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.
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.