I share this part of my journey here as I have been helped by reading about and hearing about other peoples' experiences and paths forward.
For eight years I wrote and distributed a quarterly journal, called Dragonfly, which was about myths, symbolism, and sandplay. I stopped writing because of an unforeseen event.
I moved to Colorado in March of 2005. Four months after I moved, I had emergency brain surgery for a ruptured brain aneurysm. Family came to Colorado and sat vigil while I was in intensive care in a drug induced coma for 21 days. After being discharged, my parents stayed another month to see if I could be on my own. They decided they could return to California after I could walk around the corner to get my mail, do a load of laundry, and make a simple meal. I am very grateful to my daughter for her strength, my parents for their patience, and friends in California who sent best wishes and kept tabs on my progress.
Initially I had to work to improve my balance, regain strength, find the right words, learn to overcome my distaste for food, and to understand what happened by having my family tell me the story over and over. I was constantly fatigued, had a bad headache 24/7, and had poor judgment. I was not allowed to drive. Thank goodness for Access A Ride - my ride for a simple trip to the store and doctors appointments. I even went to the movies once (that was an experience as the visual and auditory onslaught almost had me fleeing the theater).
One of the best books I read during that time was I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse? by writer-illustrator Suzy Becker - an honest and humorous memoir.
My sense of humor and life experience of always landing on my feet made for an interesting few years while I discovered my limits and marked my progress. The hardest part was the limited amount of energy for anything - from the simplest tasks to just getting through the day. Known to me as "hitting the wall of fatigue".
It was a major turning point in my life. I am very fortunate to have survived the event and I am almost back to my old self…or should I say my new self (known as the new normal). I no longer practice psychotherapy as I have some minor cognitive deficits which are more evident when I am fatigued. As for the headaches, they are like constant low grade background noise. Now I can drive, I have found a new interest in jewelry making, and am still grateful everyday for friends and family.