Dark side made me do it

Dark side made me do it

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Integration back into old Brian's life.

Integration back into old Brian's life.

I know I have said this before but one more time and probably not the last time I say this,   WOW  it is amazing how a year can really change your entire life. A year ago today Kristy noticed that I really could not walk anymore, and rushed me back to the PLC hospital. It is crazy to think about everything that happened, and how much I changed. I entered the PLC a year ago today and didn't leave for 124 days. Funny because last year at this time Was a very hard time, especially for Kristy, and today I am about to enter the hardest part of my recovery. Integration back into old Brian's life.  
 You would think that this should be a very happy time, I will say this, it is exciting and terrifying at the same time. But not happy, I am happy but not about this, which I am finding very strange. Mainly because ever since I relearned how to walk my first question to every occupational therapist, every physical therapist, social worker and speech pathologists that has worked with me has been "when can I go back to work?" Now that I am here you would think it would be a happy time. Especially that every step that I have made, has been in this direction. I would love to say I  could just sit back and enjoy this moment. However that is not the case, the closer I get to actually reaching my goal of returning to work, the harder it seems to get. I know I have come a very long way, and if I look back I can still feel all those little victories. I remember the day I left the walker behind and was walking on my own, I remember the day I left the PLC how happy and  terrifying that was. I remember thinking what's next, how will I ever do the simplest things again. Thinking I am going to be a burden on Kristy and everyone else in my life. I refer to that time right after I was out of the hospital as the Dark Dark Days. Mainly because I was thinking my life was definitely over. Then I met three people that showed me things are not as bleak as I thought. The first was an amazing occupational therapist that explained things are really just beginning, and if I gave her everything I had no only will things get better I will again, one day return to my dream Job. I still remember that one conversation that changed  my journey from me being a victim to me being the Warrior I am today. It was the right words, with the right person, at what I would say was a very crucial time. The next was a man on the same Journey I was on. I am sure he didn't even realize it but he's showed me that having a Brain injury was not something I should ever be ashamed of having. In fact showed me that if you Cowboy Up things will always get better. Deep into my journey to return to life I met the next and big influence in my recovery. The speech pathologist, I remember sitting in the waiting room at C.A.R thinking not really sure this is the best idea as we are heading in area I not sure I could do before my injury. I was wrong about what her job was really about. Quickly she made it clear that the issues I was having could be controlled. Now if you ever were to sit outside the door as we worked on my issues you would think how is this working as they have the weirdest conversations. But you know, not only are they working, it's giving me the confidence that is needed for this terrifying next step. I have said many times she came into my recovery way too late. I know now that is very incorrect, she has arrived at the right time and with the right instructions at one of the most crucial times. I am proud to say today we made giant steps in the right direction. Now again that right direction is in the way of a speedy train coming my way call integration back into old Brian's life. I must say this as well that everyone at C.A.R is amazing it is just the three I have mentioned really do stick out. Please understand something else there are many real superheroes who walk among us everyday, they don't wear capes, and you pass them everyday not knowing that not only saved people's lives, most of the time they help the people in this world that need it the most and at the end of the day they return home not really knowing what they did. Someday I want to be one of these superheroes, I can't go through life knowing there is another Brian out there sitting in the dark thinking what the hell is next, where the hell do I go now. One day I will be there to turn that light on. 

Crazy how in a year so much can change 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Rolling with the Changes

