Adventures of a MathBrat

Random Things I Find Energy To Blog About

Dead? or Alive?

It dawned on me I’ve only blogged while in foul, sad, grumpy, all around negative moods, and it’s not painting a full picture. None of my good moods have made it in here, because I’m not thinking of symptoms or blogging during times I feel like living. So here you go… a non-grumpy blog! woot!

So, yeah, all that stuff about me dying in the car accident? I have a different perspective on that. I think it killed the me I’ve been trying to be and not the me I really am. Many things I’ve known about myself my whole life but have been afraid to let out have surfaced. Yes, a few of them have created some problems in my current, self-created life, but many of them are me finally feeling like myself after decades of trying to be who I thought I “should” be.

It is a little strange that I like things like gardening and coloring books and no longer enjoy cooking (baking is the exception), but for the most part, the new stuff in my personality isn’t new. It’s just newly released.

And I am running again!!! I mentioned in a previous blog I have started this back up, but I want to confirm I am still at it. Three days per week. I’m currently only at two miles, but that’s two miles more than I was doing two months ago! I’m also doing more yoga than before. I am no longer binging on vegan ice cream bars. I’ve forget what I weighed just before Christmas, but I’ve continued to lose 1-2 pounds per week.

So it’s not all doom and gloom over here. I do get frustrated with some of my current state of brain healing, but there are some fun things happening too, so I am going with it.

I am both dead and alive!

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I’m Okay

I took magnesium glycinate for sleep at same time I was adjusting to Lexapro, and it messed me up pretty hard. I haven’t taken either in three days, and I am doing much better! I will call the doctor tomorrow to let her know what happened, but the side effects were urgent enough to stop without hesitation.

I am feeling closer to being myself today (the new brain-injured self, not the normal-me-before-the-accident self). I had an intentionally restful weekend that helped a lot.

I don’t have much else to say. I am meeting with my attorney tomorrow to find out if I can fire all my doctors. I am tired of fighting to get better. Like really really tired.

In Case You are Worried…

I’m okay. A friend has been helping me get past some feelings I was struggling with last week. My circumstances are about the same, but more accountability has been established for me which will hopefully help me to be a little less out there in the risk-taking department.

Today is a snow day, so I am going to make myself contact my general doctor to find out why my sleep study has not been scheduled yet. A friend of mine suggested I try a different kind of magnesium (this one glycinate) before bed. I did that last night, and while I still woke after four hours, I did manage to get back to sleep within I am guessing half an hour after that, so here’s to improvement!

I think today is going to be about laundry and hanging out with Moo in my pj’s. It’s too cold for much else. I will devote some time to the treadmill too.

I FORGOT TO TELL YOU!!!!! I think this brain injury has caused my fibromyalgia to back off!!! I say this, because I’ve actually been able to jog on the treadmill without my fatigue forcing me down the rest of the day! So either the drugs really are making me manic (risk-taking and energy) and the docs just don’t see that yet cuz I can manage four hours of sleep, or the bruises on my brain knocked the fatigue part of my fibro away. I mean, I still have fatigue, but it’s more like the “I’m not sleeping enough” fatigue than the super bad fibro fatigue. So I am taking advantage of this and getting running back into my life.

I’ve been doing Couch to 10k. I start week 5 today. I am hoping to be able to get to where I can do 5k’s without needing to walk by Spring and 10k’s by summer. I used to live near Spokane, Washington where every year they have Bloomsday. It was a 12k that had a hill in it called “Doomsday.” I used to live for that event and ran it every year.

Maybe if I get myself back into shape, I’ll reward myself with a trip back home to see my mom and to run Bloomsday. I’m not sure how my emotions would handle knowing I was within reach of my psycho ex-husband, but I could keep it all a secret and tell people after the fact. I mean, the protection order died years ago, and I think I’m safe if in the area, but my emotions don’t always listen to my brain. I imagine many feelings would flood back when I started spending time near “home.”

