Chapter 19 - August 30, 2011

Oh man am I ever sore. You see, I fell out of the car. It wasn’t moving. I just slipped.
My mother and my aid caught me, but it was a struggle to get me in the chair. I hit
my head, my knees, my arms. I feel like I got in a fight with Derek Jeter and his bat.
Anyway, we went to get me a better phone. I realize that I’m not ready yet for the
outside world. At the AT&T cell phone store I had to wait a while. I started to panic.
Not a good feeling. But I feel better now. I’m home with my family and friends. Just
another thing to deal with.

The profound statement I got at this is, Don’t Panic. It was weird. I did have a major
panic attack last Thursday, about 4 days ago. I was leaning over the table, getting a
massage. You would think that would be relaxing, but I guess it must have cut off my air
supply somehow. I felt like I was suffocating. One thing lead to another. Next thing you
know, I was panicking. Feeling very claustrophobic. The good thing was, the woman
giving me a massage, was also by tai chi teacher. She knew what to do and what to say
to talk me out of it. I just imagined myself in the open desert. That was very helpful.
Remember, don’t panic. Try to think of your favorite place or favorite thing to do. Put
yourself there. It helps.

I was thinking about it. It could also be an anxiety as I signed my divorce papers the
same afternoon. That could have been the trigger as well. Who knows. Like I said
before, just another thing. Oh, yeah. He he. Just signed my final divorce papers,
Hurricane Irene came in with a vengence. Kind of ironic. I felt like I was on the set of
the Wizard of Oz. It was a profound moment. We weathered the hurricane well. Not
much damage at all. It was cool for taking photographs, and this, I did. Remember,
when you’re in a condition like this, you have to do something you love, and I love
photography. In photography, I’ve always worn many hats. I love landscape. I love
people. I love fashion. I love beauty. I just love taking pictures. Sometimes you know
what you’re going to get. Sometimes, it’s a surprise. You get what you don’t know.
Never a dull moment. I guess that’s why I love photography.

I mentioned earlier, Irene. Well, this week, it was all over the news. I guess Montauk
got hit pretty hard. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. But it was bad. I was kind
of hoping my 2 houses would be wiped off the path. Heh, heh. But that’s negative
thinking, and we don’t want to go there. I know I built a strong house. And the other
one was a bunker. It was strong. So I’m sure they did all right. Anyway, my ex has one
house, the old one, and she sold the new one, my dream house when I was in hospital the
first year. Either way, they’re all gone as far as I’m concerned.

Quite the storm though. It was cool to watch on TV. My friend just asked me if I would
be surfing. My answer would be yes, but after the hurricane passes. Before it would only
be good for wind surfing. I don’t own a hurricane sail. But, if I were well, and things
were as they were, I would have been out there the day after the storm and on and on and
on, as long as the waves lasted. Waves are beautiful after a hurricane. I miss surfing
hurricane swells, but those days are over for me I feel. But you never know.

I wish I could get better faster. This whole thing is a looonng process. Right now I have
a problem with the thickener. It’s a substance you add to your drink to make it nectar
thick, but it was making me constipated and it made me gain weight. My mom and my
friend came up with the idea of using a juicer. I now have peach nectar and mango nectar
to thicken my drinks. I thicken my coffee with banana. It’s healthy, it works and it tastes
good. Remember, I’m no doctor. I’m just describing my experience. Maybe it will help
you. I don’t know. Just thoughts I’m putting out there.

My friend was asking more about the car and the fall. And I remembered, I forgot
to mention something. When I was at the AT&T store, what triggered my panic
was the attitude of the staff. Now I know what it feels like to be in a wheelchair,
handicapped, disabled, whatever you want to call it, and be dismissed. I felt what it is to
be discriminated. I guess some people just don’t know how to deal with someone in my
situation. I don’t blame them. It’s just an interesting observation. I never experienced
it before. Not a fun thing. Remember, my brain injury was on the brainstem, so my
cognitive thoughts, everything, all my emotions, my feelings, my memory, it’s all good.
It’s just that I’m trapped in my own body. My physical side is compromised. Very

O.k. I’ll put away my soap box, step down.

I guess there’s not much more to report on. I still feel the same. I feel like shit. My
eyesight seems to be getting a little better. But I’m still super dizzy. As my aid
says, “I’m getting little victories here and there.” I’m getting better, but it’s real slow.
It’s good to think about the positive things that come out of this. I have to remember it’s
great to get to know my parents again. It’s great to get to see my old friends. It’s great to
be in my old home. I just wish I would get better a little faster.

One of the hardest things is to come down for breakfast and see only photos and art that
my daughter did. I miss my daughter. Sometimes it seems it’s not fair. I really don’t
believe I did anything wrong. I never did anything bad. Just the way it goes. I guess
we’re destined sometimes for some reason. Who knows? You deal with what you got.
Its hard to live life without happiness, but my friends came by the other day and wrote a
song about my condition. It was a good song, and they’re good singer/songwriters. They
gave me a mini-concert with the old and new material. It was a moment of happiness.
Sometimes you just need a moment to break up the sadness. It really does help. So I
guess, my profound thought of the day is: Try to include some form of happiness in your
life each day. It’s up to us. See you next week.