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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stress? What Stress?

My doctor asked me today if I was under a lot of stress. I told her I didn't think so. I followed that by saying that work is difficult with an abbreviated attention span. I mentioned that my relationship with my family is strained. I told her I am extremely irritable and can't really differentiate between good or bad moods.

"Yeah, I guess I might be a bit stressed out," I told her.

"It sounds like you may be suppressing things," she said.


She told me stress could be the reason for the fatigue, my overall despair, and the desire to escape. She followed that by saying that those things could also be a result of low-testosterone levels, or just the injury to the brain.

Whatever the reason these past two months have been difficult. I have been erratic, unable to concentrate on work, irritable, and fatigued. Two weeks ago, I decided to get back on Wellbutrin. Not much has changed. But, what do I expect? I can't even admit to having a little bit of stress.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Work In Progress

Progress and recovery are measured in such strange ways. Whether it be a blown knee, a broken heart, or a head injury, the small steps months, years, and decades later are the true signs of progress.

I noticed a few signs of progress the other night, the night before my birthday and two nights before Halloween. A friend rented a party bus to go to a nearby bowling alley for Karaoke -- yeah, I said it, a party bus and a bowling alley, those are signs right there of improvement. The nights leading up, and the day of, I had my normal desires to stay at home, turn off the lights and escape into some action thriller or lame reality show. I knew that wasn't possible. Aimee was way too excited to dress up as Mindy to my Mork.

Despite my reservations, I felt good, I even felt all right driving Aimee's car dressed in a red jumpsuit with a silver upside triangle on my chest. We arrived at our friend's house. I had a few beers. The party bus pulled up and we get in. The driver turns the volume up on the stereo. It was loud dance music. I drank and laughed. The sounds weren't piercing, my head wasn't pounding. Progress.

I made it through the entire night, without incident, without having to go outside, or leave because the noise was too intense, or because I felt overwhelmed from the day's events.

So that's progress, at least a sign of it.

In the early months after the fall, I didn't know what recovery would look like. I doubted myself. I wrote of fears that I would turn into some aggressive, temper-filled person, ready to cry or smack my head against the wall at moments notice. One thing is for sure, I never thought recovery would look like a party bus, Halloween karaoke at a local bowling alley, and I sure as hell never thought I would be dressed as Mork for it either.