On my trip to various cities out west, I was directly confronted with my increased impulsivity courtesy of my traumatic brain injury. My first day in Chicago, I cursed out a store employee at the airport [under my breath] because he claimed not to have change "even if" I "bought something" which I was willing to do. I needed a single for the subway so I could get to the train station. I removed myself and reminded myself that he was doing his job and that was that. Mentally, I congratulated myself for exercising some restraint. I did get my change but not from him. I cursed out someone else somewheres else-- again under my breath-- but I remember neither the time nor the circumstance.
In Phoenix I had to admit that my impulsivity could lead to dangerous consequences. When I took one bus that turned before I needed it to and didn't allow the driver to complete an explanation [which she gave to another passenger a few stops later] that another bus was coming which would take me to my destination, I was left on a corner wondering if I should "walk" the remaining distance. Fortunately, I remembered something about calling and asking someone with sense about these things. So I called my friend with my [borrowed] cellphone and I learned that I should not walk through Papago Park on a hot day. So I waited for the bus. The first few days in the Sonoran Desert which was Phoenix Arizona, I noted that people carried water or Gatorade with them. It took me several days [and a very long walk to and from the zoo-- from and to a bus stop-- with no taxis in sight] for me to connect with the idea that I need to drink more fluids AND to also carry water or Gatorade with me.
In trying to keep up with the demands involved in re-learning how to utilize public transit, I put myself at risk for dehydration. I was "lucky" not to endure medical consequences for my poor decision-making combined with my impulsivity. By time I got to Sedona, I was carrying water with me almost everywhere I went. Sedona's weather was a tad cooler but hydration still a necessity. I also elected to take jeep tours rather than walk great distances to unfamiliar hiking trails.
This impulsivity is polar opposite to my pre-injury personality which involved cursing people out [not always under my breath] but did not involve risk-taking, especially with health concerns. I survived the Sonoran and learned a few things about my vulnerabilities and liabilities in the process. When the airplane taking me home was landing, I felt triumphant for managing to [mostly] take care of myself and [mostly] making good enough decisions over the past three weeks alone.
sapphoq healing t.b.i.