So yeah, some good things are happening in the midst of all of this. And, I am getting massages every Friday. So chalk a few up there for me for self care! 😉

I Think My Brain Might Be Trying to Kill Me

So you remember when I had the thought I may have actually died in that car accident, and I’ve been living in my own “The Good Place” form of Hell ever since? I’m not so sure I was that far off. This bitch who’s been living my life the last 8 months is trying to kill me!

Yes, I said a naughty word. You know I almost never do that, so maybe that will help you grasp how strongly I feel about what is happening to me.

Update on docs: Not a Neurologist will not let me fire the psychiatrist I hate (did I tell you yet how much I hate her?). I met the therapist for the first time this week. I don’t like him either. And it’s not just because I am so sick and tired of this crap fest of a journey toward “healing.”

hmmmm….maybe I should not blog today. A lot of angry is coming out. I’ll try to end with something positive. Wish me luck!

So, anyway, it’s so very important all these doctors see me, that there is a solid three-week block before any of my upcoming appointments. I am flying without a chute here on my new dose of lexapro (which better not cause the problems zoloft did, or I will ditch it just as quickly).

My constant struggles with insomnia are only making everything else worse.

But, yeah, I’ve somehow managed to pull away from being sad all the time and obsessing over my injuries by engaging in risky behavior. Like really risky! I am not going to outline details here in a public forum, but if I did, you would totally yell at me! Except maybe one friend who I can think of who’d say, “Cheers!” but the rest of you would chew me out for sure. And I feel like I am trapped inside watching it all play out with no ability of my own to stop it. This other person has taken over.

You ever watch Ghost Whisperer? If so, you remember how her husband took over that dead guy’s body instead of crossing over? I think some evil girl has done that with mine but didn’t wait for me to vacate it first. She’s just all, “this body’s mine now, bitch!” and ruining my life.

After a particularly bad week, I had to make doughnuts today. It did NOT go well! I am hoping nobody will notice all the things that went wrong and will be happy they spent a small fortune on my normally-amazing doughnuts, but I am tired. And my head hurts. And a facebook video of my friends made me cry for a solid 8 minutes, because if any of them knew what was going on with me, they would be right here saving me from myself. Instead, I’ve pushed them all to the side, keeping bare minimum contact, while living this secret life. I’m like a drug addict without the drugs. Well, other than lexapro and now vicodin for my headache, but otherwise, yeah.

I think if this other person is going to live my life, she could at least do something productive or amazing. Who knows? Maybe she’ll get me to go skydiving or serving on a mission in some dangerous country somewhere. Perhaps somebody will convince her that staying home and going to bed by 9pm is living on the edge? Yeah, probably not.

Okay, so I said I’d try to end on something positive. How about something sweet and slightly humorous instead? Moo has been picking up on this new personality thing. I haven’t given her as much attention as normal. When I was napping earlier, I heard her come in asking for pets, but I needed sleep and ignored her. Some time after my nap, I decided to call her for some cuddles. She sprinted up the stairs into my room, meowing loudly, and when she went to climb her steps to my bed, did some kind of back flip off of it, because she ran at them too fast. Once she was on my bed getting tummy rubs, she rolled herself right off the side of the bed! I tried not to laugh to embarrass her, but I could not help myself. She really is a sweet and special kitty. I don’t know where I’d be without her.

Oh. It’s Just a Personality Change. NBD.

I know! I know! I am supposed to be blogging for my attorney and I keep not doing it! It’s not as easy as it sounds to be putting all of this into writing. And a lot of what I have going on since Christmas vacation is NOT something I am going to put into print! So, here’s a pseudo-update…

I have seen the psychiatrist two times. I am going to talk to Not a Neurologist about her, because her opinions differ greatly from the neuropsychological testing and from what Not a Neurologist has found and from Speech Therapist as well. But, here’s what she says. She says it is not uncommon at all for somebody who’s had head trauma to experience major personality changes. She does not view me as clinically depressed at all. (um…. hello??? I have taken on a complete fantasy life and have been engaging in very risky, potentially self-destructive behavior to pull me out of my own depression, cuz y’all dropped the ball. I am not spending much time in reality anymore, but I guess since engaging in my new risky behavior is distracting me from crying, so that means I am no longer depressed.) I think I might hate her.

