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Headway
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Life along time after a head injury

So just over 7 years after my injury, I have improved immensely from where I was a few months after my injury after the worst had subsided.

Like most of us, I muddle along and make the most of things. The one thing I have never managed to live with is the random episodes of "Why did I do that or what was I thinking"

One of the most bizarre things is repeated tasks. where you have to do things like sorting things or doing a small process. Something like shelling peas; you have a pile of pods in the middle and a bowl for the peas to the left and bucket for the waste on the right. Simple pick a pod up, take the peas out and put them to the left and put the waste in the bucket to the right. Guaranteed before the end, I will start putting the peas in the waste bucket even though I may have got it right multiple times previously, something will trip and the process goes haywire. Why I have no idea, somewhat embarrassing and frustrating but not the end of the world.

Yesterday was another classic. I had a balance wobble and knocked over a glass vase, which hit the floor and smashed. It was one of those times that I was padding about in my socks. Off I went to put on something on my feet.

Right shoe on, then the left but it didn't feel right. Take it off, put it back on, same thing. Adjust my socks and the tongue in the shoe. Same thing ! Take it back off try it again, same thing. Then I wonder, had my children whom have a habit of borrowing my shoes temporarily but sometimes walk on them with the backs down, had been at them. Inspect the back of the shoe, plump it up, same problem. Begin getting resigned to throwing the pair out as I can't walk in these anymore. Inspect the shoe once more trying to work out what has gone wrong with this one because it looks perfectly fine. So I take the one off my right foot and start comparing them side by side - then there was that moment of clarity of thought and the penny drops - two right foot shoes from different pairs.

Whilst it may have been only a few minutes, it felt like ages. So here I am highly educated with lots of practical experience and can't get my shoes on the right feet !

Just shows the wacky consequences of a bump on the head.

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You’re not alone! Sounds like one of my days 😁

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I laugh at those things.

One that bugs me is the process,go to toilet,flush toilet,wash hands,i normally miss middle bit out! LOL

Still not put remote in fridge yet! LOL

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One that I really struggled with for years - the telephone style handset at the end of the bath.

Simplest thing in the world, turn the handle so that it is set to spray, turn the tap on and wash the bath. Turn the tap off, turn the lever to fill the bath and put the handset back.

Number of times , I turned the water on and left the handset on the bath, turned the water on when I had the handset pointing away from the bath. Then the number of times, I washed the bath and went back to my chair only for my wife to say that was quick - because I had forgotten to have a bath.......

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I noticed it start with leaving taps on 20 yrs back-i try and rehearse things,slow down,but is better than if working aswell,cos then would have hassle of people moaning about mistakes! Like soldering

Earth & live cables in each others compartments into a power supply of a vending machine-gave up on electronics in teens! LOL Was only cos monotously doing batches of them and would make mistakes,think anyone would!

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Thanks for the post.

Welcome to the reason why I call myself randomphantoms !

When these things come in spurts I eventually recognise that it is happening more often I start talking out loud as I do each step of the process. Occasionally it actually helps.

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I have a shoe box full of medications and every week I refill my pill box with a week's supply of daily doses. It used to be second nature ; something I could do whilst watching tv or chatting.

These days it can take anything up to an hour, almost like OCD, where I'm checking and re-checking, despite being methodical about categories, counting, putting aside boxes I've done with etc.

And the distraction of someone talking to me can send me into meltdown. Thank goodness I've found a decent GP who knows about brain injury & tells me my issues are still just 'The legacy' and not dementia.! x

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Oh, to find a decent medical person.

The number I have seen over the years whom are not only clueless but infuriating as well. I must admit I have this feeling about looking over my shoulder at the increased risks or dementia/altzeimers/ strokes creeping up on me now.

It is a strange thing, that I find simple things are harder to complete or remember than the more difficult. I can check the BBC weather site numerous times a day as I forget what I have read. Yet can remember whats in my bank balance after checking once.

Your so right about the checking, sometimes I have to go over things over and over again. Even then it may not be right.

This must be one of the most frustrating injuries because it is just so unpredictable.

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For years i remember random daft things,why i tell people not to tell me embarrassing things,but nearly fiorgot pin code on card the other day,last card got witheld,cos trying to remember location of numbers rather than actual numbers!

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Bank cards are the worst Last year I had 7. I would either lose them or leave them behind in the shop card reader. Pin numbers and passwords, I can have the same one for ages and then suddenly forget it or get the numbers jumbled up and then exceed the number of tries.

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Only left card in a Coop once-at least wasn't the one that conned me out of a tenner til i went back and threatened to shout the place down!

I think i kept remembering pattern of number with last card,but i entered wrong amount of numbers!

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Cat I think you should request your meds by blister pack.

It would remove any risk of getting it wrong.

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Yes Shirl I have a 7 day pill organiser to cater for my daily intake of meds, so much the same as a blister pack. But some of my tablets look very similar to others (and have to be halved with a cutter so look even less identifiable).

