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.
It's a great recipe: a bit of cognitive fatigue, a dash of sinus pressure to a damaged brain, some inability to focus, and voila, there you have it, one of the worst feelings in the world.
Three days ago, I started to feel it. It started with a sore throat, turned into a stomach flu, then back to a sore throat. Now, three days into it, the cold has found its way to my sinuses. I've had sinus pressure before. I know all about it. I'm allergic to cats, and two live in my house, sleep on my bed at night, shed in my face during the day, so I know all about sinus pressure. I never enjoyed it, no one ever does. Last night was the first bit of sinus pressure that I've had since my injury, I didn't like it. I spent the night wiping the tears from my eyes. Every five minutes I would try and rub my head to relieve the pressure. The right side of my skull is still numb and I could barely feel my fingers massaging it. The bulge on the right side of my face was expanding. By the end of the night, I once again was wishing I was dead.
It's odd when sinus pressure, or any ailment for that matter, becomes the tipping point. I feel weak because of it. I feel like I am unequipped. I know that it's something I need to get through. I knew it wouldn't be easy, but the knowledge that I am putting the once closest to me through it makes it even more unsettling. My last words to Aimee last night, after she asked if I needed anything, was "a bullet to the head."
Thirty minutes after I said it, I thought of her lying in the bed, next to someone she used to know, to someone that she now worries about on a daily basis, and repeating those words in her head over and over. I thought how weak I must look to her. I thought about the fact that this type of injury, or any illness, is what truly tests a person's will to survive. I realize that I have failed. It's all I talk about, it's all that's on my mind. I can't escape it, and neither can she, or my family. It's tough, knowing that I am ruining the lives of those that love me most. I used to know when to step back, I sensed when Aimee needed to let her emotions out, however illogical I thought they were. Now, I grow irritable. I accuse her of harping on the small stuff, I tell her that I have bigger things to think about. I have a one track mind and I have no options, I don't have the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture. All I see is a snapshot of me with a blank look on my face and unfortunately, that all that I let anyone see.