I wanted to let all of you know that I am working again. I will never again teach as the need to handle multiple things happening at the same time is not possible. Also, handling multiple conversations is impossible for me. I could no longer handle groups working, helping a kid with work, and answering a call from a parent simultaneously. I find myself going to a quiet area more and more. I cannot handle noise and sudden sounds like I used to.
So what am I doing? I am a cook at a local home for those in need. I have explained to the residents there that I am unable to remember all of their names and what they like in their coffee, tea etc. They are quite understanding and remind me of how many sugars etc. as I take the coffee cart around. I am doing well with remembering the recipes and cook at breakfast most days I work. Knowing how to cook and wash dishes was in my memory bank from years and years of having done so therefore I am able to do most tasks as required.
As far as my fatigue I monitor myself and rest as needed. There are still days where I sleep 10-12 hours to be rested. I am working on losing the weight I had gained when sedentary ways filled my days following the accident. I am over feeling sorry for myself and need to be as healthy as I can.
In retrospect I look back and see that I tried everything I could to get back to my old profession, but it was impossible to do so. It took a while for me to accept that. The disability hearings and paperwork were impossible at this time in history. There are no tests to prove one cannot handle multiple tasks. I only took tests done one on one or alone. Distractions were not in the room and so I passed them. They need to come up with a more diverse set of tests to as not discriminate against those of us with a TBI. I pray that happens in the future but as for me it is too late to get the funds I thought were there for me. Do not rely on the system. It failed me.
I have learned that life can throw you a curve ball. Curve balls happen. Some hit you in the face and leave you forever changed. The old me is gone. She is not coming back.
I used to feel sorry for myself because of that fact. Now, I see that God allowed me to be able to do other things with the set of skills I maintained. I am now meeting new people who understand me. I am not the only one out there who has lost the old me. Lives change due to many factors; wars, blindness, diabetes, accidents, fires, mental illnesses, and more. I see that in the eyes of the people I work to serve daily. Some of them are still caught in the quagmire of feeling sorry for themselves. A few are asking for help even though they do not really need it, perhaps due to doctors and professionals telling them that they will never be able to do something they loved again. But, for the most part the people I see each day as I take around the coffee cart are like me. They speak of the days when they used to be in a profession they can no longer work in. They speak of lost friendships and how their lives were and how they are now. I glean from them tidbits of growth each day. I see those who go out and celebrate life in their new form. I watch as they laugh and play cards and savor life. It is no longer about the nine to five job or the keeping up with the family next door as it is for some. It is about surviving something from their past and moving on. It is about discovering who we all are now and living joyously as each day is a gift.
If you are a TBI survivor or someone who cares for a survivor know that I admire you. I look back on the last few years and see that I wasted a lot of time fighting to hold on to who I was and did not explore who I could be. As a new school year approaches I fight off the temptations to look for an online teaching job as the desire to go back to who I was is there still. But then I brush it off and put on my scrubs and go to work. Bringing joy to those who I cook for is my new goal in life. To bring them a bit of joy makes me happy. I understand them more than they may know and it seems that most of them understand me.
Friends, stay the course and be thankful for each day. God bless each and every one of you. HUGZ 2 all Pam