March=Brain Injury Awareness Month

•April 4, 2014 • 3 Comments

March 1st brings many bittersweet feelings and memories for me. It is the anniversary of my car accident. It is also Brain Injury awareness month.

That day I posted to Facebook a blurb about the accident and how far I’ve come, how far my family has come since that day. I have had an overwhelming response to that post. In addition I had many people walk up to me and share with me their story. This all got me thinking. What I was hearing opened my eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I knew I had to change my post. Each story was unique. Yet there was one common thing that I kept hearing as they talked.  I heard their fear. A disabling fear of what they went through that has left a lasting impression with each of them. It’s PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Whether it controls us or just gently reminds us in various degrees, we are each trying to mentally deal with the fear of our tragedy that has been left ingrained deep in our hearts and minds. We are terrified that it will happen again. Most of us are afraid of dying, but us survivors almost did. We experienced what none of us want too. Our deepest fears came true. A curtain was lifted and we are now on the other side. We know what can happen when our deepest fears come true. And they did. When catastrophe struck we see and hear it all. The screams, the crying, the sirens. We feel the pain. We see the blood. No matter how hard we try to close that curtain and block those memories, for some of us, the chains of PTSD stay wrapped tightly around our feet. Years later when we are healed and only pain and scars remain, the fear and anxiety never leaves us. Some days it controls us and follows us like a big black cloud. On the good days it is like a little pebble that we can hide in our pocket and maybe even forget its there. I call it the crazies. Even though it does not mean we are crazy. It does mean we are afraid. It does mean we are human. We just don’t want our worst fears to come true. Again. It means we are scared to go through life sometimes. Because we know how bad it can hurt. We all experience the crazies. No one is exempt. It affects us all to one degree or another. But we hesitate to talk about it. Why? I realized that survivors crave to be heard and understood. We connect in some deeper way. Maybe it’s the crazies that keep us linked. That secret fear we keep inside. So I’m changing my post to say what it really should. The whole story. I left out my daily struggle with PTSD. But i’m not hiding it anymore. I want you to know I struggle. Every day. But more importantly I want you to know that I succeed. Most days I win the struggle. And I want to tell you that you can win too. I embrace the crazies and love who I am now regardless of the things about me that aren’t perfect and pretty. I hope those of you that struggle can do the same, because you should. I hope there will come a day when we aren’t afraid to talk about it. PTSD is real. For me it has gotten better, but not without fighting it every single day. And not without help and not without talking about it. Now I fight it with out medicine. I am strong enough to fight it with my words and thoughts. It’s a wonderful feeling. If you are suffering, get help. And don’t give up until you do. You are worth it. Keep fighting. Besides, aren’t we all a little crazy? And that’s okay. So, let’s try this again……….

12 years ago, March 1st, 2002,my family survived a horrible car accident. It changed our lives forever. It got better!!!! I was looking through pictures trying to find the photos of the car and what I saw made me realize how much fun we have had since that day. We have lived our lives on purpose. And I thank God everyday for all the “extra’s” I’ve been given. Like watching my children grow into adults, graduations, weddings, a wonderful son-in-law, kisses from my grandson, new friends, old friends, snuggling, staying up and watching the stars all night with my man, hearing “good morning beautiful!” every single morning, travelling to Boston, Maine, Texas, California, camping in the car, hiking ALL the trails in the Sawtooth mountains from Stanley to Sun Valley (on just 1 and a 1/3 of a lung and crying and yelling when I make it to the top)…..just a few of my favorites. The list is endless. Each day is a blessing. No matter how much pain I’m in, or how much confusion or fatigue my TI causes me. It does not matter how tightly the chains of PTSD are wrapped around my mind and leave me terrified to walk out the door and live. We don’t let the crazies win. We choose to be happy and succeed. We enjoy every single day. I’m so proud of my amazing kids and how they have succeeded regardless of our struggles and for being the incredible blessings I live for. I thank God for my amazing husband who has never left my side and has been with me loving and encouraging me every single day. I wouldn’t be where I am today with out you Dan. You are my cheerleader disguised as a tough guy. Remember, No matter where you thought you would be in life today, except where you are and make it the life you want. You might not have ended up where you thought you would, but life has a way of putting you right where you should be if you let it.

