Life In The Slow Lane...
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San Diego, CA, United States
This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blame It On The Brain

Propofol, Zyprexa, throw in some drops of Morphine and there you have a fraction of the drugs administered to me while I was unconscious. The nurses told Aimee they were shocked by my body's tolerance for drug intake. When I first heard that, I wasn't sure if it should be taken as a compliment or an insult. Right now I'm leaning on the side of compliment.

In addition to those drugs, after I awoke from my induced slumber, they had me on sleeping pills, anti-psychotics, and anti-depressants. I was on these drugs when I began to piece details from the fall and the coma together. It was also when I made a promise to change the way I lived. For 32 years I've been quick to judge, quick to criticize, and ungrateful of those around me.

As I found out about my condition, after the many times doctors warned Aimee and my family that I might not make it through the night, I vowed to change; to take this experience and turn it into something positive. It was a new beginning for me, a chance for redemption, an opportunity to show those close to me how much I appreciate their presence in my life. I pledged not to use my brain injury as an excuse for poor behavior.

It's been two weeks since I made those promises and more than a week since I was taken off those drugs. In that week many characteristics of my old self have returned. Some say it's a good thing, that it shows signs of a full recovery. I disagree, and not for argument's sake. For me, it shows a lack of control, an inability to focus on the goals I was told were so important for me to set. I was told this might happen. They say that often times the injured brain is unable to process the present and I agree.

That's why when my Mom left for her home in Colorado yesterday, I fought tears and focused on getting rid of the lump in my throat more than I focused on all of the good and the support she showed over the past month.

During her stressful visit, as she tended to my every need, I found myself snapping at her after telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing. Like I was a child, fighting authority and trying hard to become an individual. Everyone was quick to discredit my behavior, that is was caused by my injury and didn't mean anything. I disagree, yet again.

I promised to not use this experience as an excuse. Too bad that's exactly what has come from it. Now, I can't seem to get Milli Vanilli's song, "Blame it on the Rain," out of my damaged mind. The only difference is the lyrics have been changed; "Rain" has now turned into "Brain." I guess something positive has come from this experience; my disdain for Milli Vanilli has turned to respect and admiration, and sadness that Milli is gone.

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