The More You Know…

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I’ve started substitute teaching. You probably remember crusty, old geezers teaching your class when one of your teachers was gone. These fossils were fond of telling students that they don’t know what hard work is, that they had to recite the pledge of allegiance in Greek and had to learn math with an abacus.

 

Whatever the case, there was always the assumption that, like teaching vampires who only came out during the school day, subs didn’t have an everyday normal life; when the school day was over they’d retreat to the school basement to read the textbooks for enjoyment before using them as a bed to sleep on until they were called to action again.

 

My point is that, with a single day substitute, there isn’t really a chance to get to know the sub.

 

I typically sub at the school where I once taught and assisted librarily, so I know most of the teachers and they know of my condition. Given enough notice, I’ll offer to give a presentation to the kiddos about me. This way the teacher doesn’t have to prepare as much and the students get first-hand knowledge of why I am the way I am. I’ve posted a version of this presentation before (LINK), but it was a raggedy old PowerPoint.

 

AND THEN…last summer – I went to a writer’s conference to pitch my memoir. I wanted to stand out, so I put together a presentation. I had just given the students a crash course in PowerPoint presentations and Prezi, so I thought I’d give that a try. I didn’t get a book deal >:(, but my presentation was pretty sweet. Find it HERE

 

AND THEN…a new school year started and the sub jobs came pouring in. So far, I’ve presented to about 250 seventh graders, most of the eighth graders saw it last year.

 

AND THEN…my younger sister, a Latin teacher (She teaches Latin, she’s not a teacher who is Latin, no one is or really has been since the Roman empire), asked me to come talk to one of her classes. I thought that this nexus of presentation opportunities called for a revamped presentation.

 

AND THEN…I combined the raggedy PowerPoint with the fresh, shiny Prezi to create a PreziPoint (PowerPrezi?). The svelte can be viewed in all its smoothly transitioning glory HERE. Or, for your convenience, I’ve reproduced the presentation here in slideshow form.

 

AND THEN…actually, ‘AND THEN…’ doesn’t work here, but I’m nothing if not consistent, the frames with a 🌟 in the lower right corner were adapted from the original PowerPoint. This means that the ones without a star make up the original Prezi.

 

AND THEN… If you don’t notice, apart from the book excerpts, it rhymes! Isn’t that delicious?

 

AND THEN…FIN

 

AND THEN…@JarrettLWilson

 

Jarrett Gets Political

Breaking news from Ardmore, Ok – my mother (who lives there) stumbled onto a way for me to be ABLE (that’ll make more sense in a minute) to get government assistance AND have money to pay my substantial medical bills. In 2014, a program called ABLE (Achieving a Better Life for Experience) was initiated. This program allows disabled folks to put money into a tax free account that won’t count against them when they apply for benefits (SSI, Medicaid, etc.)
You see, you have to be on the brink of poverty to qualify for programs like SSI and Medicaid (no investments, no more than $2,000 in the bank). This is kinda backwards considering the folks that need these services (like me) probably have ginormous medical bills (like me).
Thing is, I don’t qualify because I was 28 when I became disabled. To qualify for this program you need to have been 26 or younger when the disability started. Does this two years make my situation any less urgent? Should I go back in time and cause my brain hemorrhage to occur two years earlier?
No and no. The answer is to appeal to the powers that be, which I’ve done with this letter to John Ratcliffe, my congressional representative –
Dear Representative Ratcliffe,
I write to you as a disabled man disillusioned by methodical rejection and neglect by our country’s social welfare system.
In mid 2009, at the age of 28, I had a massive brain hemorrhage in my brainstem (I’ve a blog with more info. here it is from the beginning – https://braininjourney.com/2009/07/01/how-it-began/). I now live with a weakened left side, a limp, and slurred speech.

The 6+ years since have been a struggle, most notably with medical bills. It’s coming down to the nitty-gritty, my checking account is dwindling and I have no savings. I do, however, have a 403b. I’d like to take the funds from this account and put them into an ABLE account: (http://www.ndss.org/Advocacy/Legislative-Agenda/Creating-an-Economic-Future-for-Individuals-with-Down-Syndrome/Achieving-a-Better-of-Life-Experience-ABLE-Act/#sthash.38UVpv5f.MmKqVt7q.dpuf), so that I can get SSI and Medicaid.
This way I’ll be able to use that money for medical expenses and avoid “meeting a means or resource test that limits eligibility to individuals who report no more than $2,000 in cash savings, retirement funds and other items of significant value [and] remain poor” to continue to receive public assistance.

