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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



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Brain injury blog by survivor

Brain injury blog by survivor



Where does the time go? A day flies by after brain injury

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Most days I have something I need to do that day; laundry, mowing the lawn, cleaning, writing my blog. And yet whenever anyone asks me about my day, I can’t ever say I did much. Not because I sat around all day, just because everything must take me so long. Either that or I’m living in some kind of brain injury created time warp.

Has my concept of time changed?

Whether I’m getting distracted more than I realise, or I’m just really slow, I’m not sure. Recently I have been getting up earlier to make a start on writing, and yet I don’t seem to finish any earlier. At least I only have me to answer to, what if I was being paid to meet deadlines? It all just adds to my anxiety about how I will ever rise to life’s challenges. This is something I talked more about in Terrified I’ll fail after brain injury.

I’m not sure if this is happening just because I don’t have the same time constraints you do when you’re at work (or bringing up a family). Perhaps just because I have time to pause and think, I am. Or is it because my processing speed is holding me back? Either way, it feels like life is passing me by some days.

Life is short enough as it is.

The modern world is all about doing everything at speed. I noticed how that makes people behave differently when I moved from South West England, to Greater London. It’s not that people are better or worse, just that here they are cramming in so much, they’re more stressed. So I don’t want to be like that either.

But we get one chance at this life. I know many of us might feel we have had another chance as we survived a brain injury. But perhaps that’s even more reason to cherish what time we have. Don’t worry, I’m not going to be all morbid on you. Some people who lead busy lives would love to be in my position. Or at least they think that until they get there. So many people find retirement boring.

Perhaps it’s fatigue slowing me down.

Before you say it, I know we have to pace ourselves. And I’ve said before in Exhausted energy levels. Brain injury can leave you high & dry, how I can be guilty of pushing myself too hard.  So maybe this is just my new speed? I’m not saying I was ever the hare, but now the tortoise is lapping me.

As I’m writing this, I’m conscious of how often I sit “contemplating” what I’m writing. I might be kind to myself and say I’m taking the time to think about what I’m writing. But actually that’s only a small part of it.  I’m also considering how my eyes are so tired, I can feel the dark circles under them! How my arms feel so heavy I’m thankful that this typing position means I can keep them low. How it feels like there is cotton wool stuffed inside my forehead. So is this where my time goes?  Am I just constantly scanning myself and evaluating how this stupid brain injury has left me? That sounds full of self pity and being self centred, neither of which are admirable traits.

I keep taking on more.

Most of you will know that as well as maintaining this blog, I have also started a Pinterest  group board. My aim is to make valuable blogs about brain injury more accessible. So I have been trying to track down other bloggers and invite them to pin their work there as well. Plus I keep looking for other interesting pieces for survivors. It doesn’t sound much, but it all takes time. Please do have a look at it Brain injury group board, there are loads of great articles and info-graphs on there. Please repin any blogs to your own boards, as it will help that person rank higher and their work be shown more often on Pinterest. Hopefully then it’s more likely others who would benefit from reading it will come across it. If you haven’t done so already please follow my group board.

I would say I'm busy most days and yet I don't get much done. Since my brain injury time just flies past me. Or am I just really slow?

I would say I'm busy most days and yet I don't get much done. Since my brain injury time just flies past me. Or am I just really slow?

The solution?

So what am I going to do about it? Probably nothing if I’m honest. But I’m going to try to follow these tips I found: wikiHow to Stop Wasting Time. I say try because I’m being realistic with myself. I don’t think I’m going to just suddenly become this model time efficient person. But I could make some improvements, and regain some me time. I want to enjoy life, not just sleep walk through it.

Since your brain injury do you find time passes you by? Have you got any hacks which work for you?


19 replies on “Where does the time go? A day flies by after brain injury”

I haven’t found any hacks, but I know exactly what you mean
Weeks, months they seem like days to me now. I know my 2 brain injuries have “compromised”my health. But I’m not exactly sure why my sense of time is so affected.

Yes, time was always going, I could never understand why did it go so fast. Then something changed and now when I’m doing something time either goes fast or doesn’t move. Little ole me thinking that I am super good at what Ii’m working on, that time doesn’t move; it’s either that or I forget the clock doesn’t have a battery in it. No, but when I’m doing something I love, it doesn’t matter if time is going fast or not. Usually I get really tired, so I know time change.

Yes I find I’m suddenly exhausted. Perhaps I just don’t notice how much energy I’m using.

