20150913_163505.jpg

You see, the protrusions at the opening by the Achilles tendon had adjustable rubber stoppers to increase or decrease the angle at the ankle, but I found the max angle offered by the stoppers to be inadequate, so I concocted all manner of home modifications. I screwed with it so much that the stoppers feel out, leaving me with no option but to continue to jack it up. I had exhausted my ingenuity as concerns sustainable solutions (solutainable?), so asked my father of he had any MacGyver worthy ideas. He actually had a wonderful idea – get a new one. This made me happy because 1.that brace was done for, and 2. I’d get to hang with Allen.

Here’s the replacement –

wpid-20150913_163617.jpg

They only have one color/style at Happy, Smiley Orthotics of Sunshine & Happiness in Gainesville, TX

Allen is the kinda guy you’d want to sit next to on a plane. He is very pleasant and very knowledgeable about orthotics, and I can’t say this about most people, but when he asks “How are you?” It feels as if he really wants to know, rather than to exchange platitudes. I think of Allen every time I go to the gym and put one of his devices to the test. For being the orthotist inside my head, Allen is one of my favorite people.

I don’t have a picture of Allen, so like I did with Emily, I’ll put an object that comes to mind when I think of him.
image
Two reasons for this comparison – they share the same first name, and 2. EVERY device I’ve gotten from him requires an Allen wrench of some size to loosen or tighten various parts.

I’ve more favorite people, I’ll introduce them from time to time. In fact, a favorite who was originally meant to be on this list didn’t make the cut after all – his back story is too long – I’ll talk about him next time.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Jarrett = Four Years Old

Hello, Internet!

Welcome to a very special edition of this blog (I know I say that a lot, but this one is more specialer, I promise).

Today is my “rebirthday”; it was on this day in that foul year of our Lord, 2009, that I underwent brain surgery. According to my calculator, that makes me four years old.

To commemorate this day I thought I’d list four positives I’ve experienced in the last four years –

1. Parking: I’ve a handicapped placard – I’ve found that the real advantage to having this blue piece of plastic is not so much parking closer, but narrowing the selection of parking places.

You see, most of you chumps have to drive around the whole parking lot to find a space; I need only check the front few spots.

Moreover, you’re more likely to get stuck behind that assclown that plugs up a row to wait for a spot (if you’re one of these people, I hate you).

Occasionally, someone will swoop in and take a spot before me. I find myself sizing this person up – Are they really handicapped? I think he/she’s just using his/her grandma’s placard.

I’m starting to sound hateful, let’s move on…

2. Helpful people: I often get asked if I need help with this or that. Writing about this makes me want to redact my previous comment about “you chumps”. But I don’t want to change it, so just erase it from your mind like so much Men in Black flashing phallus thingy.

Speaking of Men in Black, a fella that looked just like Will Smith came to help me fight off some aliens that were trying to steal my cheese grater.

I jest. He actually looked more like Puff Daddy (or P. Diddy, whatever he goes by these days).

Back to the point, seeing a person hold up a row in a  parking lot gets me thinking that people are self-centered, then a nice young lady asks if I need help carrying a large box to my car and shatters that perception.

3. New friends: I’ve met some pretty awesome people that I wouldn’t otherwise know. I’ve been lucky to have very lucky to work with very knowledgeable, caring therapists – I feel so honored to have met these people, I’ll attempt to name them all –

  • Emily x2 (OT, PT)

  • Laura (OT)

  • Heidi (PT)

  • Steve (PT)

  • Samara (PT)

  • DJ (PT)

  • Jennifer x3 (OT, OT, speech therapist)

  • Elizabeth (OT)

  • Leslie x2 (PT, speech therapist)

  • Leslynn (speech therapist)

  • That red headed (OT) whose name I forgot

  • That blonde (speech therapist) whose name I forgot

  • Kenya (speech therapist)

  • Paula (counselor)

  • Joni (PT)

  • Bonnie (PT)

I can’t think of anymore. If I forgot someone, I’m truly sorry. Wait, I’d also like to mention Sandy, my driver from my days at Pate. A very heartfelt and genuine thank you to you all!

