work

I started in April to move toward work again.  In thought.  Shaped my request to the Universe:  when I’m ready, about 10 hours a week at a certain pay rate, knowing that 10 hours would be punishing, but possible.

A few weeks ago I got a call for a short-term temp gig this week.  I’ve worked with the client on the same project beginning about two months before the hospital mess.  The caller wondered–would I be interested in more temp gigs?  Yes, with the understanding that I’m recovering from long-term illness and unable to work 8-hour days.   About 3 to 4 hours a day?  Yes.

On Tuesday when I got home after 3-1/2 hours at work, I sobbed the brain-fatigue out of me.  Then, spent 6 hours lying down reading (=resting).  Was able to make lunch.

Yesterday when I got home after 3 hours at work, was doing better–no sobbing until Big Mister rightly asked me to do something.  Then, my response was like being poked at with a sharp stick, the end anointed with poison.  My head throbs with fatigue, my eyes blink too slowly.  I want to lie down and just stop.

Just over a year ago, four months out of hospital, I wrote about my bubble theory of recuperation, back when thinking was a full-time exercise, often in futility.  It’s still there, my bubble that indicates when I’ve surpassed my tolerance of stimulation, of being alive to the world.

The fatigue smothers and terrifies.  Smother now, terrify later:  an advert I recommend you don’t respond to.  The terrify part is wondering what will happen to me in a few days, knowing how tired I am now, how foggy and far away.  The crashes are painful to the point of considering giving up, ceding responsibility for my life and my part in anyone else’s life.  To feel calm, to dab at paint, pet the cats.

Ceding won’t make things better.  Life would become harder, which is not that difficult to imagine.  I know in my guts what “hard” means.  Often I wonder why I’m not daily vomiting up the anguish.

I need to summon courage as I go back for another 3-hour block this morning.  I need to tell the client that I’m done for the week, that I get tired very easily and it’s time for a break until next week.  Behind those statements is fear:  fear that I’ll miss this chance to return to the working world where I earn money in order to keep our house.

One more request for the Universe:  please help me present myself coherently, cogently, and confidently.  Don’t let ’em see me sweat.

But strangely enough, when I can become still, I also find the voice of my faith that everything will come in the right order, that I’ll be presented with and take the correct steps to continue moving forward to the less-foggy.  I may teeter on the edge of a crash, but maybe it won’t happen.  I won’t know if I don’t try.

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a bad day or two

I have devolved into being a raw nerve, of being a short fuse with frustration at skin level.   Streaming tears of exhausted deep sadness, loss, and despair.  The brain fog sitting and smothering.

I want my life back.  I want this terrible vulnerability to lessen.  I want to live without being flattened by unexpected crash landings.

I want to be able.

Other people hold my hope for a happy ending.  I breathe through moments:  I don’t have enough power to hold firmly to the hope, just enough to get beyond a long moment of despair for the future I have remaining.

lawyers, guns, and music

Friday afternoon, Big Mister arrives home from work, tired both because he worked hard all week and because he is fighting this season’s Weird I Want to Lie Down Right Now Cold.

Right about then, I got a surge of inspiration to go back to the art table, which would make it twice in one day–unheard of!   Of course, had to change clothes because I always get paint on myself.  Stopped by the laundry nook and–no. no. no!–there was water on the floor around the washer and near the hot water heater.

Well, hell, right now I’m not the most flexible tool in the crayon box, so did an unfocused Eddie Izzard dance–go to the art table there or clear up the mess and further investigate here.  Boing-boing.   Rats-buttocks, will have to stay with the watery-doom mess.

{Aggggghhh, I have a tiny window to give myself the gift of art and I have to do this?!  (Yes, self-centered, thankyouverymuch!)}

Kind of moaning to Big about the water–he had only been home 10 minutes and was sitting finally–how unfair!  He sat for a few more minutes, no doubt grumbling inside his head as would be correct, then came over to the wetness, sighed, and said he was going to need music for this.

From the CD player came Warren Zevon, a singer/songwriter (plus conductor!) with a macabre bent I became familiar with in the late 1970s, with songs like Werewolves of London and titles stranger still.  He would have understood Edward Gorey well, maybe collected his art.

