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.
Patience is a hard thing to hold on to, now more than ever, now that a stroll around the neighborhood qualifies as an exhausting excursion, or when a trip to the grocery store now feels like a journey to the mall on Black Friday, or, when a shower is equivalent to a day at the spa. Patience, in fact, is one of the two things I was told to have during the first six months of recovery. Only one month into it, my patience is waning and my sorrow is intensifying.
It's difficult, considering most of my days consist of lying on the couch, trying my best to keep my focus on the book I'm reading, or concentrating on writing a meaningful sentence, or, forced to watch Teen Wolf or maybe Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey on an overpriced movie channel because nothing else is on. A day for me feels like a week, two weeks when I'm left alone and it's impossible to stay patient when time slows to a crawl. My experience has left me feeling like a trucker shifting to a lower gear during a steep mountain climb. From my perch in the slow lane I see the lives of others pass me by, unaffected by the slope and unknowing of my effort.
For days, my patience has dipped below empty. Each hour I spend on the couch is an hour lost, added to the hundreds of hours that I spent in the coma. I've told dozens of people that I'm fortunate for my condition, a condition that even doctors are caught off guard by. One doctor even said he was unable to see any any signs of brain trauma. Sure, I might be fortunate, but I consider it an unfortunate fortune.
The other half of the two part recipe for recovery; look at everything with a sense of humor, respond to all setbacks with a chuckle, don't take anything seriously. I'm unsure which part, patience or my sense of humor is harder to hold on to. It disturbs me to picture myself laughing blindly at the gaps in my mind, in my ability to focus, my balance, both mentally and physically.
It perturbs me to have lost my grasp on my thoughts, on my emotions, and it kills me to be confined to a living room, a tiny prison where the television stands guard and watches my every move. Lately, it's been impossible to look at my situation, my wavering mindset and laugh. Mostly, because this injury, this recovery, is no laughing matter, it is my sole chance for change, and so far I am failing, my truck is running out of gas, unable to take me up the hill. The last thing I want is to lean back and meditate and the last thing I'll do is laugh about it later.