Rolling with the Changes 

I know I have not posted in the blog since my surgery anniversary, it has been very crazy and I have learned a lot about my journey , my disability and some of the obstacles that will be in my life. My disability before surgery was very front and centre, plus the world didn't see it as a disability. As a 500 plus pound man I was perceived very lazy person because of my size. The world didn't realize I had a disability, and that I was fighting a war on many different fronts. Now that I am a 290 pound man ( that's right I am now in the 200's ) I am fighting a war on multiple fronts still, but now it's not just about losing weight. I still have Fat Brian inside me and I do wrestle with him all the time about Shit food, but I do have a tool to help with it. But now I am fight to recover from the Brain Injury I suffered from getting that tool. That is a disability that is very invisible, in fact many people question if I have a disability. But it is very very real, I used to think that living life as a 500 pound man was hardest, I was very wrong it was hard, but not even in the same area as my disability now. My struggles are hard to describe, I have accepted that fact that I am different now, I still am struggling with the Brian I am Now and the  Brian I used to be. I can say I have stopped pretending to be old Brian. It a funny path that I am on, I know longer worry about what I used to like that I no longer like. I live in the extremes and I am starting to understand why be mostly it because my brain is always running hard to try and compensate for the damage. Again it hard to describe, I have been told by it will level out just be patient. 

Well let me explain what has changed in my life, I have reached the tail end of my time in the CAR program, So we are focusing on getting me ready to return to work, and also realizing that I need more help on a particular area so we are pushing through to reach goals with a new therapist. To prepare me for my return to work I am taking a classes at the central CAR four days a week 4 hours each day. This has been a very interesting, and I do believe it is helping. We are finding out fast what accommodations we need to ask for from CLS also what help I will need after I leave CAR. 

I also have seen how the outside world is going to treat me with this disability. Yes it is very scary to see how people will try to use my disability against me. The really scary thing was watching medical professionals do it. Also that they didn't believe it is a permanent thing was also very disheartening. But I guess it is hard sometimes for them to admit there is something they don't know or understand. Also I am not quite sure how they could tell me that  my quality-of-life has greatly  improved. Yes In some ways it has gotten better, but it came at a very high price, It also has become much much more harder, in many ways they will never understand. It was a very hard week to get through. 

Also had a security guard that believed there was nothing wrong with me and pushed for me to leave an area that I was sitting in  waiting for Access Calgary to come and pick me up. The very surprising thing was how my peers with disability responded. The next day I went to the security desk at the building explained that I did have a disability and they to note. What happened after that was very amazing. On Thursday a few days after the incident happened, one of the other Access Calgary passengers told me that everyone that was in that waiting room that day went to the security desk as well and complained about that security guard trying to take me out of the area. She said "all of us with disabilities need to stick together in this tough world!" This was very good moment in a very rough week. 

There was many great stuff that also happened, I got to experience how some of my coworkers will treat me and that was awesome. It was nice to see that I am different but I can go back and know where my support will be in the building. I also got to see my very strong wife do something she was afraid to do, not only was she able to do it, but had a lot of fun at it and I am glad we don't own an axe. 

I also did buy a new pair of jeans, in fact they are Levi's. I have not worn a pair of them in 20 years or so maybe longer. It's funny I cried when I tried them on. I was finally in a pair of Levi's, but they feel very tight and loose at the same time. Just not used to it yet I guess. 

That is all for now, I will post again in the near future, as there are even more big changes coming.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Careful what you wish for!

Careful what you wish for! 

Careful what you wish for! 
Today is April 13, this is the 1st anniversary of my surgery. A year ago I went into this new journey with fear and with some small amount of scepticism. But I trusted my gut and jumped in with both feet. I remember I was scared as the only other surgery I had was on my nose, nothing like this. I am not totally sure what kind of thing I was getting into, but I gave up one of the hardest vices I had, coke zero, well more like all the carbonated drinks I used to consume multiple multiple multiple times a day. With many weeks of being free of that, I thought if that as hard as its going to be be I can handle this. Boy I was such a so arrogant, thinking that was hard. Difficult maybe but I really didn't understand what truly what hard was. 

