neuronal challenge: too much information

Bean/Nadbugs at catself asked me to post snippets of the brain challenges I’ve had since my bout with septic shock (definition here) in February.  She’s right that just trying to think of something to relate is a challenge.  So, snippets it shall be.

On a recent Saturday I got to play with Big Mister.  We drove the 15-in-town-miles to the VA Community Living Center (Mom is a World War II veteran!) where Mom now lives so we could visit a bit.   Did some erranding first.  Lots of Saturday shopping traffic and backed-up traffic lights.  Not easy for me even in the before-time.

We visited with Mom for a short time, Big inside with her and me outside her window–my immune system is not up for a concentration of germs.  This was only the second time I had seen Mom since early February.  Since I still have an active infection and am leery of antibiotics, I am at risk for another bout of deadly sepsis.  If I take the antibiotics, I will likely be attacked by C. diff again.  Either one could kill me; how to choose, how to choose?!

This is one strange ride, I’m telling you!

Then heading home through that same Saturday traffic.  Within about 5 minutes, the anxiety began, but I kept it from Big.  Anxiety has been part of package since I got home.  Finally, I asked him to stop the car so I could move to the back seat (much less head-on activity from that vantage!).

Too late.  Too much information had hit me.  It seemed as if my eyes were darting in my head, trying to see each stimulus, each car, the sounds of engines and car radios, the colors of the traffic lights, and do something with it.

But no, my eyes weren’t doing that.  There was that pinging in my brain–like 20 railroad engines driving on their own tracks, but each as loud as the other so my brain had no choice but to attend to all.

I wonder if that’s like taking a ride on one of those round-and-round vomit comets that earth-bound astronauts-in-training use to test their mettle, only it’s inside my head.  Nobody else can see what is happening to me.

The anxiety overtook me:  I wanted to cry or scream bloody murder, but couldn’t.   A controlled descent, fortunately, to overwhelmed.  Breathing.  Holding on to me, desperate to be in the quiet of home, breathing.  Finally, home and mellowed out.

I still look like me, but these things are very much a part of my daily life, and show up at any time.


21 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IsobelandCat
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 07:21:56

    It makes me think of post traumatic stress. Is that a decent comparison? Hold on. You don’t have to do it all in one go.


    • lahgitana
      Jun 25, 2012 @ 07:35:23

      Ah, Isobel. I shall carry those words with me to remind me: “Hold on. You don’t have to do it all in one go.”

      I thought I was ready for complex activity, but I had to run into my wall to discover I was not! I settled down into my quiet for three full days and regained my equilibrium. Today, I will be quiet also.

      And, yes, you’re right–it does sound like post-traumatic stress. In my previous post I mentioned that I found a bit of research about sepsis recovery and that PTSD could very well be a part of it. I shall protect myself from such overwhelmedness for a bit longer, well, for however long it takes. sigh….


  2. IsobelandCat
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 11:25:31

    Remember a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.


  3. Jude
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 12:45:05

    Maybe it’s also like saying ‘How do you eat an elephant?’ … Slowly, bit by bit. You’ll get there.


  4. 10000hourstobe
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 15:39:39

    I like that you are giving yourself permission to only take one step at a time. Your post indicated that you were “breathing”. I’ve read that breathing deeply is how people connect to the quiet within. Love you…


  5. sweetdaysundertheoaks
    Jun 25, 2012 @ 18:12:20

    Laurel I hate that you are having to go thru this. Anxiety is such a robber of a good life and threatens to take our sense of funny away not to mention our self-esteem, confidence. You know, that breezy casual air of our youth. I know you will be ok though because you have lots of people pulling for you and you are persistent. Breathing is important, deep breaths, exhale. Don’t let it wear you down!


    • lahgitana
      Jun 25, 2012 @ 19:25:07

      Pix, thank you. I’ve never been in this position, having people pulling for me. I’ve always been one of the pullers. That’s part of the surreality of this time. I do feel part of a safe village.

