Chapter 22 – September 27, 2011

Thank God for my mom. If it wasn’t for her, I don’t know what I’d do. I guess I’d be
in some institution somewhere. It’s good to have someone look after you. I get it, I
understand, because I have a child and I would do the same. If you have a TBI you are
assigned a social worker. That will help you, but it’s still good to have either a family
member or a friend do most of the work. The social worker has many caseloads. You
are one of many. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, and there’s so much to know. It
changes all the time. What a mess. Anyway, my Mom has become an expert of what to
do. There is help out there. You just have to know where it is and go after it. It’s a full
time job.

On the positive note, I saw my surgeon for my yearly check up. I had to do an MRI with
contrast before the meeting. The MRI was tough because I seem to get claustrophobia.
But I just thought about surfing. You’ll find you just need to think about something or
somewhere that makes you happy and you will break the routine. The phobia. I guess
it’s like meditation. I had a good check up. Nothing new. No need for further surgery.
There is one small, very small malformation in the middle of my brainstem, but if they
operate, it’s the end of me. So I’ll just live with it. You know, you could get hit by a
taxi, or a garbage truck, you never know what’s around the corner. You see we live with
stuff in our body you don’t want to know about. One way to stay up all night is to get a
body scan done. That’ll put the fear of God into you! Anyway, I guess what I’m saying
is, live your life. When something goes wrong, fix it.

On another note, I saw my shrink earlier today and she said it’s so important to get sleep.
I often wake up in the early hours of the morning thinking too much. Not good. I’ll go
to bed later and get up a little later. Then she advised taking a two hour nap in the middle
of the day. You see, when you have TBI, it’s good to rest. Most healing is done when
you’re asleep. More sleep = more healing. Sounds good to me. I’m always tired. So I
think I’ll follow her advice.

Oh yeah, I keep saying TBI. It’s kind of a shortened version of saying Traumatic Brain
Injury. Just a form of slang.

Anyway, it was good to talk to my shrink. When you go through something like this,
it’s so important to have someone to talk to. I told her about my show of photography. I
think I’ll have fun putting it all together. Like an artist friend I met said, do something
you have a passion for. This was a guy named Chuck Close. I love his work. He often
works with photography. But if you do what you have a passion for, it will help you
heal. I’ve been taking pictures of how I see the world and it’s a nice distraction. Do
what makes you happy. I think it’s important to be happy. Especially with the way
things are going now. I hear it’s pretty tough out there. My friends that come by talk
about how hard work is, how difficult it is to get work, etc. I guess I picked a good few
years to sit on the sidelines. It’s kind of liberating not to think about where the next job
will be coming from. I haven’t thought about work for two years. I’m happy just to see
my toes move. You really appreciate the small things in life when you’re like this.

Next week I got a prescription to start pool therapy. It really helps. My first time around,
it really helped me. I’m looking forward to it. It takes the fear out of falling and since
I’m kind of a water person anyway, it feels great.

Anyway, enough of my chit chat. I think I’ve been talking too long. I’ll talk to you guys
next week. Have a good week. Try to be happy. B. Nice.