I really don't want to go there, as you all know. But things are pushing me in that direction whether I like it or not. And no, it's not just the heart & kidneys. There is something wrong with my brain. It's beginning to scare me, quite a lot. It's one of the reasons the anxiety is up so high.....and unfortunately, that only makes the problem worse as it freezes up my brain even more. Yes, I have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I've been dealing with that for almost 9 yrs now. Maybe it's just a case of I depending on or husband picked up much more slack than I realized he did........and now I'm seeing the effects of that. But I don't think so. Pre Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) I had a photographic memory for anything I wanted to remember. Yes, I could and did pick and chose what was retained that way. Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) my short term memory is as much a joke as anything and IF something makes it to a much more long term type memory thing it's because I have to make it a point to go over it many many times to make it so.......and then, it can still be lost, often permanently. The latter happens far more than I ever admit to anyone, including myself. Self denial can be great at times. Until you can no longer ignore it, that is. I had a "mild" Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), in other words, I wasn't in a coma after injury. (although I wasn't quite present and accounted for either for about 2 yrs) In fact, ER docs never even realized there was an injury, although they did a CAT scan. (MRI is the only thing that dxes a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by the way) The skull fracture didn't show up on the CAT because it was a compression fracture which pushed in on the brain. Think big dent because that is what I have in the back of my head to this day. I brought the injury to bone doctor (no at the moment I can't recall what they're called) attention during an exam because at first it was also an open wound that I thought would feel better when it healed, only it didn't. He felt the area and diagnosis a compression fracture and said that they're usually missed. Those first 2 yrs......other than snippets of buying the house, Darrin's birth......let's just say I don't remember much. I "remember" more other people's memories, if you get my drift. They're not real memories. Actually if I"m honest with myself, I remember not much over the course over the past 9 yrs. I remember things I deemed critical enough to focus on to try to get it stored long term. I can remember Travis had the stroke, I can remember "about when" due to other reasons, but I can't give you an exact when.....I *think* it was 18-19 yrs of age because that is when I was in my first year of school (which is how recall it) and I wrote a paper on his polycythemia diagnosis that came from that stroke. Know what I mean?? Things now committed to long term memory I can just call up because I want it, nor how I want it either. It can come up in bits and pieces.......or not come up at all until long past when I needed it. This made doing interviews with Travis for disability very difficult because they wanted exact dates ect and I just couldn't give it to them. (bad because I was the only one alive with the knowledge of so much of his medical history) Memory is only one thing I deal with by far post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I've often spoke about the money issues where I have times when I stare at my wallet and don't have a frigging clue what to hand the cashier or when she hands me back change it doesn't seem right to me. It's embarrassing at best, but while I've dealt with this over 9 yrs, it's gotten worse, not better with time. This past year.....I have brain shut down. It's not anxiety. I'm so used to this now that it no longer causes anxiety. But if I try to force it, the brain shuts down and there is like literally a black room inside my head. I cope by handing out what I believe is more than being asked for......often though, I have to dig up more money or the cashier will had me money back (prior to giving change) because I'm not even close. easy child has finally admitted that while she was aware of this prior to last summer, when shopping with me she noticed how bad it had become........and has continued shopping with me to help me. I have brain shut down with coupons. It takes me literally hours to finally come up with my plan ahead of time (and it HAS to be ahead of time). IF for whatever reason an item from the list is missing...........well, well just say it's not uncommon for me to either get really frustrated and flustered (because I can't change the preset plan like that) and often I put everything back and refuse to buy anything unless easy child gets stubborn and reworks the plan for me. (which is likely to tick me off as much as make me happy) Travis, and we all know the issues he has, has had to help talk me through deals when I forget what I'm doing, easy child too. It's somewhat pathetic. in my opinion Math........uh, seems I have issues adding with a calculator at hand. Now how that is I have no clue because I'm careful. This is one of the reasons those darn plans take so long. omg We did drug stores last week........I prepped for ONE cuz the others didn't have anything I even remotely wanted/needed. It took me 3 1/2 hrs people for a list of like 6 items. And then easy child looked at it once I got into the car.......and I still had added it up wrong. Math has gotten much much worse for me over the past 2 yrs. (so obviously before husband's death) I had trouble before but nothing like this, not this severe. I think I'm doing it right, seriously. It's disturbing on a very profound level to believe you're doing it right but you're not. I've always had an issue with claustrophobia. But it's not all fear based. Small places, yes. Crowded rooms, no. Crowded areas, no. Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), it's purely a sensory thing. I want to escape and it takes everything I've got not to do so. It doesn't matter one bit who the people are either. Nor does it matter if I want to be there. The board gathering? I loved every minute, yet every minute I was fighting the urge/need to escape. Not fear, too much going on at once. Too many voices. Too much movement ect. This too, has grown worse, not better over time. That last year in school I had to literally get up and force myself to go. Now? It's a minor miracle to get me to leave the house without a family member. (in my opinion they can referee or talk and I can concentrate on not try to get out of the situation) I'll admit it can create anxiety because I dread the sensory overload. But it's not anxiety based. This too has grown worse over time regardless of working hard all these years to if not make it better than to keep it in check. In class I dealt/coped with it by focusing on notes, not the class itself. But for like labs......chemistry, biology ect.......omg thank heaven I always seemed to have a close friend to lean on because I suddenly became about as useful as a 2 yr old. (I'm being honest here, for the first time on some of this, even to myself) Even in clinicals it was that way. When I worked alone, I'd take one task at a time and focus solely on that task until I found myself in a comfort zone of sorts I could deal with. But I think I had a guardian angel watching over me because not once, not a single time, did I have a patient that required more than a bed bath or a bed pan. (old knowledge) And we all know what happened that one horrid day in clinical when my brain shut down on me for an entire 8 hrs and I could barely speak let alone write a sentence that made sense. (and you've no idea the effort it took to do what little I could manage of each) What triggered it? I was prepared for it to be one way......in other words I go in and do such and such. But the student working with me that day didn't show up, so it changed suddenly. I don't deal with sudden change well at all. I didn't do too bad at first, I was trying to talk myself through it, but when the instructor came down hard because she was peeved at the other student not showing up it added stress, and sent me over the edge into brain shut down and I was basically a useless zombie the rest of the day. Scared the living crud out of me because while I'd experienced brain shut down for years, it was never that severe or lasted that long. No way in hades was it anxiety. Even a severe anxiety attack usually tops out at 20 mins. This was 8 HOURS. I have no clue how I got home that day. I have major issues with forms of any kind or bills. I just got the welfare forms and I can't make head nor tails out of the darn things. CW instructions are no help either. Bills.......if I can easily spot the "amt due" I'm ok, otherwise.......I'm in trouble. Don't confuse me with individual charges, just tell me boldly what you want darn it. husband took care of bills and forms post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). He didn't argue. He knew for me to hand that responsibility over to him was an enormous deal and that I didn't do so lightly. I have huge issues with processing large amounts of information at a time, (remember 90 percent of school was old knowledge, and "new" is long gone), I have trouble following instructions, if they're too involved, forget it, I can't make sense out of it. I have major issues when a routine is altered. Which is causing me huge issues right now as with easy child's varying schedule I can't develop a daily routine to follow so much of the time I feel "lost". Let's just say I don't adapt to change well these days.......and it's an understatement. Planning ahead, which is something I used to pride myself on...........really tough now. Time. Now I know I've posted on this subject before. But everyone misunderstood what I was getting at. I lose time. I can't keep track of it. When I posted time was getting away from me at an alarming rate........I didn't mean the natural time seems to move faster thing as you grow older.........I mean it literally is something I can NOT keep track of. I "lose" it. And it's becoming a major problem. I can think 2 days have passed. It will have been 2 weeks or 2 months. If there are holidays floating around it is usually only weeks.......no holidays of importance to me and I can lose months at a shot. Maggie will be getting her last set of puppy shots a month late because I literally lost a month. We just had the internet shut off because I somehow lost 2 months for payments........although I was sure I'd just paid it. It's the first time something has been shut off........but not the first time I've lost a month or 2 with a bill or house payment. AND this is after easy child set it up so I could pay it online. They send me a notice so I can pay the darn bill. Now what I did after the notice I haven't a blasted clue. Obviously I *thought* I'd paid them because I've tried to be anal about it since husband died so I wouldn't miss any. Evidently what I *thought* I was doing, I wasn't