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.

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Chink In The Armor

Last night I, along with thirty other writers, attended a fundraiser for Liberia. The name of the event was "Stump the Press." On my trivia team was a funny, and lively lady who writes for the other weekly here in San Diego. We started talking. Naturally, I started talking about myself and about my brain. She wasn't aware of my article and didn't ask too many questions. Today I received a message from her. She had found my article and was crying her way through it. She wrote later telling me that she would have never known what I had been through. It was a nice and kind compliment.

Therein lies the struggle. The fact that people can't see my injury. What my fellow journalists didn't see was Aimee waiting outside for me. What they didn't know was that I became so caught up in the event that I never stopped to think about anyone else.

I came out two hours late. Aimee was upset. An argument ensued. I blamed my injury for not being able to switch tasks.

I know the excuse is wearing thin on Aimee. It's wore thin on everyone but myself. At times, even I wonder if I am making this whole thing up. Am I just inconsiderate? Am I not letting go and reluctant to move on? Or, am I incapable of doing so? Is it all about attention and my need for it? Is it that I have not yet processed the incident and get stuck replaying it over in my head?

There are no easy answers. I go on websites and read how these symptoms appear in most survivors of brain injuries. But then you look at me, and talk to me, and you read my words, and you become convinced that nothing is wrong.

I'm sick of this and I'm worried. I read that during the first year of recovery comes the most noticeable improvements. After that first year recovery slows and improvements aren't obvious. It stresses me out that this is it. That this condition, of being stuck with a list of questions, is all that I will be left with. I'm worried that everything I do and everywhere I go, will revolve around this damn injury, the fleeting thoughts in my head. I'm troubled to think that it might be me making all of it up. I'm troubled.

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