As I enter into 2016, I do so with great determination, staking my claim on hope.
It took five long years of hard work and great courage to meet the challenges of the devastating effects of a misdiagnosis and a traumatic brain injury. It left me with life long chronic pain and the neurological movement disorder, Dystonia, visual snow and a laundry list of medical conditions, most involving pain and frustration.
I really thought that 2015, was going to be the year that I restored some parts of my pre-TBI life, like, bringing my garden back into a thing of beauty, regaining my singing endeavors and building my body into the healthiest vessel possible. Above all, I truly wanted to expand my ministry. But that was not to be. Instead, 2015 was beset by heartbreaking events and too many nights where I cried myself to sleep.
It started out as a continuation of 2014, the same ol’ same ol’, but quickly turned gut-wrenching when I learned that my lawyer was terminally ill with cancer. At the same time, one of my few and greatest supporters, my great-aunt, was also in need of hospice. The intense stress that was created by the loss of these two people was compounded by the revelation that I was never going to receive justice for the bad driving of a stranger which condemned me to a life of suffering. In addition, I would become my mother’s caregiver because she, at 87, had developed a heart condition and needed to move into my home.
It gets worse. Eight more of my friends died. Several had cancer. One was particularly supportive online, and it left a hole in my soul to lose them all so quickly. Others didn’t die, they just up and left. And I, in my deep despair and overwhelming pain, left most of the ones who were still hanging around online. I can’t explain why, it’s too complicated, except to say, it was an unwelcome start to the travails of caregiving.
The other thing that happened was the Dystonia got worse. The repeated assaults to my ligaments and tendons from the continued contorting spasms resulted in injury. I now wear hard braces from my knuckles to my forearms and a heavy and lightweight brace on my knees. Recently, I found myself needing to use a crutch to walk. Lovely. So there went the hope of fulfilling some personal physical goals.
Pharmaceuticals. Lots of them. Not all covered by insurance. Can’t live without them like I had hoped. I hate that.
Oral surgery. Lost a tooth and had to get a bone graft, with implant to follow. TMJ treatments, physical therapies, holistic and complementary care. All out-of-pocket.
My health insurance had a huge increase. The house got carpenter ants again, and my dear husband suffered a concussion, and had other several injuries.
The challenge of 2015 was also getting my mother’s duplex ready to sell. We had to fix it up, clear it and help my beloved mother decide what to keep for her new digs at our house. Her new digs. Yes, now we have to remodel our house to make a nice place for mom. However, we were already needing to make repairs, so we had planned a home improvement loan. But the house wouldn’t wait and we had to borrow for a new roof. Ever try to get a loan after the financial ruin of a catastrophic injury? It’s extremely difficult.
So now I’m ending the year selling off as much as possible for as much as possible with as much energy as possible because I also am determined to go to Canada to get a special form of therapy in hopes it will help me move better. And because they say to “write what you know ” I’m writing a book about how to “Get Back Up!”