This matter is all the more urgent because, having recently lost my job, I’m unemployed. This means I’ll have to pay out of pocket for health insurance.

One of the eligibility requirements is that an individual must’ve been 26 or younger when he/she became disabled. As I mentioned earlier, I was 28. Can this legislation be amended in such a way that it doesn’t discriminate by age?

Please consider my case for your valuable attention. Getting into this program would ease a heavy burden upon my family and me.

Sincerely,

Jarrett Wilson
—–
Problem is, my message will be a proverbial drop in the bucket full of other constituents’ missives. It is for this reason that I’m calling on you (yes you, with the shirt on!) to help my plea get noticed by those with the power to affect change and end this egregious discrminAGEion! I ask that you post this on the social media platform of your choice or favorite it here on WordPress – simple actions that might mean big, positive changes for me!
Here is a LINK to more information about ABLE – it’s on the National Down Syndrome Society’s website – it has the best explanation.

Finding Direction (literally and figuratively)

Please excuse my recent absence from contributing to this blog. You see, this entry is the 129th post to this blog and 1+2+9=12. The 12th letter is L. L is the Roman numeral for 50, therefore I had to wait 50 days (give or take) to post again.

Truthfully, I’ve had a lull in my desire to write. My muse has been elusive (emusive?), but I still like to put words together in a meaningful fashion.

How am I to proceed without inspiration? If inspiration won’t come to me, I’ll go to it and force it to do my bidding. I will be inspired by the word itself. By that I mean that I’ll think of a topic relevant to my recent goings on that starts with ‘I’ and stew (mmm…stew) on that topic until I can’t stew (mmm…stew) no mo’.

After that, I’ll move on to ‘N’ and wax eloquently. After ‘N’ comes ‘S’, and so on in that fashion until I’m I.N.S.P.I.R.E.D.

That said, I’ll begin with ‘I’. I’m reluctant to discuss this, for fear that something will happen to spite this trend, but this being a blog about my brain, I have to report that there is nothing to report. In other words, the trouble spot in my head has been INACTIVE. This is due in no small part to the brainstem cavernoma resection performed by Dr. Jonathan White almost five years ago (read more HERE and HERE).

Fortunately, I only had one cavernoma (more info about this little evil thing HERE and HERE). There are people out there with more than a few of these dastardly raspberries in their heads. There’s a faint possibility that mine will grow back, that’s why I’m happy to report that nothing is going on.

Inactive is the exact opposite of my NON-STOP attitude toward recovery. My advice to anyone faced with a major life change is to go go go. Things are different now yes, but when you stop, you let the life change beat you (Jarrett ain’t gonna get beat so easily).

For instance, even though I still try to talk myself out of going EVERY time, I go to the gym and work out/therapize myself at last twice a week. I wake up super early to prepare for work. Sleeping has become a necessary evil. I don’t enjoy it like I used to; I only do it because my body tells me to. If I could live without sleep, I would. Also, my daughter never stops, so I have to keep moving to keep up with her (more about her later).

On the topic of movement and direction, I’ll move to ‘S’ and tell you about the anomaly of SOUTHWEST. A while back, I had to replace the battery in my car. Being without juice for a brief period, the compass in my car reset. After not calibrating it for a few weeks, the car did it itself. I’m not sure if the car was playing a joke on me, I live near a magnetic anomaly or my car just doesn’t understand that there are four directions, but no matter which way I drove, I was going southwest.

Therefore, I’d leave for work in the morning going southwest. I’d turn left and head southwest for two miles. Then I’d turn right and drive southwest for about three miles…I think you get the point.

In essence, if you were to ask my car for directions, they might go something like this – “start out by going southwest, after you get to the third stoplight, turn and go southwest until you get to an overpass, then do a U-turn and drive southwest for half a mile and you’ll see the donut shop to your right (southwest).

Ok, this is fun, one more – the GPS on my phone and my car discuss directions. My phone says, “head north for about two miles. Then you’ll see the exit for HW 56,  take a right, and head east for three miles, at the second stoplight go north. Go straight through next light, then turn left and park by the north gym to get Jarrett to work.”

