I had a realization yesterday that I have had a fair number of what I call “brain injury” days lately. What I mean by that is that everything I do feels slow (movement, speech, reactions, etc.) and everything takes a lot more effort. We are talking to my doctor about this (so no cause for concern). This is most likely a more natural ebb in the ebb and flow of my severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) that my doctors will be able to help me with.
The reason I bring it up is that I wanted to talk about effort and when things take more effort in this week’s #TBIthursday post. My scheduled monthly feature is supposed to be a book review this week and going back to the “more effort” idea, I am still reading the book I planned to review. So instead I am going to talk about eReaders and talk about the ones I use and when and why I use them. (See… It’s my book-related review!)
I belong to my local chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) since one of the main symptoms of my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is severe hearing loss and distortions. I started to attend meetings when it was recommended by a health care provider and I felt like I was just spinning my wheels because I had no knowledge and a lot of uncertainty surrounding my hearing loss. HLAA operates to help educate and advocate for the hearing loss community. They feature expert speakers who share information on hearing, hearing loss, and other related topics. The reason I mention HLAA is that one of the speakers within the last year focused on what he termed “listening effort.” It is the effort that is expended in listening for those with hearing difficulties. Learning about this was remarkable because not only do I experience listening effort but I would use the same principle to define “thinking effort” for someone like me with a TBI. ( This article is about listening effort, this is not the person I saw speak.)
The reason I bring up efforts (listening, thinking, and otherwise), is that my increased feeling of “brain injury” is making me really notice all the effort I have to put into anything. I still feel relatively productive (considering all my limitations), yet I am noticing that I am still as hard on myself as I was before the accident. I thought I was being nicer to myself (less self-critical) yet my recent added effort to do everything has made me realize that isn’t the case. I still have HIGH EXPECTATIONS of myself.
So, I have concluded that I am going to give myself an early Christmas present and promise to be nicer to myself and give myself a break!
Monthly Feature of the Week: Book Review: a review of eReaders
I am currently still reading the book I planned to review. And instead of doing another review of a book I hadn’t actually finished, I decided to talk about eReaders. In particular, the eReaders I use and why.
I have an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite because I get headaches and I liked that the screen mimics paper (hence the name) so you can read it in the sunlight without glare and it’s not giving you that artificial blue light glow that causes eye strain, headaches and sleep issues (and I find myself really affected by blue light after my TBI).
Last week I got an Amazon Fire 10. In light of the pandemic, we haven’t been to our library in a while and my local library has the Cloud Library system that allows you to digitally check out books. Our library wasn’t sure if they could get it working on my Kindle Paperwhite but it does work on a Fire or other tablet. I didn’t just get it to check out library books but that’s a definite bonus. I am trying to limit screen time on my iPad and phone to a shared 4 hours. I get into playing games on the Fire (I really love this Word Jumble game) and then I play those instead of reading. Not a good habit! So I am really spoiled and am using my Kindle Paperwhite as my bedside reader (and regular books and magazines) and my new Kindle Fire as my downstairs daytime reader. That way I stay away from games and blue light if I read at night!
#CreativityForDays Weekly Project Summary
I had downloaded a bunch of free drawing apps when I upgraded my iPad and got an Apple Pencil. However, I hadn’t explored them much. So yesterday I rediscovered a drawing app called Autodesk Sketchbook. I ended up using the timelapse feature on it to create a little video of me drawing a sketch of Selby that I recreated from a pencil sketch I did for my parents. I thought I would share that timelapse with you.
A Selby Sweetie Conclusion and Throwback
Here is Selby with her favorite toy (a Lambchop toy that was her first toy). This is a then and now picture showing them in 2017 and now when she took her outside this week. Note how NOT clean Lambchop is in present day (AND NOT because she took outside either).