7 years. It feels like it’s been so much longer, but also feels like it was yesterday.
I relive that day every year.
10:00. I’m going to Target with Heather and Eric right now.
1:00. We’re stopping at Chipotle.
I remember Costco. Being exhausted at Target. I remember getting in my car and driving to the gym. Most strikingly, I remember the flat tire on my road bike and deciding to go for my 20 laps at the pool instead.
Then, feeling weird in the middle of a lap; the water swallowing me; choking on liquid next to the pool; being on a stretcher flying down the hall of the YMCA.
I want to go back to that pool each year. I’m not a member there anymore, though.
It’s like life began again in that second lap lane from the right; my memory wiped clean and being physically reduced back to infancy.
Adam with panic in his eyes over every single fall, every emotional outburst. What would I be without him? He rescued me after the stroke, became my hero then more than ever.
My friends sitting next to various hospital beds. Crystal holding a Subway sandwich. Why do I remember that so clearly?
Now life is different – in the best ways. And as I look back, i can’t help but think that I’m so damn lucky.
Here’s to another year. Cheers.
July 24, 2019
The confusion and my slowed heart rate made it hard for me to make sense of things. Stumbling into the living room, I called the Dr. Scheiss’ office. Dr. Scheiss’ nurse practitioner answered and I began telling her things – I don’t remember what things.
Then it was the nurse practitioner, the 911 operator, and myself on the phone. Then it was me and the 911 operator. Then the living room was filled with men in uniforms, and I remember staring at those big black boots from the floor. When did I lay on the floor? My chest hurt. I think I fell. I don’t remember. I just remember all those boots.
I somehow ended up in an ambulance. I have bits of memory that must have been clarity between seizures. I don’t remember leaving triage, or being moved to a room. I just remember feeling sluggish, like the world around me was moving slowly just like I was, and then moving too quickly as it left me behind, trying to catch up from the seizure and drug induced haze.
A week in Memorial Herman Hospital. I made friends with the EEG tech, Rosie, who was kind, and brought pizza and a movie on a day off.
I couldn’t walk by myself anymore. Two nurses would assist me when I was finally able to stumble to the bathroom. No more bedpan.
The camera that Rosie had set in my room watched in case I had another seizure while I was alone – that camera that was in my nightmares. It watched when I would sit up and hug my knees to my chest at night, and when I would banter with the nurses during the day. Visitors came and went. The black, bulbous eye of that camera, always watching.
I don’t remember much else from that first hospital. Next would come a month in rehab.
I don’t know why I haven’t written in so long.
The pandemic has countries in a mess, this election year is… weird, I’m still recovering from last year’s hospital stint, I don’t know how to explain to people what happened, the Astros need to pick it up for the season, and I need to get my ass in gear.
So, that’s the past year in a nutshell.
Quarantine hasn’t been kind to me. I take that back – I haven’t been kind to myself during quarantine.
I’ve walked around the apartment and kept up with calisthenics… sometimes. I’ve gained 8lbs, which is no small amount for someone just under 5’2″. (Heads up, Lucas.)
I should have and could have been consistent with working out during all of this but, damn I love peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches. I’m positive that I’m not the only person who’s dropped the ball during all of this, but I hate that I took the opportunity to miss the chance to keep moving.
So, alternate day fasting and calisthenics it is until the gym reopens on the 20th. Maybe a bit later in order to skip the gym rush. New Year’s all over again.
I haven’t mentioned that, have I? Going back to business as usual is happening, in phases. I’m excited to get back to the studio. I miss it, and I miss my studio-mates very much.
The gallery show with Art League Houston was moved from this month to July, so I have plenty of time to work on some new pieces. The second show at Sabine Studios was originally scheduled for October and hasn’t moved dates. So that’s good.
My aunt was diagnosed with COVID-19 and is now recovering at home. I hope to visit once all of this is over.
I’m rambling because I really don’t have a specific thing to talk about today.
Back to the first topic.
Nevermind, I’m tired of typing on my phone now. Later.
I know, right? Who am I?
Sleep was fitful last night. I’ve been sleeping through the night lately, but man, the dreams are odd. I’m thankful for the sleep, though. I still have strange nightmares and strange dreams but every now and then I’ll have one that’s so bizarre that I can’t help but hope that I’ll be able to continue it the following night.
I’m bored. [Squirrel.]
I woke up around 10 this morning. Fell asleep again until 1. I woke up groggy from the excessive sleep and sheets that had become stale from sweat – I told you, I have bizarre dreams. Then I sat in bed and read for an hour and a half.
I read. My attention span is improving. Audiobooks don’t feel like my only option anymore.
If it had been a textbook, something about neuroanatomy for example, I would have been able to read forever. But there’s something about fiction; I used to get frustrated because I couldn’t picture what I was reading. I couldn’t picture the images described in the words.
Reading fiction had essentially lost its magic.
Like all things, it just needs practice.
Like walking, which is something I need to take more advantage of. The apartment is set up in a circle, perfect for walking aimlessly. I need to use this quarantine and bleak, inanely boring but precious time to walk. To get the most out of the phenol injections my PT, Lucas, had kindly worked his schedule around.
What was my point?
There goes my train of thought and memory again!
I should probably be editing this as I write it but it’s become a way to let out my thoughts in real-time. Why edit that? I take so long to write, it’s no wonder I forget things as I try to write them.
I think I was supposed to make a phone call today. Or something. I don’t remember.
It’s quite funny really.
We’ve been under quarantine in Houston for weeks now, with the end of quarantine in either the near or distant future.
I had surgery to replace my DBS battery last month, on a Thursday or Friday. By the time the weekend was over, hospitals had stopped all surgeries not considered necessary – so I’d made it just in time.
My recovery is going just fine. I’m almost back to normal. The headaches have all but stopped entirely. I’m unusually tired most days, though I no longer needing to nap at midday to get through. Though that could be because I’m taking my antipsychotics before going to bed rather than in the morning.
I’m reading more. My eyes tire easily and I’m not yet able to read steadily for more than an hour before a blaring headache kicks in but, it’s getting better. Easier. I’m sure that I’ll be back to reading multiple books at once again soon.
The art classes I attended no longer meet in person because of the pandemic but, it’s for the best. The classes are online now. Tuesday – Friday. I haven’t been since my surgery, unfortunately. I simply haven’t been up to it. I plan to attend this week, since I’m feeling a bit better.
It’s an odd feeling, being alive during a pandemic. It’s surreal. A pandemic. It seems worlds away due to my being locked inside an 800sq.ft. apartment for weeks now.
At this point, the cats have decided I’m annoying.
I’m in an “up cycle” right now. That’s why I have the energy and motivation to post.
Bipolar disorder is far more than just mood swings.
So, here what is happening this week:
- I’ll have phenol injections. Ow. I had a seizure during the last phenol session. This should be fun!
- Then I’ll go to pre-op.
- Friday I will have the surgery to replace my DBS battery. I’m not excited; I’m tired of having surgeries and procedures. Let’s get it over with.
Until Friday, I’m in my wheelchair. I’m not supposed to get out of it unless someone is with me, in case my battery dies. The operation to replace it is urgent since the battery could die at any moment. We hadn’t realized that the battery was so low.
I’m already tired from writing. Will post again soon!