One Year Later

It’s been just over a year since the cow. I’m still working through post concussion symptoms (PCS) (now with a neuro-optometrist and vision therapist), but I can easily look back and see how far I’ve come. There are many things that I still can’t do (drive for more than 30 min) or don’t want to do (read a magazine) because of my symptoms. But most days I’m able to look ahead with hope and be content with where I am. Most days. 

Some days I still wake in a funk, realize that there really is a pandemic, that my brain still isn’t back to normal and that whatever day it is is going to be just about like the day before. And that sameness of days has been the ugly silver lining of Covid-19 for me. Stores with aisles of items that shout out in colors and words as you walk by are horrible for post concussion brains. Groups of friends all talking and laughing are terribly difficult to navigate. Long car trips make me sick and it’s easier to take my afternoon nap in my own home than elsewhere. I, like the rest of the world, am sick to death of this virus and everything that goes with it, but there is no denying that it has made navigating PCS somewhat easier these last months. I don’t have to feel the blame of canceled vacations fall solely on my shoulders as I would have, we can blame it on the virus. I no longer feel like I’m avoiding friends and parties, blame it on the virus. It’s not just that I can’t go to the store because it will exhaust me, it’s better to order online now anyway. On it goes and the mental burden of PCS becomes easier to bear. The one thing that remains a constant nagging source of regret and frustration is writing.

I used to have this well of words and phrases bubbling over inside me. Paragraphs oozing together in my brain before I could even sit down and write them out. The well is still there but it no longer bubbles over. I can feel the words way down there, but the bucket leaks and the rope is frayed, the crank needs grease and the effort to haul the words to the top and keep them there is immense. Even then, sometimes all that makes it to the surface is half a phrase that flits away the minute I take my eye off it. And so I don’t blog, and I don’t write. 

One day I’ll be able to patch my bucket, replace the rope and grease the mechanisms and it will work smoothly again. One day the words will rise back to the top. I’ll go back to writing stories and I’ll go back to regular blogging. It’s frustrating but it’s going to be okay. Until then my regret is that during this completely insane time of a world pandemic and all that comes with it, I haven’t been writing about it. My memory has always been more like a sieve than a steel trap. I love looking back at years of blog posts and finding one that makes me laugh because I genuinely forgot not only the subject of the post but writing the post itself. PCS has turned my memory into a butterfly net with a hole in it being wielded by a toddler who recently ate an entire bag of M&M’s. I worry that I will forget this year and all that came with it. And maybe that’s a little bit okay. I’m not sure I really want to remember all the details of virtual schooling and days spent hiding in my room like a vampire to keep symptoms at bay.  

But there are things, like the Fourth of July parade the Clara organized for the neighborhood around our family cabin when the giant parade we normally attend was canceled, that I don’t want to lose. It was a wild success and I’ve lost the words of the day already, but I’ve sprinkled the pictures in this post of reflections so that maybe one day, looking back, it jogs a memory that manged to snag on that torn butterfly net along the way.

Edit: I sat down and wrote this just after the year anniversary of the accident -that was well over a month ago. But slow progress is still progress so I’ll take it.

 I have manged to be much more regularly active on my Instagram account behindthewillows come say hello if you are an Instagram user!  

A Day and A Degree of Difference

This morning Jane and I went for a beautiful walk with the dogs in the snow. We slipped and giggled, caught snow flakes on our tongues and came back soaking wet.

Tonight Clara and I slogged through the rain to visit Granny. We slipped and grumbled, squelched through mud puddles and came back soaking wet.

What a difference a day and a degree make.

Whistle

I’m not much of a musician. I try, somewhat, but my efforts, combined with my innate lack of musicality, mainly succeed only so much as to bring to mind a certain phrase about flogging a dead horse.

However, I excel at playing the dog whistle. While it might not be the most tuneful instrument around I always have a rapt and appreciative audience.

Chalk that up as another reason to love a good dog.

Because Reasons and Faces

Jane went to bed late tonight. In fact I still hear her rustling as I type this.

There were reasons of course. Ivy and I were too noisy. I didn’t tuck her in fast enough. She needed another book. She was starving…

There are always reasons.

And because I’m tired and she’s the baby and I did a completely crap job of making dinner so she probably is hungry because personally I’m starving, I let her stay up.

Also. She makes these faces…

Jane is going to bed way to late tonight. I’m not proud but these things happen because… reasons… and faces.

Too Tired

In my quest not to overdo it since the concussion I say no to things a lot, even by pandemic standards. It’s important I not get too tried and I do my best to meter out my energy carefully. But it’s hard to explain to anyone exactly what happens when I get too tired making invitations awkward to turn down.

Yesterday I got too tired but not pass out over dinner and go to bed early tired. It was a different kind of tired.

Last night I managed to flush an egg down the toilet. This is a bad idea. Plungers were required. I laughed about it.

I also licked my phone. This is a bad idea for obvious reasons that get more obvious mid-pandemic. I laughed until I cried wondering what I had just done.

Then I laughed hysterically about everything the rest of the night.

When I tried to put the girls to bed they looked at me and made up public service announcements about why you should avoid concussions and delivered them in poor Scottish accents while I howled and tears poured down my face.

I was too tired.

This morning I have rested and eggs went in proper places and I’ve brushed my teeth three times thinking about the phone tongue incident. I still have no idea how to describe what happens in my head when I get too tired nor do I know what kind of too tired will hit me next.

Even when I’m not tired it makes it tricky to respond to those invitations. “Sorry, I can’t come to your bonfire. I may flush an egg down the toilet.” Is probably the worst way to get someone to believe that you have a legitimate reason not to attend but, “Sorry, I’m too tired.” doesn’t quite catch the gist of the situation.

Fortunately my friends are understanding and I help insure life around here is never boring!

COVID Hygiene

COVID hygiene……. poor.

COVID hygiene with shower chickens …… terrible.

Our little rooster got in a fight with what I can only figure from his injuries was the loony toons boxing kangaroo. He’s convalescing in our shower with his lady friend until he stops seeing stars. In the meantime be you should all be grateful for social distancing!

A Trail of Water

I drink my water out of quart mason jars and litter them in my wake.

I fill them and lose them only to find them on counters and desks, on stools and the floor near the couch or the window by the bed.

This trail of water means that I occasionally have to deal with a kicked over quart of water (a thing that is only helpful if you were hoping to mop the floor anyway, which I never am). But this also means I never have to go searching for a watering can (a thing that my plants would appreciate, but I never think to do).

So in the end my water jars keep me hydrated, spot clean the floor and water the plants. Not bad for a forgetful habit enacted by a messy woman.