How many times have you hit your head? (A Preface or such)

Posted: August 4, 2018 by Ty in Belonging Pyramid, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , ,

Rebuilding the Mind Palace/Interior Castle using universal design. When those things are multi-leveled and crash on in, it hurts something fierce from the brain through the emotions to the body to the soul.

Raise your hand if you actually know how many times you have hit your head in your lifetime? (if you actually know, I loathe you). 12 days from now, 1 year ago, my life literally neurologically crashed in on itself (watch out for turning 39 years old it is a trap). Since then it has been taking life one chapter at a time attempting a rebuild or a reboot as the analogy may go.

Looking back, known, yet hard to prove scientifically it was the culmination of a build up of environmental factors and neurological factors triggered by most plausibly a microstroke(s) a year and a bit before hand. It involved nothing showing up on ER visits back then, and any crash down sick time in between looking like a flu or de-stress after pushing oneself, yet through different eyes weird symptoms lines up. Everything from weird vomits to headaches to coldness/fatigue/foginess/minor memory loss to soreness down to ones bones. But in the early coming bouncing back and things would cycle through happy black spaces and reboot quickly.

But, as the stubborn man I can be, always bouncing back. Not truly understanding how neuro-a-typical I was until it slipped away. To last year with almost daily ER visits. Weird seizure/convulsions; increase in the symptoms severity (to the point that my body was continually running hypothermic, yeah I was Ice Man baby)…facing stigma in the ER because until I wound up before an RN who had been a student on rotation in my programs that advocated for me, they kept putting me off as a fentanyl addict overdosing (even after my wife showed video, and they kept telling me it happens again come back). That was the trigger that fired me into Neuro, and eventually led to my leave from work to try and figure out a new reality. A new reality triggered, by literally, my old mind palace collapsing in upon itself. All the years of self care, healing, from the journey of helping walked, shattered. Body rife with pain, physical exhaustion, mind losing memory, the neuro-memory of tools for the work of aiding another, struggling some days so my words wouldn’t slur, or fighting with my weaker left side to not need a cane and unable to focus to read something as simple as a Murder, She Wrote mystery novel (when I would usually juggle 10 books within a four day span) and the vivid lived again flashbacks of the worst days of my life (think of a computer reboot on the old DOS systems when some things would not load and you would have gaps, that is what would happen within my reboots post episodes).

The full court press of figuring it out through our health care system (which I am grateful for), yet triage’s highest need-that is silo’s the person into pieces- (stopping the brain from yo-yoing inside my skull–still a work in progress, though slowed). Trust me, when your brain clicks on and off like a light switch you have the constant stress that one time it may switch off and won’t switch back on. I can sit here frustrated and angry. Yes I have those moments, not as many as I used to. Some answers, yet as those were answered, and some symptoms vanish, others would persist and leave people stumped (I think maybe 8 folks have looked at different brain scans trying to figure it out-yes I enjoy excelling at what I do lol) and am still awaiting more tests to close loopholes. The doctors still not able to answer if with my partial unsteadiness if I should use a cane, or with my weird mind I need a medic alert bracelet because well I am weird. It is all about seeking the answer to the question that is needed now (for I knew how it used to–freakishly mutant like I am told):

How does my brain work now?

In the midst of that, and living with a constant migraine style head ache, we have lived a journey that we are thankful for an employer that has supported us with good benefits to aid in the healing. We have faced the challenge of keeping our 45ish year old house shored up (nice word for what happens when main drains meet poplar roots); renewing major appliances; minivan; fighting the government over my son’s wheel chair; fighting Alberta Education to treat children with disabilities with dignity when they lose friends; fighting with CBE to treat transporting of children with dignity. Fighting to hold my brain together to aid when questions are asked as innocuously as how the system of homelessness works for a Nativity play, that the asker would not know triggered a week of flashbacks at that time in the journey.

Some positive memories finally popping up, like a live action real of Facebook in the mind’s eye:

4 August 2012 · 

The greatest blessing I was reminded of in my time in ministry The Mustard Seed a former resident looked at me and said, “when it was my darkest and I thought no one cared, you told me to come home. Who knew Come Home would be such a life changer”

Yet it is not down a rabbit hole of despair. For the above Nativity play allowed me to aid my son in being apart of it; and our daughter to shine. We were able to make summer camps work for my daughter to maintain some normalcy. My daughter still being able to have a major slumber party she was planning at Christmas time and other sleep overs. I am getting better at reading and processing, not like it was before, but getting back a bit (chapter by chapter). Focusing on working on writing, as it brings focus to the scattering (and allows for downtime after when needed to reboot). Those moments when a friend makes time each week to get together, knowing your family has taken a financial hit, and still connects to discuss life, politics, spirituality and whatever else happens or a friend that has blessed your kid when needed with vcr’s so he can keep his independence. Another friend that seeks your counsel on different matters. The regular book study still happening in your home, and growing a little bit. Some have aided in the financial tightness that can exist between life and safety nets kicking in. My Dad and his wife, helping with meals, or whatever else (would have been a chilly winter without his furnace expertise), and just being grandparents and having their granddaughter out for sleep overs on the farm. Being able to be apart of a few parades with your kids like they are used to in summers (its their philanthropy and volunteerism). The moment in the VBS feast when the adults ensure that not only is your daughter invited to the youth group, but they have planned out all the logistics to ensure your son can get through to the event and belong.

It is a time when you get to know your friends and family. You get to see who continues to journey along with you, not simply those who help, but those who adjust and still keep up life that was before. For health and healing, is a process of the whole person. The system only handles a piece of it. The rest is the belonging one has in their social circles of support.

Discerning your true place of belonging.

This journey is hard. It is frustrating. Some days my memory or mind will betray me. Some times my emotions betray me, for no reason.  It is getting better. I am still the person I once was. I am learning to be the person I am now in this chapter. It is like a preface of a new book, this is what brings us up to the point before the prologue. The unofficial start before the official pieces of the life narrative.

The preface is arriving at the entrance of a new labyrinth if you will. The prologue once understanding how everything is functioning, and rebooting without so many gaps… well that will be stepping into the new labyrinth and beginning the walk to the centre.

Or

Turning the page into the prologue and entering the centre is when the prologue ends.

And the great writer of my story.

Types the simple words:

Chapter One.

That will be a day of new gratitude.

Tonight, I am grateful for the blessings of my Mind Palace that collapsed.

I am thankful for the implosion.

I find gratitude in creating a new work… Thank you to those who have supported us on this pilgrimage. (And yes, FYI, my soul mate is a living angel and saint for journeying with me before any of this happened, and continuing on).

tommy2

 

 

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