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.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Crash Into Me

I sat and watched Inglorius Basterds, sweating the entire time. I wasn't sure what was wrong, my palms were sweaty, my feet moist, but the thermostat read 65 degrees. Sure I was into the movie, but not to break out in cold sweats. It lasted the entire night.

Later, while rubbing my eyes in bed, I realized I had crashed into an imaginary brick wall. The weekend's activities got the better of me. I should have known they would have, I just didn't expect for it to take so long to hit. Before, early in my recovery, the crash would come nightly at eight o'clock every evening. It was then I would stare, no expressions on my face and no thoughts in my mind, at the TV screen. After 30 minutes I would slowly begin to snap out of my full body lull.

In the past few weeks, fatigue's routine collision came less often. I was back hanging out with friends, staying alert the whole time. I thought I had finally gotten the better of cognitive fatigue. I thought wrong. It's still here with me, like a friend that falls asleep on your couch when you want to be alone. My pal fatigue still lingers, but he's changed in these past few weeks. He times the collision for when I'm least prepared. He hangs back and waits until I have convinced myself I have progressed onto the next step and then he smacks into me, headfirst.

Last night, my buddy, fatigue, gave me the cold sweats, but that's not all he gave me. He gave me self doubt, he gave me depression, he gave me a weakness I haven't felt in a month. By the end of the night, I was convinced my writing gig was up. I believed I had lost a step and would never catch up. I laid in bed and wanted it to be over. I wanted the weakness to disappear. I wanted the strength, what little I had before, to return but I knew it wasn't possible.

The strange thing about this injury, this so called recovery, is every time I think I have it figured out, it changes. The symptoms are in flux and I am left to adapt to the unknown. And once I adapt, it changes again. There's no regularity and it damages what is already a fragile mind. Once I thought the dizziness was gone, it returns. Once I expect it to appear, it's nowhere to be found.

It forces me to wish for the impossible, to speed up time, to finally get a grasp on my thoughts, on my condition. I no longer wish for that which is attainable. This is what a crash feel like inside. Did you enjoy the ride, I sure didn't...

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