4. Continuous possibility for improvement: The medical community says the optimum window for recovery from a brain injury is 18 months or so.

That same community also endorsed the use of leeches to suck out sickness, I can and will continue to improve.

I don’t make improvements as quickly and dramatically (dramatiquickly?) as I once did, but I’m certain that one day I’ll be able to do many of the things I once did (if not, at least I’ll look good as I fail 🙂 ).

So, not only is the being alive a nice part of waking up, but I also get to face each day with the possibility that I will finally (insert activity) again.

There you have it, folks! Having a TBI is no bueno, but there are some perks.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

This Day(ish) in History

Hello, Internet!
Welcome to a very special edition of this blog! The theme for today is “this day in history” – when someone says ‘this’ or ‘day’ or especially ‘in’ or ‘history’, you have to do an obnoxious yell and do your best Peewee Herman impression – example.

You see, on August 7th (or 8th, can’t remember exactly), in that foul year of our Lord 2009, I was released from inpatient care at Pate (brain rehab). This ended three long months of inpatient care; two months at an acute rehab hospital and one month at Pate.

My time in rehab was only about halfway over, I’d spend the next four months as an outpatient at Pate. I’m getting ahead of myself. Before I go into detail about that day, I thought I’d discuss a few other famous events from August 7th, err…8th. The only way to settle this is to discuss events from August 78th.

Wikipedia and every calendar ever tell me that August 78th never has, or ever will exist. How am I to proceed? Obviously, add 78 days to the first day of August in that foul year of our Lord, 2009.

If my understanding of the calendar and the sequencing of numbers is to be believed, the magic day would be October 17th or 10/17.

Historically, October 17th has been a very busy day. It was on that day in 1777 (roughly 1,000 years ago) that GW gave the British what for at the Battle of Saratoga.

A few years later, in 1781 (roughly 1,000 years ago) the British said, “To hell with you, pompous Americans!” and surrendered at Yorktown.

So you see, October 17th is a day to celebrate freedom! Be it from tyrannical mother countries or inpatient rehab facilities

If you need more proof of the freedom that is October 17th, know that Al Capone finally got convicted of income tax evasion on that day in 1917 (roughly 1,000 years ago); freeing the world of a cheapskate tyrant. He was shipped off to jail where the taxes he didn’t pay didn’t go towards its construction.

Being the law abiding taxpayer that I am I was released home that day (August 7th or 8th).

I remember feeling ecstatic that that day had finally come, but upset that I missed all of that time. Truth be told, I still feel robbed of that time.

Anyway, Jessica (ex-wife), Quinn (daughter) and Priscilla (ex mother-in-law) put up welcome posters on the garage – a very nice homecoming.

Excuse me for not making with the funny, I’m in sentimental mode now (sentimode?).

I still went to neuro rehab, I got there by using my newfound ability to fly. That’s a lie, I only fly to run short errands in town.

I was close enough to Pate that they’d come and get me. My driver was usually a very pleasant lady named Sandy .

That name turned out to be very fitting for her – she ate more candy than anyone I’ve ever seen. You see, candy and Sandy rhyme.

Candy, err… Sandy would chauffeur me to and from Pate for until the end of January – at that point, I had been back to work for about a month – I was either going to sink or swim.

I can keep going in this fashion for a while, so I’ll just stop here and say I’ve been very lucky – excellent doctors/medical facilities, caring and attentive family (that definitely includes Jessica), proximity to rehab facilities and top notch therapists.

All the above mentioned happiness is possible because a). GW turned the tide of the revolutionary war 1,000 years ago and b). Al Capone was brought to justice.

LET FREEDOM RING!

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

IN THE YEAR 105(ish) and The Varsity TBI Squad

This one turned out to be pretty long; it’s a blog and it’s long – it’s a blong.

I’m going to skip over the entries from July 7thJuly 13th and July 22nd, each of these talk about my time at Pate, which I have already discussed. Instead we will skip to August 5th. Coincidentally, that was 4 years ago today minus 105 days. What is the significance of 105? IDK, so I’ll Google it! Besides the Wikipedia entry for the year 105, I see mostly radio stations (105x BAM! The future of rock and roll). Reading through the Wikipedia article gets me thinking – why is there an entire article about the year 105? Put briefly, people died and a three month old was given the throne of China. Perhaps the most interesting part of the article is the fact that the year 105 started on a Wednesday. Coincidentally, tomorrow is Wednesday, small world.