My car would repeat these directions back, “head southwest for about two miles. Then I’ll see the exit for HW 56,  take a right, and head southwest for three miles, at the second stoplight go southwest. Go southwest through next light, then turn left and park by the southwest gym to get Jarrett to work.”

My car has since expanded its horizons and embraced all four directions. During that time though, giving directions was easy. “How do I get to X?” I’d chuckle and say, “Just go southwest, silly!”

This entry is getting overlong. Therefore, ‘P’ will stand for PATIENCE. You see, you’ll have to patiently await the rest of the list. I will continue to be INSPIRED on my next entry (a few weeks).

Until then, stay busy and head southwest, unless you need to go southwest.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Medical Vernacular Spectacular!

Part of having a condition like mine is learning a lot of big words. I like big words and I like to write silly poems – seems reasonable to assume that I would double like a poem about big words. I haven’t written the poem yet, but I’m sure I’ll like like it. To that end, I’ll quit introducing and start writing the poem you’re about to read. One last note – I’m going to stick to a simple AABBCC rhyme scheme – Shakespeare I amn’t. I’m going to italicize the terms to set them apart.

The medical field uses words that are big and complex,

For instance, raising you for at the able is called dorsiflex(ion) :).

The above word is one of the many that end with I-O-N,

Proprioception is a word that I use often;

It’s a big word for knowing where your limbs are in space.

Circumduction is another I-O-N, it affects walking pace.

When the knee doesn’t want to bend, the leg swings;

If I’m not careful, I’ll start to kick things.

Yet another I-O-N is ambulation;

Or you could say “walking”, if you value concision

Walking is made more difficult by the symptoms of spasticity.

Incontinence is when you have trouble going pee-pee,

“Pee-pee” is a silly word for releasing fluid that is pent.

The fancy term for pooping is “bowel movement”.

There is also a tube for moving pee-pee and other fluids hither and thither,

The fancy word for this tube is catheter.

There’s an intrathecal catheter delivering medicine to my spine ,

The catheter carries medicine from a baclofen pump to help me feel fine.

At first, the needle caused my spine to leak,

But thanks to a blood patch twas fixed in about a week.

To get the blood for the blood patch, the nurses set a Mid line,

The needle went so deep into my arm, I felt like dying.

Medtronic is the company that makes my pump.

Ataxia, or loss of balance, makes it difficult to jump.

Seeing two of something is called double vision or diplopia.

Seeing two of something is called double vision or diplopia.

Dysphagia is one of the fanciest medical terms I know,

It’s easier just to say “it’s hard to swallow”.

Let’s not forget the word for constant muscle contraction,

Hypertonicity is the word given to this action

I owe this list of words to the Pons region of the brainstem,

Without having a major hemorrhage there. I wouldn’t have learned them

This concludes the list

Did you get the gist?

I know I left some off, but I’m happy with this list, short as it may be. I think I explained the meaning of the words pretty well, but here’s a list with definitions just in case –

Dorsiflexion: This is when a door opens – I jest. Quite simply, it’s bending your ankle so that your foot/toes goes up

Proprioception: Obviously this describes a professional at “priocepting”, and as we all know (right?), prioception is the ability to perceive of a Toyota Prius. Actually, it’s your perception of the relative position of some body part.

Circumduction: The Romans came up with this one. Circ is Latin for “Pringles” (they’ve been around for a while). Um is Latin (and every other language ever for “WTF?”). Duction translates to “talking with one’s mouth full”. In essence, when in Rome, it’s not cool to talk with a mouth full of Pringles. Truthfully, it’s when the leg swings outward because the knee won’t bend enough to clear the ground.

Ambulation: Walking

Spasticity: Tremors caused by constant muscle activity

Incontinence: When you’re not on a continent. Examples – swimming in the ocean, flying on a plane or exploring outer space. A less awesome and more truer answer is when you can’t pee

Bowel movement: Pooping (heh, poop)

Catheter: This one was adequately covered above – it’s just a tube

Baclofen pump: A hockey puck shaped machine that delivers sweet, sweet baclofen (muscle relaxer) to the spine

Blood patch: The use of blood to patch a leak in the spine. I asked them if they could just use tape. They laughed derisively and said we could, but then we won’t get to set a…

…Mid line; thereby IMPALING my right bicep to harvest blood from a deep vein

Medtronic: A science fictiony name for a company that makes baclofen pumps

Ataxia: The IRS’s answer to whether or not there’s a tax for some object. E.g. “Is there a tax for asking stupid questions?” IRS reply: “A tax, yeah.” That, or loss of balance.

