Debbie's Place

A Patient's Point of View

Category: Veterans (page 2 of 18)

All In a Brain Injury

We have memory problems.
We have concentration difficulties.
We have sensory deficits like blurred vision,
ringing in the ears or a bad taste in our mouths.

We can have loss of sensation and feeling.
We can have headaches.
Many of us have loss of balance.
We can have light sensitivity.
We can also have noise sensitivity.
We tend to have mood changes.
We tend to become depressed or anxious.

We may have chronic fatigue.
We may have sleep disorders.
We may be confused.
We may have speech and hearing deficits.
We may lose judgement and reasoning abilities.
We may stay angry a very long time.

We are usually not sure who or what we are angry about.
The truth is we do not know ourselves anymore!
We are usually the last to know or realize the extent of our injuries.
Many of us also have PTSD.
Others of us have seizures.
Please, if you see our symptoms, help get us the help we need.

We need support, encouragement and hope.
We need faith that we
can overcome our many deficits.
We need immense understanding as we lost “ourselves.”
It is difficult to again find our way.
Our futures are full of unknowns and extremely hard work.

We are like a brand new person, starting all over again.
None of us wanted to start all over again.
We may be resistant and we may deny, deny and deny.
We need nurturing and we need guidance to again find our way.
We are unique in every way.
What the brain is able to again do
will astound even those that do not believe in miracles.
We are survivors in a special league.

Many of us had experienced loss of family and loved ones prior to brain injury.
These loses were heart breaking and hard to accept.
They did not prepare us for the total and complete loss we have felt
as a result of our “loss of self!”

We are brothers and sisters
as a result of the uniqueness of our loss.
We believe we are the only ones
that can truly understand the magnitude of our loss.
Together we are stronger,
and we learn tips that help us move forward.

Please be kind and patient with us.
If you have not experienced loss of self
it is very hard to comprehend.
Please just sympathize and empathize with our loss.

We are a group that has a tendency to far surpass anyone’s expectations or dreams.
We are the “ultimate survivors” in every sense of our existence.
We were chosen and are all an honor and a blessing to know!

Understand My Anger

I had an instantaneous, unforeseen, insult to my head.
it’s result and effect on my life has me so incredibly mad!
All my many dreams of the future, my hopes and my goals,
all changed and I can’t help that it makes me incredibly sad.

You think and say that I look basically identical to before.
You act like if I tried hard enough I could still be just the same.
In your unrealistic expectation of trying to accept the new me,
your pressure and demands have made me aware this is no game.

You did the best you could but it has been very hard on both of us.
You don’t seem to understand why it has been such a torturous ordeal.
Yet you must remember it isn’t your life that has drastically changed,
believe me when I tell you this heart-wrenching agony is very real.

Don’t misunderstand that I am not grateful or immensely thankful,
yes, I am very aware that my disability could be considerably worse.
But just don’t ask me to pretend it is easy or ask me to try and
minimize.Because today, my life, my losses, my reality, feels very much like a curse.

Someday I am sure I will have the ability to let go of this
incredible pain. But it has to be handled my way, in my time frame, not the demand of yours. Please just try to be patient and loving as I am truly doing the best I can. Some injuries and their aftermath unfortunately don’t have instantaneous cures.

I think you would more easily understand and also been very greatly
angry, if this injury with such devastation had unfortunately, instead
happened to you. So please just try hard to have more patience and compassionate understanding, if anything tragic should ever happen to you, I would stand beside you too.

My exasperation and fury come from my internal tremendous frustration, at all the things that were once easy, and now are so difficult for me to do. Please just try showing some real understanding and sincere empathy, remember things are not nearly as easy for me to do as they are for you.

I used to never blow my top, I was considered as gentle as a lamb.
Now with these brain changes, I just can’t really tolerate very much
I hate to loose my temper, it makes it hard to recognize who I am.
Just try to understand me, and possibly give me a reassuring touch.

I don’t like to allow myself such feelings of wrath or outrageous anger,
over emotions I no longer seem to be able to keep under control.
My agitation certainly doesn’t mean I don’t need love or feel
appreciation, it just means that I am struggling very hard with this unwanted role!

Did You Notice?

Did you notice,
it feels like you walk alone?
Did you notice,
the lack of family and friend support shown?
Did you notice,
when others seemed to stop calling on the phone?
Did you notice,
this disappointment made you want to cry or groan?
Did you notice,
how many ways compassion could have been shown?
Did you notice,
when others use a different or demeaning tone?
Did you notice,
a lack of feeling like you are turning to stone?
Did you notice,
when you were ready to move forward even if alone?
Did you notice,
we learned to protect ourselves from hurt and fear of the unknown?

 

Medical Cannabis

You have helped keep me sane.
You have helped manage my pain.
You have helped me to finally regain.
You have helped take me in from the rain.
You are the kindest medicine anyone can attain.
You are the first medicine that is healing my brain.
You are helping me feel again and become much less lame.
You have helped me to feel less embarrassment and shame.
You have helped me believe my brain can continue to retrain.
You are my brightest rainbow following decades of unimaginable strain.