Just that morning, I had paused with my coffee, wondering if I should go turn on a CD and see what would happen, if I’d have room for Baroque chorale along with the computer and coffee-sipping.  Nope.  Move along, nothing to see here.  14 months removed from my music….

After I’d done basic cleanup, Big did the heavy lifting to get the machine torqued out of its tiny corner to sit on the back porch.  We figured to let the water show itself from either the washer or water heater, so I returned to my starting place and fiddled with Art.   Big once more got to sit down.

Suddenly, I looked up at Big where, eyes round with surprise, he was grinning at me:  in time to the music, I had, unknowingly, been dancing in my chair, arms waving, maybe singing along!  Long astonished gaze.  Promptly burst into tears of relief so great that only a release like a champagne cork improperly removed would do.

Warren Zevon, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” from his 1978 album, “Excitable Boy.”  The refrain is:

I’m an innocent bystander
Somehow I got stuck
Between a rock and a hard place
And I’m down on my luck
Oh yea, I’m down on my luck
Oh yea, I’m down on my luck
Oh baby, I’m down on my luck
I’m so far down, I don’t think I’ll ever get up
If it weren’t for bad luck
Oh if it weren’t for bad luck
I wouldn’t have no luck at all

Maybe I’ve graduated to the fancy crayon box with the built-in sharpener?!

Awakenings

Do you remember the Robert de Niro/Robin Williams movie, Awakenings?  I saw it when it came out around 1990, but I’ve never forgotten the miracle-followed-by-heartbreak bit.  Short story:   neurologist messes with brains using pharmaceuticals to reverse catatonia.   Miracle return-to-life followed by lack of miracle.

In my last post I wrote about those 5 days I had recently, 5 days where I had partially emerged from the brain fog of the last 13 months and experienced life calmly and quietly. 

I told about the beauty of calm clarity being torpedoed and the return to the mush of brain-addled anxiety.  Oddly enough, it was in slow-motion:  it took me two days to fully collapse inward after the hate-bomb landed.

One line in that post, a few words only to describe the anguish of the return to the addled state.    The anguish came from observing the descent, of clawing the walls of my dry well on the way down, begging to not go back to the bottom.

I don’t get a choice about emerging into the sunshine or plummeting to the rocky bottom.  I am able only to choose tools to ease the descent and the following days/daze of being.

The last 5 months have been brutal.  That’s the only word I can think of.  Brutal.

I’m doing OK.  Tired, quiet, but returning to calm.   Hoping for more days like those 5 days.  I liked ’em!

my reality: brain injury

I have been circling around this writing for at least a couple of months, which means that all day long, I try to find something else to think about.  But, at some moments, the pain and horror of my situation threaten to overcome me.   I must find a way to express the daily realities, to let them wash over and around me instead of smashing me gasping under a wave, getting my face scraped off along the sand.

toasted

toasted

In the summertime, I think, heretherebespiders wondered where my upset was about all that had happened.  I didn’t have an answer.

I see now that the answer lay in the brain fog I lived in for better than 9 months.  The fog has been lifting steadily I see, and especially since about October.

This has been and continues to be a terribly lonely journey.  I have no map whatsoever.

Who can tell me what parts of the aftermath to attribute to the near-death by C. diff or to the systemic chaos and near-shutdown caused by septic shock?  (If you’re curious about the shape of the aftermath over the last year, at the top of the page on the left is the category Illness.  Choose the subhead “somewhere near the middle.”)

The truth shall set me free.  I hope.

The truths:

I have about two to three hours of brain strength per day.  If I exceed that, I become overtired.

Take a long moment right now and imagine having three hours per day to be “productive.”  That includes making breakfast and lunch, laundry, dishes, feeding the cats, and visiting with family at home.   Now add in something enjoyable like art.  How does it all fit?  It fits into a daily dance, a constant choosing.

The hints of fatigue are not broad, so I sometimes miss them.

Or, I ignore them because I just want to be the me of the before-time, with interests and curiosities and friendships and the energy to pursue same.

