The nightmare I can’t wakeup from

Wow. This is an incredible insight into post concussion syndrome. It truly is a nightmare.

postconcussionsyndromethoughts

When I was younger I always imagined how my life would be after high school. I envisioned myself going away to university, going out with my friends regularly, studying hard to reach my goals, and being involved in many sports. I couldn’t wait to move away from home and “start fresh”. I was excited to work towards achieving my goals in life. In my grade 12 year I worked so hard and even achieved an 86% average. I was in amazing shape, and preparing to move out within a few months. I couldn’t wait for the next chapter in my life to begin!

What I didn’t envision was living with post concussion syndrome, and having my life put on hold for over a year. Life has a funny way of slamming the door in your face right when you think you’re beginning to have things figured out. Instead of moving…

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The thread that pulls me through.

What does strength look like? How does one fight? In the midst of this struggle I feel weak and lost, not strong and determined.

You asked about the wobble and I’m so glad you did. I’ve told countless doctors, specialists and friends and they all cling to the pain, offering remedies to kill it. But the physical pain, as horrible as it was, left months ago. Its departure seems to have left empty caverns in my brain that fill to bursting with fluid that sloshes around when I move. The electrical current in there sends sparks all over my head which fizz when I touch my face and hair. Thinking makes my eyes move unnaturally at times which makes my stomach drop and my nerves jitter.  

There’s a channel that runs from my right shoulder, up through my neck to a spot inside my right hemisphere – this is the point where the ‘feeling’ began. It was like a tiny bug was burrowing in there for about a week before the crushing headaches began. This sent me to bed for weeks with near daily trips to the hospital or clinic where doctors would stare blankly at me and say ‘migraine’. One doctor connected me to monitors and injected me with propofol to ‘put me out’  for an hour to ‘reset my brain’, another ordered twice daily injections of torridol and gravol which zombified me terribly. Tests of all varieties,  including CT scan, MRI and blood work,  all came back clear which ultimately led the doctors to prescribe “therapy” and ask about my mental state. One Dr told me to ‘enjoy it’  which was the end of the medical road for me. 

I came to my parents house with the boys for a week after seeing a neurologist who took 20 minutes to diagnose ‘migraine’ and tell me to quintuple the amytriptaline I was already taking. It was only meant to be a week, just a little time to give Adam a much needed break from the pressure and stress of being a single parent and caretaker to me. As a last ditch effort to save my brain my mom took me to see her chiropractor. I was so ‘gone’ by that point that I felt invisible and floaty. I couldn’t talk to people and walked as if pushing through lava. When they gave me an intake form I wanted to just write ‘help me’ but instead dutifully circled my whole head as the ‘problem area’ and checked the little boxes like it was yet another fruitless request for understanding and support.  

With NUCCA treatment for ‘axis sublaxation’ over 6 weeks I’ve had a total of 6 days where I bordered on feeling well. The clarity is like seeing again after being blind. In those moments I begin to think of the future and let gratitude for the miracle wash over me. When the wobbly brain comes back it’s like being in the dark again. So scary and hopeless. I scratch around for clues to what I did wrong to break the spell, wondering when I’ll see again.

So I ask what strength looks like? People keep saying I’m strong but inside it feels like deep crumbling, loss and failure. It feels like powerlessness and rage, resignation and depression. I know of that thread you spoke of, I feel it whispering to me that this death will at last be followed by rebirth. It is the only internal comfort I have. It saves me from the self hatred that threatens to blame me for this whole fucking mess.  It’s the living through the transition that is so unbearable and chaotic. 

I keep thinking of butterflies. Does the caterpillar cry when it disintegrates into cellular mush? Does it hurt? Does it lament the loss of its hordes of tiny legs? Does it struggle against the transition or release itself with some inate faith that soon it will fly? 

This is happening. It is real and it is now and I am alone inside trying to survive with as much grace as possible. 

Thank you for letting me in and offering me a safe place to land in all my fractured vulnerability. Please know that the tiny thread is strong. It will pull me through. 

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Fabulous Friday #4

These regular posts of inspiration and determined focus on what is fabulous are like buoys in the ocean. They are like little guide posts on the path towards the good life.

