Even though most people can not readily see that I was paralyzed, I know there are "things" that still remain from those days. Most people are shocked when I tell them I was paralyzed because I look active and healthy. Of course I am a master at disguise for the most part.
Memory is one of the things that I have never fully gotten back. I'm not sure if I ever will or not but it is little things. Things like my friend's names, or my address or my age. No, not earth shattering things, but they do get very frustrating when you need to remember them and you can't.
Sometimes signing my name is very difficult or even hand writing. I tell people that if you get a hand written letter from me, frame that puppy because hand writing is just very difficult to this day. Taking notes in my classes has been interesting to say the least. Writing checks out is one of the most difficult things that I face and so I try to arrange my finances so that I don't have to write many checks out at all. For my mind to connect with my hand in writing all the stuff down on a check is a monumental task for me.
I still struggle with anxiety a lot which was a major side effect of the paralysis and hospitilization early on. Fear is a big part of my life and one that I have been working hard to get rid of. In many ways I am doing very well with it and yet I still struggle with the anxiety, the fear and having the courage sometimes to confront it all (or the energy).
Another part of me is if I get very very tired my body begins to shut down. It first starts in my legs and they do not want to move very easily, quickly or hardly at all. Like last week when my body was exhausted from school, work, final exam..etc... I could barely stand up on my two legs. I had to do some massage stuff in class and was having a difficult time doing the "body mechanics" or moving myself with the massage like we are taught. They kept getting on me for it and I told them I can barely stand up on my feet right now. They didn't understand what I meant and it wasn't like normal people that are just tired. I literally meant I could barely stand on my feet. They were going out.
For me touch is sometimes not connected to me and I don't know if this is just a result of the abuse or the paralysis/conversion disorder has something to do with it. I tell people that I can see them touch me and I know they are touching me but I don't feel a thing. They freak out and don't understand this. The massage is helping me greatly with this, but I still struggle with it (especially when I get real tired).
Speech is pretty good for the most part. The part I struggle with is just remembering the words when I am talking. Take for instance the word "these". Sometimes a word as simple as that is one that I will just get lost with and not be sure how to say it. I often compensate in other ways for it but I struggle with that still.... kind of frustrating to me... not kind of - it is frustrating!
Many of these things I have learned to live with or have found alternate ways of dealing with them. I don't trust my memory at all and keep my IPAQ with me at all times. I probably will put my address and stuff in my billfold so I can take the pressure off of my memory on this. Writing checks.... I may go back to letting the computer print them so I don't have to worry about them.
As far as getting tired goes, I've got 5 more months left of full time school. However I have just talked to my supervisor at work and looking at cutting back to 4 days a week. I am afraid if I don't cut back, my body is going to shut down before it is all over.
So in many ways, I am learning to take care of myself but believe me I know how rough it can be with this stuff. Most people have no clue what I go through in a day just to function in a normal capacity. I am a fighter and I can get very determined when I need to. So I have fought like hell through all of this because as I saw it in my mind, if I give up, them those sons of b*S that abused me will have won... and no way in H&&L will I let them win!
Anyway, I realize this is off the topic of the original post, but knowing someone else has experienced a conversion disorder gave me a sense of encouragement. I don't feel quite as alone because until now, I have found no one that went through this. I don't know how serious you got with yours, but for me, my brain was shutting down which my doctor told me later that if I wouldn't have gotten help, I wouldn't be alive or I would be alive and be a vegetable. It was scary then and still scares the daylights out of me.
But no matter what, you've got to keep going... and just kick this thing in the butt every day if you have to. I've used Joy Harjo's poem, "I Give You Back" as a daily inspiration to myself. It is an awesome poem in many ways.