Night time thinking once again.


Here we go again in the middle of the night and I should be sleeping but I find myself sitting in front of this laptop to see if my thoughts can be written when I am so ready to get some sleep. The only visible light is the light from the screen that I am typing on ad it is eerily quiet. My TBI caused me to have a hearing deficit in my left ear that is pretty substantial. Those of you that have followed me for some time have read about this before. I have a very hard time hearing in places with lots of background noise. The only thing worse than that to me is absolute silence. I have a constant ringing in my ear that multiplies in this silence. So the silence is actually deafening.

Tonight as I was attempting to go to sleep my thoughts started off with mathematics. I would come up with two numbers in my head and find the easiest way to come up with the solution to the problem and then use the calculator on my phone to see if I got the answer correct and quick. I will give you an example. I took 133×28. My easiest and quickest way to find the answer to that problem is not normal multiplication. I like to make it easier to figure out. I take 133×30 which gives me 3990. Then I subtract 28×2 or 56. 3990 – 56 is 3934. That is the easiest way for me to come up with the solution quickly. I know that this is not some new kind of mathematical system that I have discovered, but it is very helpful when I do my math. One of the other things that I find myself doing all the time now is when I go into a store and hand the cashier my money, I always come up with the amount of change that I am going to get back before the register shows it to me in numbers. That way when my math and the register numbers come out the same, I know that I am practicing my math skills. This may seem a little weird to some, but it actually does help your ability to think quicker when it comes to numbers.

Then I started with Washington and named all of the presidents. I learned how to do this when I was in 7th grade thanks to the choir teacher who had a fail safe way to memorize them. After all of these years it still works.

I actually like to make my brain work like this but there is no rhyme or reason as to why the subjects that i think about come up. My mind bounces around like a golf ball on a concrete road. Subject to subject and changes by the minute and sometimes by the second. I will take a sentence and then figure out as quickly as possible if the number of letters in the sentence is even or odd. LOL. I think alot of this has to to do with just being tired that makes me skip around like this but who knows. I listen very closely to the tone of ringing in my ear and see if I can guess when it is getting ready to switch to another tone. I haven’t mastered that one yet and I highly doubt that I ever will.

I will leave this post with a quote and probably be back on tomoro night for yet another exciting adventure of thoughts in “My Fall to Life”

A powerful light shines in the dark.

A powerful light shines in the dark. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take time to be quiet.  This is something that we don’t do enough in this busy world of ours.  We rush, rush, rush, and we are constantly listening to noise all around us.  The human heart was meant for times of quiet, to peer deep within.  It is when we do this that our hearts are set free to soar and take flight on the wings of our own dreams!  Schedule some quiet “dream time” this week.  No other people.  No cell phone.  No computer.  Just you, a pad, a pen, and your thoughts.

~ Jim Rohn

 

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Many thoughts arise after the Sun sets.


This is a "thought bubble". It is an...

lately it seems to me that alot of the things that I would like to blog about come to me when I am trying to sleep getting ready for the next day. I usually just tell myself that I will wait till tomorrow and then write about them. By the time morning comes around the thoughts are a thing of the past. It is not because I choose to not want to write about them any more, it is because they just disappear into my brain or into the night never to be heard from again. Last night I tried a new but minor change. When the thoughts came to my mind I got up and just jotted down a little note to refresh me about what I was thinking about the night before. I think it may have worked this time. So here we go.

When all else fails you have to believe in yourself when it seems that others may not be. Since my injury there have been points where I have felt that others have not believed in me. I have written about them before, but this time it seems to be different in a way. I am pretty sure that people do believe that I am fully healed from what nearly killed me. I am pretty sure that people believe that I have a very good head on my shoulders still. I am pretty sure that people do believe that what I say is what I mean, FOR THE MOST PART.

Where the doubt comes in is when I hear those small little comments when people think that I can’t hear them, or the looks that I get once in awhile when I speak my mind. What I also see is that alot of people think that just because I have recovered very well from this injury that everything is perfect now when that can’t be farther from the truth.

Life after a TBI can have its weird little nuances on a person that most people don’t see. I can relate it to the behind the scenes portions of a really good movie. All you see is the really good movie, but not all of the hard work that was put into making that movie. I realize that we all face challenges in our life and I am by no means trying to downplay anyone’s thoughts or challenges, I am just here to speak about my own.

