Friday, December 27, 2013

Surprises of great magnitude

[Dec. 26th, 2013] 

Ever since arriving at my mother's home, I've been continuously astonished by her and my dad's kindness. 

Each day I go about and doddle through trying to figure out what to do in this moment or the next, they patiently and lovingly support every effort I endeavor to tackle. As a matter of fact, my dad cooked dinner today and as I was walking outside down my stairs to their house, my mom was actually calling up to my house to invite me down. When I walked in, she was ringing me and leaving me a message while trying not to giggle. It was really funny, and timely. They were making sure I was fed, and not lonely since my darling boyfriend (who's been my dearest friend throughout all of my troubles, even in times of his own troubles) had left today for the city to do some things that are important to him and those he cares for (including me.)

It's very comforting to know that these strong, healthy-minded, whole-heartedly kind people truly love me and care for me so strongly that they can use their energy and resources to really support me right now. . . in so many ways.

I think that all people in need should be acknowledged, advocated (so they get proper and adequate help for their most necessary needs to be met fully,) and to be supported emotionally and admirably by those who care about them --- without harsh judgments or unkind treatment. Isn't this what all of us Americans consider "Human Rights?" I'm pretty sure by my mere four months of learning and level of competent understanding, that it surely is.

I had a really good day, despite my boyfriend (bf) having left today. My case-worker for my mental-health and general confidant for all of my physical health appointments came by, and even though she was supposed to spend only a certain amount of time with me today we spent about three hours talking about life, the importance of pursuing my goals (both basic and intricate) and to stay positive even though I get those gut-wrenching moments of panic, dismay, and utter distraught feelings when I suddenly feel lost, alone, and completely confused.

Those dramatically heavy feelings are seriously overwhelming when they happen. I say "happen," because it seems to sneak up on me and take over like an invasive sudden thunderstorm. It's like a horror movie, where everyone is in their cabin, safe and warm, and suddenly there's a serial killer lurking outside the window, surmising whose death will be first... it's creepy and it takes over the moment when it happens. It really bites! But, this is precisely why I've sought out professional mental-health help. If it weren't for my case-worker and the place she works for, I'd still be lost, constantly panicky, and always on edge. 

I'm currently, not constantly any of those things. Peace has found me, but those moments of terror still need worked on. (That's where I'm at, on the mental-health front.) For those who are suffering from mental-health issues as a result of the amnesia and all of the traumatic events that take place due to it (loss of identity, loss of perspective, etc) definitely needs looking into and dealt with in order to survive the emotional roller-coaster that is the aftermath of this. People in the amnesiac's life also should talk with someone, so they can get a clearer (less emotional) picture of what they're really facing, and how in-fact to best face these challenges.

I am definitely NOT a health-care or mental-health professional, and even if I were, I cannot definitively tell anyone, anything, about what they're going through, or how to fix it - because each and every experience is uniquely different on so many levels. I CAN however give you advice through sharing what me and my family and friends are going through with my own amnesia.

DO seek outside help.
DO talk about things (especially the uncomfortably awkward stuff.)
DO keep your minds and hearts OPEN... (you don't know how to tackle something new, unless you in fact Face something New, head-on, with kindness and gentle self-control... otherwise, you're going to make things worse by 'expecting,' 'assuming,' or any other form of expectation. Those will let you down, and the person you're pushing them onto... don't do that.)

DON'T expect anything specific or mundane (you will be disappoint-ed/ing.)
DON'T push, coheres, or force the amnesiac (you will Not be helpful - a kind and gentle guiding of a person is fine and good, but do not be pushy.)
DON'T give up on your loved-one, just because they're not "progressing" as quickly as you'd like for them to. (Every case, every injury, and every individual, experiences different and varying layers of effects due to amnesia. It's not fair to assume you know the intricacies of the human-brain, and how quickly or effectively it should heal/recover.) :)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Daily Search...

I read an awful lot about amnesia, and I do so quite often.