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…….and they lived happily ever after.

•March 9, 2013 • 18 Comments

Today. 3.1.02. Was the day of the car accident eight years ago.  I am so grateful to have had eight more years with my family and friends. I received a second chance. Not many people get that. Here is the story of that day and a few days that follow. Just so you can’t say I didn’t warn you. . . . .WARNING:You may not want to read this post. (that was for Dan, mom, and my sister)

The kids had been working so hard to stop arguing. If they could try to get along for just 30  horrible days of tolerating their sibling, Dan and I had promised them a movie and dinner out.  They did it. I knew they would. Friday afternoon we all piled into the car. Shellie was 12, Jon 9, and Katie 2. We drove to the movie. Monsters Inc. We were standing in line to purchase tickets and laughing and having fun. Wow, this goal setting really works. I was so proud of my kids for treating each other better. Then, Katie farted. If you know her at all you know that it was not quiet. It was long and loud and very surprising coming from a 2-year-old. (she is her father’s daughter) then she giggled and we all started giggling. I tried to apologize to the other people in line while laughing. A lady in line smiled and said ” its fine. Its funny and she is so cute.” Soon the whole crowd was laughing. That set the mood for the whole evening. We had so much fun. After the movie we headed for pizza. Afterward we climbed into the car and Katie said “Daddy do you have your seat belt on?” he answered “yes” then it was my turn. “Mommy do you have your seat belt on?” then Shellie’s turn and then Jon’s. We all had our seat belts on and were ready to go home. Thanks Katie.

The next thing I remember was feeling like I was waking up from a very deep sleep. Confused. I didn’t want to wake up but somehow knew I needed to. I struggled to consciousness and heard myself telling Dan that I couldn’t breathe. I heard the kids start screaming. Dan tried to calm them by telling them that if I was talking then I could breathe. I slipped back into unconsciousness. The moon light was shining so bright. The kids and Dan could see the blood all over my face. A man, the one who lived on the corner with the bushes that hid oncoming cars, came and told Dan that an ambulance was on the way. He was practiced at calling the ambulance for this intersection. My sweet little kids started praying for their mommy. A lady came to Shellie’s window and told her everything will be OK. No one else ever saw or heard this woman. An Angel I think. The ambulance came and took me away. Dan and the kids rode in a another ambulance later.   My mom told me that Shellie and Jon wouldn’t even unfold their praying hands at the hospital. The doctor summoned Dan out of Shellie’s hospital room and was told to come tell me goodbye. They didn’t think I would make it through surgery. I had a closed head injury, bleeding and swelling in the brain, my right lung was collapsed, Internal bleeding, broken ribs, broken pelvis, liver and spleen lacerations, my liver went through my diaphragm and pushed my stomach and heart out of place, and the right side of my face was fractured badly.

I seized and quit living. They placed a pick line straight to my heart and brought me back to life.

I never actually saw God that night. I didn’t see a bright light either. We didn’t speak to each other, God and I. We didn’t have too. But I knew He was there because He was holding me. A thought came to me “I’m dead! I’m dead and with God.” But I want dead.

You will never convince me that there is not a God. Because I know there is. Without a doubt. If I had any doubts before in my life, they were now gone. I could feel his arms softly, yet very strongly cradling me and I also felt an incredible warmth on my right side. I found out later that is where my injuries were. All I felt was love, warmth, and healing flowing from Him.  I suddenly knew then what had happened. My whole family was in a car accident. I also knew I was going to be OK. God told me, without words. Just knowing. It was the most incredible and beautiful thing I have ever experienced in my life. I will never, ever forget it. He let go and sent me back.

I wanted to wake up but I couldn’t. I just had to ask of my family was ok. If Shellie was OK. She was sitting right behind me in the car. Where is Dan? My son Jon? My baby Katie? Where were they? Are they alive? Come on! Wake up! I have to know if they are OK! What about Where are they? I need to know if they made it. If something has happened to them then I don’t want to wake up. I’m so frustrated but can do nothing about it. I can’t talk, or anything else. I can’t even feel my body. Damn! Sleeping again. Just darkness.

