Sunday, October 30, 2011

Providing Balance

While most TIs dream of spending just a few precious minutes, in a row, without pain or freaky symptoms, I have purposely tried to downplay that aspect, here on my blog. Which, I woke up with the realization this morning, gives non TI readers an incomplete, and perhaps inaccurate impression of these conditions. (Toxic Injuries encompass a large variety of conditions and causal factors.) As one of the reasons for writing this is to help others understand TIs, I suppose I should occassionally include a "Reality Check."

Part of what reminded me was the amount of times I found myself apologizing for my bad spelling errors, typos, and apparent failure to proof read on other blogs I participate in. Normals might see those things as "sloppy, lazy, ignorant, careless." For me, and I know for many other TIs, we have to let those go, and be happy to just get our thoughts down on the page.

Like me, many suffer myoclonic jerks, tremors and shaking. The toxic damage includes muscle coordination and control. So typing becomes a physical struggle. Then, there are the visual disturbances. I'm currently going through a period where my vision has degraded, it gets intermittently worse and parts of the field are obscured or occluded. It changes so rapidly, I can't keep up with it. The brain tries to fill in the blank spots by projecting what 'should be there,' Everybodies brain does it. In the spot where the optic nerve enters the back of your eyeball, there are no receptors. So your brain fills in the picture. That's where we got the term "a blind spot." Right now, it seems as though I have a lot of them. Like many TIs I've talked to, we can read something over 15 times and not "see" the errors that are actually before our eyes. I get real tired of this kind of freaky crap!

When I write official papers, I literally proof read them almost a hundred times. I also send them out to editors, who I do the same service for. We hope to catch each others mistakes. Since we're all TIs, it's still a little hit and miss. At this point, some of you are asking, "Why don't you send them to normals?" All our papers revolve around toxic injury... Normals get sick of reading our stuff. Its not part of their lives, they have their own struggles, and they don't have the same urgent motivation that we do.

The other factor that adds to our poor typing skills is the neural impairment that we get from exposures. Forming sentences, choosing words, on toxed days this is one of my most frustrating struggles. As a child I was speaking in complete sentences before I was a year old. I had always scored in the 99th percentile for communication and vocabulary. Now, some days, I even struggle to form a short 4 word sentence. (I keep pushing though, that's how you regrow neural pathways...) Then, there's the 'soap bubble' aspect. When we get a complete thought, it's there for such a short time, and then, pop! It's gone. So we have to type fast, before we forget it. O.k., as fast as we can. Sigh, not the best scenario. Then, add to that the new iOS 5 update, that has made my touch screen crazy. It toes (originally typed 'types)letters I don't even touch, just get near and doesn't type ones I do touch. I'm still trying to determine if I'm hitting the wrong keys or it's actually typing the key adjacent to the one I'm touching. I don't look at my fingers when I type, so after all rose (originally typed 'those) years of typing 80 WPM and not looking, it's hard to make myself look. But I can blame the 'upgrade' for the wild word substitutions. One time I typed 'comparable' and it substituted 'oar.' (when I proof read this, I noticed those two other strange substitutions), huh? I'm also noticing that if you type something in wrong so many times, it accepts it as a desired spelling. With all my legitamate typos, my spell checking feature is gone! Then, the other part of my brain damage is that I can look right at words I used to know how to spell and won't even know if they're misspelled or not! FRUSTRATION THROUGH THE ROOOOOOOF!!!! Pant, pant, Anyway, that's probably enough of my reality for the day.

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