I am by no means the type of person that lives life in fear and anyone who knows me will tell you that. Sometimes my life is a little too far from the opposite of that. There is nothing that I am afraid to try when it comes to living life to the fullest. However, some of the things that bother me all the time are these simple little things that I bet most people never think of. If I have a small car crash and hit my head, if I go fishing or hunting and a small branch falls from the tree, if I slip and fall on a wet floor or ice, something normal in my job like a ceiling falling, or running into a wall while in a pitch dark room, is it going to kill me this time. I already had my freebie and the biggest injury that I think I can possibly survive did not kill me and God gave me the strength and the ability to return to normal.

There are certain things in life that we can’t explain, and this topic tends to be one of mine lately. Even though I am not afraid to live my life to the utmost, at the same time I am getting a little frustrated to have to think so much before I act. One of the things that I hear from people is “well that comes as you get older.” I do not disagree with that mentality but I also cannot give it the OK when t comes to me. I definitely see myself as a smarter person and I do know that age does provide knowledge and wisdom. I am a critical thinker in my opinion and I am easily able to see things for what they actually are and not what people want you to believe.

There comes a time when the belief that a person has in you pops into your head and you start to question that belief. There is no rhyme or reason for when this happens, but it is clearly obvious to me in most cases. So if and when you talk to someone and you ask them how things are, I strongly suggest that you be ready for the answer and have the ability to act accordingly. Trust me when I tell you that telling them that you know how they feel, or things are fine, or its gonna get better are probably the top three things that you should not say because chances are you do not know that any of those three answers are fact, you just throw it out there because it seems like the right thing to say. That could not be further from the truth.

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Back to the Task


Today I have taken some time to look back at some of the posts that I have written since I have started this blog and I find that I am not being true to myself as I said I should be in a couple posts back. There were a couple of things that I wanted to accomplish. The first thing was this blog to possibly help others simply by putting my feelings online. In addition to that there were a couple of other things that I said I wanted to accomplish and that I take nothing for granted since my TBI. I feel that I have had some success in that venture so far and hopefully more to come.

I said that there was something else that was very important to me and my wife to make happen since Nov. 2011. I have told my family and others short when it comes to that. It is not something on a personal level or anything that has to do directly with my family. It is indeed something very important to me because it is very important to my wife looking back at what happened. We had set a goal to accomplish and I have taken it for granted that now that I am recovering very well that maybe I don’t see it as important as it was shortly after the incident. That is about to change. I think that I may have someone else in my corner now that can help me through the hurdles to get this goal accomplished.

When I initially brought this up I was told that it would be very hard to see it through because of logistical challenges and red tape. Well I can carry a very big pair of scissors when it comes to red tape. I have already proved that when I put my mind to something that there is nothing that can slow me down. Logistics, I can kind of see the issue there but I also know that it is not a hurdle that can’t be overcome.

I wasn’t going to talk alot about that goal, but I feel like I owe it to at least say what it is all about. Shortly after I started to think like a human again my wife talked about how awful it was for my family and another family that she was around while I was in the ER in Pittsburgh with my status still in question. There was a family in the same ER that had lost a son and the Dr. came out to the ER and told the family with all of the other people there in the ER. I am by no means saying that this is wrong, these Dr’s do not have an easy job when it comes to this. My point is that what my wife’s idea was was this. Why could there not be a room available for families in a hospital where they can gather if they have a family member in critical condition. A family sitting in an ER that is grieving because they have a loved one in terrible condition is not a private enough place for this family. They are in that ER with people who do have emergencies, but those emergencies may as well be a broken toe compared to what some of those families are dealing with. The idea would allow room for a couple of families to be able to be in a more private setting. The room could have a couple of couches and a TV, maybe a coffee and soda machine in there. This would allow a family to truly be together and not surrounded by people who could also become uncomfortable by a grieving family. The possibility of more than 1 family being in the room together could also be helpful allowing the families to talk with each other during these times of need. This room would be called the “Comfort Room.” It could also allow for clergy to spend private time with a struggling family. It is time  For “THE COMFORT ROOM” to be a real thing instead of a thought in our mind.

