#TBIthursday Going Analog for brain health

After computer overload taxed my tender little Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) brain last week I have decided to go old school this week. I am dramatically reducing my computer and device time in order to combat the extreme brain fatigue I felt last week. So how am I blogging, a decidedly digital medium? I explain how I went non-digital (or at least LESS) in this #TBIthursday post.

Truthfully I didn’t go completely non-digital (not sure how I would blog if that were the case). But I reduced my daily time on the computer, iPad, iPhone, and the Amazon Fire tablet. I switched from spending A LOT of time on devices to spending time doing things that aren’t digital. I mainly spent time on a new project that I am calling the “Daily Doodle.” I am drawing a picture every day in this neat journal I found when I was cleaning/decluttering. So far it’s really helping my brain decompress and get unclogged from the digital. Here’s an idea of what it looks like.

I am not trying to be an artist but the joy, relief, and therapy I get from each doodle or artistic venture helps me in my brain injury journey. The reason I felt so overloaded last week by computers and devices was that I took part in too many online sessions/meetings (Zoom, or something similar). Some of the meetings were live captioned but some weren’t. And even when I am not making the effort to lip read or hear (because captions are available) video meetings are still a massive effort for me. So after I melted down on Saturday in a temper tantrum similar to that of a 4-year old (my TBI is 4 years old after all) I realized I needed to help myself and not hurt myself. So, this is a short post but just know that I am trying every second to work WITH my TBI brain and not AGAINST it!

Monthly Feature- Essay: Lizard Brain and Teddy Bear

This is an essay taken from the memoir I am currently writing about my TBI and coma. This essay is called “Lizard Brain and Teddy Bear.”

By saying “lizard brain and teddy bear” I am not positing that my teddy bear has a lizard brain. He doesn’t. He probably has a pretty big brain. He’s smart because he was ultimately named after Teddy Roosevelt (a celebrated US President who used to multitask by dictating passages for books he was writing while he shaved in the morning). Instead “lizard brain and teddy bear” refers to a time both after my coma (a coma caused by a car accident) and more recently when I experienced a sensation of extreme fear. It wasn’t a fear of anything in particular. I just knew I was very afraid. The first time I experienced this extreme fear was the night after I came out of my coma. I wasn’t really cognizant enough to verbalize that I had such a feeling. So I didn’t have anyone explain it to me at the time what might have happened. The second time I experienced this extreme fear was more recently. It was the middle of the night and I was so paralyzed by the fear that I couldn’t move. When I finally could move the only thing I could really bring myself to do was hug my aforementioned teddy bear close. I later asked my psychologist what had happened and he said I was experiencing something both times that was very common after a traumatic event like a coma. He said in times of extreme trauma our bodies act on a base level. A level that reacts to all danger with the fight or flight or fear response. People often refer to this as our “lizard brain.” And when I was in the hospital just out of a coma I didn’t quite know to console myself with my teddy bear but later on when it happened again my instincts kicked in and I just knew good old Teddy would comfort me. After I was in a nearly fatal car accident that resulted in a three-week coma and a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) my instincts and the knowledge and the instincts of others have helped to guide me through this recovery process. That and teddy bears. Lots of teddy bears. And no lizards. 🧸 > 🦎

A Selby Sweetie Conclusion

She is full furry face and getting a haircut tomorrow. In the meantime, I can share with you her furry face because it’s the BEST and CUTEST!

Here she is tired and not caring that I am taking her picture.

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