Saturday, October 22, 2005

The road is long and unmarked!

Things have been so busy that I've not been able to post! I apologize to you, those kind readers who have been so wonderful in your concern and caring.

I've now completed about 8 weeks of the fall semester and so far, it's gone well. It's been both harder and easier than I feared. It's been harder in that I'm still "scared of screwing up", insecure, frustrated by my continuing ailments and often really tired. It's been easier in that I've been able to fulfill all my responsibilities, including rehearsals of all three choirs, my main "deanly" chores, and even a choir performance at the VU Homecoming Game. And of course, people have been SO kind and SO helpful and I appreciate that too. I've made plenty of goofs too, but nothing too bad.

Being a person who clinically had a "severe traumatic brain injury" puts me in an awkward spot, to put it gently. As ALL the doctors say, I have had a miraculous recovery - I'm "off the charts!" and my goodness, I am incredibly grateful to have been released to "go and do and live and be happy!" On the other hand, I still have the problems I mentioned above.

I'm constantly working and pushing to do my best and also trying to find out if there's anything else I can be doing to get better. I can find lots of information on the web about brain injury and recovery, but it's all pretty dire, pretty grim, and I've moved way beyond anything I've yet to read. So part of me is delighted and part of me wonders, "Am I missing something? Am I unaware of my shortcomings? Are people telling me I'm ok and doing well - but really I'm not and they are just humoring me? Are my goofs and errors natural human mistakes or results of my injured brain? Will my stamina and easy nature ever return? Will I somehow regress to a condition more commonly seen in these types of injured people?"

It helps when I immerse myself in positive thinking experiences and activities that boost my confidence. Reading about the recoveries of others like the "Central Park Jogger" - remember her? - is helpful and then there's my "hero" Lance Armstrong - he's amazing. I didn't have cancer but he's still an inspiration. I'm constantly pestering my loved ones and dear friends, "am I really ok?" and trusting them to tell me the truth and not humor me. I look forward to the day when I FEEL ok and don't feel like MY body has been hijacked and I've been left with THIS one. I hope it will just take time and more experience and I'll come to accept myself more.

Thank you for reading about all my fears and insecurities. If you are reading this, it is likely that you are one who has walked this road with me for quite a while, and I think it's probably time to confess my fears and problems as well as to gloat about my successes. So please know that I'm really grateful to be able to work and be of service to others at school. I love what I do and I love the folks I do it with!


Blogger Jacqui said...

Hey! ROK star girl! yeah, you.

re:"Will I somehow regress to a condition more commonly seen in these types of injured people?"

we gotta do a better job on your web-surfing skills, chica. here is a great collection of TBI survivors and their loved ones climbing a mountain! and here is another musician like you (okay a little different) that has forged on through against odds to the other side!

just in case that is too abstract for you, may i remind you of Nathan's progress and that two of my other favorite people have also gone this route and come out swinging. (i won't post anymore on this--if you guys wanna share, go for it!)

finally, in case that isn't enough, who's the mamma? after recent events, who came through as a confidante to comfort and advise? YOU DID! that's right. you are the mama. that, to me, is the sign you have reached full mental recovery.

you are doing great and will not slip. remember:
rule 1- i will always tell you the truth.
rule 2- i won't make a promise i can't keep.
rule 3- we don't need no sticking rule 3.

loving you much
--your little girl jacqui

11:55 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

mrs. s-
i miss you so much, and i'm so excited about seeing you on monday!! i can't wait!

you are such a blessing to so many... "keep on keepin' on" and find strength in the simple beauties of life... this wonderful fall weather we're having... the greatest cup of coffee in the morning... spending time with your wonderful husband (who adores you)... and don't forget to smile!

12:12 AM  

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