Brain FAQ’s, Update 3

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Our son wrote me these sweet notes a few days ago, thus coining my “broken brain” phrase. It’s interesting to see how he is processing all this.

So, I’ve discovered over the past week that my friends are very detail oriented – that’s probably one of the things that makes us friends (it takes one to know one, right?). Several of you have asked a lot of really good questions that I’m going to try to answer here. If you don’t have these questions, then stop just reading here, my non-detail needing friend.

1. How long will your recovery be?
Oh, how I would love to know the answer to this question but unfortunately, there is no way to tell. It was explained to us that a concussion is a bruise on the brain. And just like bruises on other parts of your body, you simply have to wait for them to go away. We have also learned that no 2 concussions are alike, just like no 2 bruises are alike. Some people may have a concussion that is a quick recovery with little symptoms, some may have long recoveries with lots of symptoms, and everything in between. My recovery so far has been really slow and the Doctor advised us to expect that I will continue to improve at this pace. He does expect a full recovery (yeah!) but it may be weeks or even months before I get there.

2. How can I write these posts but not read?
I write these posts on my iPad with the brightness of the screen turned all the way down so it does not hurt my eyes. I don’t re-read what I’m typing because that does hurt my head (so sorry about all the errors that I’m sure are everywhere). The computer has actually been a huge blessing to me during this time. It is 100 times easier for me to type than engage in conversation.

3. Why is it so hard to talk?
I’m not sure I can fully answer this question. I am physically able to talk. I don’t think I sound exactly the same but I don’t think my words are really slurred or anything like that. There just seems to be a huge disconnect between all that is going on in my mind and what is actually coming out my mouth. I’m not sure what is happening but I just can’t seem to get out what I am trying to say. I start sentences without finishing them. I repeat myself without meaning to, etc. Conversation is probably one of my biggest sources of anxiety right now. Maybe it’s because I actually know how awkward I am to talk with but there is nothing I can do about it. That is another reason why typing has been such a huge blessing. There is no disconnect between my thoughts and my fingers.

4. How is my memory?
I can remember everything before hitting my head just fine. Since hitting my head, my short term memory stinks. I often begin a task and forget what I was even trying to do, or start something and not finish it (I’ve found food I prepared for myself but totally forgotten to eat several times.) I often have to look at a calendar to remember the day, or check back through my texts to see if I replied to someone, etc.

5. How are my spirits?
Here’s the deal…this is not fun. It is lonely and frustrating and exhausting and frightening but it could be so much worse. I can think of many blessings that are tucked away in this unexpected season of life. I can see God’s mercy to our family. I can sense the love of Christ through the body of Christ. I can see a much more compassionate me emerging from this experience. I can see unknown sinfulness being brought to light and dealt with. I can even see specific prayers being answered that I’ve prayed for our little 5 person family. And when I think of all those things, I really thank God for His mercy. I needed this. That car door did not have to injure me as badly as it did. I’ve probably been hit harder than that before in my life but God chose this to happen at this time for His purposes. So each day is up and down, but all in all, I’m thankful.

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