The final thing that I wanted to do was be able to help people on a face to face level. This could be with survivors or family members of a survivor. That goal has been very slow going. I have made a few attempts at finding a way to accomplish this which is how I learned about blogging so that is a plus. There is more work to do though. As soon as I finish posting this I am going to print off a PDF file for the BIAPA. Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania. This PDF file is the tool I need to submit a presentation to speak at their annual conference in Lancaster PA. It is host to 350 plus attendees that range from the injured, families, physicians, psychologists and other professionals in the field. I am going to work with Miss Pauline to assist me in getting this prepared and hopefully accepted as a presenter at this conference. This should keep me busy for a couple of weeks, but stay tuned for my progress.

“My Fall to Life” is going full speed ahead.

Frost Quakes?


I am sitting here at work and the day has been pretty quiet until my partner and I hear what we thought may have been the garbage truck emptying the dumpster at the fast food place across the street. Pretty soon 911 dispatches a neighboring department for multiple calls of people hearing a loud explosion. After a search of a wide area that department and another can find nothing outside of the normal. One would think that an explosion about a mile away from this building that we heard from inside, someone would have seen what had happened. NOPE. Just multiple calls of a loud explosion.

Some time goes by and we are just sitting here doing the normal stuff for the evenings and we hear it again. Maybe not quite so loud this time but the same sound. Over the course of a couple of hours I have now heard that sound close to 10 times. I am a pretty skeptical kind of guy when it comes to things that I cannot explain, but this one had me thinking. Earlier today on the news they talked about a phenomenon called a Frost Quake. The short version of this is when water seeps into the ground and then freezes. As it expands underground it makes aloud sound. This kind of makes a “there goes another one” little bit of sense to me. Last night the temperature was 47 degrees and we got 1/2 inch of rain. As I post this it is -9.2 degrees. I trust this data because our station is a reporting station for the National Weather Service. We have all of their good gear here to keep things accurate. I figure that 1/2 inch of rain would seep pretty well into the ground and then a 56 degree drop in temperature to -9 in less than 24 hours would probably raise some havoc under ground.

I walked out the back door to have a smoke(I know its a bad habit, but if I didn’t like smoke I probably wouldn’t be a fireman) and as I was standing there watching all the steam raise out of the rooftops from the buildings around BOOM it went off again. I literally stood there for a second to make sure that I had not just been shot and started to look around expecting something bad to have happened. Nope. I have seen a lot of cool things during my days hear on this great planet, but even though I could not see this thing it may be one of the coolest things I have ever experienced.

The bottom line in my opinion is this. Unless the military is flying out of the field of view doing stealth ops and breaking the sound barrier over top of my little home town, I am now a believer in the “Frost quake.” Its kind of like Bigfoot, unless you see it or in this case hear it, it is actually pretty hard to believe.

Saying and doing are very very different


I know I said I wanted to talk about Phil Robertson a couple of posts ago, but this time of year is a very good time to bring up this subject.

Saying things and actually doing them or following through with them is very different and sometimes very difficult. The trouble is that most of the time the difficult part of completing things, or doing them is simply locked in our mind. Humans are creatures of habit. Habits are hard to break. When it comes to New Year’s resolutions this point always comes to light. I wanna lose weight, I wanna quit drinking, I wanna quit smoking, I am going to do blah blah blah. We all have things that seem like very good things to do and the intentions can be very good but then the habit part of us kicks in.

The exercise program or weight loss plan that you have began to follow lasts about as long as it takes to drive past  Dairy Queen. This is not the meaning of this post but you all know by now that I can tend to sway off course.

I wanna talk about the things that are important to the people around us and things that make us feel like we are keeping with who we are or who we say we are. Most of us know that we are not going to keep our New Year resolution even though we truly do want to, but he truly important things need to have more importance to us.

I will give you my example. Shortly after I started my road to recovery I was always looking around at my friends and family and wondering what they were thinking when they looked at me. It used to consume me at the beginning. Were they thinking that I was not going to recover, or work, or drive, and so on and so on. That trend trend has almost become a part of my everyday life and a habit like I mentioned above.

I have been trying hard to let this feeling go, and along the way I have run into some speed bumps. I am going to overcome one of those speed bumps today. My speed bump is this blog. Even though I have posted it for the world to see, there are very few of my actual friends that know this blog exists. There are two reasons. First, there are some things that I have written in honesty that may offend or hurt feelings of some of my friends. Second and foremost I do not want them to see me as weak. I know this blog has nothing to do with my mental or physical strength as a human, but it is embedded in man to be strong in mind, body, and soul. Again it is habit created by the human species.