In the last year I have experienced quite a bit, the biggest thing I have found is who I really am. I know I am suppose to be super happy about my weight loss, and yes that is a large part of my experience, but we can get into that later. Now I just want to talk about the positive stuff first.  For years I wore what I call the fat uniform, sweatpants and a T shirt. Mostly because I didn't have much choice. Now if you catch me in sweats it's only because my jeans are being washed or I am doing something I don't want my jeans to well get dirty. So basically you are rarely going to see that. Also I have gone from being a guy who used to like just being a home body. I would never want to spend any time outside the house. My 124 days in hospital beat that right out of me, at first being home from the hospital I was trying to just go back to that home body thing, but that is when my life changed and being at home all the time, felt very much like I was giving up on life. I did not go through all this shit just to give up. So now I like to get out and do stuff. This is good thing, but Kristy is having a fun time trying to keep up with all the changes in my life. 

So to day I  stepped on the scale hoping to be under 300 pounds, I am proud to say I didn't make that goal, I stepped on it and it stopped at 300 pounds even. Not 300.5 or 300. 2, and yes I thought of ways I could change that like using the bathroom or waiting until tomorrow to write my blog and maybe if I go to the YMCA and jump on the treadmill, workout hard for an hour maybe tomorrow I will there, but I don't live in maybe tomorrow anymore. I live in the here and now so  Nope I am not in the 200's yet. But I have have lost exactly 240 pounds in the last year and I am proud of that. Proud not of the number, but more of the fact that I just excepted it is what it is. Proudly to say I know it's just a number. It's not happiness, some people still are trying to figure that out. But I know happiness has absolutely nothing to do with what the number says. In my case that number was extremely expensive. Now I am not talking about the cost in money, no it came at a much higher price, that number came with brain damage. 
Now my brain does work a lot differently than it it did a year ago, but I am climbing that very large Mountain every day. One of the things that is helping me is listening to music, and with my injury when there's something in the song touches me I tend to play it a hundred times over and over again. Until I find what is in it that is kind of calling out to me. Many songs in the past few months have been doing this, the one that really jumped out at me was Home by Chris Daughtry. There is a very great verse in that song that just blows me away. 

"Be careful what you wish for 'cause you just might get it all
You just might get it all and then some you don't want
Be careful what you wish for 'cause you just might get it all
You just might get it all, yeah" 

As it really hits home with me as sums up kind of what happened in the last year. Myself and many of my family and friends did wish I could loose the weight and find a way to keep it off. Well so far I am able to do that. But it also did come with a lot of stuff I didn't want. 

I am also trying to forgive old Brian, for letting life get so out of control. This is a very hard thing to do as almost everyday I find something that I did in the past few years that makes no sense to me now. Things that he did that he left for Kristy to deal with if He did die on the operating table. He needed a great big Gibbs slap upside the head. I love her so much, I will get all this shit he left cleared up, but man I am so pissed with him. 

The next year I hope is wonderful in many ways. I hope to find middle ground, no more living in the extremes. I hope to continue to live in the here and now. I hope to get back to work and find balance there. I hope to do some 5k and maybe find some kind of exercise that is fun todo. Mostly I want to be the best Brian I can be. 

Below is two photos the first photo  I am wearing a green shirt, was was taken on April 11, 2015. The second photo I am wearing an awesome hat, it was taken on April , 2016 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Try Anything

Try Anything 

What an awesome few weeks I have had, things are a going mostly well.  It all started with my occupational therapist suggesting I try to take a little more control of my life. No she didn't say that exactly but that's what I read between the lines. So it started with me taking Calgary transit to one of my appointments by myself. This this seemed very impossible at the time. The idea itself scared me although I have been on transit a few times on my own since my injury. But the times before Kristy knew about what I was doing. This time I had to do it on my own I was allowed to talk to her about it but not tell her when I was going to attempt it. My plan was to take transit to treatment then continue on to the YMCA and possibly take transit home. My first attempt went well I took transit to my treatment appointment then off to the YMCA. After my rehabilitation workout at the YMCA, I decided that was enough for one day and I took a cab home. So success was there but I did not finish what I started. It was a step in the right direction so I'll take it as a win. But I did want more. This was the first time I realize that I am not as broken as I think. 