She’s pretty confident I need to stop trying to bring the old me back, cuz the real Karin might be dead. I find this interesting since I spent so much time after the accident wondering if I actually died in it and that I’ve been living in a “Good Place” form of Hell ever since. I mean, I am COMPLETELY not myself!! The things that used to upset me or cause me to feel guilt now excite me. The things I used to enjoy, I don’t. So maybe she’s right. Since I am finding things I enjoy (some things, like gardening, I used to hate), maybe I am not clinically depressed anymore. I’m just insane.

She mentioned something about ruling out bipolar and about gave me a heart attack, cuz I did not know bipolar was on the table! I mean we are talking about a few bruises to my brain, not an illness. Aren’t we?

After she spent a great amount of time talking to Not a Neurologist, she finally conceded and agreed to try me on a very small dose of Lexapro. It’s been waiting at the pharmacy for me since Thursday. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up yet. Maybe it’s because even though I hate her, I suspect she might be right. Maybe Karin did die in that car accident. Maybe I have a knew life now and instead of chasing the old one need to figure out what to do with this one.

The problem is this one is going to get me fired. I’m already 99% confident I will not be offered a contract for next year. I’m not freaking out about that, though, cuz I can always make doughnuts. I could also teach math at the community college or take up tutoring and not have to deal with the extra challenging parts of teaching high school.

Since the last time I blogged, I went to South Dakota twice. Once was for Christmas vacation. The second time was for a family emergency. My first night there during the emergency, the apartment with an adjoining wall to mine caught on fire, and my husband (who’s already on shaky ground with me) evacuated without Moo! It is beyond easy to get her to jump into her stroller to go outside. He didn’t even think of it. She was trapped in here with smoke for hours! Then the firemen kept stomping around in boots with axes and scaring her! I don’t know why I’ve added this information to this particular blog, but let’s just say my life is stressful enough from the head injury and when all this other stuff is added to it, well, it’s no wonder I choose to spend more time outside reality now. But, being the math person I am, I have always been all about 100% reality. I don’t even drink or do drugs. So this whole other life that’s going on in my head should have somebody worried. But, whatever, I’m not sitting around crying, and I take showers and change my clothes now, so I must be recovered. Whatever!

So this other side of my personality…. All of a sudden I need constant attention! I used to be 100% independent. An introvert. A leave-me-alone kind of gal. I would take myself out on dates. If it’s broken, I fix it. I don’t need other people. The only humans on the planet I cared to give my time to were my gson and my children. I also call my mom sometimes. Now, I need attention 24/7! The second the person currently paying attention to me has to do something for him/herself, I am empty and lost and incredibly lonely. It’s like I need relay runners to treat me like their baton. I have not been a needy girl since I was a teenager just discovering what infatuation was. But boy am I needy now! It’s embarrassing! I am reverting to a child.

I’d like to close with something positive. I have some new friends in my life that are helping things be more bearable and helping me with things like being motivated to make my bed and to go to work on time. I even started wearing makeup again. I am still very much struggling to make myself do these things, but my new friends know just how to get me to do it, and I know it’s good for me in the end. And, I’m eating and exercising better which has led to over 15 pounds of weight off of me since 12/24! Someday I hope to be doing all these things because I want to and because I am happy, but for now, I’ll take the extra support. I feel like a child and like I am being told what to do, but maybe that’s what I need right now. I mean, it is getting me out of the house in clean clothes. It is getting me to work on time. More importantly, it is causing me to feel loved, supported, and cared for. And who can’t use more of that?