Later, I struggle again to wake up. This sleep is so deep. I want to ask somebody, anybody, if my family is OK. I can’t. I can’t wake up enough to ask. I can’t see and I can’t talk. Just trying to think  when I wake up is too much. Enough. Time is up. Exhausted. Consumed by darkness again.

My lip hurts. I struggle to wake up. All I see is black.  I am trying to tell somebody about the pain. I can’t talk. I can’t move.  I realize slowly, that the loud wheezing noise I hear is the ventilator that is breathing for me. A large tube is stuck in my mouth and down my throat. The reason I can’t talk. It’s pushing air into my lungs, raising my chest, then lowering it.  Strange mechanical motion. Gross. Where the tube goes into my mouth it is pinching my lip. I can feel with my tongue that my lip is folded over with tape. It really hurts. With all my other injuries that hurt, this one sticks out the most right now. Maybe because its unnecessary. It makes me very mad. I sense somebody, my sister, is in the room with me. The room I can’t see. I can’t see her either. Somehow I get her attention. She knows I need something. I don’t know how but she understands and puts a pencil and paper in my hand. Bless her! I scribble, as good as I can in the dark.  “Fix my lip damn it!”Guess what? The nurse quickly fixed my lip. Then I am sucked into deepness again.

The only thing I hang onto is God. Because he held me. And I know it will be OK. Because he told me.

I am hearing a voice ask me if I know what day it is. I don’t know. I have no idea. I tell the voice, “no”. The voice asks me what time it is. I don’t know that either. The voice asks me the year. That one I know. It’s a nurse I decide, even though I am still in the dark. Why can’t I see?  The nurse asks me if I know what happened. I do. I have had a lot of time to think about it. I know what happened. I just don’t know how bad I am hurt or even if I can walk or not, or if there are pieces missing or not working I am only in and out of this darkness. I try to fight it but it comes anyway. Pulling me again into the deepest sleep. I sink into the darkness again.

Somehow I figure out that my dad is holding my hand. He is crying. I wake up enough to tell him that I am going to be OK. I know I’m going to be OK, because God told me. So I want to tell him. So he won’t worry and will stop crying. Then that damn dark consuming sleep comes again.

I wake up and I’m upright. Someone is holding onto me and encouraging me to take one more step. I had no idea I had already taken one. My feet feel so heavy. I tell them to move but they won’t listen. Finally I take one more step. Then they help me to bed. OK, I can walk. Thank God. I can also see a little bit. It’s fuzzy, kind of dream-like, but I saw the floor when I was walking. Because I couldn’t hold up my head.

I am awake! I open my eyes. So awake! I can see! It’s Wednesday. The accident was on Friday. I look around and I see I’m in a hospital room, then I see Dan. Oh Dan! He’s alive! I’m so happy. I call him. He comes to me. He is afraid to touch me. I am so relieved he is OK. I though he was dead. He’s not. I was wondering where he was. He was with me. He never left me. He was beside me the whole time. He wouldn’t leave even when the nurses told him too. He slept on the floor by my hospital bed. We talk a little about what happened. I don’t really want to know. Not ready yet. The kids are OK. That’s enough. Darkness swallows me again.

Awake again. I begin checking my self out. Am I all here? Does everything work? I am swollen every where. I can’t move. Pain consumes me. I have tubes sticking out of me and some are full of blood. I have huge black bruises everywhere. My face feels swollen. My head throbbes. I reach up to touch it. Blood and glass fall from my hair. I am afraid to look in the mirror. But I do. Is that me?

Visitors come and go and so do I. In and out of that damn darkness. My room is so full of flowers that the nurse tells me she can smell them clear down the hall. She has never seen so many flowers for one person before. That makes me feel better.

I find out that everybody is OK. At least we will be. We have a long road ahead of us. But we will make it. All the pieces are still here.

At the end of Monsters Inc., the movie we saw the night of the accident, Sulley is very sad because he misses his little friend “Boo” and wants to see her. The door to get to her and see her has been shredded. Sulley’s best friend Mike gathered all the pieces and tried to glue it back together again. But it was missing one single piece. So the door wouldn’t work. Mike gave the door to Sulley and sadly told him he tried but “It won’t work with out all the pieces” But Sulley had found and saved a piece of the door to remember Boo with. He pulled it out of his pocket and placed it where it belonged and the door worked! He got to visit Boo whenever he wanted. He was able to be with her as she grew to an adult.