As I am working towards trying to understand what I can and can't do. This process is a lot harder than it sounds. I have never really been good at organizing myself, now that's a key ingredient to success with the type of injury I have. Putting together strategies that I can use to reach a certain goal is good. I have gone from simple strategies like following a list when I'm shopping or putting all the ingredients to a recipe on one side of what I'm doing and as I use the items to move to the other side of what I'm doing. Those are easy strategies they work but they don't work for everything. Finding more complex strategies is a little difficult. Now I know Old Brian loved to cook, and new Brian is falling in love with that again. However things are a little more difficult when it comes to cooking. Before the injury I'm pretty sure that old Brian would use his instincts on what needed to be done next. How much spices or seasonings needed to go in to what I was making. This is much harder now, making decisions on what needs to go into what I'm doing is very difficult, as I get distracted very easily. Let me compare it to something else outside of cooking like, putting on deodorant, oh I probably do this about a eight or nine times, because I'm not sure if I have done it already. I have a strategy I use when I am at the YMCA however when I'm home it doesn't seem to work here. It's OK that I put the deodorant spray on eight or nine times. I will just smell like a teenager applying it and I'm OK with that. But when it comes to cooking I really can't flip chicken on the barbeque eight or nine times without it well turning into a charcoal brick. Yes Kristy has eaten a few charcoal Bricks. So I am still trying to figure stuff out. It will work itself out or it won't. 

Last week I've also had an amazing day out with my niece Maggie, I prepared for the day most of last week. I had a great help from the CAR Program ( my rehabilitation program) and from Kristy planning an amazing day out. I was very nervous about our day out, because I was worried that I am not the same as I was before,  And I don't handle things the same way. So in most of my appointments last week, each member of the team spent a little time each session coming up with strategies on what might happen while we're out and how to handle it. The team at the CAR program is quite amazing. We came up with strategies for most everything. Everything from what happens if I have an incident, ( an incident is where I forget what I'm doing and why am there these happen from time to time) to she's 12 and she may not eat very much eat very much when we're out. That last one was my favourite, because somebody told me to just buy popcorn and during the movie have her hold it and she would eat it because it was there in front of her. Now I can't remember which of the team came up with that one, but it did work....very well. It was such a great day! For that small amount of time I felt very normal. We enjoyed the first movie Zootopia it was an awesome movie. I really liked the main character Judy the bunny, I loved her Spunk! I also enjoyed the song Try Everything from the movie, I bought it so I am sure Kristy will learn to hate it very soon. As I will probably play it hundred times in the next you know ten days. After the first movie we met up with my friend Monique, and went to see The Divergent series: Allegiant. It was later in the day so I don't remember much from the movie, but what I do remember did bother me quite a bit. In The movie they referred to some of the characters is damaged this bothered me a little. Plus there was way too much kissing in that movie for me to be comfortable with Maggie seeing it, I know she is 12 but I only still see the five year old when I look at her, I don't know if that's just the brain damage or if it's just being me. Monique and Maggie both enjoyed that movie. After the movie we decided to visit the Peter Loheed hospital, where I lived for close to 160 days  in total in 2015. I wanted to go up and thank them for taking care of me, I also wanted to do it with Maggie as I was a little afraid, and Maggie would help me with my  courage to do it. It went well I am glad I faced that fear, but I am not going back there again for a long while. After Monique dropped us off at Maggie's house it occurred to me I am not as Broken as I  think I am. 

I would love to say it was a good weekend as well, but I live in the extremes so my week went very well, so of course it all came crashing down pretty hard. Middle ground is very hard to find with this injury. One of the hardest things I am trying to get a hold of is just letting shit go. My brain does not seem to work that way anymore or maybe I just don't hide it anymore. It is hard to say, I make a mistake and for some reason it just sticks in my head. Playing over and over like a broken record. It always seems to start with Little meaningless shit. One thing leads to another and soon I am in an avalanche of shit. It sucks!! I try to recover from it but seems the harder I try the worse it gets. The highlight of the weekend was definitely taking the new member of our family our cat Mimo outside on a harness and a very long leash. It was awesome to sit outside in the sun, and have Mimo just play. It was a good Moment.

