Sunday, July 22, 2012

Concussed and Other Altered States

It begins with an industrial-sized bottle of laundry detergent.

I'm not sure who put it on top of the clothes washer; I know I didn't. But it matters not. The fact remains that some one put it there.

The reason we don't put things on top of the clothes washer is because stuff "walks" when the washer goes into spin cycle.

So Wednesday night, I ran a load of whites, and the industrial-sized bottle of detergent took a walk--straight off the edge of the washer onto the floor and split, spilling copious amounts of clear fluid onto the kitchen floor.

How slick is this stuff? Slick enough to send an adult woman's feet where her head was only a split second previously and send her head, neck and shoulders slamming to the floor in less time than it took to think "Holy s----."

The boys came running in and laughed at their upended mom, who never lost consciousness but did briefly see stars. Older son is directed downstairs to get a bucket while mom tries to process a dozen different  directives.....and is surprised that she literally can't think.

Hubby, finding confused mom on her knees when he arrives from work, sends her upstairs to clean up and wants to send her to the ER. She refuses.

Sleep comes easily and normally. For me. But the ride to work next morning ("I'm fine, hon, really.") becomes a white-knuckled affair. Traffic on the turnpike seems less predictable than usual. I opt for the longer route through Valley Forge from the turnpike to collect myself.

And I feel fine. Until I was required to do my usual multi-tasking in meeting. And that was much, much harder than I could have imagined. Stuff got done, but a few times my anxiety and panic that things were somehow harder than usual for me nearly got the better of me. I text my co-worker that I need to leave after I'm done the meeting. I feel terrible. It's hard for me to admit this.

As the meeting wraps up and everyone talks among themselves, he's at my side asking "What can I do?"

At that point, I am gritting my teeth. "I'm good," I lie. "Almost done" Not a lie. "Let me finish up."

"Go home."

I nod. He vanishes.

I finish up. Call my husband, who insists on taking me himself to the ER. And wait.

Long story short, I have a concussion, which I already knew by that point, but the good news was that I didn't have anything worse. Miraculous, considering my head and neck took the force of my weight when I landed.

So, I'm in the process of healing. And taking things slow. And easy. And I don't handle this well.

"I'm not a baby." I respond repeatedly to varying admonishments to stop or slow down.

"The opposite," agrees hubby. "But you need to stop."

Taking my younger son to the labyrinth yesterday, I find myself asking a whole new string of questions. And I'm somewhat confused by the answers. And I wonder if my confusion lies in the fact that I am asking the wrong questions.

I think back to Friday when I had a lengthy conversation with one of Nic's team.  She called me at home and we rehashed his summer so far, my concerns, and we re-wrote parts of his IEP over the phone. Clean slate for September. And I was able to do this despite my temporary disability. I can still think quickly and reason things out, but it feels as I am doing it through layers of insulation.

But, my emotions are just as strong and incisive and distracting as ever, and I wish the insulation extended to cover the sharp edges of my own feelings. Kindness tends to throw me. And I'm thrown, in more ways than one. Another thing to recover, more to think about, ponder in my heart, and all that good stuff. Why do I have to make so much of small things? So much better to simply pay things forward and not think so much.

Ask me not to think, however? You may as well ask me not to breathe.

But for the sake of those who love me, I'll stop for a while. 


No comments: