I have been toying with the idea of writing this post for almost two months now and decided to just sit down and start writing. If it ever sees the light of day who knows, that has yet to be decided, but if you are reading this then obviously it has lol.

This past year KGC has had some major changes in its overall aesthetic, the type/look of Instagram content, a more consistent online presence and has consistently grown. Besides being a crochet/knitwear RTS etsy shop, KGC  has also to date released 19 patterns, is doing its second RTS faux fur pom pom launch and become a blog. So what helped with the implementation of all these wonderful things? Well something not so wonderful going on behind the scenes.

On June 1st 2018 I, Bethany (the human behind KGC), came home on a Friday after a busy day at work and plopped down on my futon (the work "plopped" is key here). As I threw all of my tired self down the pillow which was behind me on the futon slipped and I ended up hitting the back of my head on the metal futon arm rest. In the moment I thought OW that hurt and well that was it.I continued on with my evening. Later that night (around 11pm) I had the worst headache and took some tylenol and went back to bed, still not thinking anything was amiss. The next day my BF and I had errands to run and were planning on getting everything done in the AM. When I woke up I didn't feel great so we postponed our errands until the afternoon. By lunch time it was obvious something was not right with me. In the middle of eating lunch I had a sudden dizzy spell come on, followed by nausea and another killer headache. I went to lie down and my BF told me he thought I should go to the walk in as he suspected I had a concussion from hitting my head the night before. Now I strongly dislike going to drs (something I have since had to get over) but my BF had spoken to someone who is a neurology resident and they suggested based on what I was feeling that I should have a neurological function test done asap so off we went to the walk in.

Sure enough my partners suspicion was right and the dr on call diagnosed me with a concussion. I was to go home, rest in a quiet and dark room (I could not tolerate much light at all) and see my family dr on the Monday. I was annoyed, unwell and honestly confused. Don't concussions result from car accidents or sports injuries? Monday rolls around and it had been a tough 48 hours, I was no better if anything I was worse. I could barely function mentally, the world felt foggy and off, it felt like I could not focus my eyes on anything, it was like I was not fully in the world (kind of like a ghost that was partially in another dimension), light was horrible, my head was killing me and I was bored AF where I could do legit nothing but lie down. On Monday I went to see my family dr who confirmed that yes it looked like a concussion and unfortunately everyone heals from concussion at their own rate, there really is no treatment, it's a wait and see kind of healing process....yay :/

To say this past year has been an experience would be an understatement. I am currently doing way better then I was. The dizziness and nausea are minimal if not non-existent (most of the time), I rarely have the out of the world feeling (unless I have a mild flare up which does still happen a year later!-it has really only been the last 3-4 months I've really started to have periods of time I feel more "normal" again), the headaches are still present but not as bad (again vary depending on what I am doing- I am also now on a medication for migraines). I had to get glasses for reading and screen time as this has affected my vision and my eyes ability to focus (These helped immensely-the part of the brain that I hit appears to be where the optic nerve runs, depending on what part of the brain is "damaged" you can have various other symptoms)

This is not my first boat with a chronic medical condition for which the long term outlook is unclear (maybe another post?), but this one affected my brain, my BRAIN! I am a very cognitive person. I for a long time could not read, watch tv, crochet, knit, socialize or work. By day I am a research technician and I have now been off work for over a year. I am currently in a rehabilitation program working on gradually increasing my stamina so I can return to work hopefully without  any major setbacks. The key to concussion recovery it seems is consistent and gradual increases in activity, too much too fast = flare up, flare up= bad (spending all day in bed as you are in to much pain to get up, cannot focus or concentrate) I have had several major flare ups over the last year and more recently some medium-minor level flare ups. The important thing is to listen to my brain and take breaks when it tells me to and not overdue it, hence the gradual increases in activity. Fingers crossed I will be starting a gradual return to work in August. This has been a learning lesson for me in pacing. I am not a pacer, I am a sit and get everything that needs to be done NOW type person! I am not good at taking breaks, I am not good at doing one thing at a time , I am not good at listening to my body and taking the rest it needs when it needs it, but I am working on all of that as really my brain is not really giving me a choice haha.

This post is turning out to be more long winded then expected lol. Really the main point of this for me anyways is to show myself that look even though you were not functioning at 100% you still did all these things! Just to name a few:

1)The first project I finished off (had started it pre-concussion) was the tassel banner by Wildflowercrochetco
2)I made the kalamalka crop top by perfectlyknotted
3)I re-wrote all my previously released patterns to make everything consistent
4)I wrote many new patterns, 11 to be exact!
5)Researched and learned a lot about Instagram , photography and photo editing
6)Crocheted my first few garments (even a full sweater)
7)Last but not least started this blog

In the back of my mind I have always thought about starting a blog but never had the drive to, or if i'm being honest the confidence to do it. Then I found myself needing different forms of cognitive activities to build on and thought why not use this as a time to start that blog you've been wanting to, so I did. When the idea for my "Meet Your Maker" series popped into my head I originally saw it was a podcast, but I am currently not in a place right now that I feel I could put together a listenable podcast (maybe one day-it's on my list of things I think i'd like to give a shot). SO while this year has been very bad in some ways some good things have come out  of it. I honestly do not think KGC would be what it is right now if I did not have my concussion.

I guess the main takeaway from this post is going to be to try and find the good in the bad. That is usually easier said then done I know, but baby steps. No matter how many WIP's you have laying around right now remember that you yourself are always WIP #1.


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