I had another amazing day, on this past Monday, I looked at some of my homework and decided to try and spend the whole day out using only Calgary transit to get around. I had an appointment at CAR, and I wanted to go to the YMCA again but this time I would try to come home on transit. I left the house the same way and time I did last week. I made it to CAR, got myself a hot chocolate from the café there. During my appointment with the recreational therapist, we filled out an application to volunteer at the YMCA. So I could start getting back into a routine of sort of working. So when I head back to work it won't be as difficult as I think it will be. I left there and headed to the YMCA, when I got off the train and was walking to the YMCA I saw the Tim Hortons and thought if Kristy was with me she would want me to stop at Timmys and get something to eat, as I don't always eat enough. So I decided to follow my inner Kristy and stop there for lunch. I made it to the YMCA, handed in my Application to volunteer, and had a great workout and swim. After that I took a break on a bench, one because I wanted to book my access trips for the week, two I was having one of my incidents and I needed to refocus. While sitting on the bench I thought why not just call a cab and head home. I know this next part may not make a lot of sense to you, but it what happened the demon inside of me showed up. So I started to open the app on my phone to call the cab, and that when Old Brian popped up in my head, saying "see told you, you could not do it! You are Broken! Let's go across the street and have a Baconator and wallow in our failure, then call the cab. I turned the music on to my phone and headed over to the Wendys. While waiting at the lights to cross the street, the song Try Anything started to play on the playlist on the phone, as I listened to it the words to the song really started to hit home with me. As I listened to it a different kind of incident happen, I don't know how but I walk right by that Wendys and headed to the Train. Got on the train and headed towards home. It was a new thing, it was a better thing, I forgot about the doubt and found my way back home. It was a good day, I put in more physical steps & mental steps and realized I am a warrior! 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Embrace the suck, and move the f*#k forward

Embrace the suck, and move the f*#k forward 

This week has had a lot of ups and downs. It started out pretty awesome, I was able to do the grocery shopping on my own in only an hour and a half. I was focused and I did not get too distracted. I had a very good strategy to keep moving forward. 

Monday was a good day I went to the YMCA to do my rehabilitation workout, I found it very busy in that place. It was a good workout, but I needed to change a lot of stuff up as it seemed like someone else was doing the same kind of thing. Also when I needed to get on a hamsters wheel they were all taken. So I decided I would jump on the curve it a manual hamster wheel in a large u shaped. It was good I just focused on each 5 mins at a time. Ever time I got through 5 mins I said to myself this is not that bad and just kept going until I could see Kris getting ready for her spin class. I knew if I want to sit in the hot tub I needed to get going. 

Tuesday started off as a good day, I decided that if I was going to have a rest day I should go to the movies. I choose to see Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I enjoyed the movie, it was not One of Tina Fey's regular movies. It was awesome, plus there was a line at the end of the movie that I really could relate to. "Embrace the suck, and move the f#*k  forward" well like I said could relate to. After the movie I headed to the doctor always fun to see the primary doctor. This time was different from any time I have ever gone there in the past. I was early, like I am for everything in my life, and He was running ahead of time so for the first time I think ever I basically walked in and went to the small waiting room. He opened the door almost before I sat down. It was a very weird experience. After seeing the doctor I decided that I would go to the Kcup superstore and grab some for Kris. As we talked about me possibly going there, but I could only remember to go there. This is where stuff started to come of the rails, I thought I will just take public transit, I jumped on the 1st  bus started to feel cold, got to southland station and hopped on the 2nd bus to head up the hill got off at the correct stop, crossed the street and I arrived at the Kcup superstore and could not figure out why I was there. I called Kris and of course she was unavailable as she was in a meeting. I left a message for her to call me when she got the message. I did a little shopping, I was very cold, started to worry I left my jacket at the movie Theater or the doctors. 
Kris called me back and we started to talk about what was going on. She calmed me down, I finished my shopping and decided to walk next door to the Safeway to pick up something I enjoy, jalapeño pepper stuffed with feta cheese. So I now refer to the the small state of confusion as an incident. I did not leave my jacket at the doctors nor the movies I didn't have a jacket because it was nice out when I left the house. 