And so……. we lived…….. happily ever after.

Complaint box

•December 6, 2011 • 4 Comments

Have you seen the complaint box? I really need it. I have a whole stack of complaints I want to write down and shove thru the slot in the top of the box.

Yes, I’m complaining today. Alot. A whole bunch. Guess what? I’m human and sometimes I have a pity party.  Oh well. Thats ok. I’ll get over it.

I’ll loudly profess that sometimes I hate this second chance I’ve been given and wish I would have just died that night. I’m tired of waking up with nasea. It’s been particularly bad yesterday and today. I feel like I could throw up any second. I’m tired, but for the past few nights I only shake and toss and turn till I finally fall asleep. I’m tired of stuggling to plan out my day, instead I want it to be easy like it was, before the accident. I’m exhausted by thinking thru things that only used to take half of the energy it did before. I’m so sick of every damn breath being a struggle and causing pain into my neck and what’s left of my right lung. I’m tired of my side vibrantly radiatingng pain every second of the day, never getting better but often getting worse and cramping and burning. I hate having to battle anxiety and reminding myself to just enjoy the ride. I fear the frequent headaches. I hate, really hate having to stop whatever I’m doing to take a meditative break so my brain can rest and I can get thru my day.

Things used to come easy to me. I never even thought about breathing before. I suggest you be thankful for what you have, before it’s gone. Because it sucks when it is.

Just for today, I want to be normal. I want all the bad stuff to disappear and life to go back to the way it was. But, that would be keeping my thoughts and hopes in the past. That would not be good. I need to always look forward to tomorow. Besides, what IS normal anyway, and have you ever met ANYONE who is?

I guess I won’t be winning an award for a positive, unfailing attitude today. So what. I don’t care. I’ll settle for the crying, snotty nosed, feeling sorry for myself award. I’m taking a break from positive thinking today. Life is real and lots of the time life is hard. That’s reality. I can deal with that…….right after my pity party is over. Just give me an hour our two to get my frustrations out and cry. Yes, I do happen to be crying, I’m crying so hard right now I can hardly see through my tears to type. But thats ok. Thats my life. And the beauty that comes out of all this pain is that by this afternoon, I will put that damn smile back on my face and go on. Just like we all have to, want to, need to. Because even though that little voice in the back of my mind says to give up, I never, never, never will. And if I won’t give up, then you sure as hell shouldn’t either. I don’t ever want to miss out on the beautiful things in life, the simple things that make me smile.

It’s ok to cry, it’s ok to get frustrated, it’s ok to rest for a while, it’s ok to have a pitty party too. But it’s not ok to give up, so I won’t. Ready? Here I go. I’ll wipe away those tears, put that smile back on my face and keep on going.

Fishy truck ride

•November 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m so excited to go on our fishing trip. I’m even looking forward to the 6 hour drive(I’m lying). I absolutely love to fish (the truth). Plus, my husband and youngest daughter are going and my dad will be there too. It’s near a place where he and I have spent alot of time. Dad with his grandparents and parents and when it was my turn, me with my grandparents. But of course, the location is a secret. Aren’t all good fishing spots a secret?

I’ve been trying to focus on the positive things about this trip for a couple of weeks. Today’s the day and I am absolutely making this into the most wonderful trip on earth and telling myself how safely we will arrive and that nothing bad will happen while we are there and we will all arrive back home safely. These are the things I say to myself to convince my fears to take a hike. Sometimes I actually yell at them. Call it crazy, psycho, neurotic, weird, whatever. I have lots of names for it. But the most important one is fear, anxiety, broken neuron pathways and PTSD. It all starts as soon as we plan a trip. This little voice in the back of my head whispers “if you get in a vehicle, you’re gonna die.”. I gently push the voice and ugly thought away. As leaving day approaches the voice gets louder. “IF YOU GET IN A VEHICLE YOU ARE GONNA DIE!” Oh Lord, here we go again. I’m not so gentle at telling it to leave. I yell back. “GET THE F#*$ OUT OF MY HEAD!” Sound a little crazy? It’s not, it’s actually strategy. Healthy, no pill, cognitive talk to get people like me thru the day. So begins the tiring battle of wrestling my PTSD and trying to just enjoy the ride.