And I've recently had others prescribed for AF so now on 20+ each day.🤨 Before the bleed I could almost do it with my eyes closed in around 5 minutes ! Still, I'm hoping that improved vision will help when I've had laser treatment on my eyes ! Seeing the surgeon next week so fingers crossed.

Hope you're as well as can be m'dear……. 🌺xx

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The tablets looking the same and even the packaging is a pet hate of mine. Why do manufacturers not agree some sort of code for the pills or even put writing on the outside of the strips?

Trying to find a paracetemol tablet for my grandson took two of us to sift through the numerous white strips,ll with the same shaped tablets with tiny black writing on the back checking if they were paracetemol, cocodamol, ibubrufen etc.

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Is ok til pharmasists mess up,like they have with my partners Lithium!

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I take great comfort in having daily access to fellow survivors like yourself Sos ; it keeps the isolation at bay & helps to see the funnier side. !

………….as an aside, and in reference to shelling peas, my poor mum used to grow all kinds of fruit & veg down the end of the garden, and my brother & I used to hide the discarded pods after raiding the peas ………….and strawberries...…….and blackcurrants. Children can be horrid !

Have a good weekend...….. Cat x

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LOL about hiding things-naughty Cat!

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Oh, 'I appear to be having a wonky day' is a frequent observation here, sospan

There's no rhyme, reason, logic or pattern to my 'lapses', although I am consistently unreliable in the evenings, due to fatigue, I've had to start having my main meal at lunch-time to reduce risk.

'Brain the size of a small planet...' from Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy frequently comes to mind. I'm flying through the Open University's free courses on Open Ed, I was never much of a one for Sudoku, I can process letters when my eyes are co-operative, but numbers are just confusing squiggles now. My high-end functioning is phenomenal for the part of the day that I'm lucid, like you, though, repetitive, or previously subconscious-competent tasks frequently evade me. (Neuro-typicals do it too, just not as frequently as we adapted types, chatting with my step-father, he's noticed attentional lapses in himself, washing his face twice in the shower and such. Many years ago, I had a factory job, and completely forgot how to count to 24, because I'd been putting 24 boxes into a bigger box for nearly 8 hours, couldn't figure out why the 25th wouldn't fit.)

As is ever the way with me, once the 'Clucking Bell, why doesn't the clucking thing WORK?' moment passes, I step back, and rip the proverbial out of myself when my brain decides it's nap-time. These are my "Why is there a teaspoon in the airing cupboard?" moments. (There IS a teaspoon in my airing cupboard, I had to adjust the central heating pump, and couldn't find a screwdriver, I've left the spoon there for convenience.)

For my own amusement, as well as to remind the rest of us that we're not going any more mad than we already are, and it's probably not early-onset Alzheimer's, I'll list a few of my (retrospective) favourites.

Cheese-tea. Very early days after the haemorrhage, I'd gone into the kitchen to make my lunch. I had a bag of grated cheese in my hand, and was boiling the kettle to make a mug of tea. My brain decided that the ONLY thought allowed was "What if I drop cheese in my tea?" Stuck. Absolutely paralysed by the apparently apocalyptic notion of accidentally dropping cheese from a sealed bag, into a mug that was empty. Logical brain had, at that point, 'left the building' I ended up 'stuck' there for so long that I needed to re-boil the kettle.

Lids. In my previous life, I could make coffee without incident, and I'll award myself a 'well done' sticker for still not having made myself a lovely cup of gravy-and-milk. I've stopped putting sugar in my coffee, after almost four years of either repeatedly dropping the coffee-jar lid into the sugar-tin, or flying into apoplectic rage, because the sugar-tin lid doesn't fit the coffee-jar. Seriously, it's bad enough trying to get any sense out of me before I've had my morning coffee, without the lid-fandango.

Boots. I have far too many boots. We're not quite in Imelda Marcos territory, but I did tend to claim there was a lack of storage space in the house. To minimise the risk of putting on odd shoes, I only keep my frequent-use pairs within easy reach. To reduce the chance of 'wrong feet' (These are the only feet I have, though.), they're placed left-left, and right-right, so I physically can't pick them up the wrong way around. This borderline-obsessive behaviour STILL doesn't stop me trying to put boots on top of my slippers.

Sleep-socking. Apparently normals do this, too. I'll get one sock on, and then COMPLETELY vague-out, I'm 'gone', I'm 'absent', my brain just doesn't know what to do next, so it stops, and I'm sitting on the edge of my bed for goodness knows how long, having 'forgotten how to sock.' I have occasionally been known to try to put both the buggers on one foot, and then have a classic toddler-style "My sock is biting me!" melt-down.