Diplopia: This one means double vision, I don’t get it. When I think of the word “plop” I think of poop splashing into the toilet.

Dysphagia: Saying disparaging remarks to some named “Phagia” – she(?) will punch you in the throat and make it difficult to swallow.

Hypertonicity: Similar to “spasticity” – constant muscle contractions.

Pons: Latin for bridge due to its position between the cerebellum and the cerebrum on the brainstem (that sounded pretty scientifical, eh?)

Hemorrhage: Internal bleeding, which, when paired with the term above, can create everything above that. Basically, it’s at the bottom of everything (symbolic, no?)

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, PY)

  • 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

 

102 Is The Loneliest Number…

This will be post 102. I’d hoped to mark the occasion of my 100th post by giving away 100 pillowcases or some such thing, but I let the landmark pass me by.

But, FEAR NOT, internet! Who says post 102 can’t be treated with great fanfare? After all, it’s higher than the oft celebrated 100.

To mark this monumental occasion, I thought I’d look back through my posts and talk about how far I’ve come. Isn’t that a wonderful idea? OF COURSE IT IS!

To give me some direction, I’ll create a list of 100 things I’ve learned from living with a TBI and reference posts that relate. I’m not going to list all 100 right now. Rather, I’ll break them into sets of 10 over the next several weeks.

Before I start I need to share something. For whatever reason, I haven’t been in a funny mood lately.

That doesn’t mean I’ve been a grump. For purposes of this blog that means I’m going to approach this list from an informational point of view.

You see, others with brain afflictions have been asking for my input. I’d like to slant this list more as informational rather than funny. I can’t promise some funny won’t ooze out like so much puss from a blister. What I’m trying to say is, read and be informed, dammit!

That said, here goes 100 things I’ve learned, one through ten –

1. Patience – I didn’t even look through my blog for this one because if there’s one thing that permeates your life after a TBI, it’s slowness. I don’t think it’s an accident that ‘weight’ and ‘wait’ are homonyms.

Listen, I’ve been through YEARS of rehab. A very popular item for physical therapists working with individuals with ataxia is the ankle weight. I’m getting off topic here.

The point is that everything takes longer. For instance, I fiddled with a caribiner clip and the loop on a water bottle for about three minutes on Friday. I know that doesn’t sound long, but to Ta-Ja (Taskmaster Jarrett – more info. HERE ), it was an “egregious unsanctioned activity”.

I’ve become a bit neurotic about maximizing my time. In fact, I poked fun at myself for the silly ways that I make/save time (see more HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE).

You’ve been very patient if you’re still reading. What I’m saying is my life is full of tedium – gotta be patient.

That one was too long. I’ll do more better, I swears.

2. A thing or two about Neuro-anatomy: Early on, I learned all that I could about my affliction to be my own advocate. I have continued educating myself because I’m interested, there’s much to know, I wish to advocate/educate (eduvocate? Advucate?) others and because I get to learn and use big words like “proprioception” (the brain’s perception of where the limbs are).

I’m getting carried away again, read more about my understanding of the brain HERE and HERE

3. Know your body: It’s true what they say (aside: who are “they”?), the body is a temple. In the same vein as the previous point on this list (previoint?) , I believe that one should be mindful of the things one puts into/subjects one’s body to.

This is an overused cliche, but it’s spot on – think of your body as a car. If you put crap gas (heh, poop) into the car it’ll ruin like crap. With the body/temple, the same principle applies.

I don’t think I’ve ever written on this topic directly – you’ll just have to take my word for it. Also, here’s a picture –

EVERYBODY must get stone! (temple)
EVERYBODY must get stone! (temple)

4 & 5. Therapy axioms – “slow & steady wins the race” and “nose over toes”: TJTW (The Jarrett That Was – more info HERE and HERE) was a rabbit, not always on the move, but very capable of keeping up with or exceeding the speed of life.

This part of TJTW has morphed into Ta-Ja (Taskmaster Jarrett, mentioned above). I had to learn to slow down, that speed is no longer an option if I wish to do things right. I still struggle with this concept.

In essence, I’m a rabbit stuck in a turtle’s body.