Brain strength is different than physical strength; brain strength operates the physical strength.  When I start to get tired, the feeling is thus:  every last one of my three gajillion body cells starts to shrink into flatness as the energies are squeezed out from those mini power plants, and I begin to crumble in on myself.

moods in collage

moods in collage

My brain goes vacant, with spaces of nothing between thoughts or conversation, my eyes blink slowly.  I have no idea that my judgement is impaired because, well….

Driving remains difficult and only attempted when I’ve checked internally for energy and tested for slow blinks.   The thought of injuring someone is too grievous to fully contemplate.

Music is still lost to me.  How can that be?

My daily life is a state of being tired.   If I become overtired, I become mush.  I melt.  Tears and sobbing amid confused heartbreak.  Apparently, this is quite normal with a traumatic brain injury.

I live in perpetual remove from the world–if you were with me, you’d see a flat affect, but might think I was being introspective.  But if you know me, you might wonder where the sparkly amusement was, the eyes crinkling as I understand a joke about to happen.

Now you’d see me waiting for you to finish talking, then I’ll probably laugh.  As long as I’ve understood the joke.

With the overtired, the hazy remove from the world intensifies and deepens, so that I’m very far away and it is too much effort to try to understand conversation, and words on a page tumble and blend into blobs of glop (‘though words tumble even when I’m not overtired).

lost

lost

Recently, quite by accident, I heard the best description for all these moments:  the becoming over-overtired is when the battery of my brain runs down.    The tears aren’t depression in the clinical sense.  Recovery time is whatever it is.

I spent a day with a friend several weeks ago, a day I have been pining for–she is wonderful people and has always fed my soul and spirit.

Two days later, I crashed hard, face-down, scraping against the sand, gouged to the bone, as the wave dragged me around.

The crashes are horrible–I want to disappear so Big Mister doesn’t witness the melty goo.  He used to hate it when I would cry; those before-time cryings were nothing compared to how it goes now.  I see the heartbreak in his face.  I want to run and recover by myself, let him not see the crying and agonies.

When I’m over-overtired, mundane household stuff can be beyond my ability.  On a recent night I couldn’t figure my way through putting dishes into the dishwasher.  Tears.  Explanation and departure.

nightmares

nightmares

My fears:

If I slow down as far as I need to in order to remain brain-unruffled, I’m terrified that I’ll just stop.

I will be left by myself in this mess.

The mess will be permanent.

The good news:

The brain fog has been lifting.

I have continued doing art since I began again in late spring, several months out of hospital.

pages and pages

pages and pages of painting

I walk better, needing less concentration.

My verbal language has returned to about 90 percent of the before-time.  I have always said quirky stuff, so it’s less upsetting now.  Mostly, it’s less upsetting because the balance shifted out of brain-addled to more ability.

My written language has returned to about 90 percent as well.  Typing and writing are both still challenging–still I write words backwards or even words I hadn’t intended to write or type.  Forming the letters by hand sometimes comes in unfamiliar patterns.

The massive, nauseous headaches of the last several months are becoming infrequent.

I get the impression that the me emerging from this mess is the sunny, happy child I was:   sweet and loving, with less of the hard person I had become.

But if I’m tired, and struggling to understand, I may explode with the fatigue of concentrating on the moment and shout in frustration.  Probably only with Big Mister, unfortunately for him and us.

I want to live and I want to live well.  That much I have learned in these just-shy-12-months since coming home from a short hospital stay to discover my brains had been scrambled.

Blurt and Run: making stamp pad inks

This is a Blurt and Run because I’m too tired, etc., to start at the beginning.  And, I only get about 2 hours a day to play.

Here I start somewhere in the middle of the new art form I’ve been dabbling in, mixed media.

making stamp pad inks

If you’ve ever used a fancy carved stamp, you know they’re nice but expensive.

And the stamp pads?!  We used to get ’em at the office supply place for the workplace stamps like DRAFT, CONFIDENTIAL, TOP SECRET, etc.   Whoo, now they’re a huge business, and have been for eons.

We’re minus-broke and while it would be nice to do whatever I want in order to recover, I really want to keep our house.  I’m improvising a lot.  Which is excellent for my poor battered brain.

Today, kids, I made my own damn stamp pads AND the ink!

Used baby wipes and felt as “stamp pads.”  Here’s where I got the ink recipe, which uses RIT dry dyes.

