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.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Body Shots And Bud Lights

There I sat in a red plastic booth with four friends and Aimee by my side. Everyone had pints of beer on the table in front of them. I had a bottle of Bud Light. The bar was dark, the music was loud, we talked about music, movies, about how it felt having my first real beer since the fall, if you consider Bud Light a real beer. It was the first night I was able to sit back and not be reminded of what I couldn't do, that is, until our conversation shifted to me and my 1972 Honda motorcycle, but I'll save that for a different post.

I was at home in the dark, dingy bar setting. Heading into the bar was a different feeling; I was nervous and unsure of what might happen. From the outset, some nurses have told me I would never be able to drink again, others told me it might induce post-traumatic epilepsy, while others said I should wait a year. It goes to show that no one really knows how bad someone injures their brain, unless their symptoms are noticeable, like wandering eyes, immovable limbs, or slurred speech. I've known this all along, even my doctors have told me that there's no way of truly knowing the extent of my injury, but still that anxiety was there as I walked through the door of the Live Wire. I think it is that lack of knowledge that makes it so hard to be confident and so hard not to be weighed down with fear.

It's odd because the little things scare me most, like another trip to the hospital, the feeling one gets before a seizure, or even feeling drunk. After nearly dying, and after going through what I have been through, I don't care about death, I realize it's not far off for anyone. But what I don't want is that out of control feeling. Discomfort is what I avoid most.

As I sipped on the Bud Light I waited for the discomfort to hit. It never did, at least not at the bar. By the time I finished my second beer, I was surprised that it never came. We left the bar, grabbed a veggie burrito, and headed home. As we ate, the lightheaded sensation began. The pressure in my head increased. I grew irritable. I told Aimee to shut up when she asked for me to explain my irritation. I was in bed five minutes later. I knew it wouldn't let me down.

And there it was; my first night back out on the town. It was good to be out. It was good to be normal again. No body shots, but that's all right, I'll save that for midlife crisis.

No comments:

Post a Comment