Being all here

Right here, right now

Fog Factor Today: 70% with-it

I’m 70% “with-it” this morning – I got 7 hours of sleep last night, which is pretty good, considering my recent track record, and I woke up without an alarm. I’m doing better about heading to bed when I need to, rather than staying up to watch a little late-night talk show joking around, as I often do. The really funny people come on around 11 p.m., which is when I should be in bed.

Last night, I peeled myself away from the television and headed off to bed at 10:45, which is real progress for me. And although I felt like staying up and reading and keeping my brain in motion, when I got into bed and relaxed, I was too tired to do anything else.

I simply slept. Through the night. And woke up feeling pretty danged good, if I say so myself.

So, that’s progress. It’s been hard-fought, but I’ve done it. Yeah.

It’s a start.

I really didn’t feel like exercising this morning, but then I realized that I was lying in bed checking Facebook, when I could have been riding the exercise bike and checking Facebook, so why didn’t I just get up? So, I did, and I rode for 10 minutes and 2-1/2 miles — pushing myself a little harder at the end, without too much of a worsening headache. I also did my knee exercises while my coffee brewed and my egg cooked up. I worked on my balance while I did those exercises, and I realized that my balance is much better than it was, just a few months ago. Something is working better.

I’m feeling pretty good this morning, Fog Factor not withstanding. I’ve been fighting off a cold for a few days, and it felt like it was getting the better of me, first thing this morning. Now, though, it feels like it’s backing off, so that’s good.

Unfortunately, I’m probably not going to feel this great for another couple of weeks. I’m going on another business trip this coming week. Then comes the jet-lag. Then comes the pretending that I’m not jet-lagged. Then comes the extra work in the midst of jet-lag and meetings with people who speak other languages than me, and figuring out how to navigate the world far from my home. Last trip, I fought it tooth and nail, melted down over the prospect of going, and I had a really rough time just prior to going.

This time, I’m doing better at accepting the situation and seeing what I can get out of it. I’ve got a much better attitude, and I can see some saving graces.

It’s just tough, having to uproot myself for all this time… and then have to struggle through the return with the bone-crushing fatigue and disruption to my sleep schedule.

The good (no, great) part is, this will probably be my last big trip for quite some time. Just like last year, and the year before, we have to travel a few times at the beginning of the year under stupidly demanding circumstances. I consider it a test by management to see how on-board we are with their authority, and to test us about how much we’re willing to sacrifice for the team — pretty much a stupid-ass macho display of strength. woo. effing. hoo.

Rant alert: Let’s see who can put their family through the most hardship during the months when things can be the toughest at home — especially for folks who live in snowy areas — and let’s see who can show up at work the most bright-eyed and busy-tailed. Like I said, a bunch of macho crap — aging warhorses who feel the need to exert their authority over the minions. 

I hope they feel good about themselves. /End Rant

But those displays of uber-capability don’t usually last long, because – you know what? – hauling staff all over creation is expensive, especially with air travel and accomodations as pricey as they are today, so corporate predictably put the kaibosh on that. Serves ’em right. Of course, there will be eager little keener brown-nosers who will suck up and “do whatever is necessary” to book more miles and hot-foot it all over the world throughout the course of the year. Congratulations. Bully for you. You win the prize for Most Cooperative and also Most Gullible. If you think for a moment that you won’t get tossed aside if you prove un-useful to the overlords, you have another thing coming.

Once upon a time, I was a Believer, too. And I found out what that gets you, if you aren’t vigilant or evil enough to beat the bastards at their own game.

It’s sad, really. I hate to see other people find out the exact same thing. And here I am counting down the hours till I have to go — 31-1/2, right about now.

But I’m making the best of the situation, which is progress. I’m not harboring any illusions that I’m going to be able to magically transform my life through abject obedience to task-masters, and I’m going to just enjoy things as they are, for what they are. I’m going to get what I can out of the circumstances, having some thorough travel experiences, and learning what I can along the way. It’s all a learning opportunity, resentments aside. It’s a chance for me to step outside my everyday life and see what I can make of things. It’s not going to be forever. So, I might as well enjoy it now.

I’m just going to BE here — all here. And see what comes of it. The older I get, the more precious life is to me. Everyday life. Boring old life. Regular life. It’s just so fascinating, the more I know about what all goes into making it everyday and boring and regular. It’s not run-of-the-mill at all. It’s nothing short of a miracle.

So, in pursuit of my own miracles, I’m getting myself set up properly, so I have all the tools to make the most of my trip. I have a checklist I follow for what to take, and what NOT to take. The last time I went, I did not take my personal tablet, because A) I didn’t have a keyboard for it, so I thought it would be of limited use to me, and B) I didn’t think I’d need it. I was wrong on both counts. I could have really used my tablet on the last trip, if only to do some personal work and have a connection with my own world, where I didn’t have to rely on my work-issued devices for contact with MY world.

I learned my lesson from that experience. It was so dreary and limiting, to not have any personal contact with my world, but to have to go through my work devices for everything… to not be able to blog or look at my personal email, to have to work around all the policies and limitations on personal use of work equipment.

This time, I am taking my own personal tablet with its new keyboard. I am going to spend time writing and also collecting notes and observations from my travels. I’ll have time at the airport and on the plane to do some reading and writing, which is good. It’s all good.

I have really noticed that since I’ve gotten back to reading, I am feeling much better about myself and my life. Ironically, having a way to escape the pressures of the day-to-day makes me feel so much more better about tackling those pressures. Even if I just read for a little bit each day, it soothes me and it gets me out of my own head.

