Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Leaves Falling on Wet Grass

Fall has fallen into my back yard. The neighboring birch tree has let its leaves fall where they may, mostly in my yard it seems. That's good for me, because I use them for compost and mulch. I remember growing up, my dad would load my brother and I into the station wagon, and drive around the neighborhood searching for bags of leaves. We would stuff the station wagon full, then head home and dump them into the garden compost pile. My brother and I would then climb onto the fence and jump into the huge pile.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Day Before

Tomorrow I run a 10 kilometer trail race. A step on my half marathon training plan. One device to gauge the efficacy of my training. Races keep the excitement up, and help me focus on consistency. Today is also my eldest daughter's birthday. She is now 15 years old. Happy Birthday, Chloe!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Hiatus over, I think

I haven't written in six months. I guess I got busy. I forgot. I got used to seeing (and promptly closing) my blog home page. I didn't have anything to write about. Whatever the excuse, here I am again. Perhaps I should examine what got me writing today. I suppose guilt has a share. Guilt which became a kind of sadness, which spawned a desire to write something. Anything. Well, I did it. Not much substance at this point. I can say that I have been getting better at using mnemonic devices and association to remember things, especially names. I try to look the other person in the eye when they say their name. I repeat it, and then come up with a rhyme, story or associate their name with another place or thing. Sometimes it can be silly, but I always keep it to myself. Don't want to sound too kooky. My daughters are getting into their school routines, and I am trying to be more efficient about scheduling my time. I get distracted easily. I think this will be all for today. Don't want to push it. Peace out everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sick Dad

I finally got sick from all the little people I am in contact with. Has to be from them. So much snot in one place, with nowhere to go? Only a matter of time. My little one has it too, so at least I'm not alone. The difference between the four year old and me, is that any temperature deviating even slightly above 98.6 sends me straight to bed. She can run a 102 and be ready to play.
Luckily the wife and eldest daughter aren't sick. I expect that next. When I'm better. I would like if we could all get sick at the same time and get it over with. We would be a sad sight, though.
I'll just drink lots of water, and get better tomorrow, with luck and a little rest.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where Am I?

Seems I forget to post here quite often, which may lead some of you to say, "Where is Mike?". I'm still here, just busy. I've been taking the methylphenidate, and I do notice I have more focus. I also notice, however, that I get a bit rigid in my focus. I have trouble turning my focus away from an unfinished goal.
This can be a very good thing, but not when there are constant interruptions from a certain four year old. I really have to take a deep breath and relax when I get interrupted. What to do?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Methylphenidate Me

I have been having trouble focusing, lately. So much so, that my wife wants me to try taking Ritalin more regularly. I've been using it when I need to focus on something for a long period of time. I take it like I would take aspirin: when I need it.
Apparently, I need it for taking care of the house duties. I'll give it a try and see how things go. Like aspirin, it wears off rather quickly, so I don't have to worry about too many lingering effects, such as sleeplessness.
I'll keep y'all posted.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I don't know what to write. I said this to myself, and realized that many times, I don't know what to say. My spoken word doesn't always come out. I know what I want to say, but prior to making sound, the words are gang tackled by my lips. No one usually notices, but I do.
Emotions usually make this stumbling more apparent. Getting my point across when I am emotional or excited, can be difficult at the very least. Sometimes my point won't get made. Frustration creeps in, and I either withdrawal or become angry.
Angry at myself, but often comes out directed at others. My family bears most of my anger. I have to apologize and make up with them later. Knowing this about myself has been a struggle.
Denial has not been a good strategy. I need to discuss this issue with my doctor, and come up with other ways to handle this change in my speech. I wonder how many of the brain injured have dealt with this issue in silence. Communication is important, and silence, in this case, is not golden.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Short and not so sweet?

My daughter is short and mostly sweet, except for when she is screaming. I can't believe someone so small could make such a big noise. I think my hearing may have been damaged recently, when I foolishly leaned too close to her and said, "Time for bed." So what do I do? Sometimes I feel like yelling.
I try to be calm and ask her not to yell, that it "makes me sad". Actually, it mostly just makes me mad, and I have a hard time getting her (and me) to calm down. I don't think this is just an issue for someone with a brain injury, but I do find it even harder to make a decision, and I find myself saying or doing things my parents would have.
That wasn't a bad thing, mostly, I just think that's what I do when I can't make a decision of my own. I guess that's what we all do, to some extent. We go into auto pilot given situations we may not be equipped to handle. There's something to be said for taking control of the ship and going on your own, but it sure isn't easy.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Making a routine stick

It's hard for me to start a routine and make it stick. I tend to get caught up in something else, and forget what I was working on. This blog is no different. I find that calendar items and to do items seem to help, but even then I get sidetracked.
Importance of the task helps to keep me motivated. Asking, "How important is this to me?", helps me to stay focused. The act of dish washing is not very important to me, but preparing food in a clean kitchen is important. Enjoyment also helps. I enjoy swimming, cycling and running, so it is easier to get going to do those things. Having a goal also helps.
Specific goals do more good for me than general ones. The more specific I am, the better. Goals like "lose weight" do no good, but goals like "lose 10 pounds so that cycling up hills is easier", make a difference. Dates also add to the adherence factor.
Not everything routine is fun, but when I schedule, attach meaning, get specific and create a goal, tasks become empowering.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day to day

The day to day is getting to me. I mean the daily activities that get old, but if not planned, don't get done. Laundry, dishes, cleanup, etc... I'm happy for todo items, but it would be cool if mine consisted of something more exciting than: "Mop bedroom".
I usually have to set a time limit to my tasks, so that I don't get carried away or distracted.
Twenty minutes in each room seems to work for me, if I am consistent. If I miss a day, things start to get out of whack. It takes me longer to do things, and I get distracted easily. Kids, specifically, four year-olds, don't help matters either. I don't think I am alone on this...