Ever since the accident, when I get into a vehicle, or plan to get in a vehicle I have flashbacks and become terrified of getting in another car crash. Very normal for somebody who has been thru a traumatic experience of any kind. We tend to relive the experience over and over. My blinders have been removed and I know exactly what can happen to a human body and brain when you crash. I have the scars and daily struggle with a TBI as constant daily reminders. Those things will never let me forget, or be completely relaxed in a vehicle for an entire trip.

My mind says, I’m going to die, my heart says I just want to have fun and enjoy the trip. But vehicle rides, or in my case truck rides, because I don’t drive a car, and never, I repeat, never will, turn into a fun park rollercoaster ride. It’s the PTSD working overtime. Plus add in the broken neuron pathway between my eye and my brain that tells my brain the direction I’m going. When I am in motion the signal gets mixed up and it makes me feel like I’m constantly sliding to the right, out of control, even when I am going straight and often when I am completely still. I have spent hours on dizzying exercises, only to be sick all day, trying to retrain my brain and build a new neuron pathway around the broken one. I’ve logged even more hours on the positive talk. It’s been worth every minute. Because it works. Most of the time. Until I’m tired or get spooked by a car pulling in front of us or some dumb move by another driver like texting while driving,  or just that silly broken neuron pathway wanting to play tricks on me. Then I’m back to panick mode and the roller coaster feeling is right behind it.

I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit the chaos of what goes on when our family heads down the road. I should record it for U Tube and I would make millions. Then maybe we could laugh at it someday.  It goes something like this; Dan is driving on the freeway, going 75-79 mph, because I won’t let him go any faster. Me, I’m riding along just fine. Until, all of a sudden the neuron pathway screws up, I jump while at the same time completely sucking all the available oxygen out of the truck. (In my mind we are flying off the road to our doom again)Thru tears and a full-fledged anxiety/panick attack I try to catch my breath and ask Dan to “PLEEEEEEAAASSSSSSEEE slow down!” You know, to like 10 mph. Of course Dan stays calm thru out this whole explosion going on in the seat next to him and quickly rolls down a window to replenish the oxygen level to normal. (I’m lying again) Actually, he yells, “Diane! You scared the SH!$$ out of me!” Of course I did, and I know it, along with everyone else in the vehicle. Then I sheepishly say I’m sorry even though I really can’t help it. But sometimes, no matter what I do, relaxation techniques, positive talk, and sometimes earplugs and a hood over my head, it happens anyway, it’s just the way I am now. I used to cry and be ashamed at the whole scenario until I found out about the broken neuron pathway and PTSD. Finally we all understand why I do it. Now I embrace it. So now, Dan, after he composes himself  reassures me and tells me I’m ok. Katie reminds me to breathe and as soon as we can we try to laugh and keep me distracted. Anything but sedating me or drinking a couple of shots of Jack Daniels before I climb aboard. And the journey continues.

So now, along with the packing and preparations I add a heavy dose of rest and positive mental talk. I really could die at any moment. Any of us could.  But I’m going to try my best to have a whole bunch of fun before I do. I refuse to stay home too scared to leave the house. I have a lot of living to do and I am going to enjoy every minute of this second chance I’ve been given. As I climb aboard my big safe truck/roller coaster ride, I smile, take a deep breath and hang on for the ride. (or…..raise my hands into the air, close my eyes and scream till it’s over!) Wish me luck! We’re headed to where the big fish are.

Veteran’s Day

•November 11, 2011 • Leave a Comment

  This is a patch that goes on an Army uniform. Once on my husband’s uniform 21 years ago. It’s an 8th Infantry Division patch. He was in the 12th Engineer Battalion that helped make up the 8th Infantry Division. His best memories are of this time of service in Germany. Echo Hard was their name. I love to listen to the stories and see the look on his face as he remembers the times. The men were really close, like brothers. Reading their posts on Facebook this morning told me that they still have that special bond years later. They still keep in touch and will never forget each other.

