Concussed

I type this looking away from the screen, out the front window where it snows lushly and my neighbor has parked her truck and climbed up her icy, snow-covered steps into the apartment building across the street.

My neighbor is very glamorous; today she wears a pink scarf over her beautiful red hair.

The couch I sit on is shaking from the epic battle going on between Wolverine and The Hulk — a very noisy battle that manages to penetrate my earplugs with piercing sincerity. I have no idea what their quarrel is. Perhaps they simply needed to see who would win. They wanted the challenge.

I have been unable to do much more than sit around staring into space and stewing in my own juices for nearly two weeks now.

Shortly after I delivered my most recent in-air commentary about the joys of biking in winter, I fell on glare ice on my way to work after a freezing rain so suddenly and completely that I didn’t even realize I’d fallen until I heard the sound, like a shot, of my helmet hitting the ice.

Ha ha ha. Irony is funny.

I watched the sky whiz past me for a while, lying on my back and flying so fast down the on-ramp to the Greenway it felt I was a hovercraft. All I could think of were my beautiful, brand-new crutches, strapped to my back underneath me.

Please let them be okay please let them be okay, I thought.

My bicycle slid down the ramp with me, companionably.

After we stopped, I sat up. Whew! That could have been bad! I said aloud. I’ll be more careful. Now I know the ‘wet pavement’ is ice. My crutches weren’t even scratched, the ice had been so slick. All I felt was relief and a bruise starting on my hip.

The chain had jumped and jammed; I fiddled with it and got it back on. Rode shakily along the smooth, slick Greenway for one exit and then got on Lake Street where the motorists, if annoyed by my presence, had at least warmed the asphalt.

Got to work. Ran the beginning of the staff meeting. About an hour after the accident, began to feel very, very queasy. Uh oh, I thought. I’m getting that stomach flu that’s going around.

I was not; I had a concussion.

And I still do, two weeks later.

It’s my fourth or fifth one, and from what I’ve been able to read since then (admittedly I can’t read much), the more concussions I get, the easier they’ll be to get from relatively light blows to the head and the harder they’ll be to get over.

For now, I’ve been able to tolerate very small amounts of work from home, I’ve gone into work for a few very hours (which I immediately regretted). I cannot really look for long at a computer screen. I cannot multitask, which makes me feel like I’ve lost a limb. Loud noises and light hurt my head (the battle on the couch next to me rages on). I am slow. Stupid. Irritable. Unpleasant. Things which brought me joy (companionship, whiskey, reading, old episodes of Deep Space Nine) now overwhelm me and fill me with misery.

Pretty much all I’m good for is sorting laundry or sleeping. MAN I’ve gotten good at sleeping. I am a champ.

Often, when people have something fundamental to themselves taken away, they have some sort of spiritual awakening. Some sort of self-awareness. Some deeper connection to the world or to themselves, due to enforced solitude, stillness, and a break in the routine.

Here is what I have discovered: I AM INCREDIBLY BORING.

When I am not in relation to other people, there is just not really much going on in here, folks.

The battle on the couch has been decided; I believe it was a draw. My noisy children (how did I not realize how incredibly incredibly noisy they were before, I wonder) have been banished upstairs to clean their room.

I am left to sort laundry and contemplate the gorgeous snow. Light bad. Snow pretty.

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9 thoughts on “Concussed

  1. I am so sorry to read about your concussion and its awful aftermath. Rest well and get back to full-tilt Haddayrness soon. Let us know if you need anything…we have two cars and a preteen who can hang out by herself while we run errands.

  2. P.S. The fact that you can still write so very well when you are recovering from a concussion is another reminder of just how wonderful a writer you are.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear of this untoward event! The brain is an amazing thing, and your brain is even more amazing than that. Please give it all the time it needs to grow new interesting gray pathways. Also sunglasses/clips/hats with brims.

  4. Damn and Ouch! I’m echoing others’ wishes for a speedy recovery, because my world without a Haddayr in it would be far to dreary and commonplace.

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