cognitive overload;, Welcome to Holland; Fatigue

I take a water aoerbics class at the Y on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Yesterday, we went out to lunch to celebrate the leader’s birthday. When I was in Italy and not in Holland (Welcome to Holland) I wouldn’t have been able to do this. I did see other people at the restaurant meeting someone from work for lunch and I remembered how I often had lunch meetings. For a moment I missed those days but I’m in Holland now and here I’ve been able to meet these strong, independent women and I like being with them. I never would have met them in Italy.

This was the first time in ten years that I’ve actually been able to go out to lunch at lunch time without having to take a nap earlier. (Fatigue) I still have other challenges. It’s difficult for me to have lunch when I’m seated at a long table in the middle of a room. I can’t filter out the noise of the other tables around me but yesterday we were the only ones in our section so it was okay. I did think about all the times I’ve been at a restuarant when a large group was having their meal. The talking and laughing makes it difficult for me to concentrate on my own conversation since I’m unable to filter out the other converations.

Churches have a lot of meals together. While I like this, it does present a problem especially if the tables are large. We had a dinner at Grace Covenant a few weeks ago. I knew if I sat at a table in the middle of the room, the noise would make it very difficult for me. Fortunately, there was someone sitting at a table at the end of the room that I wanted to talk to so I sat with her. As the room filled up with more people, their voices sounded like a huge roar to me. I can handle this stimulation for a while but too long and I need to “rest-my-brain” (Cognitive Overload.) I’m going to try and remember this for the future. I really am able to stay longer if I am sitting in a more managable place.

This noise challenge seems to have improved. When I was first injured, I could stand very little noise. I remember back then, I attended a party for brain injury survivors where the music was loud. It didn’t bother a lot of people but it bothered me. I had to keep leaving the room for a few minutes. It did remind me again of how everyone with a brain injury is different. The filtering part of my brain was injured where other folks may not have the same problem.

Do you find it more difficult now to filter out noise? Do you have to take care when you go to a restaurant because the taped music or other sounds bother you? Feel free to comment here or email me directly . If you have a google or another account you can select it when the comment section asks you to select an account. Feel free to select annonomous if you’d rather.

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