Looking for answers can become an obsession, so I have to be careful what I spend my energies focused on, and whether it's actually helping me grow, learn, or heal. Growth, Learning, and Healing, are the three things I'm focusing mostly on. I've read everything from questions asked by random peoples about every facet of amnesia - like, "Why can amnesiacs remember how to eat and walk, but not who they are or their family?"... with answers talking about areas of the brain, nervous system, and lymbic responses in the brain...

It can all become a confusing mass of technical medical speak, and terms that only make sense if you actually study the subject... it's exhausting, honestly. So, why keep pressing onward and hurting myself to do so? Good question... I suppose it's because - in order to find out where I'm going in this life of mine, I need to find out where I am now. I have to take a survey - daily - of my existence and how I'm doing, what I need, what needs done, etc. Not taking the time to do that survey would put me mentally in peril. Looking for answers, clues, and even snippets of my past are the things that keep my hope alive. Hope that I'll return to a state of normalcy in my mind. A state of peace is what I'm searching for.

During all of this, certain aspects of my life have been neglected. I have certain responsibilities that need taken care of in timely responsiveness, and those things have definitely been left wanting. Deep inside me, I wish I had the mental capacity to actually advocate for other amnesiacs whom may also be declining in respects to things that they just aren't aware NEED to be kept up on. (Things like State Paperwork needing filed for the next quarter...etc...) There should be a person to help people with those things. (If indeed people could be trusted with such vulnerable people and such sensitive information... it would work out perfectly.)

Getting and retaining a good Family Practice physician is pretty impossible right now with all the health-care junk ruining an already flawed system, but I'm freaking TRYING!... I'm so frustrated. 

All I want/need is for ONE Dr to listen to me, and respond in kind. That's it.... that should NOT be too much to ask, or get. But apparently, I'm an exception... not the rule, to horrible medical practices and flawed systems everywhere. (Even if I was paying too much, in Cash, I'd still be stuck in a red-tape nightmare, on top of the one I'm already living. :( ...)

I'm seriously trying to keep my cool at all times (while feeling panicky, nervous, and constantly as if something wretchedly horrible is about to happen - panic/anxiety disorder??- ) while still taking care of all of the things required for me to be a non-toxic, mentally-calm, productive person again.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Everyone Lost Me... what'd I lose?

The love of my life lost me - every part except my physical body, my voice, my scent, and the way I naturally carry myself... everything else that he fell in love with is completely gone.

It's really hard to watch those that love me the most mourning me, when I'm sitting right next to them.

(My mind reminds me of this photo; so full - but, I just cannot reach any of it.)

Here's what I lost:

  • All sense of self..
  • All sense of purpose/direction..
  • All sense of belonging/camaraderie..
  • Knowing where I came from, and what I've been through..
  • Coping skills that took a life-time to formulate and perfect..
  • A plethora of knowledge, experience, and skills that are learned - not things I'm born with..
  • My life's work - journals full of designs, sketches, & years worth of paintings..
  • My life's writings - poems, books, improvements to things already written, detailed instructions for various things, etc..
  • Memories that are alive in everyone else - but I'm the ghost to remind everyone exactly how much they've lost...

I've lost a LOT and every single day that I look into a loved one's eyes I see even more loss - in my own reflection. 
Some days - that's all I feel I am, a ghost/reflection.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting Used To Reality: Issue #1

Sometimes I feel like a child...

There are moments throughout the day and night where I just feel emotionally as a child would. There are moments on nonsensical fear (monster-under-bed types,) crying because I'm just plain lonely and bored (like a toddler, or young child,) and those times where I just have a spurt of energy and I "convince" the kitty to play with a couple of balled up pieces of paper (they love it, you should try it if you have a kitty.)

My Mom, gave me a great big, soft, plush, teddy bear, with a cute little brown bow on his neck. I named him FooFoo Jr. (I had a violet hello kitty plush, before the accident and losing everything named FooFoo.) FF Jr's a great friend when I'm in those child-like moments... I grab him up, snuggle him tight, and just breath and try to turn off my mind and my worries. I just hold him and try to thing happy stuff. I try to think about anything that makes me want to smile.

