Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weather's making life easier????

I'm really at one of those places where I can't make up my mind whether to be happy about the weather or sad. Looks like we won't be going to the family Christmas party tomorrow  up North of here. I'm really not sure how I feel about it. On the one hand it is the last chance I will have to see most of the family before either Easter or Labor Day Weekend but on the other I is so stressful being in a huge room full of people that look familiar but I can only recognize maybe half and that is on a good brain day. Even some of the kids that I can place with names during the summer are nameless in the crowd. This is life with a mild traumatic brain injury.
Even my closest family doesn't realize just how hard it is for me to recognize anyone or anything visually. In many cases I have told friends more than I have admitted to family. In just a couple of week it will be 21 years since my 1st mTBI and I still get hit with the losses almost daily. On Wed. I was in the super Wally's World with my HCSS (home, community something or another) and we both needed to pick something up in different parts of the store. I finished before she did and went looking for her where she had said she was going. After one run through the dept where none of the head looked the least bit familiar I went back to my old way of finding people when I lost them. The method I was forced to use for years after that 1st accident. I couldn't remember what her coat looked like but I knew I was looking for bright blue capris and sneakers because she was not dressed at all for the weather so I had really noticed them. It still took me 20 minutes to find her since she was walking around looking for me as well by then but I wasn't looking at anyones faces I was looking at their pants. My ex-roommate I alway got to where a red or yellow coat when we went anywhere so I could find her again. But it is harder with family.
How do you tell Aunts and Uncles that you recognize most of their kids but don't have a clue what name goes to who? If I do mess up it gets brushed off as "well with 50 cousins you're bound to hit a wrong name occasionally". I try not to use names unless it is someone I am certain of because then it would be clear it was more then just an occasional thing. Granted my mom's family is HUGE!!! we are talk she is one of 11, I am one of 50 I think, there are close to if not more than 80 great grands and atleast 10 great great grands. My grammy is still living at nearly 104. My grammy has had senile dementia since she was in her 70s but didn't get bad until my grampa died 7 years ago. Since she has been in the nursing home and they have done things like taken her teeth out and stopped bothering to even dress her I have trouble even picking her out of the crowd of elderly people placed at the nursing station in wheel chairs. This is the person who stepped in to take up the empty place left when I lost my other gramma to cancer when I was 10. She was both grammas for me and I am hesitant about my recognition of her now since she is no longer in her own home in familiar clothing wearing her teeth. I am still one of the few people in the family she responds to consistantly when they visit. She doesn't remember exactly who I am but she remembers she knows me and I have no problem filling in the details while making it sounds like I am just telling her what has been going on with my mom, and us kids and the grand kids. She loves when my sister bring her boys. She doesn't know who my sister is but she always remembers she is the one with those twin boys.
I should be leaving for the coffee house for TBI survivors soon so had best say adieu.
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