Makes about 1/3 cup.  Store leftovers in baby food jar.

supplies: making stamp pad ink

final product

The cloth seemed to hold too much ink so the stamps were too wet.  I put a piece of felt over the cloth.  Better.  (Next time, no baby wipes, I think.)

The dinosaur stamp came in a grab-bag package at the thrift store with that fancy roller stamp, and the print looks horrible; he doesn’t know it yet, but I’m gonna use him as a backing for a stamp I made.  Buh-bye, ugly dino!

I already had a boatload of flavors of RIT because I used to dye my own basket reed.   I KNEW there was a reason to keep all this shite!  <:-D

the brain game {la la la!}

___________________

Ed. note:   I wrote this piece several weeks ago, but I must leave this essay where it ended then.   I have no ending.  Only a continuing. 

__________________________

8 months (this time for sure)

It’s a rough go right now.  I’ve hit the 8-month mark since the catastrophic hospitalization.  This recovery feels odd to me:  I look just fine on the outside, with the exception of rocky walking, but my insides are the parts that are churning, perhaps in healing throes.  We can hope.

I have very little capacity for being in The World; going to the grocery store twangs the one nerve I have left.  Even as I drive into the parking lot, my eyes search, it feels wildly, for obstacles and dangers.  I search because I have trained myself to do so.  In the new way, in the after-time way.

So much we do automatically and autonomically, for which I am thankful.  And relieved.  Stimulus is everywhere, stimulus that in the before-time entered my power station, and was duly cataloged as Usual, Unusual, or Danger.

Ponder this:  what happens if I don’t know that my brain is not cataloging?  What happens if  there are blanks where there should have been autonomic awareness?

Sad answer:  I fall off a ladder because my inner know-er has lost track of me on the ladder, on those steps, where I am moving deliberately, slowly, like the mountaineer I used to be who knows to always have three points of contact.

sense of space

I have a blunted sense of space, of my relationship to the space I inhabit.  It is as if, momentarily, I cannot see, a long, slow brain-blink, and the danger is upon me:  falling off a ladder, smashing my hands, walking into the edges of walls.

The reason I knew had to train myself to search for obstacles and dangers is that on a day leading up to the ladder-flight, I became aware of brain-blanks, spaces where there should have been none. I was driving and my brain blinked.

I had planned to turn left, had the signal on, was looking both ways (yadda yadda), and when it was clear, I drove straight ahead, tires slightly squealing.  I got lost for a nano-nanosecond and made an error while driving.  Cars are enormous weapons and I made an error.

In sorting out these brain blinks with the help of Big Mister, we discovered that in that week of thrashing myself to the mat getting my studio mucked out, I really did push myself way too far.  I couldn’t hear the brain-voice that told me I was done.   I soldiered on, as is my wont anyway, right to brain exhaustion.  The exhaustion created spaces in mah haid [“haid” with a drawn-out Scottish brogue]….

shapes of my world

Words have given me power, power unrecognized to me until now.  Words have shapes, made up of the letters that belong.  Too often now, I do not recognize the shape of a word, so cannot spell it, cannot even work out how to spell it.  Tides of heavy grief wash through me and I sob with sorrow so deep I cannot find bottom.

The essence of Me has shifted and I have not caught up.  I don’t even know if I should bother to try to catch up.  Maybe this is all temporary, a horrible life lesson, and my facility with language will return.

If words are shifting shape, then I cannot form memories with them.  As an editor, one of joys was the puzzle-icious nature of inviting a whole document into my head while I looked at its parts.

That is to say:  Reading on page 296 and the author has used a synonym for a term or concept introduced much earlier.  I must puzzle out whether this will be startling to the intended audience, so I pause and search in my head for the first mention of that term.  Ah, yes, it was on page 34, first paragraph, 3rd line.

My assumptions about immediate comprehension and synthesizing appear.  The in-the-background brain-work that happens, the cataloging, the remembering.

I started playing Bookworm sometime in the last few months.  For about a month now I have been unable to play because I cannot see the words, and if I try, it is entirely too much effort inside mah haid.  Now, I play a Mahjong game, a matching game, and that feels like a rehab exercise.

fun?