Here is the original entry for August 5th (which, coincidentally is 105 words long. It would be if I took out 34 words. According to Google 34 is the number of…:D).

Oops, as I’m writing this on Monday, the number of days should be 104. I don’t wanna change it – I don’t think a three month old became emperor in 104 – they weren’t nearly as progressive with the age/potty training of potential rulers in 104. Either way, I think I’ll make a joke out of it later.

Ok, here is the entry from August 5th, I promise –
The (Near) End of Phase Three
My time at Pate and away from home is coming to a close. This Friday, I will go outpatient. As far as I know, I will be picked up and brought to Pate every weekday at first and gradually taper off.

I walk with a cane or independently now. Without a cane, I would look like a mummy if I stuck my arms out…but it’s walking. I do mostly physical therapy as cognitively I haven’t lost much if anything. Physical therapy consists of whatever my therapist cooks up (lately its been lunges), leg biking, treadmilling and what I can best describe as yoga (contorting my legs and midsection into various uncomfortable positions).

The thing that really sticks out from this entry is the first sentence – I was soooo glad to be done with the walker. Not only do people stare, but it makes it more difficult to carry stuff when both of your hands are holding the walker.

I still try to exercise the…uh, exercises learned during PT – I still get on the treadmill twice a week, instead of lunges I do squats; my balance is still a little wonky, lunging across a room = Jarrett fall down. As for yoga, I stretch my left quad and both hamstrings everyday and do a nerve stretch in my arms/necks (that’s right, I have more than one neck), then I vogue – I flail my arms about in front of a mirror to monitor/improve (monimprove?) my posture/coordination (coordinature?).

I continue to work out because I want to be more prettier; I grew accustomed to the easy to identify benchmarks (not sitting up in bed to sitting up in bed, taking 17 minutes to tie my shoes to taking 11 minutes, etc.) I’m not seeing these types of gains anymore, which is a bit disheartening. Thing is, what else am I gonna do? I don’t need to add overweight diabetic to my lot. At this point, I think of a quote I heard long ago, something like, “He/she who moves a mountain, starts by moving small stones.” I added the he/she because I’m pretty sure my daughter could move a mountain through sheer tyranny of will. It seems to me that I’m at a point now where I won’t really sense improvements as much as they’ll just become a part of what I do all the time. That is, I’ll keep chipping away at this “mountain” (disability) and, perhaps soon, I will realize the mountain has moved (no more disability).

Here is the next entry (August 20th) –

Home and Inpatient
Sorry for the delay…if I don’t think people are reading this blog much so I am more reluctant to post on it, holla if you wit me!

Everything has gone according to schedule so far, I couldn’t have asked for a more punctual rare brain disorder. I came home to stay on Aug. 7th and have been riding in a Pate provided transport (a Chevy Venture) to therapy everyday.

I have moved to the ILS (independent living skills) area for more distraction and “real world” type setting. I spend my day preparing lessons, being psychoanalyzed or working out. We also have a once daily education group, where we learn about brain injuries (and promptly forget, because we all have brain injuries :D). What was I talking about? Oh yeah; every Thursday I give a movie synopsis and review…I already forgot the films I reviewed. Okay, I have really beaten the “brain injury forgetfulness” act to death. Last Thursday I did Julie & Julia and this week I reviewed The Watchmen. Both are great, go watch them, dammit.

To answer everyone’s yet-to-be-asked question the answer is “yes, if you fight for me you get to kill Englishmen.” Oh wait, I mean, yes, I am happy to be home. I do what I can to help out, such as eat up all the food and flush the toilet when I’m done…you know, but there is a lot to be done. Jessica has been very gracious and supportive through this ordeal and is always thankful for the things I do manage to do.

