It’s Blue Monday…

Brain Injury Blog

It’s Blue Monday…

by Jodi Ginter

… isnt that every Monday!? Ok I am joking… but only partly for us the weekends are always such a hassle. Sam is home and every noise or action in the house tends to irritate him, which will result in him being short tempered and wanting to fight. This weekend was no exception.

Things have been ok but there has been an underlying grouchiness that has been brewing since around the end of November. For someone with a TBI (or at least with MY survivors) the excitement and stress (both good and bad) of the Christmas season seems to not bring out the ‘jingle-jangle-share-the-love’ kinda feelings. There is too much noise, too much visual stimulation, too much food, too much action, too much energy in the air, too little sleep, too little slow paced routine… just too much of most things and not enough of others.

Come mid-November Sam is getting tired with going to school, football season is over, cadets each week (and quite a few weekends too), trying to keep up with everyone else in the house and those people that come and go in the house. He is not sleeping well and his stress levels are rising and he is a ticking time bomb for emotions.

While everyone else looks forward to the 2 weeks of holidays away from school and the rush of life and routines, they can be 2 weeks of stress for others. In our house, we have to be sure to keep the kids somewhat on a routine for Sam’s benefit. They are not allowed to sleep past 9am, they have to be in bed by 11, we still eat our meals together as much as possible, the snacks and treats of the holiday are monitored (so sugar levels do not hit the high levels which result in not just the rushes but the major crashes …)

But even with all this being done (and you can bet that no one under the age of 17 is thankful for this scheduling and monitoring) there is still that under current that is humming in the atmosphere that Sam picks up on and runs with if given the chance. Where as one teen will laugh have fun with other friends or family members, Sam will go into overdrive in order to try to ‘keep up’ with everyone and not be able to gear down and get to a normal tone or speed. This results in family and friends thinking Sam is ‘trouble’ or ‘hyper active’. They don’t see that he is basically just trying to survive each day or moment at a time.

Fast forward the holidays to January and the first week back to school. What happens then? Well, teachers and students are done with the holiday stress and have moved onto exam stress and fighting to get back into a regular routine. What does Sam feel? Stress, overwhelming stress… nothing much more than that. This causes him to become tired, fall behind in some areas, which causes him to feel stress, then he will become more tired and fall behind more… it is a vicious circle.

This all brings me to Blue Mondays via the weekends… Sam gets home Friday nights trying to unwind and relax but has to be surrounded by 5 other people. If he has plans to go out with friends (the Oscar award winning Sam appears then) then he is ok to a point– when he has to come home again and life is still waiting for him. I have people wondering why are not here or there and I can’t tell them it is because Sam is having a melt down, or he is stressed (which would result in a melt down if pressed), then add to all this mix one of the other 3 kids in our house and all of their issues (and yes drama…)

It is mornings like the one we had today that makes me wonder “have we been handling all of this ok” and “is there other things we should be doing” and the big one “does anyone ever listen when Dennis and I talk about how life is for us when they are all demanding we be there/here/anywhere/somewhere”

Sam’s accident may have been over 3 years ago but we are all still living it daily.

Janaury 18, 2012

One response to “It’s Blue Monday…”

  1. caregiver says:

    Jodi, I hope the winter goes quickly. Sam lives at a special school during the week now? That has to help some. Thinking of you always, gin

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