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.
I get stressed over almost anything, nowadays. Stress is by my side throughout the day as I sit and write. I rush through things that I shouldn't because I am freaking out about time and crossing tasks off my list. I get discouraged for not focusing, for not researching, or reading, or making my words fit together as I once thought they should. There's stress when I take breaks to throw the ball for Artie or when I sit down for lunch. Stress has taken the place of fatigue, just another actor in what is one very complex play. Now, my everyday life is full of stress and that stress has increased over the past few weeks. The old me would have expected that something would go wrong. The new me has trouble thinking things could get much worse.
So, as medical bills once again started arriving in our mailbox, the stress increased. I knew there would be bills. I didn't think there would be different sets of bills. Naively, I thought paying the insurance deductible would be the end of it. The old me would have known better. The bills coming in now are a different breed, they are from the doctors and from the procedures that are out of my "network." It's strange considering some of these procedures occurred when I was in the coma; like the tracheotomy, or the cardiograms, or the list of other things. I wasn't exactly in the position to choose the caregiver.
The worst part about it, apart from the cash I have to find, is that I have never been so confused in my life. I am oblivious to so many things now, like I live in a world where nothing else can go wrong, where the unexpected will never occur again, where all that can go wrong already has. I am unprepared for what will come next, whether that be more bills, any unfavorable news, or just what was once an average day of work. Most of all, I am unable to handle the stress that comes with it all. I know it's all in my head, it just feels so out of reach...