Writing helps me, as well, because it gives me some distance from my “problems” and it helps me put things in perspective. It also helps me organize my thoughts — I can tell a huge difference between how I was processing information five years ago, and how I’m processing it now. I’m much better at staying on topic, and I’m much better at getting some distance. When I can’t get distance, I end up running away from everything in my mind, distracting myself and keeping myself busy and occupied with any old crap that comes along.

By giving me a way to think through my life in an organized fashion, this blog has helped me tremendously.

It keeps me involved in my own life, as I think through the details of my life.

It keeps me all here.

So, today, it’s steady-on. I have a short list of things I need to do, to prepare for my trip. I’ve already done a bunch of things to prepare, so I have a more civilized approach this weekend. If I get some of these little to-do items out of the way, first thing, then I can kick back the rest of the day and just relax, which is cool. This is my new thing – doing things ahead of time, so I have big chunks of free time later on, when the Must-Do items aren’t hanging over my head. I have been a chronic procrastinator for a long, long time, but now I “get” the value of clearing my plate and clearing my slate, so I have free and open space to think and just BE.

Heck, I may actually be able to take a walk later today and really get my blood pumping. The woods are a little mucky right now, so I’m probably not going to go for a hike, but I can definitely get out on the back roads. And wear my bright red coat when I do, because it’s a little gray today, people don’t always pay attention when they drive around here, and I don’t want to blend in with the mid-winter gray landscape.

So, yes. Onward. I’ll go take care of those odds and ends, and have the rest of the day to myself. My spouse is going on another business trip today, so I’ll be flying solo. It will give me time to relax and sleep and clean up some of my work clothing, and maybe even watch some Kung Fu movies this evening while I have dinner. I haven’t watched any Zatoichi movies on Hulu since I was violently ill with the flu, this time last year. I miss just lying around, watching tales of the Blind Swordsman without a care in the world.

Today is a day when I can dispense with my cares and just go about my business. I may do some business preparation for my trip, or I may not. I have a presentation I need to refine, so I may work on that. And I have an internal newsletter to write, so I may start drafting that.

Or I may not. We shall see.

As I was saying… onward.

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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 “Being all here”

  1. I stick to my regimen of duties, tasks and pleasures. It has kept me healthy for over a decade. I wish I could take a long and singular walk, I cannot.

    “Heck, I may actually be able to take a walk later today and really get my blood pumping. The woods are a little mucky right now, so I’m probably not going to go for a hike, but I can definitely get out on the back roads. And wear my bright red coat when I do, because it’s a little gray today, people don’t always pay attention when they drive around here, and I don’t want to blend in with the mid-winter gray landscape.”

    This wonderful day-dream, would be a dream come true for me. I’ve found walking to bus stops on busy boulevards on sunny mornings to be hazardous to my health. Whether seizuring and collapsing unconscious or being robbed in a seizure while cars whiz by at 9:30 in the morning, makes no difference. People often do not seem to realise a person with a disability in medical distress, or one in medical need that is in the process of also being victimised.

    My medical condition is not fully stabilised, thus making my safety a common bone of contention. Looking physically healthy, robust and bodily abled, whether in or out of the medical community work-wise, large or small city, I often have to advocate for myself in most amazing of situations to my surprise. This past weekend, through a series of seizures, the treating ER physician refused a para-transit call to the local provider, refused information on the change of medication ordered, not listened to, refused to contact my personal epileptologist, I was discharged, felt seizural and refused to leave the safety of the hospital, repeatedly asked to leave, I could not and said that the only solution would be arrest, the hospital had me arrested and taken to jail. There I had a seizure during booking processes wherein the jail transferred me back to the hospital I came from. Having set two trial dates, the hospital placed me in four-point restraints without dialogue, ordered me to a psych hospital for a hold of 72 hours to span the first of pre-trial dates, and gauge my psych situation saying I was unsafe for self care, a retaliatory action.

    The psych hospital found no psychosis, nor practice of unsafe self-care. I made the pre-trial hearing a day late, when able to appoint and acquire para-transit 24 hour manifest travel, having been released before the 72 hour hold was finished. I found representation through the phone book and made my normally scheduled follow-up appointment with my doctor Thursday, four days later. My doctor returned my medicine levels to the previous ordered amounts, within the FDA approved levels rather than the levels which exceed those the ER physician ordered last weekend.

    Yes, a walk would be luscious, even a talk would be nice. Anything that differs from those that would choose to see someone as me, as being mentally defective because of being Broken Brilliant, and leather restraining me because there is simply no excuse for someone as me in the able-brained world, refusing long and singular walks, whether in woods or between bus stops, many people still think, “how dare she use para-transit for her safety?” The same people do not see, I do not have a larger portion of my right temporal lobe, without a telltale physical aspect to gauge this disability. Instead, I was abused and yelled at by the EMTs from jail and back to the hospital, being told I am “malingering” in my epilepsy. Grabbed and forcefully held, shot -up in the shoulders with syringes in a menacing manner and no discourse or dialogue. Far easier to hate that which is outside the normative and treat it (me,) as animal.

    Having more information to the facts of this non-fiction story, the hospital Dir. for Risk Mgmt (Munson) states, the hospital is under no obligation to practice “Best Practices.” Either those of the national Epilepsy Foundation or any other group that supports people with disabilities. Not a wonder the Broken Brilliant find support from one another.

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