The Jello Brain
Part 5 of Where I’ve Been the Last Four Months
Part 1: The Cow
Part 2: The Omelettes
Part 3: The Concussion
Part 4: The Therapy
When asked how I’m doing now I can look back and see how very far I’ve come in the last months and I want to say I’m better.
I have gotten better.
But better is not 100%. In some areas I’m not even close and the answer of better needs to be tempered in a way that has me fumbling for words to explain.
I can do almost everything I would like to now. And almost everything exhausts me. An afternoon nap is a necessity. Sometimes a morning and evening nap are too. I am no longer a night owl. I can’t stay up that long.
Some days I have good brain days and I can do the things and take a nap and do more things and feel as though one day I might even be able to do all thing things I’d like to in a day.
Some days I can do the things!
Then there are times, sometimes hours, sometimes days that I’m unable to do more than the bare minimum. Times that I feel that instead of living life I am crawling through it using every inch of fingernails (that are quite strong thanks to all the healthy foods I’ve been eating to give my brain as much fuel as I can to help it along) to pull my way through an activity, a conversation or a day. Those days are frustrating.
Some days I fall asleep on the floor using a child’s boot as a pillow.
But when I get the most frustrated I think of something my therapist said that went something like this:
Think of your brain like a nice bowl of jello that’s all set up in the fridge. When you have a concussion it’s like someone takes that bowl and shakes it up into a lumpy bumpy mess. After a few hours if you leave it alone the jello goes back to the shape it was but all through the inside of it are cracks and fissures. That is what happened to your brain when you got your concussion.
So, considering my brain is a pile of cracked jello working to mend itself together, I think I’m doing remarkably well.
When I’m not doing well, when I’m too tired, have done too much or am just having a bad day, the best way I have found to describe what it feels like is that it’s like all the bad parts of being drunk.
I start to feel disconnected from everything around me. I have trouble focusing, both visually and mentally. I try my best to talk normally but sometimes I can hear myself fumbling words or a conversation and I can’t seem to catch back hold of it. And, like all truly inebriated people, at some point I just need to lay down and pass out for awhile.
I’m not actually drunk right now but if I seem like it please excuse me. It’s just my broken jello brain.