There's no good come from worrying, I guarantee that one. I've done enough of it to know that one is true. It only makes things feel icky, worse, and definitely doesn't reduce stress. ;) Try to think positively, or you'll get stuck in a pattern of always expecting the worst. Apparently, I used to be quite the cynic. I always internally was a sully and sour person, because of the things I was dealing with in the "old me's" past. I was trying to do good things with a darkened heart, and that just doesn't work. So, for me, amnesia is a bit of a relief in not just my whole life... but in the lives of those who are involved and emotionally engaged in mine.

Somewhere deep inside me there's a whole opening of potential. But, that's only if I can combat this cancer crud into submission and never have to worry of it ever again... And... I would have to remain cancer-free for a while before I was confident enough to fully invest my skills and energy into anything truly meaningful to my own personal future. Before and after amnesia, I have a compelling need to help others, even though I'm not even remotely sure how to. I suppose that with my insatiable appetite for knowledge there's just other natural things that come with the trait.. like helping, expanding ideas already thought of, improving designs, etc. (Those are things that I discovered I was interested in, as well as good at.)

I've noticed that I have a tick. Not those little creatures that suck on us in the summer and fall... no, the mental trigger kind of 'tick' that trips a sensor in my mind. I don't like when others lie.. or when I accidentally say something incorrectly - I suddenly try to correct myself, even if I'm interrupting somebody else - which I do Not like to do. (Makes me feel like a jerk - even though I don't mean to do it, and cannot seem to stop once it's started.) < Pretty embarrassing...

Anyhow - this potential I feel, and these moments of feeling child-like, and having those tendencies again - enjoying little things that us grown-ups don't usually find enjoyable anymore - is therapeutic. In a lot of ways, amnesia is giving me the opportunity to relive and re-experience some parts of life that people don't usually get to re-do. I'm going to try to enjoy as much as possible, because the pains and anxiety of cancer is enough to make me nuts, but amnesia too - and the awkwardness of interacting sometimes, and just trying to "feel comfortable" gets to me too... so... I try. I will continue to keep trying to have fun, to explore my likes and interests, and to enjoy seeing things the way I do. I call my vision of the world "fresh eyes".

"Fate can go begging, destiny must be won." Wizard Merlin (Not that I believe in magic, wizards, or Camelot, but boy wouldn't it be something..) I take from that, that people must truly fight for - put forth efforts towards their futures - or else they'll never succeed. And that's about it. I believe it to be true. Nobody "wins" a job, or a woman, or a man, or a house (not usually!)... so I believe that you must truly use your energy and your own passion to get you through the horrible parts of life, and take you fully into your future. That's what I'm trying my best to come to terms with.... and that's life.

I'm tired... I'm going to rest now. I will try to keep my mind clear of negative thoughts or worries, and to focus on my comfort. To feel the surroundings of my bed, and the softness of my pillow. Breathing becomes the very last thing I focus on until I'm asleep. It seems to do the trick (for me) every time... unless it just doesn't... Ha... G'night.

Photo used for this blog-post is by:


Fantasy Art. Silhouette Art. Paintings,Prints and Cards

.. on Etsy:

(It is awesomesauce (a word my brother and I made up years ago)! This artist, is.... amazing!) :D

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Here is a synopsis of what I will be discussing

"Amnesia, Losing Memories" On Facebook

-Getting used to Reality
-Getting used to your Body
-Getting used to your Mind & Thoughts
-Getting used to your Surroundings

-Getting used to Daily Self-Care

* Physical Hygiene & Making schedules / reminders
* Eating & Bathroom schedules / reminders
* Sleeping & Getting Yourself Comfortable 
* The 'Who, What, When & Where's' of Asking Questions / Answering Questions (even difficult & embarrassing ones)
* How To: Stay Calm when your body surprises you (& when it does uncontrollable things)