Thank you for sharing this! Yes, I have issues with time just passing by. I’ll be doing something, & it’ll seem like it’s been maybe 20 minutes, in reality it’s been close to one hour. I never had a clock in my bathroom until my brain injury. I set timers on my phone to alert me for different things. This helps bc I really can’t keep track of time efficiently.

It’s weird isn’t it. I keep wondering if I’m moving really slowly or just getting distracted.

My TBI was 5+ years ago. I too have trouble getting things done for multiple reasons, but the main reason is I no longer recognize the passage of time. I sit down at my computer to check emails and Facebook, do some shopping and I tell myself I only have an hour to do it. I look up at my watch and 4 or 5 hours have passed. This happens often. If it weren’t for the alarm on my phone, I would miss meals, taking medication, etc. I am trying to find more ways to cope, but so far the phone has been the most helpful.

You sound just like me Ellen. Some days I realise I can’t say I’ve achieved much, but I haven’t stopped all day.

Yes. I can agree. It takes forever to simply make breakfast….oh, I have to water the plants…oh I have to turn the patio fountain on. Oh I have to take my meds. Where are the eggs now? Oh, I put them on the wrong counter. Stand there and think….do I have enough energy to make tea, or shall I just have water (or in desperation a diet cola?)…come on! make a decision, one needs the kettle and mug, another a glass, and one the cola can. Where are the glasses anyhow? Uh…not in that cupboard…no, not if the knife drawer, no not in the dining room…Oh…that’s right they’re above the dishwasher! What decision did I make about a beverage again?? Did I check for text messages this morning (yes, 10 times because I couldn’t remember I had done so 9 previous times). Oh crap the veggies are burning. Start over. Rinse and repeat all day long.

I feel like Rip Vanwinkle. My stroke was six years ago, but it feels to me as though it were one year ago. So if I see anyone’s children, say on Facebook, I am shocked to find that they have grown up! I ask myself, how did this happen? I know it is because my brain cannot process time well anymore—So I loved your article.

Thanks Melanie. Because children change more than adults they really are a visual reminder of how much time as passed.

Wow Michelle, this makes so much sense. As I read your blog, I felt a ‘tick list’ going off in my head. You’ve put into words exactly how I think and function. I write a diary every night and work through what I’ve done and achieved, it helps me keep track of fatigue, headaches as well as who I have seen or where I have been. I look at what’ve done and think, ‘ I used to do all that and more and work full time and have a busy social life before this brain injury’ and yet I’ve filled the day again , with just day to day stuff. So much is all so put off to tomorrow, or added to my long list of reminders on my phone. The comments of others on this subject also are so helpful, and I realise there are lots of us living at a tortoise speed and doing the best we can despite our brain injury’s.
One of the hardest tasks I find is emptying the dishwasher, putting everything away and the cutlery drawer feels like I am pushing through treacle to place the mixed knife, forks, spoons and teaspoons into their correct place, I actually physically feel drained as well as mentally exhausted from this task. Thanks for highlighting this, it makes so much sense and I am not alone!

You are definitely not alone on this one Jo. It’s just something that is difficult to explain and therefore might not be talked about so much. Yes people might say that they get less done because they have to stop for a nap, but it’s harder to explain what stopped you from completing things when you were awake the whole time. I love that you have taken so much from the other comments here too. We are stronger together.

When my Neurosurgeon used the phrase “in older people” I knew the prognosis wouldn’t be good. Because my life expectancy is already short by virtue of my age, the loss of time/productivity/anxiety are very very annoying and frustrating!

Wow! First time reading your article and want to say thank you for being so open and sharing your story with us. You put words to how I feel and what I struggle with every day. Now I don’t feel so alone and that it’s not me – it’s my brain. It is hard to explain to others let alone understand it myself. I struggle with “time” everyday and live exhausted. My Provider told me to set a timer 5-15 minutes to work on a task and I thought to myself it takes me that long to figure out what I am supposed to do, let alone complete a task. It has been 8 years since my 1st brain tumor, surgery and radiation. Just like the others it seems so long ago but then it feels like it was just yesterday at times. Thank you and look forward to reading your other articles.

I totally understand how comments like “just work in 5 -15 min stints” can make you feel alone, especially when it’s coming from someone who is supposed to know something about what you’re going through but has completely underestimated what it’s like to live with a slow processing speed. But there is plenty of us out there who totally relate to your experience, we get you.

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