Riding the Roller Coaster

^^ August 24, 2015 ^^

Long-term healing tends to be a roller coaster – good days, bad days. Slowly good days replace the bad. At least that is what I’ve been told.

roller coaster

I think this accurately captures the ups and downs of healing from a head injury. Heh.

Today, I was on fire. I felt confident and quick thinking in an echo of what once was my daily experience. I called people, reviewed documents, retrieved needed equipment, showed consultants historic buildings – all with an embodied competence that can’t be faked.

And then it ended. About 1130, the computer started bugging me again – the screen, even as white on black, starting to cause my head to ache. First, a subtle sense of irritation, then I noticed how my thinking processes were getting gummed up, and finally it was like a wasp trapped in my head – a loud buzzing, my eyes vibrating and my three hour winning streak comes to an end.

Time for a break from the computer. Yes, most of what I need to do involves the computer, but I can’t use it. Even as I type these words, I am not actually looking at the computer screen. I am looking off to the side, down at my elbow. I can’t handle the electronic input, but I wanted to capture this moment.  Thanks Mom for teaching me to type by touch in grade school.


Who doesn’t have a stack like this somewhere?

I took lunch, hoping the break would help. Now, it is after lunch and I am still feeling sensitive. I decide to give myself 30 more minutes away from the computer. I dig out stacks of papers that have been sitting in piles for months and go through them.  Are the bits of information they contain useful? Do the apply to my job anymore? Are they worthwhile to keep?

Slowly, the paper piles decrease. I am horribly busy.  I have three things screaming for my immediate attention right here on my desk.   Yet, because my brain decided that it was time for a computer break, I am going through papers that haven’t been needed in years.

I was surprised this morning to have a good streak of productivity. I thought it was going to be more of a plodding day. This weekend I rested, and rested, and rested and still was tired.   Mary put on a 40th birthday celebration for me and – even though I rested all day – my intellect was like a dull butter knife in conversation. No finesse.

My vermiculture setup is great.  I love it.  And.  Explaining my worm bin at the party was challenging .  My mind stumbled around grabbing haphazardly at the bits of information offered by my brain. The shape of the bins – square. The bottom of the bins – mesh – although I couldn’t think of that particular term for a bit. They stack on top of each other. It’s great because they only need attention once every month or two. Nebulously holding onto the facts floating around in my head, I found it difficult and slow to piece together enough sensible words to adequately convey the wonders of my worm setup.

My worm bin. Ignore the dessicated bodies of scores of worms scattered about the base. Just a sign that not everyone liked my most recently added compost...

My worm bin. Ignore the scores of dessicated worm carcasses scattered about the base. Just a sign that everything might not be perfect inside.  Thousands always stay… what’s 40 or 50?

Yet, suddenly, for no reason I understand, I was clear-headed this morning and spent it quickly at my job. Now I have a minor headache, a heaviness in the front of my brain, and I am a bit impaired – the world is a bit foggy, less detailed.  I see less because I can process less. I am less “here” in my body, in this room, at this installation. I can still work, certainly, but feel like my whole competent self has been packed away again.

Another day on the rollercoaster of recovery.

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