A Little Housekeeping & then vacation!

20 Jun

Thanks for allowing Zolie to sub-in for me last week. I was in NO condition to write anything substantive after my poor brain suffered such brutal (albeit metaphorical) bashings courtesy of my Biology and Physiology finals.

The fact that my Physiology final took place on the exact 2-year anniversary of my ACTUAL brain bashing (aka, my “Alive Day“) was a fantastically cruel coincidence. And although I recovered more quickly from the metaphorical bashings than I did from the real one, it certainly was the case that my brain and I required a substantial rest/rehab/recovery period after the exams.

For 3 or 4 days, I could barely summon enough energy to feed myself. I napped a lot and occasionally sustained short bursts of watching the stupidest possible TV shows, and the surest sign that I was not-at-all-OK was: I couldn’t summon the energy/enthusiasm to ride my bike. No bike = no bueno!

I was officially on “summer break” + I had a big ol’ bike racing challenge to train for, but I was a completely destroyed, unmotivated slug.

Every night, Jay would ask: “What would you like to do to celebrate your second Alive Day?” and I’d just look at him dolefully and say, I dunno. Ask me later. After tolerating 4 days of my malaise, he ultimately kidnapped me and took me the Music Center’s awesome, free, outside Dance Downtown event. A little country dancin’ and a lot of Chinese food restored my mojo and I was back on the bike the next day — there’s a reason he’s my Bonus! 🙂

My coach walloped me with a doozie of a ride assignment for my final “big push” training effort; it induced its own period of medically warranted rest/recovery. One week of “summer break” was done and it definitely did not feel like a vacation!

And things would get worse before they’d get better…

Trying to manage life as a full-time 40-year-old, brain-damaged returning college student who also has to work 1.5 days a week at the research lab AND devote a ridonkulous amount of time to bike training meant that I did ZIP in terms of housekeeping efforts for the past 12 weeks. Upon emerging from my post-exam/post-brutal-ride stupor, I realized that I was living in a health hazard, hoarders’-level house of chaos.

So I devoted the last ~3 days to tidying up my home — a less-than-idyllic way to kick off summer vacation, but a necessary and beneficial task that’s yielded its own special, surprise joys like:

    • Rediscovering the large pile of medical reports that detailed my 2011 adventures — Dude, that was one SUPERFUCKEDUP situation!; and
    • Realizing that I soon will “enjoy” another massive shopping spree/wardrobe overhaul endeavor because ALL of the clothes that had been piled up around the house over the past 12 weeks are now super-way-too-big for me — that’s a littlebitfuckedup situation, insofar as I did not budget for such a major cash outlay, but, big picture, it’s pretty much full-of-WIN!

Cleaning house and rediscovering my medical reports also made me realize that this blog could benefit from some housekeeping efforts.

First off, I realized that many blog followers have little-to-no clue regarding the circumstances or details of the 2011 “brain bashing,” which I reference so often. Some of you are complete strangers to me, or maybe we met only after June 2011, or if you *did* know me back then, then you might not have received (or maybe you didn’t fully read) The Official Wreck and Recovery Story that I sent to some of my supporters shortly before I returned to work.

Well, now the whole story lives in Google Drive for you to enjoy (?) any time you’d like — just click this link.

There’s 15 pages of mayhem and miracle for you to peruse. Of course, although what I wrote in August 2011 is voluminous, it’s not actually the full story, as I learned once I reviewed the rediscovered medical reports.

Among the things that my August 2011 narrative failed to mention was my extended SIRS episode and its resultant/related leukocytosis. Apparently the doctors never told my family about either of these complications. And if my family didn’t know, then I *definitely* didn’t know, because what I “know” about my injuries and recovery efforts primarily comes from what my family tells me — I have almost NO independent knowledge/recollection of anything from that time period.

The doctors’ decision to embargo the SIRS/leukocytosis details was probably “for the best” at the time. Although these conditions arguably were just as, if not more, life-threatening than the brain bleeds, my family already had plenty to worry about with “just” the brain bleed situation. The doctors chose (wisely, I think) to “keep it simple” for my family. Not that brain bleeds are simple, mind you…

My friends over at BrainLine.org have posted a short, easy-to-understand analysis of What Happens When a Brain Bleeds. When you look at the pictures and you know that I had both types of bleeds (epidural and subdural), then you can imagine that my brain suffered intense pressure. I had large hematomas built up on both sides of the yellow line. Neurons in the areas with active bleeding died (they basically drowned in blood), but my bigger problems stemmed from the lower brain areas that were squashed and deprived of oxygen due to the pressure being placed on them from up above. Good times, for sure!

So, if y’all click on all the links, above, then you will have plenty of reading material to keep you occupied until July, which is good because it’s HIGHLY unlikely that I will post anything while I’m on Maui next week.

REAL vacation starts on Sunday!  Woo hoo!!

Before I enjoy this brief blog writing hiatus, however, I’d like to tidy up a few other dangling blog threads:

I am THRILLED to report that Lisa the Plant, who ultimately came home with me upon my departure from Manatt has defied all expectations and remains alive and well. She’s lived under my care for 21 weeks now and is looking remarkable robust:

IMG_0356

My neighbor will take care of her while I’m in Hawaii and it will be interesting to see if she suffers any separation anxiety that causes her to go yellow and wilty again.

And speaking of neighbors!

You may recall from my Bacon-Coated Dream posting, that the parents of one of my neighbors own a donut shop and that said donut shop began “test kitchening” a bacon donut as a result of my single-minded obsession/passion for bacon.

Well hot-damn and hallelujah! Apparently we have got ourselves a couple of super-kickass, Z-inspired bacon donuts down at Primo’s Donuts!!!

They debuted their creations on National Donut Day (who knew there was such a thing?!), but since that happened while I was buried with preparing for Finals, neighbor Steve never saw me to give me the head’s up. 😦

They SOLD OUT in less than an hour!

They’re still tweaking the recipe, they only offer them on weekends, and they’re not yet part of the “official” Primo’s menu, but everyone’s hopeful that by the time Fall Quarter starts, we’ll have an official final product to offer year-round. I plan to get my sample on Saturday.

The final blog housekeeping/clean-up item is Finals.

Here’s the short version:

  • I didn’t seek a disability accommodation
  • I didn’t fail either class
  • I’m generally happy with the outcomes
  • I continue to feel like my pursuit of this new career/new life path remains the right/best choice for me.

And, with that, it’s time to start packing my bags for HAWAII. Aloha, y’all!

This just in…

This morning’s blog viewer stats indicate that 4 people in Lebanon and one in Syria viewed my blog and that the only pages viewed were the About page along with “Gift of my Father’s Suicide” and “Dropping the Bomb.” That’s a bit spooky, no?

I’m not sure if I’m relieved or scared by the knowledge that my posts probably failed to satisfy those viewers.

Parting Thought: No one is so brave that he is not disturbed by something unexpected. ~Julius Caesar

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