 

ps: I’m in no mood to proofread and edit. If you notice something egregious, please tell me, and I’ll come back and fix it. Otherwise, thank you for your patience and understanding 😉

At Risk

You guys, I just don’t want to do this anymore. Any of it. I am tired. I am tired of trying to get better. I am tired of pretty much most everything in my life. I am tired of trying to do better at work just to find out it’s not good enough. After all the sacrifice I made to be there for them this year, they are not going to offer me a contract next year because of how difficult it was for me to meet my contractual obligations this year. Whatever. Fuck off. I don’t care anymore. I am tired of a husband who neglects me and is incompetent at getting anything done without me. I am tired of fibromyalgia and multiple chemical sensitivity. I am tired of trying so hard to exist peacefully in a culture of hate and anger. I am tired of going to doctors!

I have recently immersed myself in fantasy which has led to some risky behavior, but fantasy has distracted me from my pain. My logical brain keeps pulling me back to reality, and I just don’t want to live in reality anymore. I want to be taken away from it all, but I know nobody on the planet is capable of meeting that need for me, not even myself. Maybe if this lawsuit from the accident leads to something substantial, I can get away from it all for a short while, but I’m still stuck with me no matter where I go, so there’s that.

 

Everything is Everywhere

I’ve been super rebellious about blogging my ongoing struggles, because I feel like it is all negative when I want to try to be positive, but I am also missing important documentation for my legal case, so I’ll try to piece together some stuff I’m likely forgetting a lot of.

I think I last blogged when I got all pissed of at zoloft and quit. I pretty much left Not a Neurologist an FYI message and then ignored his calls for a day but finally talked to him about it. He doesn’t think the zoloft was the source, but I pretty much confirmed it while weening off, because my stomach would only get bad when I took another dose. Now, ten days after quitting, my stomach is finally better. What is scary, is my brain is slowing back down, my filter is further lacking, and my speech is starting to go bad again. sigh!

I was going to talk to him about maybe trying an ADHD med instead. I mean, I know hardly anything about pharmacology, but the anti-depressant did zero for my emotions and mood. It helped with attention and brain speed. It also helped me gain a crap ton of weight super fast. So I am wondering if an ADHD med would help with the brain speed and attention but  not make me gain weight. If my mood was unaffected by the anti-depressant, this makes sense to me as a way to go, but I don’t know much about the type of injury I have, and I do know from what I’ve read, zoloft is pretty much the go-to drug for tbi’s.

Remember the melt down I had at work that one day when a student was somewhat snide to me? I think it was around six weeks ago. Anyway, Not a Neurologist very strongly recommended psycho therapy to help me navigate through these unfamiliar emotions. (sidebar: ugh! as I type this, I am STRUGGLING to find the right words and then type them correctly! I am missing several letters or typing wrong words all together. I think I am catching and fixing all of the mistakes, so that’s something, but ugh!) I think I also blogged about how I asked my general doc’s referral office to book an appointment for me, because if left up to me, it’d never happen. They did, and the wait for intake was long, but today was finally the day.

I was SUPER intimidated by this place! Funny how I am often standing up for mental illness sufferers and fighting the stigma, but I was struggling with stigma like mad while there. Every person there I wondered about and then determined they were likely wondering about me. While in the bathroom, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Yep. Still the tbi face after all these months! I look like I belong here. But what’s wrong with that?!

The intake forms were intense. I didn’t believe they’d take the half hour I was told. I was somewhat right in that it took me MORE than the half hour I was told! Sheesh! And then reading the rules of group therapy, even though I probably won’t be in group therapy, I felt like I was in a movie. By the way, coats aren’t allowed to be worn inside, and tank tops aren’t allowed either. A bunch of other things were on the list, but those were the two rules I’d be most likely to break. Cussing isn’t allowed either. I wonder how that goes over.

Once my forms were filled out, I met with my intake person. She had a Scentsy in her office, so to avoid a migraine, I asked her if we could relocate. It turned out there were several empty offices for us to choose from. She apologized for the near-empty, sterile room we ended up in. I couldn’t have loved it more. She and I clearly feel differently about our space. Honestly, though, I was just happy to be able to breathe. The lack of nicknacks and fru-fru were merely icing on the cake.