Wednesday was a very large day, My day started off with me going to my rehabilitation appointments, that was the easy 3hours of my day. From there I went to the YMCA to workout a bit and refocus. I did an easy workout to bring my mind back to what I was thinking was important. From the YMCA I went to The post surgery bariatric support group. It was good to go and talk to people on a similar journey. Although mine is a little more difficult than most, as I am losing weight, but I am also on this Brain injury survivor journey as well. The support group meeting was long after 5pm so I don't really remember much from it. Wednesday I was out of the house for longer than 10 hours, I wanted to know I could do that without having to many incidents. I was able to make it through the tough day, however I did have a few incidents. I learned quite a bit about how to avoid having incidents. However I am thinking this will change as the days go forward. I know I met quite a few people at the support group unfortunately I don't really remember who they were. That's OK because this is how my evenings usually go. 

On Thursday I went shopping at Walmart and I had one that moment today when somebody hasn't seen you in many years and they're trying to figure out who you are but can't place you because you look so different. 

Friday was hey very special day as well, I year ago I started my preop diet for surgery, also it marked 125 days out of the hospital that's one more then I was in for. It was also my mothers birthday. It's weird how everything landed on that one day but that's how my life is now. I weird stuff just pops out, or maybe I just notice it more now. 

Saturday was interesting as well. I got together with a good friend, Monique, Kristy and I went to see whiskey tango foxtrot. It was good to see it again, I enjoyed it and understood it better the second time around. After the movie we went to chapters so Kristy could pick up a book. Unfortunately the chapters did not have the book Kris was looking for so we decided to go for dinner, then head to the chapters at Chinook  mall. After that we walked up the mall. Now I don't remember why we did that, but it was interesting to see how busy the mall was. Also I worked on trying to keep my impulsiveness under control. I think I did well, but not really sure. What I do remember from the trip up the mall was that I finally got to try the jugo juice smoothie place out and I did go to the Lego store as I have a new very cool Keychain of Darth Vader, because my brain works differently now I remember more of the harder things, than the happiest things. So on the way out to the autobot, my friend truck has an awesome Transformer deckle on it. We went back out the way we came in, through the chapters store and this is where things started to come way off the rails for me. As we walked through the chapters I got very confused, I could understand why the chapters changed so much. I thought I was in the Shaughnessy chapters, and I started to panic, in fact I stopped walking and started to call Kris on my phone. It was very scary, as I started to call Kris, Monique noticed I was lost and came and grabbed me. It is crazy how far I come off the rails. 

On Sunday when I did the shopping, I didn't start a timer as I could live with the hour and a half that it would take to do it. This time I was able to do it in only an hour, Kris let me Know when she arrived that I did even better this week. It was good to know. However I am no longer trying to be like fat Brian. I am not going to let the stuff I could do before get in my way now. I need to find a way to just be this new more handsome Brian. Not worry if I am normal anymore. Fat Brian was not normal so why should I try to be like him. I think what is best is to just be me, and embrace the suck, and move the f*#k forward. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

1 ......2.......3 
It has been a very hard few weeks, I am dealing with a lot of very different emotions. My world has changed so much, it very hard to wrap my mind around how I am going to figure out how to get through a normal day. I hate that word normal. Nothing, and I really mean nothing seems normal in my life. Things I could do very easily, take so much more effort now it's crazy. I don't make decisions very well, like choosing a pair of shoes, it took an hour, I had to tried so many different shoes on, not sure if it because I have a lot more to chose from now, because fat Brian could only wear a certain shoe because of weight. Now I can just wear almost any of them. It a very weird world. 

