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.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Curtain Has Fallen

Another day another post about me and my recent brain injury. Yesterday Aimee and I went back to the hospital where I spent three weeks in a coma, had brain surgery, caught Pneumonia, twice, and had a Tracheotomy. We passed a few nurses on our way to the clinic, they looked sideways at me through the corner of their eyes. I could tell they weren't looking at my helmet either.

"Uh, I forgot to tell you that some of these nurses might remember you."

"Me? Why would they remember me?" I asked.

"Uh, some probably think you were a pretty bad patient," she said."

Earlier in the day Aimee had told me I reminded her of Frankenstein after awaking from my induced slumber. I had slapped a few nurses, tried to rip the tubes from my throat, tried to free myself from the restraints. Frankenstein might be a hard comparison to swallow but she might have been right.

On the way through the clinic I tried to avoid all eye contact. I had enough with nurses anyway. They were know-it-alls with control issues.

When the checkup began it started off in a positive way. The person conducting the checkup said she remembered when they brought me in. She said most of the staff thought I wouldn't survive through the night. She told me I looked great that I was in "excellent condition" far surpassing any other case she had seen.

I returned home in a good mood. I thought I had a chance to overcome the injury. I called my dad who was said to have broken down while I was in the coma. The rest of my family was quick to tell me my condition had sent him to the brink of insanity. It's not hard to believe. While on the phone my mind shut down. All energy was zapped from my mind and body. My head began to pulsate. My legs and back grew sore. I told my dad my brain was drained of energy. He told me to feel better and hung up the phone.

Aimee went online and found an article that said that 98 percent of brain energy victims suffer from severe bouts of fatigue. The article compared brain injuries to a curtain falling. The description was right on.

I fell asleep for an hour and woke up, the bulge on the side of my head had grown two-fold. My energy was still gone, the curtain had not risen. It's been like that now for a full day. I'm beginning to wish that the doctors would have informed me about how long this healing process will be. I wish they would have informed me about the fatigue; I wish they would have told me what real fatigue was. They didn't. Maybe they didn't know. I wouldn't put it past Doctor Lance Stone at Alvarado Hospital. Fatigue for him probably meant the feeling when the Viagra wore off, ten minutes after the high-priced hooker left the building.

So now I grow dependent on the anti-depressants prescribed to me. I treat sleep like an antidote. I treat rest like recreation. I learn something new everyday.

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