It took me a long time to understand why a soldier would want to risk his life for low pay, possible injury and maybe death, not to mention little recognition and support after his service from his country and government. I have seen what war does to the minds and bodies of the men and women who serve, and I don’t like it at all. But thanks to my husband, who helped me, I get it. I understand. So I want to say a special thanks to all of you in “Echo Hard”. And a big thank you to all our Veteran’s today. We appreciate all you have and continue to do for us. You won’t be forgotten.

All soldiers return from service, wartime or not,  affected by their experience and/or injuries. Some you can see and some you can’t. A RAND Corporation study Invisible Wounds of War states that there are  400,000 total brain injuries sustained by soldiers serving in Iraq and  Afghanistan.  And more every day. Find out about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects our Vets in these videos from U tube, Coming Home (Part 1) and Coming Home (Part 2).  This music video, PTSD by SGT DUNSON says alot about the realities of dealing with PTSD after a soldier returns home. Watch it, you will see. There are soooooooo many stories, I had a hard time picking a few good ones for you. So when you see a vet , thank them, and know what you cannot see.

Get involved and see how you can help. Find your Local Veteran’s Affairs Department here. Find your local State Representative and ask him about the bills in-house that are changing health care for vets. And tell them our soldiers need MORE than they are getting now. But most of all, be knowledgeable and understanding of our vets and all they go thru.

I thank God everyday for keeping my soldier whole. Love you Dan! And yes, I love you too ECHO HARD!!! Keep in touch boys. and Thank you!

Waking up from a dream

•October 17, 2011 • 4 Comments

Shortly after our decision to move out-of-state, we found the perfect place to build a house. It was down in a secluded canyon, no neighbors and had a great view of the Bear River and the mountains. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a den, living and family rooms, an outdoor kitchen with an amazing view of the river, a huge garden, a horse, two rabbits, 15 chickens, 2 lizards, 2 cats, three dogs, and an orchard later we had our dream home. Everything we had always wanted.

Our first year in the house Dan bought me a peach tree for our anniversary and planted it right outside the kitchen window so I could watch the blossoms come and go every spring, listen to the birds and hope for fruit every fall. The very next year it produced a couple handfuls of small peaches. So I made a pie for my family.  My peach tree is now taller than me. It’s big and bushy and full of peaches. It looks like it will be its best year yet.

There comes a time when you have to make decisions. Responsible decisions based on reality and some times that reality comes crashing down on your dreams. We have recently decided to sell our home. There are many reasons we are selling our home, but the ones I’m thinking about today are personal and physical. I can’t physically take care of a house this size anymore. Of course Dan helps, family helps, and friends help too, but it’s just too much. Plus having only one income, since I am unable to work and can’t start school (doc’s orders), make it a struggle to maintain the lifestyle we are in.  Add to that my developing asthma and allergies that left me sitting around with no energy more often than I liked this summer. Having only one lung that works really puts a squeeze on the breathing when you have asthma and allergies. Besides, who wants to live in a big, empty house? We have kids in college and only one at home now. We both knew this day was coming. It will relieve a lot of stress to simplify and reduce the things in our life that we can control. Then we can be as prepared for the things we can’t control as possible. We have to responsibly face the fact that my health is not the best and will only progress as life goes on. Not doomsday, just being real. We are planning for our future so the transition will be easier. But the future is coming faster than I planned.

A strong windstorm came thru the canyon this summer. My tree was really bending in the wind. Dan heard a crack and went to the kitchen window. My tree lay broken on the ground. It snapped in half! The big, bushy, peach filled top was now gone. It just couldn’t take all the pressure from the strong, blowing wind. I cried for a week over that tree.

Broken

When I finally got the courage to go and look at the damage and clean up the mess, I discovered that there were 4 small wilted branches just below the break. I grabbed a saw and smoothed up the damage. Sprayed on some pruning sealer, gave it some water and headed to the house with a hopeful heart.  For the rest of  the summer and into fall, I watched it through my kitchen window.  The tree began to slowly come back to life. And it was beginning to grow again. The birds came back too.  And maybe next year it will produce some fruit.

Growing again

Well, the “For Sale” sign is in the front yard by the road. I’m sad, but also very excited for a new adventure……..and a smaller home to clean.  Possibly by next fall, despite the economy and God willing, our house will have sold. Maybe someone will be baking a peach pie for their family.

