• AC

Okay, I received my diagnosis. Now what?!

The most anticipated day of my life thus far is the day I received my head injury diagnosis. It is also the day filled with so much disappointment, uncertainty, and doubt. Something I have never experienced before. This doctor was about to tell me all about my brain and memory. All of what I have lost and what my new reality would be. Of course, I was there when the assessment was done...it was eight fucking hours! However, I was still...uncertain, scared, and still held promise in my heart. Promise of a positive diagnosis...

How many of us have been there?

Waiting on a response from a job interview, your own diagnosis, a child's or parent's diagnosis... the waiting. The anticipation. Ugh! It's the worst. You want to keep the real estate in your head free while you wait, so you do other things to "fill the time"... but do you really, fully think about anything other than THAT ONE THING?! I don't, so if you can, I'm jealous!

So, the waiting... no one is special here, in that aspect. 🤪 We all understand anticipation and waiting for an answer to an important question. We have heard all the advice, and I have my own advice on how to get through these situations. Then the time comes to apply your own advice to yourself. How do you do? Me? I failed!

Miserably, fucking failed. My advice is always, " take a step back, take a deep breath, meditate and clear your mind. Leave what you are anticipating there and move forward with your life." Y'all, I have lived my life like this since as far back as I can remember... this was just one thing I could not push to the back of my mind. I was a fucking wreck! That is a whole other blog post... don't worry!

Judgement Day is here...

You think I'm exaggerating. If you have ever had your own diagnosis story you all but hear those church bells ring as you're called to the back.

Anyway... so the day is here... this doctor is the first one that has actually shown me compassion as an adult. Most avoid eye contact and want to jump straight to something else. (Again, another blog post. Too many diagnoses stories...)

Compassion... the doctor was explaining how the brain is like a jello mold - that once it hits something it just moves back and forth until it stops. Well, when my head hit the ground from the seizures, my brain bounced off the back of my skull and hit the front causing frontal left lobe damage; leaving me with permanent, mild short-term and cognitive memory loss with the possibility of early on-set dementia at 45. At the time, I was 31 about to turn 32.

It was like everything slowed down except me. The doctor was still speaking and telling me more about brains and it was like I just couldn't hear it. It would not register in my brain and I reached my breaking point. Enough with the negativity!

How do we fix this?

The very first thought that entered my brain and came out of my mouth was... "okay, and how do we fix this?" The doctor did not even hesitate to tell me that THIS IS UNFIXABLE! Because I am epileptic and bipolar, my brain will continue to deteriorate and will never get better. I asked him about brain gyms, supplements, programs... I was fucking desperate! He was still very adamant that there is nothing that could POSSIBLY help my brain. Y'all, this was 2019 leading into 2020. There has to be something!

But... this news was devastating! At the time I was already struggling with the ability to remember conversations, events that took place, movies we had seen, keeping dreams and reality separate, understanding things that were being said, and more... and for a doctor to just tell me that this is my new reality and it will only get worse from here at 31 almost 32... my mental health was wrecked. My memory was fucking phenomenal before. It was a pictorial memory and when I wanted to remember something I could just take myself back to that moment when it happened, I learned it, etc. and could see it all like an out of body experience. At the time, I could barely remember what day it was.

Not only was this going to impact me, but I was dating someone with a child. How do you ask someone to stick around for this? Especially when it is only going to get worse? How could I put this burden on someone else? Not that he had in any way hinted that it was 'too much'... you just always think it in the back of your mind.

Well now what?

Well... after that doctor's, I came home and I was angry! How could this be my new reality? How could there really be nothing I could do to fix my brain? This was not something that sat well with me... and I started searching. Of course, because I was searching for brain supplements, brain gyms, anything to help my fucking brain... a random conversation popped up on Facebook about nootropics. The conversation is still very hazy to me now, but I do remember this one person was raving about how nootropics had helped him with important job interviews, tests, on projects because it helped with focus and memory. Well, that was it... down that rabbit hole I went looking for this magical substance.

Most of the products I found were well out of my price range. This was in 2019 before it became something EVERYONE is talking about. So, if you don't know, real quick... nootropics help with your cognition, focus, creativity, memory, and more. Like, WHAT?! This is perfect! My neurologist told me to be careful as nootropics mess with your cognition and that is already an issue I have. Don't want to make it too bad later in life. But, have you looked at prescription side effects?! 🤔 Anyway, after a lot... and a lot more research, Neuriva came across up. Not only did they have a couple different supplements to choose from, but they also have a brain gym! PERFECT! For a year, every single morning I did those brain games. They have helped my brain tremendously!

Of course, I want more...

Y'all, it became an obsession to get the memory back that I had. To make sure that my brain was alert and present when having important conversations. To get back to the me I used to be. So, more research was done... and I came across shrooms. That's right! Magical shrooms! However, they are not legal medically or recreationally everywhere... we would have to move to Colorado or Oregon, I think. So, that option is not really on the table at this moment. While researching shrooms, there was information on how they are being researched to reset one's brain from depression. That's fucking intriguing... I'm bipolar and depression runs in my family. It was also being researched in stopping seizures. Not at all enough information available yet.

For a bit I was very disappointed. The stories I read were of people saying how much clarity they had and how they were able to be hyper focused. Like, yes please! My brain is like the I-75 and 1-4 interchange... a fucking jumbled mess! Thankfully I came across non-magical mushrooms and they can help with the same concerns. Let's be realistic, anything you take that pertains to the brain is going to have a side effect or two... choose your difficult. Most of the mushroom blends that I found were coffee blends... ew! gross! absolutely not! Until, I found Four Sigmatic!!

The research didn't stop there. We're talking about my brain and cognitive function here. Like, I still want to make a million dollars so I can hire some hot young guy to wipe my ass when I can't! 🤪 For about a year, I watched them and other companies put out products and watched to see what people had to say. The results were everything I was hoping for! Clarity, focus, cognitive function, creativity, memory, and more... they have protein powder so literally, AND MORE! 🤣

One day I felt so seizy + my brain was so foggy that words were just not coming out of my mouth correctly and I was not even attempting to speak that much. We ran to Sprouts and that's where I saw Four Sigmatic's pre-made Focus Blend shots. Of course, we grab two. At this point, I just want to be able to get words out of my mouth! Took one shot and within 20 minutes thoughts and words were flowing. All day my brain just worked. It was emotional, for sure, and there was no way I was going to let one good experience get my hopes up. Nope! So, we purchased a can of this magic powder to add to my daily routine instead of Neuriva shots. Y'all when I say my brain worked... like all the damn lights were on! IT WORKED! This is almost two weeks into this mushroom journey and it has been so awesome that Michael got a bag of the coffee.

While I am not where...

Cliché I know... but there is still a long way for my brain to go and I will make an appointment with that damn doctor and see just where my brain and memory are! Also to give him a big ole middle finger!

I have received too many daunting diagnoses to ever just sit back and allow another human being tell me what my body can and cannot do. When you are given a daunting diagnosis, I challenge you to do your own research on what that diagnosis means. Research what your options are medically and holistically. Is there anything else you can do to manage your own medical diagnosis without dumping prescriptions down your gullet, if you can avoid it. Be your own voice. Be your own advocate! Never give up because a doctor says there is no hope. Fuck that! You are a fucking warrior and you can do anything you put your mind too...just because their's is restricted does not mean yours is!

Now, go create your own narrative, Warriors!

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