“Nose over toes” is a simple rhyme that helps one with bad balance stand up. I’ve also learned that this quip helps me to know where my center of gravity is.

OK, folks. I know that I said that I would list one through ten, but the intro and the first five have already made this post far too long to fit into one post. Henceforth, I shall try not to be so verbose and just give the “straight dope”. I will post five through ten tomorrow. If you would like for me to expound upon something, leave a comment.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

TBI is…Truly Stunning Botox Images

I know that there ain’t no ‘S’ in TBI, we can make believe that TBI should really be TSBI for Traumatic Suckass Brain Injury.

Anyway, this is just a quickie. I thought I’d share these pictures with you.

This first image is regular ol’ Jarrett, enjoying life with no needles in my foot. The next picture shows that, indeed, life can be enjoyed because, indeed, my foot is, indeed, needle free.

Notice that I'm not wincing
Notice that I’m not wincing
Notice that the bottom of my foot ain't got no needle in it
Notice that the bottom of my foot ain’t got no needle in it

Indeed, this needle free bliss would be short lived, indeed. Should I stop with the indeeds? I should, indeed!

Moving on (indeed? Err…nevermind), these are images of a needle in my foot. Take note – the foot is my foot and there’s a needle in it. The nurse took three pictures because she’s an overachiever.

Notice that the bottom of my foot has a needle in it
Notice that the bottom of my foot has a needle in it
On a more seriouser note, notice the curl of my toes. They do this all the time, it gets pretty painful. Botox injections help make it a lot more manageable.
On a more seriouser note, notice the curl of my toes. They do this all the time, it gets pretty painful. Botox injections help make it a lot more manageable.
Notice that the bottom of my foot STILL has a needle in it
Notice that the bottom of my foot STILL has a needle in it

My mood has been altered verily as can be seen in this next pic. The sudden change of mood might be confusing for you, I’ll explain. You see (actually you can’t) the bottom of my f*cking foot has a f*cking needle in it.

The True Face of Pain

The True Face of Pain

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Oh, The Iron-y! And The ROOT of the Problem

I find myself struggling to think of something to write about. This is a good/bad (bood? Gad?) thing. Good because that means that all is quiet on the brain front. Bad because I fancy myself a writer and this blog is about my brain.

 

Fortune smiled upon me the other night and had my younger sister (trying out a vegetarian diet) ask my older sister (a registered dietitian) about the symptoms of iron deficiency.

 

You see, most of our iron comes from meat. As a herbivore, my younger sister was concerned about not getting enough iron (btw, the initial symptoms are, among others, pale skin, cold hands and feet, and fast heartbeat).

 

I can only speculate about what becomes of you if you continue to defice (?) yourself of iron – it seems to me that if the above symptoms were to continue to escalate you’d become a zombie.

 

That makes sense, zombies run around ravenously consuming flesh; they do this because they need precious iron. More specifically, zombies crave brains – this brings us full circle.

 

Listen, my brain would quite a treat for an iron deficed(?) zombie. This is because, 1. It’s a brain, and we’ve already discussed zombies’ love for brains, and 2. My brain has more iron than the normal brain.

 

Where did this additional iron come from? The guy in the this VIDEO could very well be me, except she injected the iron directly into my head. I’m not sure why she did it, I don’t guard evil mutants or even work at a detention center.

 

I jest. After the hemorrhage, the blood in my brain said, “It’s boring in here, I’m gonna go back to the bloodstream and circulate. Iron, you wanna come?” Iron had grown pretty comfy in his/her (?) new surroundings, sunk down a bit further in the cozy brainstem, “No thanks, blood. I really like it here, you’re too salty anyway.”

 

In essence, the iron is squatting in my brainstem. This wouldn’t be an issue, but iron is not very considerate of the brain cells as they go about there daily business.

 

For instance, a brain cell (let’s call him/her (?) “Pat”) needs to tell another brain cell (we’ll call him/her (?) “Jesse”), “Hey, I just got a message from Left Hand, he is going to carry a mug of hot coffee, will you tell cerebellum to walk smoothly and be mindful of the orientation of the cup?” As he’s saying this iron pops up and screeches while banging pots and pans.

 

Jesse only hears bits and pieces of the message.

 

The point is that there is a lot of screeching and pot banging going on up there.

 

Furthermore, iron content in your body needs to be just right or you’ll become a zombie or a tasty treat for one.

