Brain Injury Is Just Ducky

Our former neurologist once told my husband: “Lisa will be fine as long as all her ducks are in a row” — in other words, as long as nothing threw me off my routines.

As a TBI/epilepsy patient since a 2008 car crash, hoo-boy, did I have my routines. Sample day: Wake up, take drugs, eat breakfast, read newspaper, exercise, shower/dress, eat lunch, nap, do minimal housework, have dinner/watch TV with husband, take drugs, sleep, take more drugs, go back to sleep.

This is not to say my life was completely predictable; there was also the occasional seizure.

In general, though, my ducks remained in a row.

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As the years went by, my life became fuller and happier, though still pretty regimented. I trained to become a yoga instructor and last year began volunteering as a teacher at a women’s shelter and a veterans center.

The article I wrote for my certification, “This Is My Brain on Yoga: From Injury to Enlightenment,” was published in the March issue of TBI Hope and Inspiration magazine, as well as in Meditation Magazine. Since then, a couple of other pieces have been published, including a version of this one, and I’ve gotten over my f-fear of b-blogging.

Shiny, happy Lisa, still keeping those ducks in a row.

Ahem. … As any reader who has or cares for someone with TBI knows, that’s B.S.

I’ve always been the kind of person who tries to put on a happy face, even if I’m crying inside, so as not to upset others. So in rereading my earlier published yoga article, I see now that I used humor (I hope) to gloss over my own hardships.

And about those ducks?

Well, lately mine have been all over the place. Early this year I was stranded on the couch for two months while my foot healed from a fall down the basement stairs. (Life lesson: Do not carry a full basket of laundry down the stairs with both hands. Better still: Do less laundry.)

That led to a full-fledged mutiny on the duck row. (Note to self: Have I taken this metaphor too far? Don’t forget to delete that sentence. D’oh!)

First there was the situation at hand. For reasons that are too nuts to explain, when I lost my footing on the top step, I’d been wearing only a towel. Go ahead, judge me. I’ll wait.

Finished? All-righty then. … Whimpering, I assessed the damage: toes curled under, bleeding knee.

I wisely decided to scoot to the freezer for a makeshift ice pack, knock the first aid kit off a shelf and patch myself up. Unwisely, I then scooted to the dryer for something clean to wear and then scooted back.

Did I mention my husband wasn’t home yet and my cell phone was upstairs?

Okay, hahaha, that does seem like something out of “I Love Lucy” (of course, she’d have been wearing a robe), but now back to my ducks.

Letting my broken metatarsal and ligament heal meant canceling my volunteer yoga gigs and classes, and I had a hard time getting either place to reschedule. Plus, you wouldn’t believe how the dirty laundry piled up.

But the thing is, on the day I wrote this piece, I was able to walk, very slowly, to a yoga class at the nearby community center. And this was the first writing I’d done since the yoga article.

I still don’t have my ducks in a row, but for now I’m okay with that.

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