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, January 4, 2010

My Pal Trigger

The first Monday of the new year was spent in search of normalcy, spent finding that first day of the week routine. That means work, some chores, more work, more chores, some exercise. Most of the day the search felt good and I felt normal. I wrote a story, conducted an interview, and sent off a dozen or so emails. I was so caught up, I decided to take on the one thing that I had been putting off for more than a month. The one task that occupied a little space in the corner of my dizzy mind. That task; writing out the presentation on my story that I one day plan to give to elementary school, high school, and medical school students.

I was asked if I was interested early in my rehab to share my story; an attempt at preventing another person of incurring the same injury. I was asked whether I'd like to promote helmet awareness.

Even before the offer was made, days after waking up from my coma, I had told myself, and Aimee, that I wanted to take something positive away from the whole ordeal. I thought if I could convince one kid to put on a helmet, even though they are uncomfortable, and even though the pros and the supposed cool kids don't do the same, than it would all be worth it. I still think that. The problem is I'm not sure if I can pull it off.

Honesty is hard, but that's what I need most. I'm getting second thoughts because I'm nervous, my confidence has depleted, there wasn't much there to begin with. I think this is normal. The problem is I have an excuse now, my brain injury, and I am not shy on using it, I am trigger happy.

I nearly squeezed the trigger as I sat, listened to old Modest Mouse, and wrote my story; from leaving on the bike, returning for the skateboard, to refusing service, to my dreamlike memories I had in the coma, to feeling the tracheotomy tube leave my throat, I wrote it all down. Writing the story out, choosing which memory to use, seemed strange. Part of it is I don't know what to use. I don't know what will have an affect, what has more meaning.

I don't know because I've been in a daze, like I haven't yet processed the experience, or, maybe I've come to the realization that there's not much to process. Either way, as I wrote, I felt unaffected by the whole thing. Maybe its shock, maybe it's the brain's way of healing, I don't know. It seems so strange to make a brief summary of these past three months. There's nothing brief about it. These three months have lasted an eternity. For most of the time, I have looked at my surroundings with a starry eyed glaze over my eyes and in my head. How am I going to write that. How can I express something that I don't understand. So, I am left faced with the decision to pull that proverbial trigger and use my excuse, or keep trying to find the positive in what has been the most negative and traumatic experience of my life, one so traumatic I am completely numb from it.

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