Well, I’ve done it again. I went off on a business trip and came back with a nasty upper respiratory infection. I suspect it was the air travel. Two packed flights across the country, each way. Next time (and I expect there will be a next time) I’m going to wear a mask. Maybe draw a smile on it. It might be the best thing, ’cause coming down with these infections after traveling is a huge PITA. And it doesn’t help me feel good about my progress, either.
Well, anyway, I can’t dwell too much on it. I need to save my energy to get better. I also need to save my energy to deal with the most important things in front of me.
See, this is the thing with energy reserves — and this goes as much for cognitive reserves as it does for physical ones. After TBI, especially, our reserves get depleted. I suspect it’s because we have rewired our brains and we expend more energy figuring out how to get synaptic connections from Point A to Point Z. When you’ve gotten “dinged” a few too many times (as though once or twice is not too many), cognitive reserves can go down. Which means you have less energy to do things. But you need MORE energy to do things that used to come quite easily to you.You get tired more quickly over things that used to be easy. And your temper gets shorter, your memory struggles, and all sorts of things start to break down. Because you’re tired.
The worst thing about it, too, is that when it happens to me, the more tired I get, the less well I think. So, it becomes a vicious cycle, a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I come down with an upper respiratory infection after a week of doing some pretty amazing work.
Not that I’m here to feel sorry for myself. Far from it. It’s all about figuring out what went wrong, and where, and then fixing it.
But that solution quest is going to have to wait, because I seriously need to rest. Despite being quite sick, I started working from home at 5:45 a.m. this morning, and 13 hours later, I was still at it. Oh, I took a break to go to the doctor and take a nap, but still, it’s a 13+-hour day. Oh, well. That just goes with the territory. I’ve got a lot of responsibility on me, and nobody I work with is working any less hard, that I can tell.
Suck it up and move on.
And have some supper. And meds. Take it easy. Get good rest. And see how I’m doing in the morning. If I still have a fever, I’m staying home and working. I’m actually getting a lot done, far from the madding crowd.
Good news on the home front: My spouse and I have both resolved to be much more gentle with how we talk to each other. I think after 20 years, you can start to take each other for granted and not watch every word. But that’s not how we want to live. So, we’re stopping each other when we start to get revved, and we’re taking time-outs to chill out. It’s good. It’s important. I may be dealing with TBI after-effects, but I’m a grown-up, and I’m fully capable of taking responsibility for my behavior. I’ve been at this recovery business long enough that I have learned a few things about stopping myself in mid-freak-out. Brain injury doesn’t give me license to not manage my own behavior. It’s taken me years to get to this point, but now that I’m here, I might as well make good on it.
Time to stop typing. Time to stop checking email. I’m tired and need to get better. Is it me, or have the bacteria been particularly virulent this year?