Keep on Truckin’
In a number of my previous posts, I’ve commented on how I don’t feel like I’m the same person I was before I got sick. At the time, I mostly thought it was due to having a dramatically different outlook than I used to have. Today I’ve been struck by an intense feeling of panic. I think something might actually be wrong.
One of the things I had mentioned as feeling different, is that I don’t plan obsessively, and am able to just let things happen. I viewed it as a positive change. As a letting go.
Now I’m in the middle of midterms, and I’m painfully aware that I can’t plan. I used to like having multiple tasks to be done in a certain time frame. I’d get a little kick of endorphins, as I proudly prioritized, scheduled, and made organized to do lists. Now I can’t. Having more than a few things to do seems unmanageable. Trying to think about a job fair, a midterm, and a homework assignment all in one day, is more than I can handle. I’m feeling a new kind of anxiety as I try to complete homework assignments, as I’m now realizing that I can’t keep track of all the components. I used to be good at it.
So what the hell is going on? I’m trying to breath through the fear that has me gripped tightly in the possibility that I’m not as smart as I used to be. I don’t know how that could have happened. Can repeated instances of cerebral hypo perfusion damage the brain? Can the same mechanisms that cause communication to the autonomic nervous system to break down, also break other connections? Doctors really seem to be wrong a lot. Do I have some sort of undiagnosed degenerative disorder that caused my dysautonomia, and is now starting to show itself. Yeah…I’m all worked up. The last one is really just tapping into the intense fear that I faced during my undiagnosed period, when we thought something might be terribly wrong. I seem a little traumatized by it now and again. Breath in…breath out…
If I calm down, and breath, I realize that the most likely explanation is that organization is like a muscle. I literally had no responsibilities for 10 months. I wasn’t even responsible for ensuring that I ate until it became apparent that I was losing too much weight. The internal lack of organization of my brain communicating with my body combined with my external lack of being able to deal with anything due to the state I was in, means that on a very deep level, my organizational skills have gone to mush.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. If my brain is different, I will have to create new pathways with a different strategy. If my brain needs to remember how to organize, I will have to rebuild the old pathways. As long as I don’t stop, I’ll learn to function again. Maybe just well as I used to. Maybe not. Maybe better. Maybe just differently.
I had expected these strange experiences of feeling like a totally different person to have passed by now. Sometimes I feel like it has, and then I’m shocked into fear by yet another event that leads me to realize that I am in some fairly significant ways unfamiliar with the mind and body I inhabit.
The only thing I could think of to google on the subject was “reverse culture shock.” This is probably like moving to Europe for a year and then returning right? Sure it is. Anyhow, if that’s the case, I’ve gone through the “Honeymoon” stage (“Oh it’s so good to be back”), and am stuck in “reverse culture shock” and will eventually reintegrate. Only, like, with my own brain, instead of America. Huh…it kind of seems like I could use a shrink right now, but I really don’t trust the bastards after what they tried to do to me.
Okay, yoga, tai chi, keep on truckin’, don’t over think this. That’s my game plan. Thank you my dear friends of the blogosphere, for providing me with a medium in which I can talk myself down from a total melt down.