Big Mister will leave within an hour or so for the campering vacation I requested but am unable to go on.  He asked what kind of fun would I have on my stay-cation.  I didn’t mean to be a downer or to be negative, but the truth was that it would be business as usual for me:  staying close to home (driving = bad), being very quiet, obeying the cats, reading….  I guess it isn’t time for easy Fun yet.

Though today there was supposed to be Fun for me–My Peeps were coming to pick me up for a lunchtime hang-around.  We have not been together in way over a year, maybe 1-1/2 years?! But, ooops, sickness in our midst and we’ll have to reschedule.

Mrs. Ploppy of The Peeps, endured chemo for the last half of last year, only finishing this past January.  (She is now 14 months cancer-free!  May we have a hallelujah from the audience?!)  She has been an incredibly stable part of my recovery; she has been my friend.

Our Third is regular ole, regular ole, healthy and happy.  Her husband mused one day if perhaps Mrs Ploppy and I were keeping Third around for spare body parts.

power of the word

Apparently, my heart has transported itself to my right side, protected under the clavicle bone.  How do I know that?  Because when the masseuse told me to allow a word to surface from my inner self and then to store it under my heart, I felt the word being stored in my heart on the right side of me.

It wasn’t that weird dyslexic confusion that has been magnified lately.  With calm certainty, I knew that’s where my heart was.

Recovery-time is huge right now, the changes to my brain right smack in my face, like a crack across the cheekbone outta nowhere.  Repeatedly.  Daily.  Hanging on…

To lose my facility with words has been an ego-bashing.  Is this what the Buddhists mean by, to rephrase, flattening the ego?  I dunno.  Don’t care right now.

My words have been a source of power to me, a power that has fueled the Me for half a century, back to the moment as a toddler where I wailed that I couldn’t read.   Even then I knew that words were a power source, that words open worlds.  “Bushels and acres and stars and worlds….”

If I describe this time only as “disconcerting,” I leave out the internal, lonely horrors.   But “disconcerting” suggests a cacophony, a lack of organization, a lack of a unified whole.

Indeed, this moment is disconcerting.

quantum physics and holistic medicine

I don’t have any stinkin’ answers about any stinkin’ thing.  I will, however, share what I find and you can do some pondering.

If you’ve been following the blog, you know that following my catastrophic personal perfect storm, my brain has taken a hit and I’ve had heretofore never-ever-ever-or-ever-experienced difficulties with reading, writing, and comprehension.

Deirdre, our resident Buddhist, no-worry lady and all-around well-adjusted person, has recommended several books to me.   I have listened and noted the titles, but until now have been unable to comprehend.  One of the books she recommended is The Biology of Belief, by Bruce Lipton, a cell biologist with seemingly radical leanings (oh no, not a radical!).

I’ve made it through about a third of the book and was stopped in my tracks this a.m. by the illustration on page 73.  Herewith:  think about it.  That is all.

page 73

The Biology of Belief

dudette, stop crying; there’s good news!

Since my brain is bein’ what it’s being and I get confused about a lot of stuff, it was excellent news (to me) to discover that I have been mistaken for several months about how long this recovery has been going on.

Somehow I added a month to the time since discharge, so we’re here at the end of the 7th month, not the 8th, which makes me feel better.  I had figured that since I (mistakenly) thought I was at the end of the 8th month, I was in trouble with my brain recovery.  Hell, not yet!  Still a work in progress!   <:-D  (Please do not ask me how I have come to that conclusion.  My story.  Stickin’ to it.)

That is all.

(Whew.)

brains! muscle memory

Finally back to the mosaics studio.  I spent many hours looking at my mosaics books, seeing what would happen, if there would be a spark of something creative.  Nuthin’.   Finally decided to partake of the custom of copying a mosaic.  Copying someone’s work seems like this:  copy = bad = go to jail.  Joyfully (and thankfully!) copying mosaics is an honored teaching method.

Then it took painfully tiring brain-pulsing hours over many days to decide on the materials and to figure out which online supplier I wanted to use.  Yikes.  Forced my eyes to focus and my brain to understand; it didn’t just happen automatically.  That was tough, but colorful!  >:-D  And now I have a boatload of tesserae for many projects.