Letting Go

 

If we hide,
we don’t have to decide.
If we pretend,
we don’t have to confide.
If we deny,
we don’t have to face,
the brutal realities,
that throw us off base.
If we stay angry,
we don’t have to deal,
with all of the frustration,
that we really feel.
If we blame others,
we can protect ourself.
If we don’t face reality,
it feels safe on this shelf.
If we stay lonely,
it disguises other pain.
If we stay mad,
it might keep us sane.
If we let go,
could we handle today?
If we forgive,
could we find our way?
If we were willing,
to come face to face,
Would the internal torment,
finally give up the chase?
Probably………

 

Glimpses

It was just a split second in time,
now I am forever different from before.
Feeling sad sometimes is certainly not a crime,
none of us can predict what life might have in store.

Sometimes there are tears and moments of unbearable sadness,
but in general we all cope, day by day, with our eyes on tomorrow.
For the most part we are thankful and our hearts are filled with gladness, but as with any loss, that lasts forever, we also all feel our share of sorrow.

No one ever told us what to expect, so denial was our strategy,
then the clock kept ticking and the improvements did not seem to come. Through the support of other brain injured, I realized there had been a tragedy, that I must face, acknowledge, grieve, get angry over and then start recovery from.

Denial was a wonderful place, but it was not real and it did not help me heal. Recovery has been a rough road, with many a glimpse at my pre-injury aptitudes. Sometimes I still wonder what if that pick-up truck had not been able to steal? Steal what? I still have my life and I am thankful. Recovery seems to be partly attitude.

But those glimpses of another, far easier time in life, are a step in our healing process. I know of no one that would raise their hand and volunteer for this kind of injury or pain, but that does not mean that we cannot turn our lives, with this injury, into a story of success. By sharing our information with others, in lessening another’s pain, we all experience gain.

We Wanted You to Know

 

We all want you to know,
It may have been a big mistake to let us go.
We are all very special,
We sure wish you’d been there,
to help, support and watch us grow.
We will also one day again glow.
We all want you to know,
We can and will make it on our own,
We just had to finally let our feelings be known.
We were in the dark,
We are starting to get back our spark.
It really hurt us all to be pushed away,
We had an injury it wasn’t really our say.
We just really wanted you to know,
We will one day hopefully understand,
Why we were abandoned and loved ones let us go.
We all just wanted you to finally know!

If Not

 

If not for loss, we would not recognize gain.
If not for fatigue, we would not appreciate energy.
If not for death, we would not be thankful for life.
If not for poverty, we could not appreciate prosperity.
If not for ignorance, we could not appreciate wisdom.
If not for failure, we could not fully appreciate success.
If not for harm, we could not appreciate safety.
If not for confusion, we would not appreciate peace.
If not for cowardice, we could not appreciate bravery.
If not for enemies, we would not know the meaning of friends.
If not for betrayal, we would not appreciate loyalty.
If not for fog, we could not appreciate clarity.
If not for hate, we would not appreciate love.
If not for reality, dreams would have no meaning.
If not for shallowness, we would not appreciate insight.
If not for shame, we could not appreciate pride.
If not for bad, we would have no appreciation of good.
If not for sorrow, we would not understand joy.
If it were not for our past,
The present may be much easier to accept.
But as you noticed, a world without scars, is a world without
meaning.

 

Heart and Soul

I have a body, a mind, a heart, and a soul.
My body has changed, my mind is rearranged,
the essence of me, is still intact.
My heart is bigger, my soul is everlasting.
All bodies wear out, all minds get slower.
My heart has grown fuller, my soul is forever.
The essence of me, is still intact.
My body feels pain, my mind can’t remember,
but my heart keeps expanding, my soul is at peace.
Love comes from the heart, love radiates from the soul.
The essence of me, is still intact..
I can still give love, I can still receive love.
Try to overlook my bursts of anger,
don’t dwell on what I can no longer do.
The essence of me, is still intact.
If I ramble occasionally, or act totally confused,
if I have already told you this story please overlook it,
sometimes I just really can not recall.
The essence of me, is still intact.
If I lose my temper for no reason at all,
please remember my heart and my soul.
The essence of me, is still intact.

Living With PTSD

I have PTSD,
But PTSD doesn’t have me.
I use meditation,
To help block my negative memory.
I use music,
To help change my mood so others don’t pay the fee.
I challenge myself,
To face the things I’d truly prefer not to hear or see.
I use self hypnosis,
To help change my reaction to people that make me want to harm
or flea.
I have PTSD
And at times, someone may need to help remind me.
I have PTSD and I am just doing my best to keep my hands to me.
I have PTSD snd I am just doing my best to once again clearly see.
I have PTSD and I am just doing my best to figure out how to again just be.
I have PTSD,
But PTSD doesn’t have me.

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