We talked for a long time. It seemed I was re-answering some of the questions on the forms, but whatever. I truly want to get better, so I’ll jump through all the Not Zoloft hoops I can to make that happen. She was pretty nice. I was fine. Mostly.

Her job is pretty much to decide where to put a person. Like, do I belong in a program for eating disorders, anger management, drug addiction, etc? Do I need a male or female therapist? Do I need somebody who can prescribe drugs? Do I need somebody with the same religious beliefs as me? etc. I am satisfied with (and a little afraid of) where she landed.

I am seing a psychiatrist on Thursday. While I really prefer a male, he wasn’t available until late January. The female just joined the practice and has lots of openings and can see me this Thursday. Intake Gal urged me to take advantage of the Sooner Rather Than Later approach to the medicine issue, especially since all the zoloft is leaving my system quite rapidly at this point. I conceded.

I will also be seeing a therapist beginning when I return from visiting my family out of state for Christmas. Intake Gal has two male therapists and of all of the therapists, male and female, she believes the one she set me up with will be the best fit. His wait was slightly longer than the others, but she convinced me it will be worth the wait. I trust her in this, because she convinced me on the psychiatric front the other was not worth the wait. This makes her seem balanced in her choices rather than choosing whatever is available first. So I’m going with it.

I’m feeling quite nervous about it all. The whole stigma thing has me wanting to shout, “IT’S ONLY BECAUSE MY HEAD WAS INJURED IN A CAR ACCIDENT!!!” to anyone and everyone about me going, and that is so wrong. Why does humanity judge those whose brains need treatment? Do we judge those who have to get a tooth pulled? Did people judge me when I needed my gallbladder taken out? Do I feel embarrassed I have to take thyroid medicine for the rest of my life, because my thyroid was surgically removed? So why am I feeling this weird thing about seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist? It’s ridiculous, yet it’s still a thing. Kind of like how we all know everyone farts, yet when we are the ones who dealt it, we are mortified if anyone else figures out it was us. Or like when I’m in the bathroom at work and have to defecate, I am praying a student doesn’t come in needing the restroom. What is that? Why do we get embarrassed about completely normal stuff? It’s stupid. But it is what it is, and it is. And I am.

Symptoms: super fatigued, sleepy, headaches, upper back and neck pain, weird feelings like electrical shorts in several parts of my body (this last one is news… maybe from divorcing Zoloft?) super irritable, impatient, super lack of filter, frequent thoughts of quitting my job, impulsivity, overspending, overeating, and going to work late almost every day when my entire life I’ve been an “Arrive 15 minutes early!” person.

I’m going to bed. Thanks for reading and caring. Someday I’ll reach the other side and be me again. Until then, I watch this other person live my life and hope she doesn’t burn all the bridges I will still want there when I return.

I’m Quitting the Zoloft

Yes. It made my brain normal speed again after months of trying to use rest to heal my tbi. But at what cost? It hasn’t touched my depression in the slightest. I am every bit as miserable as before despite my brain finally getting out of the mud.

Zoloft’s ineffectiveness on my dx of “severe depression” isn’t the only reason I am giving up on it, though. I am quitting, because the higher dose (still only 50mg) I was put on a few weeks ago has increased the stomach discomfort to the point I have had full blown diarrhea for an entire week and have still managed to gain 8 pounds!

So, yeah. That’s pretty much all I have to say. I’m angry.

Blog Slacker and Accident Details

I keep slacking on blogging my symptoms for my attorney. I mean, it is part of the executive function issues I’m having, so there’s that. It dawned on me today as I looked through old blogs, I never did blog about the accident itself. So here’s an update and what I can remember happening.

