Sunday, September 28, 2008

Comments about our recent move/Acknowledging how far I’ve come

The new location that we live in is very quaint and picturesque. Lynn and I often take a bike ride on the back roads, along the CT river, and we include a demanding hill climb.

I have become very frustrated because I live with my progress on a daily basis versus getting a long perspective. It’s difficult for me to be patient. I prefer immediate results.

Children are so innocent and honest. We have to listen to their comments and appreciate what they are telling us.
We recently hosted the family of a friend, Eric, who provides massage on my left shoulder and also does cranial sacral massage.
In preparation for their visit, Eric had told his young son, Ethan, “Joe had an accident and Joe might not seem just right – you know his speech or how he walks”.
On the way home from dinner, Ethan said to Eric, “Dad, you know all that stuff you said about Joe? Well, I thought he looks totally normal”.

I am very self-conscious of my speech. I recently saw Gen, an acquaintance whom I hadn’t seen since my accident. Afterward, she wrote, in an email to me, that she has no problem understanding me, which gave me confidence about my speech.

Posted 9/21
On Saturday, 9/20, Lynn and I again biked to the ferry landing, we crossed the CT river and we split a cup of ice cream at a shop in Old Wethersfield, then we retraced our journey.

For the first time since I had my TBI I successfully completed a novel. I've had difficulty tracking the printed lines of text, but I found myself so captivated and interested by the story-line that I finished the novel, "Marley & Me", by John Grogan.

Another (post-TBI) first: I cried as I read this book. Crying is uncommon for me. A short time ago, it seemed that my tear ducts dried up, regardless of how sad that I felt.

I have also re-experienced the ability to break a sweat (and smelly at that) when I work out (e.g. ride my exercise bike). For a long time (~18 months) I could not exercise hard enough to break a sweat.

Recently, I went biking on the picturesque rural road that runs alongside the CT river while my friend Jeff rollerbladed. Jeff and I previously played volleyball together. Jeff is a mutual friend of Phil and we tried to arrange this bike ride together, as Jeff rollerbladed. In this instance we could not arrange a joint event. I hope that in the future we can arrange a joint ride because Phil is the very friend who brought me on my first (post-TBI) bike ride (on a tandem). I suspect that Phil will feel quite satisfied to visualize my progress since that tandem bike ride that we made some 5 months ago.

Appended 10/21/08

We recently when went to Hammonasett State park and I biked alone on the park road. Reading my BLOG helps me to keep a perspective on my progress. I rode a bike there with my friend Al, on May 19, 2008 for the first time since my TBI.

Before the TBI, I was a very good, passionate chef. Recently I’ve regained my interest in cooking food. I've been cooking pasta with sauces such as home-grown garden fresh basil and tomatoes with roasted peppers, and home made pizzas. Here’s some pizza photos:

When Lynn was on an errand out of the house and I was home alone, I took an 8 mile bike ride on a nearby country lane, that has a serious hill climb >80 ft of elevation that has become my tour mid-point. I repeated that ride 3 days in a row. Cautiously, I carried my cell phone in my bike jersey pocket. I called Lynn before I left, when I was putting my bike shoes on, and I called Lynn when I was safely back at home.

I have a good friend whom I previously did triathlons with. He owns a bike shop. He has offered me an opportunity to repair bikes in his shop. Relative to my previous career, this work may seem trivial, but I continue to make progress and I'm excited.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Successful Move

We recently sold our large (over 4,300 s.f.) federal colonial home, where we had lived for the previous 16 years, and we relocated to a condominium in a nearby town. Moving is a huge transition, but while suffering from a TBI, it’s especially disorienting. On one of the first evenings in our new condo I wandered into my daughter’s room and I asked her which room I was to sleep in. Now I can laugh about it, but at the time it was very upsetting.

On August 31, I made my first (post TBI) ferry crossing over the CT river with my bike. We rode into a local old town suburb and had coffee with my sister. Then we went to a local lake and I swam most of the way across the lake.

Lynn and I now, regularly, make a bike ride to the ferry landing. We continue along the CT river past many rural farms and make a hill climb. When we return, we must make a serious hill climb into the condo development. It's really quite incredible that I've progressed to the point that I'm riding a bike on public roads shared by cars.