Dark side made me do it

Dark side made me do it

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 cafĂ© 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!