In my life I am working on letting go of a bad habit I picked up in the hospital. This counting 1, 2, 3 before I go to do something. Everything you do in the hospital has that counting thing, and now that I am home it has manifested itself into doing it all the time. In fact it's really bad now, I count when I am afraid, when I am exhausted, and when I am confused. I do it without even thinking about it, life with this brain injury sometimes is very terrifying. It seems to help calm me down, however it is a very bad habit and I have kick it. 

Also I have done some challenging things in the last few weeks, starting to find a rhythm with keeping myself busy. I am looking at recovery as full time job, scheduling stuff everyday, I even if it is a rest day I go and do something outside the house. I workout at the YMCA 3 times a week. At first I started to do that so to try and get back to work sooner, but now I know it's more about just getting better so I can live. I get back to work when the time is right. I can't rush it as my body is much different now. I have also started cooking a Lot more. In fact I get excited about doing it, making even just an omelette is exciting. 

February 26 was a very hard and creepy day. I went to the YMCA, I took Access and when you use access you pick other passengers up who are going to the YMCA. We picked a few people up and then headed to Midnapore to pick up a passenger. We went by the intersection I avoid at all costs because it is the intersection where I witnessed my brother passed away at. Then we continued on to the exact  condo building I lived in at the time of his death to pick up the next passenger. This was very hard, but when arrived at the YMCA I decided to work out that shit on the gym floor. I must thank my former trainer Damir for teaching me the best place to work shit out is to do something you think you can't do. So I made a circuit up in my head and just pushed my body through it. I also should thank my best friend Ryan who I used to train with because I must admit his voice was in my head pushing me to go harder like he used to do when he was my training partner. Pounded out a very good workout. It really helps me. After the workout I went to willow park to pick up some gluten free cupcakes for a friend that was coming to Kristy's birthday party so when everyone was eating cake she could as well. After getting the cupcakes I walked around willow park looking for the booster juice, and after I found it, I also found the  store Lammle's Western store so I went in to look around and I found a cool shirt, tried it on, sent Kristy a photo asked if she liked it without telling her what store I was in. She liked it so I made the decision on my own to buy it. It's my new Favourite shirt, because it's awesome ! Also because I made the decision to buy it mostly on my own.  

Things are getting better with regards to finding this new Brian. I am starting to feel some Independence and I am finding new strategies to deal with many of the issues I have. Also finding ways to deal with some of the anger I am experiencing. Fat Brian always kept that shit in and never really dealt with it. I am finding that anger and frustration is very exhausting. So I am trying not to let that stuff get in my way anymore. 

March is Brain injury awareness month. So please take a moment to appreciate life, and if you are around someone who is also touched by this give them a pat on the back or a high five because it is the hardest journey I have ever been on and I have done some hardcore crazy things like running a 10k weighing 400 lbs or the 100 burpees I once did and those things don't even come close to this new journey I am on. Also don't forget the heroes that stand by and stand up for there loved ones with a Brain injury, because they may even have it harder. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

What a interesting week I have had, so many things I have tried doing. I am starting to see what the future will bring. Monday I got together with one of my oldest friends, she would not want me to say it like that, so let's just say we have known each other since high school and leave it at that,  we went to see the funny movie Zoolander 2. It was great to see her and hangout having a fun day. I tried on a Jean jacket thinking I would like it, it was ok but the jacket I tried on was not what I had in mind. So I am going to hold off for now until I find exactly what I have in my mind. I also did find something I did like, a pair of sunglasses. Now I am not going to buy them from the crazy place I tried them on as they were a lot more then I am willing to spent on something I most likely will loose. So I will wait until I find a nice knock off. It was an amazing day. 

Tuesday was very interesting as well, I wanted to do something to surprise my wife Kristy. I decided to make her one of her favourite meals. So I went to the grocery store on my own and got what I needed. I made her meatloaf and homemade Mac and Cheese. It went very well, I made the meatloaf and Mac and cheese before she got home. She walked into a very beautiful smelling house. I think she was surprised, also excited to have an old part of her husband back. It was a very good day. 

