Life In The Slow Lane...
My photo
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.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Friend, Anxiety

The nerves, the anxiety is setting in. It started in my stomach with a fluttering feeling deep in my gut. Within seconds it had spread up to my head, the fluttering turning to an expanding presence inside my skull. I rubbed my temples. I asked Aimee if it was going to hurt.

"No, it shouldn't hurt. The doctor is doing it," she said.

"It will hurt. They're removing two dozen stitches and thirteen metal staples from my head. It will hurt."

I know this from experience. After waking up from the dark mental abyss they call a coma I remember sitting upright in a hospital bed, a male nurse stood to my side holding what appeared to be a small metal crowbar. I felt the bar inch along the top of my head and then I felt a pain rip through my skull. Another pain, this time starting a half of an inch from the initial pain. I yelled as he pulled out the large metal staples from my head. I cried out so loud, the nurse stopped and a doctor was called in the next day to finish the job.

The pain of metal ripping through my skin was one of my first memories from this experience. It's one I'll never forget, one I'm reminded of each time I look in the mirror and see the inch wide gash above my forehead, the gash that will remain for the rest of my life, no matter how long or how short that is.

It's that same pain that spawned tonight's anxiety, that fluttering feeling deep in my gut and the ballooning pressure in my brain. This anxiety is now so close to me. In the early days of my recovery, I would tell myself none of this was happening. It was happening. Now, the anxiety is there and I now understand it is not leaving anytime soon. The anxious feeling is like a friend standing by my side as we walk on to the front lines of an unimaginable war, the only friend that truly knows what I am going through. It's the only friend that isn't fooled by my act, the only one that sees right through me and sees the fright that lives inside of me.

No comments:

Post a Comment