Happy Anniversary, everyone!

Seven Years Ago Today, I started this blog

Hey, today is the anniversary of this blog. Seven years ago today, I sat down to chronicle my “adventure” with TBI recovery. I wasn’t sure where it would take me, but all this time later, I have to say it was probably one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

And thank you for joining me – all 296,885 page views and 4,550 comments. 🙂 Thank you for your ongoing support! I am truly grateful! Indeed, no words can say.

Blogging here has helped me to get out of my head — and my apologies to those who grew weary of hearing me bitch and moan about every little thing. There’s been a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth in these pages, over the years. But eventually I did figure it out. Took a while and wasn’t easy, but I got there.

Anyway, things are moving on the neurologist front. Sitting down with my neuropsych yesterday, we walked through the different symptoms I’ve been dealing with, lo these many years. Many of them date back some 35 years — the tinnitus, in particular — while some of them are newer. The headaches have been a noticeable vexation to me since 2008, though I can’t say I never had them before that. Some of them started to be a problem after my 2004 TBI. Some of them, like the facial twitch and one-sided hand tremors, are fairly recent, becoming more noticeable and concerning in the past year or so.

I’m not one to complain, and I don’t want to draw undue attention to myself, but one of my relatives died of MS, another died of a brain tumor, and I had a friend who had Parkinson’s and did not get diagnosed for a couple of years — and they lost valuable time in understanding and treating their condition.

If I’m dealing with something bigger than your standard-issue First World problems of carpal tunnel and sleep deprivation, I need to know sooner, rather than later. The thing that really took its toll on the friend with Parkinson’s, is that they didn’t deal emotionally with it, and they were in resistant denial for quite some time… and they are NOT in good condition, right now. It’s alarming, seeing them as they are. Truly alarming, compared with how lively and engaged and into everything they once were.

I’m not saying I have Parkinson’s or MS, or anything like that. But TBI increases the risk of Parkinson’s, so it’s in the back of my mind. And if there is even the remotest chance of any of the above (or something else), I need to rule them out, before I go on my merry way.

For the record, I’m fine with a benign tremor. It gets worse when I’m tired, so it’s an ally in a way. Those sorts of things act as a sort of barometer to keep me honest. And if a good night’s rest will do the trick, then I can deal with the inconvenience.

Anyway, I’ve got to go get my car serviced. Off I go…




EEG and MRI are both normal!

Woo hoo!

I had a visit with my new neuro on Monday, and they tell me that my EEG and MRI both read as NORMAL.

There is no sign of a brain tumor.

There is no sign of MS.

There is no sign of degenerative disease.

I’m way symmetrical and looking good.

At last, I’ve got some actual testing and numbers to show for all this. Enough of the guesswork — I’ve got plenty of notes and detailed observations about my life, but no doctor apparently has the time or inclination to sort through them all.

Plus, with my over-the-top attention to detail and fixation on things that are experientially important (but probably medically insignificant), who knows if anything I’ve recorded is even any use to them at all?

God, I love minutiae. But it doesn’t love me 😉

Anyway, I’m trying really hard to stay positive through all this. I think that part of me would have liked to see at least a little bit of “variation” on my test results, so I have concrete proof that something unusual is “up” with me.

But this is actually one of the things that makes TBI such a conundrum for folks — both medical doctors and people who experience it. Your test results can come back looking great, your CAT scan, your MRI, and your EEG can all come back normal. But there are real issues hidden under the surface that emerge over time and with varying degrees of difficulty.

And those issues can look like seizures or mental illness or ADD or OCD or some of the other “alphabet” conditions that are swimming around out there.

Or, worst of all, they can be interpreted as a lack of will, being a “bad seed”, being “sinful”, or old-fashioned “character defects” that have little or nothing to do with character and have everything to do with the brain not behaving as it should.

And it can make you crazy. Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that mental illness can emerge as a result of the stress and strain of dealing with TBI… with or without knowing it.

Well, I would love to write more… and I really want to. But I’ve got to get ready for work and stop at the bank to close the business bank account I opened back before I realized that I wasn’t nearly as capable as I thought I was, and my MBTI was propelling me forward in life, fueled by anxiety, drive, aggression, and a deep-seated need to prove to myself and the world that I was really doing very well… when in fact, I wasn’t.

I know now that the complicated tasks involved with running a business are well beyond my broken brain. I may be able to get back some of my functionality with some speech/occupational therapy, but that’s a ways off in the futur. Right now, it’s time for me to let go of that unrealistic drive and work with the limitations I have. In a way, it’s a huge relief. There are plenty of other ways I can prove my self-worth to myself and the world that don’t involve adminstrative paperwork and filing quarterly taxes 😉

Note: This was cross-posted at Daily Strength