Thursday I had an amazing trip to the YMCA to go swimming. I was so excited I packed my swimming bag four times during the week. Getting back into the pool was so great & so different. I lost so much weight my body is so weird now. My legs when I got into the pool felt so funny, there is lots of skin issues I have now. So much weight loss that when I was in the pool it felt like the skin in my legs was separate from my legs. It was so freaky! I am going to go swimming again very soon, I need to remember that I get exhausted much easier now and need to remember it is ok to take breaks. The recreational therapist I went with pointed that out. I don't seem to know my limits just yet, but I am working on that. 

On Friday I met up with another old friend that I have not seen in a long time. It was good to get together and remanence about old times. I found a drink that I liked, that I could have in a social situations that does not have any alcohol in it. It was so good to hear how his family was doing. Also it felt kind good to sit and not need to worry if anyone around me could tell I have a little brain damage. We just had a good time. 

On Saturday I tried again to do the weekly grocery shopping trip on my own. I wish I could say it went well, but it had good points and bad of course. The good points were that I was able to cut the time it took in half from the week before. However it still was much too long for my liking. I must try and work on my impulsiveness, and focus on what is really needed. I will reach this by having a better strategy & a better list next week. I will get my shopping time down to an hour with a better plan. After shopping I wanted to go see a movie with Kristy, we went to see How to be single. I hated it, in fact it made me very angry. So me not knowing my limits suggested we go see the movie Joy to try and make up for the shitty movie we just saw. We did go to the movie, but by then I started to shutdown. Having a very hard time controlling my illness. Kristy is a very awesome partner, she is very understanding of my illness and can see crap coming and try and change what is going to happen if we continue. I love her greatly. 

On Sunday I decided to go to a meet up with with other people from the bariatric program. It was a good decision I made to go. I met a lot of great people, who were on a similar journey weight wise as myself. It was also great to hear how they were all doing. I felt I was not alone with certain feelings I was having. Another great thing that happened on Sunday was that I was able to cross Macleod  trail on my own. 

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Finding Brian 

I know I have not posted on this blog in many years, I am going to use it again to talk about my Journey into the this new life. 2015 was a very difficult year, I had vertical  sleeve gastrectomy surgery. I did this because I was tipping the scale at 540 pounds. I had a complication from the surgery that the surgeon did not see coming. The complication I had was Wernicke Korsakoff Syndrome. I received brain damage from this and I am working on repairing the damage. I was in the hospital for 124 days where I need to relearn many things I took for granted,  like standing, walking, and eating. 

Enough about the past, let's talk about what's going on now. Today is a new very different time, I am dealing with so much now. I am trying to find out who I am, I know that sounds funny for a 42 year old guy not to know who he is. I don't really know, Fat Brian I think had no idea either. Since I came very close to dying my view of life has changed greatly. I don't want to waste anymore time with things I don't think really matters anymore. So here is what I have come up with so far, I like to walk, so I am going to try to walk more outside. I have figured out how I like to cut & style my hair. I know I still love to cook. I also like to workout, not the crazy shit I did before, but a calmer kind. As I work some of this stuff out, I guess I am finding This new Brian. 

Things are all over the place as I am trying to understand how my brain works. Most days I wake up ready to conquer the world. Then there is the other days I wake up and feel very overwhelmed. Unfortunately for me I have not really found any middle ground yet. I know this may sound strange but what I find the hardest is this not working thing. It's very hard to sit still and if I have a rest day or a day with very little to do in it I feel very restless. The other very strange thing is that my older memories are what is coming up, so I am remembering real old shit. It's much easier then remembering stuff from now, Like did I have breakfast, or who was that I bumped into at the Walmart the last time I was shopping. It is very frustrating, 

I am a Brain Damaged Warrior  fighting my way back. It's a lot harder than you could imagine.