Update: Work is getting somewhat easier. I seem to be doing okay with teaching math. I am still struggling with emotion, and when any drama happens, I am in trouble. (Did I blog the day I went home early over something stupid?) There is often drama when it comes to teaching (especially high school), so this is still an area of concern. Additionally, I am still struggling with filtering myself and am finding many inappropriate things coming out of my mouth (another thing not ideal in a high school teacher). I am still lacking energy and incredibly easily burned out. But, when I look through my old blogs and reflect on a few months ago, there is definite progress being made, and I am grateful for it! My headaches have mostly subsided, and my neck is doing much better. The area of my spine directly between my shoulder blades (about an inch or two above bra clasp area) still hurts. My PT has cracked it a couple of times along with prescribing exercises and stretches, so there is some improvement, but it seems to be going slower than my neck. My impulse control has improved some, but it could stand a whole lot more improvement.

The accident: June 1 (Shawn’s bday), 2016 I left work early to take my car to the dealership to have my lights looked at. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, so I had the convertible top down. Since it was around 2:20pm, the local public high school had just let out, so this high traffic area was even more congested than at other times. I came to a red light and was so far back in line for this light, I figured I’d probably have to wait for it twice. No biggie (I thought), because it was a gorgeous day, and I didn’t have to be anywhere at a specific time. So I settled in and prepared for a long wait.

I was at the light for at least a minute when I saw a van in my rearview mirror coming fast. There are many times when I fear a car is taking too long to slow down and might hit me, but in this case there was zero doubt. I knew she was going to hit me and hit me hard. I barely had time to gasp before her van was in my trunk. She was going about 40moh even though the limit there is 30mph, and there was a ton of traffic meriting a much slower speed. There were zero visibility issues, and my car is very noticeable. She hit my car so hard, my car lurched forward and wrecked the car in front of me. In the process, my seatbelt kept my body glued to my seat as my head and neck lurched forward with the first impact and backward with the second.

car wreck

This is where things get a bit hazy. I don’t remember hitting my head, and there wasn’t any bruising on the outside to indicate I did. My air bag did not deploy, because my car was stationary when I was hit. The van that hit me was a large van transporting a bunch of disabled adults. Due to the van’s height, it didn’t hit my car frame so much as it did above the frame. I’m not sure whether that was better or worse for my personal injuries, but it made it to where my car did not end up having to be totaled.

I pushed the button on the steering wheel that makes phone calls and remember telling it to call 911. It said something back to me I can’t remember. I tried a few more times before realizing it wasn’t going to work. My phone was in my jacket pocket on the floor behind my seat, so I had to get out of my car to get to it. I remember walking around stunned and hazy. I remember a parent of one of my students on her way to the school rolling down her window to see if I was okay. I don’t remember finding my phone or getting back into the car, but I remember being on the phone with 911 and getting the street name wrong. Once I knew they were on the way, I apparently called my husband and my principal. I have no idea why I called my principal.

The police had us pull into a parking lot near where the accident was. I told him and the paramedics repeatedly my brain was not working properly. The cop kept yelling at everyone. I’m sure he was just trying to get traffic flowing again. He had to coordinate two ambulances, two tow trucks, get information from three drivers, etc. The paramedics asked me things like what year it was and who the president was. They put a neck brace on me, and I rode in an ambulance to the hospital. I kept feeling like I was going to cry. (I think I’ve blogged since then to describe the emotional lability I ended up suffering from this injury.) The application of the neck brace is when I felt the pain between my shoulder blades.

At the hospital, I repeatedly told people my brain wasn’t working, but they only did a ct scan of my neck (not the area between the shoulders that hurt nor of my brain). They gave me pain pills and sent me home. I really thought about two or three days of pain would be the end of it, and I’d just have to deal with hassle of getting car fixed and all the insurance hoops to jump through.

Little did I know, my brain bounced around in my skull and got bruises on both the front and back and all the problems and long road to recovery that would lead to.

In reflection, I believe the woman driving caused this accident on purpose. Yes; it is possible she was distracted, but the more I think about the circumstances the more I think she was either seeking pain meds or being mean to one of her passengers. We see on the news all the time how people working with those with disabilities do sadistic, abusive things, and I can’t shake that she did this on purpose. As far as the insurance company is concerned, this doesn’t matter, though, so I need not worry about proving it.