In the inevitable ebb and flow of existence I’m going to admit to feeling a little less than fabulous today. My recovery from post concussion syndrome and whiplash is taking longer than I ever anticipated and my capacity to remain calm and centred is eroding.

Gloria Steinem said “The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”  I guess my current truth is that I have had to let go of control of my body. It has pissed me off to the point of total surrender. It is not fun. It does not feel like liberation. It does not feel like awakening or any of that good stuff. It actually feels like failure if I’m totally honest.

So in this place of surrender, with a looming feeling of failure, I offer it all up. I let go of it all. Like leaves in the river I will let the current take me away and have faith that it will all work out.

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The infinite dance

I wake from a restful sleep in a beautiful breezy sun-filled room. The chrisp white sheets crackle around me as I stretch out like a happy cat. I hear laughter downstairs as my family makes breakfast and prepares for their day.

I roll onto my side, push up to sitting and compose a grateful smile before touching my feet to the ground. I have such wonderful ease, joy and abundance in my life and I savour it for a moment before rising. Taking a deep cleansing breath I walk purposely to the ensuite bathroom. I glance at the claw foot tub and notice the empty wine glass and spent tea light candles resting on the tile floor beside the tub. This invokes a memory of gentle self love and pampering from the night before. I love the way I treat my body and nourish my soul. It fills me up and provides me with so much more to give.

I turn on the shower and disrobe. Before stepping into the steaming water I glance at my lithe, strong naked form. This body is a gift that has carried me through the many phases of life and brought two incredible souls into the world. I’m grateful for its strength, grace, renewal and figure. I treat it well and we are good friends. Stepping into the shower I let the water cascade over my head and feel the warmth drain down my back. I say a silent prayer of thanks to the water spirits and ask them to guide me to my higher self.  I feel how blessed I am and I know exactly what I want. It is awesome to let it happen. Each day is an opportunity to allow my dreams to find me; a chance to receive the abundance of life with warm welcoming hands.

As I dress I take note of the gorgeous wardrobe I’ve put together. It’s fun to adorn myself – like a walking canvas I display through the day. Descending the stairs I smell strong, rich coffee and hear the boys talking to their dad about their plans for the day. They are truly happy, supported and free to be exactly who they are.

My husband hands me a cup of coffee and our eyes meet. We know what we have and it makes us both smile. He grabs his keys, calls for the boys who eagerly bob out the door behind him. He’s off to the work he loves, dropping the kids at school en route. He’s good at what he does and it lights him up. We have more than enough and it’s a thrill to invest, spend and share our wealth.

As the house grows still and silent I take my mug of hot coffee outside. From the back patio I see the lake shimmering a playful invitation to commune. I let my mind receed and enter into the infinite abyss of pure potentially; the quantum field that surrounds me patiently waiting for my instructions. We are one and the creative dance is never ending.

What is next? I smile and let it happen.

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Find me on Twitter @tallerthanilook

At The Speed of Light

What beautiful words. I’m moved by this.

Syl65's Blog

A cluster of stars came and spoke to me

Curious as to how I was feeling

I replied “Surely you can see”

I know I am just a man

But damn! She makes me feel extraordinary

The stars were beautiful

Really vivid and glistening

I believe they were moved by how I was feeling

“She is heavenly!,” I shouted, making sure they heard me

They shined a little brighter, as if they agreed

And we made a pact on this night, the stars and I

That whenever I felt the dimness from her absence

They would come and talk with me

There would be no need for the tongue to speak

They would simply shine, as bright as possible

For me and for her

Lighting up two heart at one time

The message of love traveling at the speed of light

* photo credit: www.athenna.com

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Fabulous Friday #3

We are bred to be diligent, told to be persistent, required to keep going. We are fed a rich chum diet extolling the joys of conformity all the while simultaneously offered a buffet of fine tuned, well-salted snacks of fear masked as sanity. We munch it all down and wonder why we feel sick (there’s a pill for that).

I think the antidote lies not in medication. There is liberation in dropping the gloves, letting your body relax, tilting your head back and saying fuck it.

Fuck it to prescribed living
Fuck it to waiting
And a big, inflatable-donkey-in-the-Macy’s-parade sized FUCK IT to fear.

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May your Fridays be Fabulous.