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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cognitive Fatigue

The road to recovery from recent brain surgery continues, bumpy as ever. Yesterday, after a failed attempt at beginning Yoga which resulted in a throbbing, debilitating headache, I took a walk through the neighborhood and to the store to get my prescriptions filled. Along the way I felt great. Several neighbors stopped me and welcomed me back home. We laughed about my maroon, hospital-issued helmet I'm now forced to wear. While waiting for my prescriptions I went outside. Fatigue started to take over. I sat near the door and rubbed the side of my head.

"Helmet Head. Hey Helmet man." I looked up and noticed a young Asian guy putting his hand over his mouth and yelling as he looked in my direction.

"Yeah, get lost in a coma for a month and see what you come back wearing," I responded. He didn't say anything but went inside one of the stores and never came back outside.

When my prescription was filled I started the trek back to the house. A few steps into it my body started to seize up. Soreness stretched from my lower back to the tips of my toes. Each step felt like my bones were about to snap, like my legs were immovable tree trunks. Halfway home on my half mile journey I wanted to sit down and call someone to pick me up. I could barely move. I grew irritable, tired, and sick. Despite the pain, I trekked on.

A half-hour later I finally made it home. All night my body hurt, my head throbbed, I was asleep by 8pm.

Today I went to the doctor's office and asked about my walk. She called it "cognitive fatigue" and said it is something I'll feel during the length of my recovery. Apparently the brain gets so fatigued, the body begins to shut down. I looked at my doctor, her smile disappeared, her crooked yellow teeth fell behind her wrinkled mouth.

"Cool. Another thing to look forward to," I said.

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