Monday, November 26, 2012

Marching to the beat of my own Concussion

Remember when you lost your baby teeth? One at a time, they created this void in your mouth, soft, gooshy, smooth.  And your tongue reached out for it obsessively, all day, while working on multiplication tables, diagramming sentences, all day, your tongue sought the emptiness.  That's what it's like in my head right now.  It's a fascinating emptiness, soft, gooshy, smooth, almost soothing.  I feel around up there all day, sensing what it's like, the pressure behind the eye, the stabbing shot of pain from the crown, the lost thoughts, the new switch that turns it all on (such as "on" is right now) and off into total, empty relaxation.

About a week ago I was simply standing in the doorway at a friend's house, wine in hand, chatting, laughing. Blue came barreling through with a light saber and she accidentally hit the chin-up bar above my head.  This chin-up bar was like a bicycle holder for cars, using gravity and the weight of it's duties to brace itself against the wall and the doorjam, so that when it was struck from below, it lost all sense of responsibility and simply crumbled off the doorway on to my head.  I believe it was made of lead. Bonk, bonk, bonk, all three parts clobbered me.  I did not cry.  I did not crumble to the floor like I might have done had I been alone.  I think I giggled a little, cussed some, and was just generally stunned.

A few days later, I was a total mess.  I was lost in my usual grocery store, faint again (on Tuesday the kids dentist had laid me out and given me oxygen), confused, crying.  I ended up at a "doctor's" office (not The Doctor, just A doctor.)  And they were even more alarmed by my inability to make sense and gave me a CT scan. So instead of a new oven, I got a crap load of brain X-rays, Merry Christmas.  It was very difficult to make any kind of medical decisions as confused as I was.  Impossible really.  Huck was out of cell phone range and my mother advised for the CT scan.  And I'm glad I got it - well I kind of have to be since I did get one.  There is nothing that needs surgery, nothing wrong with my brain.  But it was reassuring that 1) the doctors I spoke with were alarmed enough to beg me to get one so that means I wasn't just being ...um.. confused and hysterical just for fun (?!?!) and 2) since things aren't improving all that much I am reassured, somewhat, that improvement will be slow but sure and there's nothing else wrong.

I am a little concerned about writing this blog because this is how things work right now: they make sense when I write or speak them, but when I look over what I wrote, I don't understand anything.  So I'll probably write this and then reread it and it won't make sense so I'll edit it to make even less sense. 

I was going to apply to teach a 10 week class at Blue's school, but when I went to do the lesson plan, nothing made sense.  I worked on it for three hours and this one page plan wouldn't make sense.  Then I tried working on the finer points of our budget for the next six weeks, HA!  And the menu!  I have a four page spread sheet of menu items (I know, this seems a little obsessive but menu planning cuts costs and stress and keeps us sane)  But I couldn't make heads or tails of it.  I got to the part where I planned out what days we have evening activities so dinner needs to be quick.  And I figured out the part where Huck is home, so there's some point in making a meal that's a little more complex, not that I'm "cooking for my man" but that there seems to be little point in making something interesting when I'm the only one who's going to enjoy it.  But when I put together the days of the week, the quick meals, the full family meals, etc, none of it makes sense.

I am writing this in the morning because that is the only time of day my brain works, and I can feel it slipping now.  I think I've used up my day's alotment of focus, but I'm not done with what I want to tell you.  The fog is coming in around my eyes right now.  It's a dark fog, a little tunnel-visionny, and after that settles in... I don't know what happens next, I can't remember.

I have notes all over, "Are you cooking something right now?"  It reminds me of Huck's grandmother with Alzheimer's.  She'd covered Lue's house with sticky notes, "Door", "drawer", "table."  She knew she was loosing something and was making valiant final attempts to remember language and what it means.

Yesterday the kids had something like five or six desserts.  It wasn't until just before bed that I realized they'd had breakfast dessert, lunch dessert, snack dessert, dinner dessert and bedtimes dessert! Ack!  Snack Dessert?! How did I say yes to that?!

It wasn't until Thanksgiving that I discovered the only way to deal with my headaches was wine.  That sounds really bad; my mother made that very clear.  But tylenol, ibuprofen, all the usual suspects aren't working at all.  The doctor offered stronger medicine, but I declined.  One glass of wine can relieve a headache for about four hours, so it's not like I need to keep a buzz on or anything.  It's just medicinal.  Part of me wants to wait until at least early afternoon, for propriety.  But the other part of me is like, "Screw you all and your expectations!  Why should I be uncomfortable with a pounding headache just because you feel uncomfortable with me having a small glass of wine every four hours?  Who is my priority here? Me or you?"  And yet, I can see the danger: have to have a glass of wine to feel normal? That sounds not good.

I'm trying to apologize in advance for all the mistakes I'm making.  Coyote's record-breaking fundraising poinsettia delivery was a complete disaster.  Huck spent much of Thanksgiving morning fixing my mess.  And I spent HOURS trying to figure out what went to who!  But my apologies just sound like lame excuses: "Sorry, I forgot your name, your money, your needs, your child, you.  But I have a severe concussion."  Sounds LAME.  I'm worried I'll loose friends and respect. 

There's all sorts of loss looming here.  Not just my brain, not just the patience of others, but also my plans for the future.  Apparently this thing could go on for months!  How will I tell stories? Teach Exploratories? Write?  Not only do I tire very easily, I don't make sense most of the time.  And I can't remember anything from minute to minute.  I wander around my house discovering half done things.  I am relying on my smoke detector to let me know I am cooking.

But it's a little true that I do like having a valid, if lame sounding, excuse for all my failings. Just as this thing hit me on the head, I was marveling about how my best is so often not good enough, not enough to get the job done, and that's okay.  I wasn't worried about my best not being good enough.  That's fine.  And now, my best is worse than my worst effort before this happened.   Speaking of which, I decided I won't be going back over this blog post to edit for length or sense because I'm worried I'll just make less sense of it with my editing.  Sorry if it's too long or doesn't mean anything to you.

I am sometime frightened by this whole thing.  I do feel a little sorry for myself at times.  I wish, sometimes, that someone was here, checking on me, because I do get lost and confused and it's scary.

But there is some pleasure in this experience, and that is exploring the way my brain feels.  It's totally different.  I'm certain I'm "me" still.  But my thoughts are simple, clear, if completely forgettable and at times confusing.  It's kind of nice to have the mental cacophony dimmed somewhat.  If an awkward social situation comes up I just react, I don't have that thing where all possible reactions and counter-reactions flood my head and paralyze me.  I just say, "Are you ordering a CT scan to make us both feel like we did something useful? Or do I really need one?"  I didn't worry about the doctor's feelings or any awkward moment I was creating, or whether I was pathologically not trusting him because I felt obligated to trust him or blah blah blah.  I just spit out the question as it came to me.  Ahhhh.

There's one situation that is confusing me.  I am wondering if I should tell me friend who's house I was at.  I don't want her to feel guilty, or responsible to take care of me.  But if someone got a concussion at my house, I'd probably want to know. But I don't know how to say it without sounding like ... I don't know.

I also found this switch in my brain, like all the clutter over it was just tossed out and here's this switch.  It's a metal toggle and it turns my brain and body off.  I just have to flip it and everything stops.  It's very nice, but also disconcertingly easy.

So I think that's all I can do right now.

1 comment:

  1. Sarajoy, do you have Skype? Maybe you should have your mom check in with you once a day for a while...or someone. I will if you like. It just sounds like you need to "check in" even if it's just to have someone say that you are ok... know what I mean?

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