'Bleeping' bedding. All of my bed-linen has, at some point, been called words we shouldn't say in front of Grandma, when it "Doesn't work." fitted sheets are evil, valanced fitted sheets doubly so. "What are you meant to fit, you hamster-botherer, it's evidently not this mattress!" is a frequent occurrence. I 'forget how to pillow' on a regular basis, and once turned my duvet-cover around five times, trying to find the open-end. (How the chuff I managed that, I don't know, there are only four sides to choose from.)

Slipper-in-the-sink. I clean my teeth before I have my bath, to ensure I wash my face, and don't go around all day shouting "It's toothpaste!". I'd finished cleaning my teeth, spat the toothpaste into the basin, and tried to take my slippers off at the same time as putting the toothbrush back in the holder. The toothbrush went in the holder, and then I threw one of my slippers into the toothpaste-spitty sink, and had to have serious words with myself about NOT throwing the other one in, so they 'matched.'

(Frequently get out of the bath with the soap still on my face, or conditioner still in my hair, too, and then have a monumental hissy-fit about getting back into the bath with rug-fluff on my feet.)

The most recent one was this week. I had a mashed potato incident. I'd cooked pork chops, vegetables, and mashed potatoes for lunch, and, because I'm not a very ladylike animal, I'd picked up the pork chop by the bone, to eat the meat. I forgot how to fork, and 'caught' myself eating mashed potatoes with my fingers. I'd already started, so finished the meal with my fingers, at least it wasn't stew.

Everyone has attentional lapses, even 'whole' brains don't process all of the input simultaneously, they'd burst if they did. Attention is a selective process, we choose what we're attempting to pay attention to. 'Attempt' is the key-word for me, I have a lot of 'What did I come in here for?' moments, resulting in quite a bit of chuntering, it's not unusual to find me talking to myself, reminding myself what it is I'm doing, because my 'filtering' is off with the sensory overload of environments that used to be 'normal.' At times, I'm like a squirrel with ADHD, that's overdosed on blue sweeties, I can't settle, or focus on anything, my brain jumps four tasks ahead of the one it should be focused on, and nothing gets done. The payback for that over-stimulus is usually a vague-out episode of being a chair-zombie. (I've hidden all the walking sticks, to stop my son poking me with them, when I chair-zombie when he's here. Chair-zombie likes saying "I'm NOT asleep!", "Yes, I'll go to bed in a minute!", and she gets a little bit 'bitey', hence the sticks.)

Onwards and upwards, laundry-day today, I'll let you know if I invent any really good swear-words.

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Early morning that raised a beaming smile reading your post. Years ago our behaviour would have been classed as "cuckoo"

Worst thing I did recently was after a bath forgetting to dry my armpits and spray on antiperspirant. Now they say man is descended from apes, when you see most men in their 50's topless you don't have to be David Attenborough to see the relationship to a Silverback.

So when the antiperspirant hits moisture thing and reacts - by turning into glue and we know from being a child glue and hair don't play well. And of course by the time it had set my arm was down by my side. When, i lifted it, I discovered what waxing was like .... really people do that and to their most sensitive areas - ooowww

With modern technology, antiperspirant is designed to last so no amount of washing would remove the glue - the only option, nail scissors.

Just hope, I don't die suddenly in mysterious circumstances or the CSI are really going to be puzzled by a dead man with one bald armpit.

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Oh no! I use roll-on ones, or cream ones, but I've forgotten to dry my armpits before applying before now. That leads to the product not being in contact with the skin, which means it doesn't work. 'Smells' are a major issue for me, my son and I have made an elective decision to have groceries delivered, instead of going to the supermarket, after one-too-many incidents of me suddenly, and loudly declaring "This armpit smells of mince!"

Your hair-glue made me chuckle, because I've done similar. I'm female, but I'm a mammal too, and before I became the accidental offspring of Stig of the Dump and Sasquatch, I felt compelled to remove some of the fur. With warm wax. There was a knock at the door, so I called downstairs for my son to answer it, as I was 'busy.'

"No, I'm not 'the householder', that would be my mother, and she's indisposed." (He's ace, proper word-Gremlin.)

*Indistinct chatter.*

"No, I'd like you to leave now, thank you."

*More chatter.* (I'd applied a spatula of wax to an area we don't discuss in mixed company.)

"I've already said no. Go away."

*Slightly more audible chatter, including the word 'rude'.* I pulled on a pair of jogging bottoms, in case I had to intervene.

"I'll tell you what's RUDE, knocking on people's doors, and harassing them to sign a petition they're not interested in, when they've already told you 'No' THREE TIMES. Goodbye!" *Sound of door closing.*

I called down to check the boy was OK, and attempted to remove the jogging bottoms. Yes, how did you guess? They were stuck to the wax, and, by default, me. That particular kind of sugar-wax cools rock-solid, so I had to get the bobbly joggers off before that happened, or risk phoning the fire brigade to come and cut me out. Wax, bobbly jogger-fluff, and fur, all matted together in a big solid clump. I also ended up resorting to scissors, and can confirm that the blood supply in that general area is quite extensive.

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I expect most women have too many shoes! LOL

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