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, November 25, 2009

Shake, Rattle, And Roll

Today, I was told that forty percent of people that have suffered severe brain trauma are prone to seizures, that the seizures could take months, even years to develop. My doctor also said I might have already had one and didn't know it, that the effects of some small seizures could amount to momentarily blanking out, to staring off into the distance, not talking, not responding to anyone or anything.

'Great, some more bad news. The fun never ends,' I thought to myself.

I scanned my memories over the past month, looking for signs of seizures. I stopped when I realized there have been numerous occasions when I found myself in a blurry eyed daze, though, never did I consider myself unresponsive to the outside world, more fatigued, depressed, or in deep thought.

It started last night. I had been on the couch writing for a solid hour. As soon as I finished, I got up and sat down to eat dinner. As I ate, I felt a tingling sensation in my left hand. I made a fist to get the blood flowing. I raised my arm and then lowered it. I repeated the movement several times. I saw Aimee looking at me as I did. Seconds later, the numbness disappeared.

"What's wrong?" She asked. There was a concerned look on her face. Her eyes were opened wide, her mouth slightly agape.

"Nothing, my left hand is a little numb."

"That's not good."

As soon as she said it, I knew she would bring it up during my check-up the following day. I was right, that's exactly what she did and that's when my doctor let me know about Post Traumatic Seizures, about the odds, the frequency for those with brain injuries.

After we left the doctor's office, after I took up residence on my couch, I thought about the day, about the information and about Post Traumatic Epilepsy. I stared out of the front window, and thought about the condition. I thought about the day of the fall, when I hopped on the bike, leash in hand, and then decided to put the bike down and pick up the skateboard. I thought about how that decision, that slight change of mind, changed my life, Aimee's life, and my family's lives, forever.

A few minutes later, as I stared out of the window, I started to laugh. I thought about the numbness in my left hand the night before. I laughed because I realized my hand might have just fallen asleep. I laughed at the fact that this condition, this brain, now has the power to turn an everyday occurrence into a life altering symptom.

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