At this time, I get around using a cane. I can walk without it, but need it for those gusts of wind that only I seem to feel…strange. I still have double vision. I wear a patch most of the time to single everything out. Lastly, my voice sounds like I just ran a marathon; I sound winded and tired. The latter two are the most bothersome.

Next up, surgery. I have brain surgery scheduled for Sept. 3rd…I will blog more about it shortly (preferrably before surgery, b/c my brain seems to have a profound effect on thinking and typing).


Otherwise, I make preparations for the coming school year or test my reaction time on the computer on a program called VMR to earn driving privileges back (this way I don’t run into the little yellow block).

I have another MRI and appointment with Dr. White on August 18th.Hopefully, I’ll be ready for surgery at that point and can get it scheduled ASAP. After that, more rehab (yippee!)
There’s quite a bit of content in the short passage above. Like a word flavored buffet (tastes like chicken), I’m going to talk about this & that and leave the rest to get sneezed on.

As it says, ILS = Independent Living Skills. Before my “promotion” to ILS, I was assigned to TRILS -Transition To Independent Living Skills. I remember feeling insulted that I wasn’t automatically assigned to ILS. I have this thing for hierarchies and rank. Listen, in the world of brain injury, there is no hierarchy. All the same, I saw ILS as the varsity squad to the junior varsity of TRILS. When I finally got moved up, I was thinking, IT’S ABOUT TIME! In actuality, ILS and TRILS operate in much the same way. The biggest differences are the radio and location. You see, ILS was right by one of the main thoroughfares of the rehab facility, so there was the constant distraction of people coming and going. Also, the radio was always on playing ear garbage – I was more distracted by contemplating how this “music” got on the air than the constant noise. The reason for the distraction is that people with brain injury have more difficulty concentrating, all the distraction is meant to train your brain to filter out the distractions of work/home (hork?).

Much of the entry deals with setting up surgery. Allow me to go into more detail – I didn’t have to have surgery. I was told that I could leave the cavernoma and recover more better BUT risk having another leak(s) and going through a whole new “injourney” or having surgery and sustaining what damage that might cause and not worry about more leaks. For me, this was a no-brainer (actually it was a “brainer” because I had to have a brain to be operated on). Anyway, because of my situation, I strongly advocate for surgery. If you are reading this and contemplating surgery, let me say this (if you’re not contemplating surgery please skip to the ***paragraph), you need to consider the expertise of the doctor (base this on what others have said and you’re gut feeling of the guy/gal), severity of symptoms (mine were pretty bad, some people’s are less severe, others are far worse), post op support (after having brain surgery, you might need help doing everyday things), and the quality of food at the hospital where the surgery is to be performed (not so much because you’ll be eating a lot of it, more so because you’ll want your upchuck to not taste so bad when the food comes back up – which it will, often).

***I’m going to skip to “TBI is…”

TBI is…Thanks Be To the Internet! I think we all know how awesome the interwebs is. For me, I can’t go a single day without looking up synonyms on thesaurus.com. In fact, I just got on there (unless you read this way after 12:43 on Tuesday 4/23, in which case I got on there a long time ago), to look up a synonym for thesaurus. Turns out, thesaurus doesn’t have that many synonyms. Ironic, much? I could give a lot more reasons for the awesomeness of the internet, but I’ll just give you a synonym for “end”

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Pating to Go and Motorized Dairy

How many shots in the foot this time? I’m sitting in the lobby of the doctor’s office contemplating how many new holes my foot will have. I can’t say I’m terribly upset about it, the last round of Botox wore off long ago.

Two. I got two shots in the foot. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – it.

I jest. You’d think that the first shot would prepare you for the next one so it won’t hurt as bad, but it don’t work that way. My advice to you is this – don’t get a shot in your foot, but if you have to, just get one.

Let’s continue revisiting the early entries on this blog. We pick up at the “bridge”. I’ve not been told otherwise, so I’ll assume that my…uh…assumption is correct regarding the Pons as a silly doorman.

I’m going to skip over the entry entitled  Thank You”– my divorce is still a sore spot for me. Which gives me more time to write about a place that I hold very close to my heart (and my brain)…
.
The Next Step
 On Monday, July 7th, I am going to another rehab facility in Anna, TX (closer to home WOO!) called Pate, which specializes in brain matters (pun intended). The projection is 6-12 weeks…then (hopefully) home!!!

