TBI At Home: Christina's Edition
Hi everyone, Christina here! I figured I’d whip up a post on what it’s like navigating Travis’ symptoms from a spouse’s point of view. I am fortunate that I do not have to physically be anywhere other than home to be with Travis 24/7. I do my graduate studies on-line and soon I will be a professor for on-line classes. With that being said, I am able to monitor him and make many mental notes on what works for him and what does not in terms of adjusted daily life.
For me, it has been super hard to adjust to this "new" life he has. We do not go out as much, if we do go out it is to do something usually alone as a couple like the movies, dinner, quick shopping trips, or Dr. appointments which occur 4-5 times a week. Not being socially active is a huge issue right now because since I was 4 I have been involved with large group activities that required both time and emotional investment. If we do go somewhere it’s usually talked about or planned, we typically do not go out on a whim and if we do something it usually takes some motivation on my part to get him going.
Lately we have gotten into photography. I took some classes a long time ago in college and learned the mechanics of the camera and how to curate photos and stuff like that. For Travis, photography gets him out and about without hardly any effort. It takes up time for him, gets his mind off of everything else and allows him to focus on small, simple tasks that he actually enjoys. Plus, I do not need to be involved in this hobby (though I do go along sometimes to take photos) for him to enjoy it. He can sit somewhere and take photos of what he sees, a good stress reliever
Here's a picture of me and a sheep in Kenya, because who doesn't love a sheep?
Before his accident he enjoyed golf, kayaking, taking the huskies to parks but now he cannot do any of that. That can be pretty depressing to have everything you liked doing yanked away in one instant. On top of that, he does not do well when not on a schedule. Schedules work really, really well for him. Today he has a little schedule goal of scanning documents and e-mailing them to who it needs to go to. It sounds ridiculous and trivial but it is a task that involves something physical and something mental that needs to be accomplished. We needed to set that goal because he needs a cue to do it and to be reminded. The old Travis would see something that needs to be done and do it. Now, we schedule it in and I remind him consistently. It’s annoying and frustrating, but we get it done and move on to the next task. I don’t want to sugar coat all of this like it’s easy peasy so I’m going to share if something is annoying or frustrating. I know others out there can relate so I want to come across as accurate and no BS.
Hopefully in the coming posts I can share more about self-care and what I like to do to make sure I don’t boil over with frustration.