It has been a very long time since I last posted according to the dates. Yet another problem that confuses those who look at me and sees ... the me that hasn't existed since 1990. So many people that knew me prior to my first TBI are still seeing the me that no longer exists and are still waiting for that that person to come back. My family still has their daughter but in many ways they also lost their daughter. Just like I have to grieve all the things I have lost mt family has to grieve and for them it is harder because they have been in denial for so many years. They could say I was exaggerating, or just using it as an excuse until I started getting services and suddenly it was the state and various professional who were explaining things to then so they could understand. The Community integration counselor made it real. But even still Every so often I catch a little bit of them still looking for that girl to walk back through the door.
If I have known for years she wasn't coming back yet I still couldn't completely accept it how can my family who really never understood what had happened to me. I was never in a coma, I was only unconscious a short time with each of my TBIs. I was confused afterwards but only for a few hours or days as far as they knew. I was living on my own, at college, with a roommate or alone when I received all of them. The lucky people can say "I had a concussion" Then there are the people like me that have to say "I have a TBI from a concussion." Even people who work in the field can be in denial. One of my aides was in a car accident and had a concussion. The Dr. pulled her out of work for a week. When she came back, after just a few hours I told her she needed to go back to the Dr. that she wasn't talking right or acting like herself and she needed to get further evaluation. She asked her family and they told her she was just tired so she didn't go for the reassessment. She used to be one of the top in her field now she has a reputation for calling in, no shows, being unreliable, just sitting around, doing nothing, the fact she is likable keeps her in a job but eventually everyone has to put what they need ahead of wanting to help her out. I know I did. Had she received the rehab she needed in the first few months after the accident she might have completely recovered.
I look like I always did. For the most I sound like I always did though I never ever talked as much as I do now. But, I will never be the person I was before. That Gina, the musician, the girl with the eidetic memory, the champion multitasker, the girl who picked up new languages like it was simple, the girl who just knew the answer to a math problem when she looked at it, kept a running tally, including tax in her head, when shopping, That Gina is gone and there are small bit and pieces of that Gina that have been found but they are much smaller.
I'm started performing again. I sing. I'm no longer as good as I once was but I don't have to look at the words all time just some of the time. I remember fingerings on the flute and can help my nephew though I don't remember exactly which note goes with which fingerings. I can read music in the treble clef again but very, very slowly. I'm teaching myself mandolin and my nephew guitar. I've found my ear hears when chords and notes are out of tune. I am still basically fluent in Norwegian but French (which I started when I was 8) I only remember the very basics. I often have trouble with word finding or using the wrong word in English so I may really be messing up in Norwegian and not realize it.
I miss that old girl but with some of the returning pieces as well as the fact that my family is finally not waiting every time they see me for her to walk in the door I can finally feel something more than grief more of the time.