Back to tracking my TBI recovery

Okay, so now I’ve take care of these “housekeeping” items:

  • I’ve squared away my job situation — I’ve gracefully exited my last position and am ramping up for my new one
  • I’ve gotten clear on my future path — keep my skills up and learn-learn-learn
  • I figured out my transportation into work each day
  • I’m sorting out my weekly therapy/appointment schedule
  • I’m in the habit of getting regular naps
  • I’m paying closer attention to my eating habits
  • I’m exercising a little bit each day, including stretching which is so important

And I’m ready to get back to the nitty-gritty of tracking my daily progress with all my TBI symptoms.

I have made some changes to my self-assessment grid, and I’m printing out copies of it to track my daily situation.

I also wanted to share with you a self-assessment ‘questionnaire’  to track how I’m doing from day to day. I pulled together as many symptoms of TBI as I could find from different websites, and I put them into a format that is helpful for me, and I’ve been using my self-assessment form, on and off, over the past year or so . I have found that when I am actively tracking my immediate situation, I’m better able to monitor and manage my situation. I track whether or not things are “up” with me, what they’re like, the level and impact to my daily functioning, what I do about it, and whether it works or not. Then I have the information on-hand to refer to later, when I run into trouble.

Interestingly, I have found that phrasing the criteria a specific way makes it easier for me to self-assess. A lot of these issues have been persistent and intrusive with me for as long as I can remember, but I couldn’t see they were there, because I wasn’t looking for them specifically. But I found that actually identifying them specifically and asking myself directly if they applied to me at that time made it much easier for me to identify them. Saying “I’m angry!!!” versus just checking off the “Anger” box, which I’ve seen on some websites, makes it more immediate, and I get an instant Yes or No response to it. It also keeps me honest.

When I first started self-assessing some time back, I had a lot of varied and detailed information to fill in, but over time I’ve become better at sorting through things. I think that’s perhaps one of the reasons I’ve been doing better over time. I’ve been actively practicing looking at my situation and organizing what I find.

Now, I find my issues are less “colorful”, but they are still persistent. Unfortunately, I have not been doing as much self-assessment as I should in the past months, and I can tell a difference in my self-confidence and my anxiety levels. But that is changing. Now I have my daily schedule almost in place, and I can block off time to do this self-assessment work at lunch in a quiet location near my office (but not in it). So that’s good.

I just need to make the effort. And so I shall.

I guess one of the reasons I had left off tracking my progress, is that I got so upset and bothered about things never getting completely better. I’ve been doing better about my agitation and my temper issues, as well as my interpersonal relations, but the problems never disappear 100%. They are always there in the background, and their constant presence depresses the heck out of me.

It’s just really tough, sometimes. I don’t want to be unwell. I don’t want to be so volatile. I don’t want to have so many issues. I want this all to get better and go away. But it’s not. Still, if I can’t keep track of myself and work on all this, it really gets hold of me and derails me, which is so not-good, I can’t even begin to say. I’m in a new job, and I can tell my issues are rearing their ugly heads again. I have to do something. So I’m going to start self-assessing regularly. And avail myself of my neuropsych therapist who knows about this stuff and may be able to help me sort through it all.

So, I’m going to just bite the bullet and start tracking myself. I can take time out during the day — over lunch and/or over morning and afternoon breaks. I also have time on the train to self-assess, so that’s good. I just really need to do it, because my problems with not being able to initiate/get started on important things, my tendency to just sit and not want to move, my bad habit of isolating and withdrawing, and my disorganization are all starting to take a toll on me. And I’m only two weeks into the job.

I need to get a grip on this. Do the work-work, yes, and do the self-work, too. I cannot and will not be sidelined by this TBI stuff. I still have a lot to offer and accomplish, and I have tools to help me do it.

Self-assessment is one of the most powerful (and freely accessible) tools I have.

So, I must use it.

Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

2 thoughts on “Back to tracking my TBI recovery”

  1. Hi, thanks for linking with my blog!

    I would like suggest some Meditation – to me it is a safe place to let go and center myself…also as I have had to start Ta’i Chi instead of practicing Yoga which is now not advisable for me – the slow movements also gives you space to put things in perspective…

    And Write; write a lot; get your thoughts moving and pushing around…it helps a lot… it helps with keeping agile too!



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