This is what I drank in training, and the Ironman. Now it's the Goofy Challenge

Friday, July 24, 2009

Living with TBI really sucks sometimes

On days like today, or weeks like the last couple weeks, Living with TBI really sucks. I don’t like the fact that I get over stimulated so easy. I can’t cope with multiple things going on at once on a good day. Let alone when there multiple “big” things all happening at once.

The fact that I am training 4-12 hours per day, working, and moving is stressful for most people. Let alone those with a reduced cognitive ability, The moving alone is stressful, when you add the fact that Mandy is in Quebec for the month and that I am doing this by myself. Well it gets to be too much.

I try and cope. I like running, biking and swimming, but even that takes so much effort to prep. A six hour bike ride consists of planning the route, entering in to my GPS so I don’t get lost, making sure I have the right amount of liquids, the right amount of nutrients on the go. I plan the day around the ride and then I have a 30-1hour run after words. I have to have running shoes, running belt, keys, and suntan lotion, everything all set out in advance.

I can handle this on most days, but when I over stimulated my brain is like an old record that keeps skipping. Inside my head I am constantly spinning on the same spot. An example would be. Where I am going? I am going for run after my bike. I need shoes for my run. I go to the closet and I forget why I am there. So I ask myself “where am I going? I am going for a run” I need to get shoes. I go and get shoes only to forget why I am at the closet. This spinning has becoming increased, and on top of the spinning I flood.

Flooding is where I am over stimulated. I am running to many programs at once in my head. I am thinking about money, I am thinking that my landlord has not returned my damage deposit. I am thinking about my wife, I am thinking about my bike and my run. I am thinking I don’t have any money. I get so anxious over not having enough food. That has been the latest freak out. In my head I keep thinking I don’t have enough of the foods I need to train at this level. I keep going to the fridge and making sure it is there. Then I forget and go back and check. Then I realize I am looking for my shoes.

Then a phone call will come that the previous owner did not pay the electrical bill, that New Westminster electrical is coming after the new owners for it. I paid my electrical bill, why do I have to pay his? This was covered by the notary. Where are my shoes?

I made the mistake today to try and set up my wireless connection in the house. That was just an hour of absolute frustration. So I am still not wireless.

I can look at my situation from outside perspective. I consider myself very lucky. I have a home, I have family, and I have food. Hell I am training for an Ironman, I have a job. I have friends. I just get so frustrated at the lack of answers. No one seems to be able to direct me in the right way.

How do I get my damage deposit back? Why is my landlord trying to make me feel guilty for asking for my money back? I mean if I was 24 days late on rent they would let me know right? Shaw owes me money for a bill that was prepaid. They want to offer me a credit, but I don’t want a credit I want the money back. This has been several conversation and phone calls adding up to over four hours in total now. No one seems to be able simply reverse a payment that should not have gone through.
When I was taking my second year Psychology course, I learned a neat terminology called “Daily Hassles” This is a psychological idea that what makes people clime clock towers and kill hundreds of people, or get out of their car and beat someone up in road rage is not some big mental disorder. It is an accumulation of a bunch of little things.

You wake up late for work, and you stub your toe. Then when you take a poop there is no toilet paper. You go to make coffee and realize the milk has gone bad. You argue with your spouse over something stupid. You get a phone call from your boss about something stupid, and you head to your car to see someone has spray painted on it. You get in your car and get stuck in traffic. This on top of the fact that your house might be foreclosed upon, you are worried about your job and you kid didn’t come home last night. Now someone cuts you off and you get out and beat the shit out of them. Daily Hassles. My Daily Hassles are getting really frustrating. I am trying to take it all in stride.

I start to have panic attacks and feelings of being overwhelmed. Then I get pissed off that I having this reaction. It really sucks and I feel like I can’t really talk to anyone about them. I have a bath, I play some video games, or I make something for dinner. I just keep trucking. Hoping if I give it enough time it will pass. Something has to change.

I have just found that the problem keeps compounding. Something else just gets added to the daily stress. Like a friend who doesn’t return a phone call, an acquaintance who doesn’t take responsibility for their actions. A fellow tenant who plays the music or parties until 4 A.M. Running out of money for my swim membership, it all just keeps building. No one thing is a big deal, but put it all together and I start to get into panic mode.

I get tired of everything feeling so "life or death" in importance to my brain. I can't control the way I react. My brain response to stimuli is all out of balance. I react the same way to my missing shoes, as I would a life or death situation. My heart rate goes up, I get a total flight or fight response, my breathing get's laboured and my body starts to react like it will have to flee or fight at any second.

If I have any interaction with someone during this time I don't act normal. They don't understand why I am so agitated and I don't always want to explain it. It just really sucks sometimes. This month has been an absolute overwhelming amount of stimulation. Some good, some bad, but all just to much.

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