After my bridge done flooded I went to an acute rehab center. After that, I started rehab designed for people with brain injuries at Brinlee Creek Ranch – the Anna, TX arm of the Pate rehab racket.

Despite the circumstance, I think back to my time at Pate with great fondness. I don’t want to say that I am an outcast or something like that, but sometimes people don’t understand why I’m peculiar and they’ll treat me differently (i.e. the guy at the oil change place that I no longer go to who would speak AT me very loudly and very slowly). At Pate, I didn’t have to worry about that – I was surrounded by people just like me.

We were all there for different reasons, but we all shared the same battle – trying to get along in the world with our newfound disability.

I have some very fond memories of that place such as: clicking at dots on the VMR like so much Pavlov’s dog – TWICE! Tyrant therapist (tyrapist?) made me do it before surgery and after. Another sad yet funny memory is having to tell this dude that had a brain tumor removed my name EVERYDAY! I can’t seem to remember his name now, how poetic. Please know that I’m not laughing at this guy, he’d laugh about it too, but I’d never slight a fella in his shoes.

The most useful, yet still frustrating thing is the way everything is so regimented. Useful = No surprises. Frustrating = When a surprise does arise (surparise?), I feel like I’ve gotta rearrange my entire schedule. For instance, when I have to shave (I do this in the evenings), I feel like my entire evening is shot. You see, I usually make an evening to-do list during the day, I never add shaving to that list. I’ve heard that a neat appearance helps one attain/keep a job. Knowing this, I occasionally shave. You’d think that, having shaved since I was 13ish, it wouldn’t (side note: we have a contraction for it would – ‘it’d’ and a contraction for would not – ‘wouldn’t’. I propose a contraction for it would not – it’d’nt. Wait a minute, what about ‘twouldn’t’?) Starting over – You’d think that, having shaved since I was 13ish, ‘twouldn’t’ come as a surprise, but it does. I’m not sure why this is the case, but it is.

All this is to say that Pate has turned me into Rainman – I have to have things just so or I’ll flip out and start banging my head against stuff.
Allow me to quote Rainman in this very contrived segue – “I’m an excellent driver” when I drive…

TBI is…The Buick Ice-milk: my car, a Buick Lucerne, shares its name with Safeway’s own brand of dairy products.

This one actually does very loosely connect to my TBI. I don’t care to elaborate, but about a year ago I needed a car. Serendipitously, my pater got a promotion that included a company car. Neither my mother or my father can drive two cars at the same time (amateurs!), so they sold the dairy product/motorized conveyance to me.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Gas is Good!

Happy June 30th to you all! This is a very special day. Today is the fifth anniversary of the June 30th that happened five years ago! Why is that day so special? I can’t say for sure, but being the “glass half full” kinda guy that I am, I think it’s entirely possible that something awesome happened that day. Perhaps I had some donuts or I found $20 on the ground. 

ITEM! We interrupt this trip down possible memory lane tO bring you breaking news. It turns out that cars need gas to function properly. My older sister, Jessica, and I decided to put this “fact” to the test. Turns out, the conventional wisdom on this subject is true; much the same as a sandwich needs mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip, dammit!), a car needs gas (not Miracle Whip, dammit!) Fortunately, we were very close to my parents’ abode and a source of that precious fossil fuel. We hoofed it to the nearest station of gas and other modern conveniences (Twinkies, air fresheners, Miracle Whip (dammit!) etc.), and procured the world’s most expensive gas can and filled it with dead dinosaur juice. A very nice fella by the name of Cornelius (I don’t know his name, I just thought it’d be cool if that was his name), offered to drive Jessica back to the car. I waited while Cornelius drove her to the car. Moments later she drove up and picked me up at the gas station. Isn’t gasoline great? (statement sponsored by Exxon Mobil). 