Sometimes life is strange. It doesn’t always turn out the way we wanted. Dreams come and go. Sometimes we are broken and sometimes it seems to all go to hell. But I’ve been to hell and back again. I know the way, and if I let it, the journey will make me stronger because of it. I will continue to grow wherever I am planted. Even though life doesn’t follow the plans you made, If you stop and look around,you still end up in a really cool place after all.

Grocery Guru……..NOT!!!

•September 5, 2011 • 8 Comments

I am waving the white flag. I surrender. After years of giving up the list, sometimes having Dan pry it out of my clenched fist, only to stubbornly try it again. I am finally  handing over the grocery cart, the coupons, and the list, to Dan. Again. Some part of me just does not want to give up on this one. Maybe because of the fact that if you are a woman you should be able to shop, right? And men claim we are very good at it. Well, not me. I am really bad at it.  I am actually missing the tools required to do it. I will probably try again though, soon. Lord help us……… and the budget. Good thing Dan is good at juggling.

I have wandered around stores aimlessly.  I have lost money. I have gone WAY over budget. I have brought home stuff we don’t need. I have filled a cart, only to find it full of un-needed items, wondering when I put it in the cart while trying to put it all back and overwhelmed I abandoned it at the store.  I have done everything but run away, screaming. (ok, maybe I did that once) And by the time it is all over with I have a huge, pulsing, can’t function headache! Now I have to pay for the experience. Get everything to the car. Get everything home. Get everything in the house. Put everything away. Sounds simple to you. For me it is overwhelming. It leaves me Dazed and Confused. Total overload. Total failure.

fail·ure (flyr) n.

1. The condition or fact of not achieving the desired
end or ends: the failure of an experiment.
2. One that fails: failing at one’s job.
3. The condition or fact of being insufficient or
falling short: a crop failure.
4. A cessation of proper functioning or performance:
a power failure.
5. Nonperformance of what is requested or expected;
omission: failure to report a change of
address.
6. The act or fact of failing to pass a course, test, or assignment.
7. A decline in strength or effectiveness.
8. The act or fact of becoming bankrupt or
insolvent.

Most women are good at shopping. Really good. They collect coupons. They run to multiple stores with children in tow to get the best deal. They feed huge families on small budgets. They provide their household with food and other really cool stuff. They make special occasions out of it. They go with other women and talk and have fun during the whole experience. They actually ENJOY shopping. Weird. Not me. I am a woman with out the shopping “gift”

I am currently sitting in a nice new office chair so that I can blog about this epic fail to you in comfort. One item. One little black office chair. Simple right? Run to Staples, buy office chair on sale, come home, put it together and enjoy, right? Ummmmmmm. Well, that’s not how I do it. I go to Staples. Strategies ready.  I wander around the store and find the chairs. I look for prices. No prices to be found. I have brought Katie with me. She has been instructed not to say anything so that I can concentrate on my purchase and get through this seemingly simple task. . She finally points out to me that all the chairs have tags on them. BIG tags on them. With the price. Convenient right! Why, oh why, can’t I see them until she shows me? It’s my TBI shopping curse. Damn curse. Strategies, by now are nowhere to be found. I walk around the chairs. I leave the chairs. I go back to the chairs. We pick out a chair. Katie carries it to the cashier. We pay for the chair and Katie takes it to the truck. I need a break from all this action. So I send Katie into another store for batteries (yes, I forgot to get those in Staples, even with my list right in my hand) while I take a break. Feeling refreshed I grab the flyer we got with the chair at Staples. Oh jeezzzzzz. I find a much better chair for a much better price. So when Katie returns we head back to Staples. She carries the chair in. We buy the better, on sale chair. Katie carries it out to the truck and home we go. Only to find out I am missing $30 somewhere? We never find it. It’s not at the store, it’s not in the truck, it’s not in my purse. While Katie puts together the chair, I retreat to my bed for a much-needed break and I surrender to an exhausted nap.

So here I sit in my new chair. Firmly seated in the fact that I am giving up the grocery cart one more time. Even after applying strategies from my therapist, I still can’t do it. I’m a shopping drop out. No matter how organized or simple the list. I admit defeat.  Until next time……………..

 
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