      I AM persistent, huh, so if I can keep my spirits going, I’ll get through this. Most days are good days now. Indeed, my sense of funny is still blunted, though I confess to causing laughter with my newly-literal brain and that’s funny! >:-D


      • sweetdaysundertheoaks
        Jun 26, 2012 @ 03:35:11

        I always loved your sense of humor and it is still there! I laughed my way thru you and Isobel in comments at her blog on her latest post Spam… D


        • lahgitana
          Jun 26, 2012 @ 07:46:26

          Oh! yaaaaaay! But odd, too, that my sense of humor is still in the writing realm and lost verbally. I’m sure there must be research, but I AIN’T gonna go read more horror stories!

          See you around! Isn’t it a gas to have blogging buddies all over the world? I love it!


  6. nadbugs
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 09:42:26

    Ahh, my dear . . . I believe it was St. Cecilia who said: The journey to heaven is heaven.

    Easy for HER to say! A saint!

    As I wrestle with the file-sending “service” to get you the next installment . . . .

    And breathing is good. I saw an Eric Franklin YouTube on how the heart actually rides the breath, to bob up and down cheerfully. What a concept.

    May your heart bob up and down cheerfully. Without spazzing out the rest of the self.

    With love.


  7. lahgitana
    Jun 26, 2012 @ 09:52:07

    bob, bob, bob! thanks for clarifying the wish–no spazzing–cuz we gotta be careful what we ask for!

    I wish I could see my journey as it has unfolded; alas I only see the immediate: there is no yesterday and no tomorrow. I’ve been Zen-ified as minlit said.


  8. heretherebespiders
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 14:30:55

    Wow… I’ve left this for a while as I know I have a tendency to be too serious – my own anxiety perhaps?

    On one level I’m fascinated by what’s happening to you, in a purely scientific way. People and their brains are endlessly fascinating, and such a huge change so quickly and unexpectedly is even moreso. But I can’t distance myself, I am involved, I am one of the ones hoping to help pull. Another aspect I can’t help but see here is that you are…so very, very positive about all of this. So amazing, so impressive. I actually wonder if you have dark moments at all despite what you’ve shared! I hope you do not, and I hope if you do your natural self squashes them as fast as they appear. You are still you, amazing, wonderful you!


    • lahgitana
      Jun 27, 2012 @ 15:00:20

      Oh Spidery-E, your seriousness is always welcome. Your presence is so very welcome. I’ve been concerned because I haven’t seen more posts from you about Button. Hope all is well.

      You ARE helping to pull, E. Please know that I wouldn’t be able to do this without the village I discovered here. The loneliness and isolation would have flattened me.

      I DO have dark moments, but they seem to be fleeting, fortunately. I’d love to take full, active credit for getting through those moments fast, but I think my brain is to blame–I kinda forget how bad I was feeling and move on to something else.

      You know what’s strange? I know I’m writing my reflections, but they seem to have happened to someone else, so I’m not always aware that it’s me I’m describing. Still far away. Surely with all this brain turmoil I should look unlike myself; bleeding from every pore would be more recognizable as having experienced an insult to the organism (thank you, Alexandra!). All very muddling, but then I go do something and I forget again…. >:-D

      So happy to have you here, Miss Spiders!


  9. Linda
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 23:02:10

    You never cease to amaze me in your ability to express such deep emotion and thought. Loris, you are such a strong woman. In the 40 years that I have been fortunate enough to call you my dear friend, you have been through some pretty tough tribulations. You will make it through this one as well. I love you and miss you.


    • havelahgitana
      Jun 28, 2012 @ 11:41:10

      Thanks, Lin! You have given me the long view, which is lacking right now. Patience…. and just see what happens next. You know, I really love surprises, so maybe it’s a happy thing that every day is a brand new day! >:-D


      • lahgitana
        Jun 28, 2012 @ 15:48:27

        WHO THE HELL IS havelahgitana??!!

        Is lahgitana being held for ransom?!

        Or is she hummin’ that fun tune “Hava Nagila”??!!

        Yo, Word Press! Settle down and keep things simple!


  10. heretherebespiders
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 13:14:22

    Hava, lagila-taaanaa :)


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