Fast forward to today (Saturday, June 30th). Jessica and I made it to my parents’ house and are celebrating the fifth anniversary of me possibly eating donuts or picking money up from the ground. To help commemorate this (potentially) awesome occasion, family has come from as far away as Kansas City(!)
The multitude of visitors might have something to do with an annual fourth of July celebration at casa de Wilson and/or all the food and booze. Either way, we have to “Stack” people on top of each other bc there are so many! (You see, that’s funny bc my mother’s half of the family has the last name ‘Stack’. As such, Stack has a double meaning – to make a pile as for storage purposes and people with the last name ‘Stack’.) Why did I explain all that? Bc I’m trying to make this blog entry longer through artificial means, a technique known as “rambling”. For instance, did you know that Shel Silverstein wrote “Boy Named Sue”? 

The problem I have when I start a blog entry is that I don’t know when to stop. So I’m going to try something new.


FIN 

Home and Inpatient

Sorry for the delay…if I don’t think people are reading this blog much so I am more reluctant to post on it, holla if you wit me!

Everything has gone according to schedule so far, I couldn’t have asked for a more punctual rare brain disorder. I came home to stay on Aug. 7th and have been riding in a Pate provided transport (a Chevy Venture) to therapy everyday.

I have moved to the ILS (independent living skills) area for more distraction and “real world” type setting. I spend my day preparing lessons, being psychoanalyzed or working out. We also have a once daily education group, where we learn about brain injuries (and promptly forget, because we all have brain injuries :D). What was I talking about? Oh yeah; every Thursday I give a movie synopsis and review…I already forgot the films I reviewed. Okay, I have really beaten the “brain injury forgetfulness” act to death. Last Thursday I did Julie & Julia and this week I reviewed The Watchmen. Both are great, go watch them, dammit.

To answer everyone’s yet-to-be-asked question the answer is “yes, if you fight for me you get to kill Englishmen.” Oh wait, I mean, yes, I am happy to be home. I do what I can to help out, such as eat up all the food and flush the toilet when I’m done…you know, but there is a lot to be done. Jessica has been very gracious and supportive through this ordeal and is always thankful for the things I do manage to do.

At this time, I get around using a cane. I can walk without it, but need it for those gusts of wind that only I seem to feel…strange. I still have double vision. I wear a patch most of the time to single everything out. Lastly, my voice sounds like I just ran a marathon; I sound winded and tired. The latter two are the most bothersome.

Next up, surgery. I have brain surgery scheduled for Sept. 3rd…I will blog more about it shortly (preferrably before surgery, b/c my brain seems to have a profound effect on thinking and typing).

The (Near) End of Phase Three

My time at Pate and away from home is coming to a close. This Friday, I will go outpatient. As far as I know, I will be picked up and brought to Pate every weekday at first and gradually taper off.

I walk with a cane or independently now. Without a cane, I would look like a mummy if I stuck my arms out…but it’s walking. I do mostly physical therapy as cognitively I haven’t lost much if anything. Physical therapy consists of whatever my therapist cooks up (lately its been lunges), leg biking, treadmilling and what I can best describe as yoga (contorting my legs and midsection into various uncomfortable positions).

Otherwise, I make preparations for the coming school year or test my reaction time on the computer on a program called VMR to earn driving privileges back (this way I don’t run into the little yellow block).

I have another MRI and appointment with Dr. White on August 18th.Hopefully, I’ll be ready for surgery at that point and can get it scheduled ASAP. After that, more rehab (yippee!)

Pate is Great

Sorry for the long duration between posts, i have a brain problem 😀 Anyway, things are progressing well here at Pate. I walked with a horse, I do water therapy twice a week (this is where they tie you up and drip water on your head while screaming “GET BETTER!!!”), I practice walking with a cane during therapy and I get around exclusively in the walker (haven’t used the wheelchair since Friday). I am set to go oupatient (i.e. get released home!) on August 7th, after which I will only come up for therapy. My follow up with Dr. White was rescheduled for Aug. 18th, so I get to be home for a week or so before anything major could potentially happen. Pate is super-great because it’s so much closer to my girls, Jess brings Quinn up just about everyday (thank you, Jess). Other than that, I spend my time reading and preparing for the next school year, when a computer is available.

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