I hope everybody had a great Labor Day weekend. I had talked about starting to do video blog, well, I will start soon. I am getting myself mentally ready. It is still emotionally hard for me to watch me. I hope you all understand.
I am in Colorado Springs with Roxana. She came on a business trip for 2 weeks and I came for 1 week. I flew last Friday, and that is when chaos started. Nah, it wasn’t bad at all. But I did get lost at the airport in Phoenix. It is my fault (and the brain injury). I flew on Southwest and they board the planes by position and number. We arrived to Phoenix thru a gate on the D concourse. My flight to Denver was departing from the D concourse as well. In the ticket it said A17 in big letters. So there I was heading to the A concourse. There are many automatic walkways in that airport. Good, for somebody that doesn’t have a brain injury, they make me horribly dizzy. So, I had to walk all the way to concourse A. As I got to concourse A, I looked around and all I see is US Airways signs all over the place. I stopped and thought “Wait a minute, I’m on Southwest”. I looked back at the boarding pass and sure enough I was in the wrong place. My next flight was departing from D concourse. So, happily, or not so happy I had to walk all the way back where I started. Not to mention that throughout my walk, there and back, I had to pull out my boarding pass because I couldn’t remember the numbers I had just read. It becomes irritating when I read the numbers and as soon as I put it back in my pocket I forget. It happens in the airport and it happens in so many different situations. I can’t avoid getting mad at myself. But luckily I had a 3 hour layover, so I had plenty of time to get lost. Many people that haven’t suffered from a brain injury might think and say, “that happens to me too, that’s not the brain injury, it happens to everybody”, I have heard it so many times. But BI survivors know that’s not the case. In my case before the injury I was a well planned person. I would lay a plan, and I would foresee everything that I could encounter and all the consequences ahead. I can’t do that anymore. I keep stumbling every time I have to do something by myself. As I got on the plane to Denver I continued reading a book I’ve been reading for the longest time. The book is Purple Heart by Patricia McCormick. It’s about a Soldier with a Taumatic Brain Injury. Within the few pages I read on the plane they talked about how he would immediately forget things he had just read. As soon as he would close his notebook he would forget everything. Reading that was a relief, as I could see that is not me, it is part of the injury.
Next experience getting lost was the next day. Roxana and I went to the outlet mall near Denver. A place that wasn’t new for me and it was the second time we went that day. I told Roxana I was going to a store and I ended up on the far side of the mall. I couldn’t remember where I was going. Cell phones are a blessing. I called her right away and she directed me in the right direction.
Lessons learned for me are to read carefully and orientate myself before acting. That could have potentially avoid what happened. My mind does not process the same way it used to. I recognize it and I feel it. I share what I learned with you all. It might be useful.
Feel free to share your experience in the comments or send them by email.