Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reflecting: Revised

When we are close to death, we tend to re-evaluate our lives.
I'm not sure about people with something terminal, but from what I hear they do. 
I know that I certainly re-evaluated my life, looking back, you know, after I was able to remember anything from my life prior to the hospital.
When I can remember, I reflect.

I found this to be especially true when learning to navigate with my new brain. 
Correction. My old, slightly-damaged, 'new' brain.

I get access to my 30 year catalogue of memories with different smells, or even just the way the air feels. It's very sci-fi, and surreal feeling.
Like Dali, but with an iPad.

I'm told that my brain had to find new pathways to deliver information because the old pathways were destroyed when my brain was rammed to and fro in my skull.
It is finding new pathways, all of the time! 

There was a short time that I would get confused by smells. I was sure our breakfast cereal had been contaminated by fish(this was pre-vegan). Troy assures me, our cereal was never fishy. I do remember not doing well on the smell identification portion of my first neuro-psychological assessment. It seems to have fixed itself, I don't misidentify things through scent anymore. Hooray!
Let's also remember that I had double vision for a short period of time.
My vision and scent messages found new pathways. <shrug> Why not memory?

After reflecting, it became clear to me that I had entirely too much going on in my life.
People told me this all the time, I just never saw it till I was literally knocked out, and was forced to truly slow down.
I was working a full time job at Great West Life and a part time job at Metro Pet Market, I had weekly belly dance rehearsals with eXalta6, and I was taking an online pet nutrition course. Add in painting and reading for fun, taking the dogs out and being, generally, a really social person equals a girl that needs a break.
I get anxiety just reading about my past life.

I will not become that again.
Luckily(?), fatigue won't allow for that, which is probably good. Although, as my brain heals more, I find myself doing exactly as I did before. Too much. Troy has to ask me daily, "is that crucial?"
I am completely guilty of taking on too much(I hear that's common). Then I play myself out, and I miss important things because I'm sleeping.

This is what I came up with after much thought:

  • Veganism is where it's at. 
I don't want to participate in the violence inherent in these industries: meat, dairy, eggs, honey, wool, fur, leather, silk, vivisection, circuses, zoos, etc. So I'm not.
  • Slow Down.
Silly story!  While at Wascana Rehab, at my various therapies, Troy would bring a little sign that said "SLOW DOWN!", and he would place it in front of me each time I was trying to do something too quickly. We even talked about Troy getting that tattooed on his fingers.
  • Exercise.
Not only is this beneficial to your body, it helps your brain function. You know, since the brain is part of the body. Studies show that physical activity improves cognitive function.
  • I have the BEST friends and family. EVER.
This became crystal clear once I was able to see what everyone has done for us.
Not to mention to emotional support. First off, there was a guest book in my hospital room that everyone wrote in that came to see my family and I.
I still get weepy, only not uncontrollably now, when I read that book. Our friends and family also helped care for our dogs and cat, our family cooked meals, Tyler stayed with Troy while I was in the hospital, I'm sure there's way more I can't think of right now!

Reflecting after nearly dying has been good. It has allowed me to really look at my life, and  my decisions.
It does beg the question though: Was a coma necessary? 

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