It’s Been A While!
I know I have had some TBI posts recently, but nothing really about my personal progress and where I’m at in recovery. I think it is important to share. As an encouragement for others who are on this same TBI healing journey that I’m on.
My working is sitting in a chair teaching riding lessons. I had been doing two days a week for about two, sometimes three hours. Recently, even if I haven’t been teaching I have been spending time out at the ring every day. Not a long time, just an hour or two. It is definitely a good step in helping to build up my tolerance for activity.
As with everything else, I have good days and bad days. It varies, sort of randomly. I would say recently I have had more rough days, but I believe that is because I have been doing so much more.
My Pt lessons are once a week now. I do not use my walker at all when I’m in the PT office. My therapist holds my waist and I hold his shoulders and we walk that way. I still have to keep my eyes closed and head down when I do this to prevent the world from spinning. My body is stronger though, and it doesn’t feel like he is holding me up as much of the time as he did before.
I ride the recumbent bike for 5 minutes. Then go back to the bar. I alternate between standing exercise at the bar and sitting with a resistance band. The standing exercises I do, are marching, heel/toe, side to sidestep and kicking backward.
While doing the standing exercises I try to open my eyes every once in a while during exercises. I don’t try to focus my eyes, just lift my head up and let my eyes sort of gaze in front of me without struggling to focus on a certain point.
The newest exercise he added is me sitting cross-legged on the table. Hands above my head, then practice moving as far forward, backward, left and right as I can without losing balance. Don’t worry I have someone on either side of me in case I lose my balance. Luckily, I have had some close calls, but have been able to self correct so far!
Besides My Eyes, The Other Problem Is My Neck And Shoulders
Some of my headaches come from eye strain, other times my head just hurts at some variation all the time. My headache doctor is working wth my medication and botox injections to help get my baseline headache down to a more bearable level.
A lot of the time though recently, I feel that my headaches are coming from the base of my neck and shoulders up into the back of my head. It is like my neck and shoulders are so clenched that I can’t relax them, which leads to a different sort of headache.
I also use essential oils on my neck and shoulders. They are helpful and I can use them as often as I want, unlike if I was taking pain medication.
In yoga, I have been working on a variety of poses and stretches to allow my neck and shoulders to release. It is quite a challenge. It feels like I’m trying so hard to make them relax that I’m actually fighting my own muscles and making myself tighter.
I keep working on it though! Eventually, I hope that I can get my neck and shoulders more comfortable.
If I don’t feel like I’m getting anywhere in that area sometime soon, I will probably try and get my neck looked at again. Just to see if there is a reason for my pain and tension there.
I’m still progressing slowly but surely. Cognitively I still feel like I get easily confused and I write everything down and still sometimes can’t remember things right.
I often am about to say something and before I can say it, it leaves my head and I have no idea what I’m going to say. Or, I will start to say something and I have to concentrate so hard on communicating what it is I want to say, that I end up totally blanking out and forgetting it. The cognitive aspect is definitely one that I have a wide range of good days and bad days.
The summer heat has really taken a toll on me. Mentally, I have had a lot of confusion keeping people straight and staying organized. Not to mention just being out in the heat, it just zaps my energy. My energy level is so all over the place, to begin with.
In the heat, I feel like a lot of the time I’m like dragging myself around. When I get hot, my symptoms get worse, sometimes sort of unexpectedly. I try to stay really aware of what my body is telling me, but sometimes it just sneaks up on me.
I’m working on pacing myself better ( this has been a constant issue for me since the beginning ) as well as trying even harder to keep myself hydrated. Water isn’t my favorite thing to drink, but I have been forcing myself to and it definitely has helped.
At summer riding camp, I can really only manage a half a day out in the heat, with all the chaos of the kids running around. Luckily, I scheduled my stuff for the morning. Then I can crash the rest of the day!
I have been having more crash days recently. Days that I just want to sleep and rest all day. I attribute that to me pushing myself to the next activity level. So I figure it comes with the territory.
This time last year I didn’t come out of the house except for doctors appointments. The fact that I’m out and about helping at all is a big deal, at least I think it is! I’m getting there, slowly but surely. Which is alright progress is progress no matter what the speed!
I’m becoming an expert at navigating my TBI life, staying hydrated, taking the right medicine at the right time. Keeping up with PT, always having my sunglasses, hat, and earplugs handy! Oh, and don’t forget a notebook to write things down so I don’t forget them!!!
What a long strange trip it’s been so far. You know what I always say though I just got to keep on keepin’ on and stay positive. I’m going to beat this thing, no matter how long it takes me.