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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Getting a job

I got a job.  I work in a nursery and set up and do their "how-to" clinics. I am in heaven there, but give them back alot of my paycheck... gorgeous veggies and plants!   I actually got the position about 5 weeks ago and it has been eye-opening. A little intro into "My Brain post tumor and stroke"  I am the same person with the same knowledge... I just access it diffferently and am slower to process things.  It has been hard, tiring, a challenge to keep track of all the new stuff, of the verbal commands given rapid fire. Actually that is funny to type, because they were not given rapid fire, but I don't seem to have the memory storage location for short term data so the instructions go in... and then scatter in the memory wind.  My visual memory is affected, I realized when I am told directions in the past I visually imagined the location.  I cannot seem to imagine the location, or if I do, I forget that location after a couple minutes. I have to ask for clarification on things that I am pretty sure I would get pre-stroke instantaneously.  It is getting better, I couldn't follow at all in the beginning, now I am able to sequence memories.  But if I get interrupted it all goes to pot.  After five weeks it has settled in and I am clicked back to my old work habits.  It is somewhat a relief to see/feel/experience my brain grinding through things and coming out the other end still able to function. It has taken a while but I see vast improvement that I know wouldn't be happening if I was not working and refreshing that particular skillset.  Its like there are things still funky in my brain (duh), but I have to mentally access and physically process it again before it clicks back into place and operates.  I am glad my perfectionism seems to not kick in about this... it just lies there watching and letting me do things slow.  No one at work knows of my brain excitement of the last year, I don't like that they probably think I am a bit slow on the uptake-- but on the other hand I am so happy just to BE.
Probably why some days I am just beat.  At least I know it is because something unaccessed is being worked on.  It is also good to work because I am tackling those stroke fears one at a time.  Considering my stroke began at my previous job I still had residual fear that if I worked I would get a stroke.  Unrealistic, nonsensical, irrational, yes.  But there is alot of that to deal with.  Like if I have caramel cone Haagen Dazs ice cream I will get a stroke.  Because I had that the night before.  Ditto on a Red Robin hamburger.  Between superstition and the false sense that I can control things that are beyond control and unknowable I have to let that fear go one at a time. The AA term one day at a time... I finally get.  I hate to say I am a better person after my stroke, but I am a different person. And some of those make me better able to slow down my life.  I recognize I have a strong character that wants knowledge, to be in control, to make things "right".  And I just got smacked upside the head to live in the present, and just roll along through the bumpy life that embraces me.
I should probably open my eyes for pictures...huh? You can see my lopsided stroke smile here.  My neurologist always checks this smile  first, I don't know why...