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.
Time is speeding up. A change of pace, compared to the way that the last six months of my life have lagged. In the early stages of recovery, time slowed to a crawl as I got to know the person that this injury had turned me into. It slowed even more as I fought the new traits, the depression and the rage.
But the past few weeks I have gone from first to fifth gear with no warning. And now my days speed by in the wink of an eye. I've learned that not only does time fly when you're having fun, time also flies when your recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury.
The decreased attention span, lack of concentration, distractibility, and impulsiveness act as time's propeller. I sit on my couch, computer in my lap, trying to write. Frustrated by my lack of concentration, I get up and brew some tea, or get a glass of water. Different chores that I need to do start flooding my mind. I sweep. I mop. I can't stop. Artie enters the kitchen and I take him out to the back alley and throw the ball for him. Fifteen minutes later I come back inside and finish my chores in the kitchen. After, I return back to the couch and force myself to write for another brief interlude. Once the attention span wanes, I get up and repeat the whole thing over, just different chore in another room. Before I know it, the day has come to an end. I have accomplished a long list of little items, nothing substantive, nothing meaningful.
It's a debilitating feeling, and it tells me that I have entered a new phase in my recovery. The time has come to defeat the fleeting thoughts and the obsessive compulsions, to slow the pace. I thought this recovery was hard before, I was right, I thought it would get easier, it hasn't, just different. It's hard not to want to quit everything. I want to sit and do nothing as a way to stop the thoughts and the endless tasks. I know I can't but I wish I could.
People freak out when they find out that I can't taste. After they lift their jaw off the ground, they ask me ridiculous questions about my appetite and how I manage. I respond by telling them I have no choice. I remind them that I need to eat in order to survive.
Some people have asked if I miss it. Sure, I do but again there aren't any solutions and I don't remember different flavors, maybe that's because of the coma, the brain injury, I don't know.
Today, as I heated up some fake chicken strips, the directions suggested adding some sauce for better results. After reading it, I found myself scouring the fridge and the pantry searching for the right flavor combination. I found some cajun sauce that Aimee found at our nearby farmer's market. 'This should work,' I thought. The next thought that came to my head; 'why do I care? I can't taste."
I realized that the answer to everyone's questions about not having taste; I don't remember that I don't taste, not until that first bite, or when someone tells says how good something tastes and then it's time for one of my classic "no taste" joke, which keep getting funnier and funnier each time.
The motorbike is still in the driveway. It hurts to see it just sitting there. I've had one guy come by to look at it. Fifteen minutes before he showed, I started the bike to let it warm up. I noticed the battery was weak. I let it run thinking it would charge. I turned on the headlight and the bike died. It was out of juice. I sat in my driveway and tried to kick start it over and over again. Nothing. I panicked. I started pushing it down the driveway to jump start it. Still nothing. So I pushed it down the street and jumped on. No go. I called the guy and told him that the battery was dead, that I was injured and haven't ridden it in six months. He said he still wanted to check it out. When he got to my place, I tried to start it again and it revved right up, like the whole thing had never happened. He looked at it and at me sweating profusely from the ordeal and then he offered me $625. I had it listed for $1100. I wanted to grab that little clump of hair under his bottom lip and rip it out. Instead I said I'd let him know and he left.
I don't know what upsets me more, having to sell the bike, or knowing that I won't get what I think it's worth. The former, I guess.
Recently, I have been writing music reviews for the paper I work for. And while writing is harder than it was before (it was never easy), reviewing music is especially difficult. Not only do I have to concentrate on the music but I have to concentrate on writing something about the music; a double decker of concentration. For a person with little focus, at times it feels like the second deck has collapsed on my head. Here are a few...click on them and read for yourself.