To make a long story shorter I told myself that in 2014 I was going to care less about what people think about me. This doesn’t mean that I am going to be rude or ignorant to people, it simply means that if I decide to wear a tie dyed t-shirt and my boonie cap and you don’t like it, tough. If it makes me feel comfortable and I wanna do it, guess what, its going to happen. While you are worried about the way people look at you in your uncomfortable state I am going to enjoy the hell out of my life. Look the other way or laugh, or talk about me at your dinner table for all I care. People in this country have been believing for far too long that what the media portrays is supposed to be what is fact. Comfort and happiness should be what we make of it not what we see on TV.

In a conversation last night after someone had read my blog, they asked why I hadn’t put this out for my friends to see and I explained like I did above. Well guess what. I have always been true to myself and written this blog from the heart so here we go. Go ahead and put it out there as you see fit. You know who you are and I am willing to take the step. I have to admit that this is a little scary to make this leap, but sometimes in life you just have to say “WTF”

If you are one that can not handle some truths or may have your feelings hurt by reading this blog then I caution you before you continue. With that being said. I hope you all enjoy what I am doing and the reasons for which  am doing it. Read on and take it for what its worth to you. I know that it has been a great tool for me on my road to recovery and it is my way to let the bad stuff out and take some good stuff in with some of the comments that I get back. “My Fall to Life” has just entered a new chapter.

Courage. How do you define it?


If you look in the dictionary the definition of courage is ” The ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous.” With that being said if you asked 100 people what the definition of courage is you may get 90 different answers. My definition of courage comes from one of my favorite quotes of all time. I will share that quote at the end of this post. First, lets jump in to what gives us courage, and our definition of courage as we know it.

What if in the middle of the night the phone rang and you didn’t want to answer it. What if you woke up in a hospital bed and had no idea why you were there. What if you went to see your Dr. and you were told something that you did not expect to hear. All of these and many many more circumstances can give us courage, or make us tuck our tail between our legs and pretend that it never happened. Every person may feel differently about what courage is and how they do or do not draw from their courage in very tough times.

Recently a friend of mine came face to face the situation when it was either time to tuck the tail, or step up and fight. I am happy to say that the the fight has come out and is growing stronger everyday. The courage is being seen by me and others probably more than they even know. There is no hiding in the corner hoping that it is just a bad dream. Courage is a very powerful tool that every human possesses but few use even when faced with the perfect opportunity to let it all hang out. This friend that I speak of is using courage to a great advantage.

Is this friend scared? Hell yes. Is this friend allowing fear to dictate the outcome that they see in their near future? Hell NO!!

I can honestly say that when I had my injury there were times that I doubted my own courage. I was scared to death that I would never be able to do my job again, or drive a car again, or even live my life like I used to. The plus side was that when I finally said that I had enough of being afraid of my future it lifted me up to a place that no one could stop me. I found my courage and it helped me see through the fog of the tough times that made me feel afraid of the future. It helped me stand up to myself and say “get over yourself and do something about it”

This friend’s situation is very different from mine in many ways, but it is also similar because no one can tell this friend how they feel. Every situation is different regardless of the circumstance, but the outcome can always be the same. A positive mental attitude goes a long way in healing the soul and I believe that it can help heal the body as well. if it couldn’t I believe that I may not be typing this right now. Of course faith in God plays the major role and God will grant you the willingness to accept your circumstance and come out of it even better if you allow him to.

What I want the readers of this post to take away from this is ” people all over the world are dealt hands that they would just like to fold” but where would that leave them. It would be very selfish for a person to take the easy way out. The only people that will be hurt by doing so are the ones that love you the most. So the next time that you are faced with a “COURAGE” type atmosphere remember that the easy way out is only easy for you.

To my friend that I know is going to read this. “Keep doing the things that you are doing and keep fighting the fight. Remember you are a ROCK STAR and you are going to learn alot from this experience. Is it always going to be easy? NOPE. Does that mean it cant be done? NOPE.

Finally as promised. My definition is one of my favorite quotes. This quote is from General Patton. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to control it.”