Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Doctor's Appointments

I've just finished my second Dr's appointment in two days.
Good news from both! They are both optimistic and are seeing signs of recovery (finally)!

One of my doctors is talking about upping the dopamine in my brain. He is telling me that when there is a frontal lobe injury, the dopamine decreases. Apparently, some people's brains get used to lower levels of dopamine (which I think might be the case for my grey matter). Some people's brains just want to get back to the way things were and switch back fairly easily, with little to no outside help.   I wish I could give a better explanation, I was furiously writing this down in my little notebook* and it didn't make much sense to me.

There is no official time-line for when I'll be back to normal, if I'll ever be back to the way I was... but since I started getting better sleep (trazodone), my moods are more stable...which is a great help.

My Dr. explained that I had been sleep deprived -which made my condition worse. When I was injured, I was constantly worrying about getting better so I could get back to work**, so much so that I wasn't getting solid sleep at night. It would sometimes take me 3 hours to get to sleep. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night and be awake for 2+ hours.  When I wasn't sleeping, I had to be doing something to prove to myself and others that I was productive, which was backfiring. It's like writing that 15 page paper in college at 3 am when you finally come to the crossroads of -sleep? or -one more semi-coherent paragraph?          

*notebooks are par for the course for brain injuries. They help us remember significant things that have happened, and help us with writing sequences down ... for example :first call insurance company and ask about the testing, get list of doctors, make appointment this month for testing, get ride to testing.

** I was putting constant pressure on myself to get better, to act like I was better, to soldier through it, that my main goal of getting back to work was actually getting farther and farther from reach. I think there is a lot of pressure in our society to constantly be at work (we are impressed by people who have multiple irons in the productive!). If we aren't working, we are either so rich that we are above it, or we are worthless.

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