It’s Been Two Years Today Since My Accident
It has been a long two years that’s for sure. Looking back from where I started from I have made amazing progress, I’m not there yet…but I’m still working at it!
This Time Last Year
On my concussion anniversary last year, I still needed the walker all the time. Now I’m walking with two canes. Actually. two canes when I’m outside the house. One cane in the house. Last March the thought of using canes seemed like a million miles away! I started with canes( sticks as I call them) in January of this year. Once I got over the initial fear of them, I caught on to how to use them very quickly.
Unfortunately, I still have a headache at some level all the time. Luckily, with botox injections, as well as taking Lamotrigine( it is an off label migraine medicine) twice a day, my baseline everyday headache is a lot lower than it was before.
I still haven’t gone more than two weeks without a Migraine day, but that is still progress considering that I used to have debilitating migraines multiple days a week.
The addition of the medication Rizatriptan as an “emergency medicine” (when the headache gets extreme) is a game-changer. This medication is a yucky tasting tablet you dissolve in your mouth. It dissolves quickly and for me has always very quickly lowered the intensity of my headaches. When I have used it multiple times a day, it has basically made me sleep off the headache. If you have migraines I would recommend anyone ask their doctor about this medication. I wish it would have been prescribed to me in the very beginning.
I have had an issue with neck pain since I got hurt. Most likely due to the whiplash sort of motion that happened since I got hit in the front of the head and then back.
Trigger point injections every four weeks still give me some relief. The problem is that at the four-week point they have worn off. I tried going five weeks once and that one week made a huge difference. My neck was hurting way worse which made getting the injections that I need to relieve it hurt even worse.
I’m scheduled to get an MRI of my neck and see if they see anything that would attribute to how much neck pain I have. So time will tell on that!
My anxiety has improved a lot since where I was when I first got hurt. I’m not ashamed to say that I’m on quite a few medications for it.
I have had fewer panic attacks and overall I’m in a much better state of mind now than I was this time last year. Last year I was still having a lot of fear of falling. As well as anxiety about getting out of the house and going places. I was just always afraid my symptoms would get flared up, or that I would fall or something.
When we make plans to go to places and do things I still think about it a little too much. Luckily, my anxiety doesn’t keep me in the house anymore. I’m proud of my progress and ability to get around and I take advantage of it now.
My vision has still not improved all the way. I have much better peripheral vision than I did this time last year. Depth perception is still a problem though.
I still get double vision when my eyes are strained or tired. Since I have made some progress, I have not given up on my depth perception improving. It just another long slow part of this whole TBI process.
My short term memory is still a struggle sometimes. I feel like I ask repetitive questions and that I’m easily confused. Luckily, I have computer exercises and other exercises to work on my short term memory.
My long term memory has not been affected much, if at all!
A lot of noise and stimulus coming from different directions still causes me a problem. I can process what is coming from where as well as I should. This leads me to get stressed out and frustrated, which oftentimes makes my headache worse.
Earplugs are essential for me. I always have them with me and they make a big difference in how much noise bothers me.
There are still days where I’m just done in. When I feel like I’m so exhausted that I just need to rest my body and my mind…Basically do nothing to allow me to recover.
The main difference now is that I’m learning my limits and usually can realize when I need to stop. Learning my limits is basically having to gauge it every day because every day is different. Over time I’m getting better at this!
PT And Yoga
PT is still part of my weekly regimen. Yoga lesson as well. Both of these things together have been a great combination to help my strength, balance and body awareness.
I still ride my recumbent bike almost daily. Slowly I have been increasing the resistance and the length of time I ride it.
Yoga, I try to practice some every day. Even if nothing else, just a little basic stretching.
Since my mobility is better, I get a lot more exercise than ever just walking around places.
I’m so much better than I was this time last year. Like tons better, amazingly better a zillion times better. I still have work to do and it is still going to take more time. The main thing is that I’m making progress that I can see and feel.
This experience is one that I would not wish on anybody. It sucks, but that is life, it gets hard sometimes. Much harder than you ever expected. I can honestly say that I have surprised myself in how I have managed to deal with it all.
Of course, I still have bad days. Tears of frustration are not quite a thing of the past yet. But if you told me this would happen to me I would have never believed that I would be able to work through it the way I have. Not just the physical recovery, but the emotional part of it as well. I’m proud to say I that I’m proud of myself for the strength and resilience that I have managed in the last two years.
Lastly, I’m not only grateful for my progress and how far I have come. I’m grateful for my family and friends who have seen me through the ups and downs of all of this. My amazing physical therapist and yoga instructor, they both have gone above and beyond for me.
Of course, I’m grateful for my doctors and their encouragement and willingness to answer all my questions. My doctors always made me feel like they understood what I was going through and that I was not the only person who has had to go through this same journey.
I have learned that there is still a hell of a lot that doctors don’t know about how our brains work!
All I know is that 2 years after the fact I’m making amazing progress and that I’m just going to keep on keepin’ on. There is no doubt in my mind that I will recover. It’s just a matter of being patient and working hard and those are two things that I can do!