I still don’t know what the future holds after this, since the only thing making my brain good enough to do math right now is Zoloft. Who knows what ramifications I will face from having to take this drug. Who knows if/when I will ever go back to being me.

Every day, I feel like I am pretending to be Karin so that when Karin finally returns, she’ll be happy I kept her job, friends, marriage, life in place. But yeah, that’s what happened that led to all of these TBI blogs. Now you know.

 

Getting Better at Asking for Help

So I am kind of proud of myself today. I thought about Not a Neurologist’s advice about seeing a psychologist to help me through the emotional aspect of my head injury. I’m not quite sure how that will work, because whether or not my mom breastfed me or if I was potty trained by age whatever really doesn’t play a role in the shaken brain from a car accident. Or maybe it does. I don’t know. My brain is broken. But, I was really dreading going through the insurance company’s web page to find some local enough to me to not have to drive on highways (still not allowed and pretty much not interested anyway) who is also accepting new patients.

It dawned on me, I could call my general doctor’s office and have their referral person do all that work for me! Not only did I have this great idea, but I remembered to follow up on it before they closed! (3 minutes before they closed, but before they closed!) The referral gal is only there certain days of the week, so the person I spoke with said she’d talk to my general doc and then the referral person and get back to me, but the ball is rolling. They will do the work of looking at my insurance, calling around to those accepting new patients, and getting me in to see somebody just like they got me in to see Not a Neurologist. And that has actually turned out well. I just had to reach a point of trusting enough to see how well it was working, and when I saw an actual neurologist, I was suddenly very very appreciative of Not a Neurologist and all he’s done and doing for me.

So yeah. It seems to take a month or two to get into any specialist of any kind around here, so I have no idea when I’ll actually get an appointment, but I took the first step, and I won’t have to take any others in actually getting the appointment. I mean, I’ll have to answer the phone and probably have to arrange for time off work, but that’s not as hard as all the other leg work.

I am feeling really proud of myself for asking them to do that for me. I flat out told the lady I am struggling to do stuff like that and that it needs to be done and that I’d be incredibly grateful if they’d do it for me. Go me!

Parent/Teacher conferences ended today. The one I was dreading went well. She showed up ten minutes late for her fifteen-minute conference, and she knows I do not mess around with the schedule. No matter what time you get to me, I get you to the next teacher on time. In this particular case, I had physical therapy to go to after, and I was definitely not going to be late for my massage for this!

We open each conference in prayer (I teach at a Christian school), so I prayed what was on my heart for her son, and I can’t imagine her following my thankfulness for what a blessing he is to my day with anything negative. I am pretty sure I prayed close to a minute, so then we had just four minutes to talk. That wasn’t my strategy, but it worked out nicely. 🙂

I didn’t know what to expect from myself in this meeting. I’ve struggled with my filter and my attitude a lot since my tbi. I’ve struggled with anger toward this mom quite a lot since I found out about her gossiping about me and making trouble (it’s all in one of my previous blogs). I envisioned all sorts of calling her out happening in this meeting and me later having to remind my boss I said I wasn’t ready to be doing conferences, and that it was the brain injury talking. But what happened was kind of amazing. I did none of that. I smiled, and when she asked me how I was doing, I told her I am still recovering, but here is how I am handling it, and I told her the whole story she never heard of the incident in question as if I didn’t know she had already run around yacking about just part of it. I emphasized more than once I did everything right and that students know there are plans in place for any moments I am not 100%. I got her to agree with me that me not at 100% is still way better for them and our math program than a sub at 100% would be for the year. This mom has always expected unreasonable perfection from us and that perfection also being in line with her version of reality, but I got to say what I wanted to say (minus the, “you inappropriate, gossipy, trouble-making, witch” parts), and then we were out of time, and I was standing and leading her to the door. whew!

I know this satisfaction is temporary until my next run-in with her, but I’ll take it. I feel victorious today despite my hurting spine, despite my need to cry, despite how hard it is to make myself try to be functional, to try to be me. I’m not me. I’m not fully functional. But I had two victories today, and I am celebrating them.