Chapter 5 - March 4, 2011

I'm posting this blog, once again, for anybody out there who might have my same condition (traumatic brain injury).  I'm talking to my friend, Julie, who's writing this for me because I can't type yet.

Last week was a difficult week.  You know, when you have something like this, you have good days and bad days.  I seem to have a bunch of bad days together.  Last Monday, I went in to see my neuro-surgeon and the leading neurologists at New York Presbyterian.  Before I saw them I had an MRI with contrast (I hate those things).  I get so claustrophobic in the long narrow tube they put me in.  Just thinking about it gives me claustrophobia.  I have to stay still for a total of 20 minutes.  I usually try to think about surfing, taking off on a big wave, the big drop.  I would never imagine that rush would help me get through moments like that, but it does.  So I went off on a bit of a tangent there.  Anyway, after meeting with my neurosurgeon first, he was happy to say that the MRI was clean.  No need for further surgery at the moment.  That made me happy because the last MRI showed I needed to have surgery right away.  They only knew that after doing an MRI.  This meeting was my follow up to my surgery 6 months ago.  My meeting with the neurosurgeon went well.  He said to continue my therapy, that my injury was very rare.  I'm so special - ha.  Therapy is the number one reason I'll get better.  I mentioned I was an athlete and I'm used to training so I'll do what they tell me to do.  Therapy is so important.  There was a moment that was rather humorous.  My neurosurgeon, out of nowhere, asked me what I thought about God.  I kind of panicked because I thought he was going to give me some bad news.  But, the reason why he asked me, was because he's going to write a book on spirituality and recovery.  He noticed I had a strong drive to survive, and he asked where it had come from.  I think it's my desire to be with my daughter on the beach or maybe it came from my training as an athlete.  I don't know.  Either way, I would advise anyone in my condition to find that strength or rock to hold on to.  You could call it religion or a family member or whatever.  But, find something that will get you through all this, through the bad days.  I know that some day, I will look back in my infinite wisdom gained from these moments, and think, "Boy that sucked."

I forgot to add this to my previous posting.  I forgot to mention my situation for the past few days.  I mentioned I had a series of bad days.  Once again, I'm posting this message in case it helps someone out there.

It was weird, last week I woke up at about 2 in the morning every night in a panic.  I didn't know where I was and I couldn't catch my breath.  I guess you could call it an anxiety attack.  Luckily my mother was sleeping nearby and heard me call for help.  I was so disorientated.  I couldn't move my arms or hands.  I couldn't roll over.  I was trapped in my own body.  Would I ever get my body back?

I got the number of a Buddhist priest, a monk.  He is going to help me with meditation to get me through moments like this.  For the time, I just think about surfing or my daughter's beautiful smile.

Oh yeah, also, they are tapering me off the anti-seizure medicine starting tomorrow.  That's great because the medicine has strong side effects.  I believe it interferes with my therapy.  I know I say it over and over, but you guys have no idea how lucky you are.  It's a miracle just to drink a glass of water.  If you think you're having a bad day, just look at the blog, or think about what I'm going through.  I'll never complain about catering again.