Won’t bore with the play-by-play, but I did actually start gluing tesserae into a design.  My first project here back from the dead-ish I chose from the Emma Biggs and Tessa Hunkin book called Mosaic Workshop, which is also the name of their studio in London.   I have been drawn to their work since I got interested in outdoor mosaics.

The challenge with mosaics appeared:  I sat at my accustomed place.  Picked up one and then another tool that I knew to use for the particular material I was using.  I had absolutely no memory of which of the tools to use when or where.  None.  I actually rotated each tool in my hand to peer more closely, seeking a brain-ping.  I looked at them as if I’d only hefted them at a store before a purchase.  My hands didn’t know what to do besides grip!

Imagine picking up a pencil, an ordinary wooden pencil.  You have paper in front of you–you know the pencil is for writing.  There comes the beginning of movement, then stopping because you don’t know what kinds of marks the pencil makes.  You don’t know why you should use the pencil for writing.

I held the tools, but hit a wall–nothing came next for my head or hands. I did not have the visual memory or kinesthetic memory I had before things went south in February.   Just stopped for a few moments and stared, appalled.

Breathe.  Jump in again.  I could hold the tools.  I knew they were correct for the material.  I couldn’t see them fully–how to describe?   In the before-time, the seeing was the complex experience of  the visual and kinesthetic memories of using the tools and no hesitation, just doing .  Had to experiment until things became familiar, nipping and cutting and creating a lot of waste.

After about a half-hour of nipping tile, with shards flying the way they do, I noticed those sharp shards landing on my bare legs (I was wearing shorts) and mused at how easy it is for shards to slice and dice the unwary.  Oh!   I had not put on my heavy duck-cloth workshop apron, had not even thought of it.  (I put it on.)  And, I was wearing shorts instead of long pants.

Really am re-wiring.  JeezusFreezeUsSaveUsFromTheFlood.

Maybe I’ll be like Jill Bolte Taylor following her brain episode and will soon find out I can now sing!  >:-D

A few pics…

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.

Can you believe that… or not?

JustI has a little something for all of us again! Go see! And DO!

JustUs Society

My Rockin’ the Purple friend has me thinking again. Lahgitana  has a way with words and expresses a depth of thinking that challenges me, even as she writes of her self-described fog of recovery from a life changing event which occurred this past February. To catch up, read about it here: 112.8 – recollections and here: Recuperation: bubble theory.

In response to her thought provoking posts, I’ve found two videos (from TED) that I hope will challenge her (and you, dear reader) to think about how you think!

Two questions, I would like to pose, before you view the videos:

  1.  Can we believe what we see?
  2.  Can we believe (or have faith) in that which we can’t see?

I’ve included the partial bios preceding each of the speakers, including links to their homepages.

Michael Shermer debunks myths, superstitions and urban legends, and explains why we believe them…

View original post 262 more words

recuperation: bubble theory

Today I am here. Today I am limited. Today, I am not the same as I was on February 12, 2012, the day before my brain and body exploded with heat and pain, and my body’s processes dropped toward zero.

For the last month-plus, I have observed myself coming out of the fog of death-defying illness. The first two months are only a fuzzy blur where I went through the motions of taking care of myself, taking meds on a regimented schedule, staying at home, using every bit of energy to just be, so there were no observations and very little awareness beyond my skin.

When I first came home from the hospital, with its tubes and hard-hitting, life-saving drugs, I did attempt to fall into my daily routine, subconsciously allowing muscle memory to guide me.

In the before-time, part of my morning habit was turning on the CD player and sitting in the living room, drinking coffee, checking email and reading the funnies online, plus checking the (awful) news, both domestic and foreign sources.

In the time after, it became thus:

There was no planning, just doing: arise after dreamless sleep, go to the CD player to have music for my morning as was habit for years, but quickly turn it off. Then, shower, and dress, boil water for herbal tea, fix the same bland breakfast, and read in the bedroom for hours.

The music of my mornings before my descent toward zero was usually Baroque chorale music, or one of my favorite happy guys, Henry Purcell.  In those new mornings, as soon as I turned the music on, I had to turn it off because it immediately used up all my brain cells.  The music evoked a constant sonar pinging against every More

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