-Effective & Open Communication

* Why it's vital to maintain diligent contact with loved ones / the amnesia sufferer
* The 'Who, What, When & Where's' of When To Contact The amnesia sufferer
* How To: Prepare & carry out Social 'Meeting' Occasions (where the amnesia sufferer is introduced to those who will maintain contact & be viable in the sufferer's future) 
* Putting a Scrap-Book together (for the amnesia sufferer to preserve the memories of the people they were introduced to)
* Ways To: Help the amnesia sufferer maintain contact with the people they're most comfortable with & to engage in learning about others who have gone through what they're going through

-Purpose & Time-Management

* Why it's vital for the amnesia sufferer to stay busy & focused 
* Journals: How to productively start & keep a daily journal (without failing to continue writing in it / adding to it)
* Ways to find what skills & talents are known / natural
* How To: Practice honing skills & talents, including; adding it to schedules / reminders
* Making A Portfolio: Of what the amnesia sufferer is good at & has collected over time (using the same method of journals)

And more... 
I hope this really does touch someones life in a good way, and helps people through this really individualized, confusing, unique, & painfully transitional time. You have all just "lost" a loved one, in one sense, and gained another, in another sense. It is a very emotional time, which is why it is so important to act fast - while still taking the time to process what is going on.

I assure you that with practice, patience, and a TON of love and open-hearted understanding - these aforementioned, will carry you through this with a healthy and joyful outcome. (You must truly accept that you don't know exactly what the sufferer is going through mentally, emotionally, physically, intellectually, or otherwise - & that you cannot "fix" this in one single motion.)

This, as any other injury, illness, or experience, takes time. Sometimes, it takes a long time. But I must keep believing that things will continue to keep getting better in my life, so it must also be possible in others' lives too... because my life is improving. I see it daily - which is why I journal - to keep track of my progress, & to see if there was in fact progress at all.

There are so many ways to easily assume or misconstrue what is happening to the sufferer, as it's easy for the sufferer to do the same about their loved ones & surroundings. 

Finding balance IS possible, and I'm going to help you figure it out... as best I can.

Amnesia - I have it, and I'm here to help. (Me, 3 Months Later)

On September 4th, 2013, my life changed permanently. Three long months ago.

I was on a long walk in the middle of rural Kansas, near my BF's mom's farm. The walk was about three miles from her farm and it was still relatively hot and humid, for in Midwest Summertime can last until October some years. Just at sunset I decided to wander off from my BF who was quite a bit away, to pick the most perfect sunflower...

I didn't make it to the sunflower. I made it to the concrete pavement beneath me. I passed out from heat exhaustion/heat stroke. My head hit the road so hard that my BF could hear it a quarter mile away up the hill from me. My neck bones are injured, and there was a bruise the size of one and a half fists (or the size of a softball, plus an inch or so added on) on the back of my brain.

My poor brain was jostled so hard, in fact, that I have post-concussion syndrome and amnesia. I cannot remember before the accident, and after it, I'm having trouble keeping new memories, and short term memories. I'm getting better slowly, with practice and such... but it's been a nightmare. I am hoping to keep recovering, and keep learning great skills that I'd spent my whole life perfecting, and honing in on. You'll see, I'll bounce back, and hopefully still be able to accomplish the things I some day dream to.

Until then, I'll just write about amnesia, post-concussion, and living life with these issues. It's been odd, informative, eye-opening, and also quite troubling and confusing for me and my whole family. With the trials and errors that we go through, I hope to help others who may have to deal with these things in the future. There's NOT a lot of information out on the Internet about amnesia. There's medical descriptions, and suggestions about "treatment"... but nothing really great to show you any real, or valid, or logical advice on how to ACTUALLY live day to day with it, or with someone dealing with it.

I'm here to share my story, my tribulations, and my triumphs. Hopefully, it will help someone, anyone, anywhere. Nobody deserves to be lost in their greatest times of need. I was lost, and still am in certain aspects, but I've sure learned a heck of a lot! I will share it all with you.

 -Tara- AKA: Babygirly
 from: UpcycleKC (KC,MO) / Emerald City Upcycling (Lake of the Ozarks, MO)