Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tools: Homemade Signs

I thought I would go back to focusing on tools that have helped me with my TBI.  I know these aren't necessarily TBI-only solutions either, so enjoy.  :) 

Brain fatigue is a common problem for many TBIers post-injury, myself included.  As a part of education process at rehab they spoke of "The Brain Budget Analogy".  With this concept we are given an allotment of, say, $20 or 20 brain energy units, for example.  Our job then, is to budget these resources carefully throughout any given day because they're all we get!  Pre-injury we were in the hundreds if not thousands of brain bucks or energy!

In our home one of the ongoing issues was neither of us knew whether our indoor/outdoor kitty was inside or outside, we could not remember no matter how hard we tried!  So, we created a sign! 

The door is metal so we placed a magnet in the middle and sealed it with clear mailing tape, on one side is "In" and the other "Out", and, it can be flipped over with just one hand.  It really is a simple concept and helps A LOT because of that precious brain budget.

In time I created a second sign for my elder kitty, Tux, who likes to go outside but doesn't stay out long.  Having that sign helps when I forget she's out there, I hate that!!  She's always been a bit skittish so I want her to be able to come back in quickly when she becomes afraid.

The "Out" sides of the signs are both green to hopefully remind us that green means go!  :) 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Creepy: It's Not Just For Halloween Anymore...

I decided to do some Twitter housekeeping, unfollow people who haven't been active and maybe follow new inspiring folks.  No big deal, I thought.  Making good connections is fun for me.

I was NOT expecting to find a person following me from my past...especially when it wasn't ME who gave him my blog info with Twitter info.  That information was given to him WITHOUT my permission from a person who quickly became an ex-friend years ago.  I have no patience or tolerance for folks who violate my trust and boundaries. 

This person was on Twitter for no other reason than follow I was the ONLY person he was following!

This infuriates me on several levels, as it should.  Cyberstalking is creepy, I don't care who you are and what justification you give.  Healthy people DO NOT stalk or follow someone they no longer have a relationship with, that's what abusive people do!

I haven't exactly had a supportive or protective environment growing up with domestic violence, I do not tolerate people being reckless with my life.  Call me cold, call me a bitch, I call it survival and it's what keeps me strong. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012


This little fellow decided to pay us a visit, it's the first time I've seen a Pygmy Owl since moving here, it was so cool I had to share it with you all.  :) 

I'm so happy he stuck around long enough for me to get some great photos. 

At this time of the year most of the transient birds we enjoy during the summer have made their way to warmer climes, so it's a melancholy time to say good-bye to our feathered friends.  But this, this was a huge surprise!  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Taking Steps

I previously blogged about going back to Step 1 (“we admitted we were powerless over ________ – that our lives had become unmanageable”). By going back to this foundation, I had strength and direction to rediscover what works for me.

 It was also during this time of introspection and looking at life with greater curiosity that I realized the trip back to visit my Dad and family unleashed an unexpected emotional avalanche that I struggled to process. I felt very much emotionally stuck and changed to the core and wondered who I really am.

In the 12-step programs there is a lot of mention of a “fearless and moral inventory.” Okay, that alone strikes fear in my heart…but…I slowly began to realize that inventory would also show good things like compassion and insight. (Aren’t we all criticized by self, society, etc. to the point it indeed becomes abusive???)

I had to go back to the basics asking myself how was I REALLY managing my life? How was I doing at keeping up on feeding the animals, cleaning litter boxes and mucking, how was my sleep cycle? How about diet and exercise? I found I was kind of caving in, not doing much to support myself. I know the life I WANT to have is an active one, so, changes are in order…but it’s never just that simple with TBI.

The lack of stamina post-TBI is an ongoing, raw, unwelcome experience. But, it is what it is. I thought about how am I doing managing my depression? I do pretty much remember to take my meds everyday, but what about other things I know that work?

That brings me back to diet and exercise.

Going back to taking small steps, I first put my pedometer on and thought I’d see if I get those 10,000 steps every day Dr. Oz recommends. Um, not even close! On my own, I average about 3,000 steps on a good day. Bad days, egads, probably barely any at all.

So, I’m working my way back to exercising, I have the hardest time being consistent with anything post-TBI because I crash and will be out for several days. Starting over gets old, enough said.

For now, I am focusing on exercising and keeping track, so the pedometer which gets hooked up to my computer keeps track for me. In time, I would love to have a smart gadget that is able to help me keep track of everything day-to-day, even steps. It’s good to have a goal.

For now, just taking steps helps me feel better about myself to know I’m heading in the right direction, and that’s real important this time of the year with the cold weather, a lot of time spent indoors, and the darkness.

For many who have had to learn how to re-walk, or lost the ability to walk, post-injury, I dedicate each step to you. Never give up.