doing. Oh, and the state taxes got paid 3 months after I had them filed because I set them down and totally forgot they existed. Subject didn't come up so it never entered my mind. I avoid using things, like the new lawn mower or weed eater, because I can't seem to retain HOW to use the darn things. Same thing with pumping gas for myself. I never do it alone. Ever. For some odd reason it's "complicated" enough that if it doesn't trigger brain freeze/shut down, it can take me forever to finally figure out on my own how to do it. Reading a novel has become difficult. I have to go back over pages repeatedly. Reading posts here is becoming difficult especially long ones......I often have to reread a couple of times. Now folks when Travis who has his own set of issues due to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is noticing and bringing things to my attention........there is a problem. Evidently my girls have been picking up on these any probably many more over the past year and it's I think scaring them. (hahaha they have no clue what it's doing to ME) That is why they've been pushing for me to try disability, not so much the heart/kidneys. It's getting worse. It shouldn't be. I dunno why it would be getting worse. Doesn't help that often people with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) later develop Alzheimers. (oh gee, yup that makes me feel better) easy child is also wondering if I had a stroke recently that was missed. I am too since I've been getting rather peeved off that everyone seems to have issues understanding me when I speak. They swear I've said basically gobble dy gook when I know I've said.....well, whatever I've said. Now? I'm not so sure I'm saying what I think I'm saying. It's not all the time, but fairly often lately. And there have been periods where I go to stand up and set my left leg down or go to take a step with that leg.......and if it plants itself, I want to go straight but go left laterally instead. So if I don't wind up leaning over looking like an idiot, or standing trying to get my left foot to go to the floor, I'm walking side ways left when I want to go straight. It just sometimes doesn't want to cooperate. It was doing that often a while back and sort of stopped on it's own. It doesn't take me much to get confused. There is far to much for me to put here. Probably a million different little and big things that I don't even think about or maybe am not aware of even......that don't come to mind until that moment. The ones here are the huge ones that slap me upside the head day in and out. (makes it hard to forget LOL ) I've dealt with the kidney disease most of my life. I've cope with everything from literally a year or more in hospital to severe chronic pain. I had the heart attack and don't ask me when because I can't tell you. (nice huh?) Those things I take in stride. This? The Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? I used to take in stride for years as I found ways to cope. But when it started to get worse.......then the denial started because lemme tell you, it's scary as holy hades. I can't even remember when it started to get worse. I can tell you all this because you are my extended family. I am not comfortable watching easy child's boys just do to my health, but also due to the issues post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I've discovered I'm having sensory issues there too. Three little guys can and often do put me into sensory overload. So far, I've been able to cope. It doesn't affect my functioning.......I've cared for kids the vast majority of my life, I think I can do it on auto pilot. It does affect my mood by making me angry when I shouldn't be (it's a reaction to overload, I want to make it stop and I can't) and I do manage to keep it under wraps where they have no clue Nana is anything but sweet Nana but by the time a shift is over I'm exhausted, mentally and physically. I tried to tell myself this last year has been due to grief. Uh, not really. I could fool myself that way until the grief pretty much subsided. But it has not improved. I know that chronic renal failure can cause cognitive issues if the B6 deficiency is not treated (mine isn't at the moment except best I can do with OTC) and as toxins build up in the blood stream. But I've never heard of it causing the sorts of issues I'm having. It might on some of the confusion.....most likely none of the rest. So. The other day easy child talked to me about why she was sort of pushing disability. Which made me have to really stop denying and take a good long look at reality. I don't like what I see. Reality makes me vulnerable. Due to my childhood, I don't do vulnerable. Vulnerable scares me to literally death. (and I'm not scared of much, trust me) I think I've just figured out why my anxiety is through the roof and why I can't get it under control. If the girls, either both or whatever, will literally walk with me through the process, I will do disability. Only because I don't' have a clue how I could hold down a job with the brain issues to the degree they are now. And that is horrendously depressing. But I don't see much option. How can I land a job if I can't manage the application, for pete's sake? So there it is. The admission to myself as much as to you all. An admission that has me sitting here in a state of panic because it makes me vulnerable. I have to be in control. Not a control freak, I don't have to be in control of anyone else, just me. If I lose that control......... Well, then........I just don't know what will happen.