Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Someone teach me how to say No!

The holiday season might kill me. 

I haven't posted in a while because I've had a lot of "concussion hangover" days lately.  Its one of the annoying parts of having PCS.  Basically anytime I over do it, I get what I refer to as the concussion hangover.   It's the pain of a hangover... headache, nausea, feeling like you've been hit by a bus, without the fun night of drinking the night before.  Sometimes it can start during the even t of over doing it.  Other times it doesn't hit until the next day.  EIther way it pretty much ruins the next day, or two, or three, while my brain tries to recover from the overstimulation. 

my family came home for my birthday the weekend of Halloween.  Lots of uplifting events.  Dinners and lunches wiht family and friends, some shoppoing etc.  Adrenaline kept me going for most of it, although I was exhausted and headachy by mid day each day.  However, I mde it through the weekend.  Come Monday, I crashed adn was pretty much down for a week.  Still working through vision therapy, extended computer time really bothers my brain.  So I stayed away from it most of last week. 

Then last weekend, I went to a fun event at Geoff's parent's church.  A Thanksgiving Dinner Potluck.  I was so excited to go out, spend time with friends and family, etc.  However, I got carsick on the way there and underestimated the noise that would be produced by so many people enjoying dinner, talking etc.  Even with ear plugs, it was a rough on my brain.  Emotionally, it was completely worthwhile being there and I felt uplifted after being around people for the evening.  However, my brain made me pay for that evening of fun with another few days of concussion hangover. 

I don't think it's the events themselves completely that bring on the hangover effect.  Of course the overstimulation is always hard on my brain.  However, on top of that, during the day my brain is still trying to take on everyday life.  Therapies 3 days a week, different doctors appointments,  dealing with financial problems from being out of work, etc.  Phone calls to insurance companies, drs, financial institutions, etc.  Someone recently suggested a hobby.  I said, I really don't have extra time for that.  The person look at me, laughed sarcastically and said, but you have all the time in the world!  I wish that were the case, I'd probably improve faster.  But my day is filled with therapy (various exercises throughout the day at home), therapy appts, drs. appts, phone calls, regular life duties around the house, etc.  By the time I complete all that, I'm too exhausted for anything else.  All things I need to do in order to get better and keep the rest of my life that is in hold, in a hold pattern without consequences. 

Try to add in anything else, at the end of the day and I'm sunk.  ::Cue concussion hangover::  But without some outside stuff, like family events, time out of the house shopping or at restauarant I'll go crazy.  It's kind of depressing to only leave the house to go to therapy appts or the dr.  In an effort to help me stay upbeat and feeling human, Geoff and I have worked hard to find excuses to get me out of the house for a little bit.  This is great for my mood, but too much of it leads to concussion hangover. 

As the holiday season approaches I see our calendar filling up quickly.  Since this 9 month disaster began, I have missed out on many opportunities to hang out with friends, family etc.  As I continue to make slow, progress, but progress none the less, I feel I'm expected to keep up with all the commitments.  Especially since, most of them involve people who I haven't seen or kept up with during the past 9 months.  How do I say no?  Especially when that means pushing people away, and having to pick and choose between events and thus, people. 

Yet, I can't afford to take a step back in the recovery process by putting my in home therapy stuff by the wayside in an effort to conserve brain energy for different commitments.   How do I find a balance that isn't going to lead to concussion hangover?

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