 

TBI is…Tampering is Bad when Impudent. I tweeted this one yesterday, here’s more explanation – I got a shiny, new, sexy red Samsung Galaxy s3 last week and just as soon as I could get to a computer with a micro USB cable, I rooted it. I had never flashed a custom ROM before so I thought “what the heck?”

It took me a few hours to get the ROM installed (it shouldn’t take that long), after which I proudly proclaimed, “I DID IT! It’s about f*ing time!” I don’t curse, so I did actually say “it’s about fasterisking time!” While I reveled in my victory, the phone got caught up in a UNFORTUNATELY, SETUP WIZARD HAS STOPPED WORKING and UNFORTUNATELY, THE PROCESS COM.GOOGLE.PROCESS.GAPPS HAS STOPPED WORKING routine. I keep pressing ok, all I’m thinking about is playing Angry Birds or even *gasp* making a phone call!

Turns out I flashed a zip file with all the Google apps that was fasterisking out of date. I went through quite an ordeal to get it back up and running again. If you would like more details, leave a comment.

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

 

Scary Stuff

It’s nearly the fourth anniversary to the day of when I went to the ER and a CT scan found a cavern in my mind. The very odd thing is that this past Friday – the very DAY I went to the ER (for the record: Day- Friday, date- May 22nd, year- that foul year of our Lord, 2009), I started experiencing double vision – not an initial bleed symptom for me, but has been for many (EXAMPLE). It was only a few weeks after the bleed and for a month or so onward that I saw two of everything.

All the more perplexing is the fact that I feel no other symptoms. I have an electrical feeling in my head every once in awhile – seems to me that if it were a bleed, it’d be non-stop pain that only gets worse.

I want to think it’s nothing, but what else could it be?

Expecting the worst, I’ve tried to spend as much time as I can with my daughter. I lost enough time with her the first…uhh, time. I got her the Skylanders: Giants starter pack for the Wii. We played that for most of the day yesterday – should’ve been playing it on Saturday, but the neurosurgeon on call at UTSW suggested I rest for the…uhh, rest of the day. I just can’t bear the thought of missing anymore time with her (that’s right, she’s a girl that LOVES Skylanders).

It turns out that my double vision might be the result of medication changes. Even if that’s the case, I’m taking this as a kick in the rear to love on my kid every chance I get, and to lighten up on myself. The silly stuff I write about with Taskmaster Jarrett can be funny, but it’s exhausting being so concerned about every single second. With that I offer this –

TBI is…Take a Breather before getting Inundated – Eventually, being productive became less about the quality of work I was producing and more about if I had started the task efficiently or if I had gotten enough done (quantity). It was only recently that I realized that I was more concerned about the number of things getting done and how fast, rather than taking a minute to make sure that I was happy with what I was doing.

That’s all for this week, I’ll make more jokes next week, promise.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Medication Harmonization

With my condition, I’ve had to fight off a lot of ills.
Life is easier when you are given the right medicine,
I’ve had IVs and injections, but mostly pills.
Below is a list of some of the drugs I’ve taken.
I’m sure I’ve left more than a few off this tabulation,
The last four years I have played a kind of medication roulette.
The medications mentioned are from top of the head improvisation.
So as not to show bias, the meds are in order by alphabet –
 
To reduce spasticity I take Baclofen
Clonazapam  turned me into a zombie
When my poo got too hard, I took Coalase to soften
I took decadron to make my brain less swelly
A painkiller called Dilaudid filled me with glee
Fioricet rushed my headaches away
Thanks to Flomax, I filled the toilet with pee
Gabapentin didn’t keep the tremors at bay
Hydrocodone provided quick and easy pain relief
no more pain with morphine
Nuvigil keeps me awake and on task
Provigil worked ok until Nuvigil hit the scene
Ranitidine – you probably know it as Zantac
Calm the tremors with Requip
A spasticity med that didn’t work is called Tizanidine
Viibryd = no more frowny lip
With Zoloft, the sun always shines and the grass is ever green
I can’t make everything rhyme on this,
specifically, I speak of TBI is…
Throat is Bumfuzzled about Ingestion – It is not uncommon for TBI and stroke sufferers to develop dysphagia – Siberian for “confounded neck-hole”. I still have difficulty swallowing liquids without some getting into my windpipe.