Exactly one year ago Gordon and went out for a pleasant Saturday afternoon drive. Unfortunately for us the universe had other plans for us. We were driving through this intersection when a driver cut us off, running us off the road and straight at the power pole.
We ended up re-enacting a scene from the Dukes of Hazard, running the car up the guy wire, barrel rolling and then crashing into the ground and just totalling our poor "Silver Fox" (aka our Mazda Protoge).
Fun times! Which brings me to the point of the story...somewhere in that airborne magical moment "Bertha" was born.
Who is Bertha? Well....she is my head injury...aka concussion...aka post-concussion syndrome. The reason I spent months hiding in a quiet, dark home; avoiding any kind of mental stimulation. She is the reason my horizon kept tilting, and why I walked like I was drunk. The reason I'm not the cool, calm collected me anymore...as evidenced by my inability to bite my tongue anymore. The reason it takes me longer to focus or process a thought....the reason I word substitute and word seek. Seriously....who knew a year ago my brilliant brain would decide that the words Penguin and Pigeon were the same thing...don't know why...but I can't tell them apart. She is the reason my medical team has put a halt to our baby making endeavors. The reason that I am not back to work yet. The reason I've had to sit on the sidelines and let rare opportunities and life pass me by.
This last year has been a massive test of resilience. An accelerated "marriage" plan..."10 years of marriage in 1 year" is what Gordon likes to say. As a health care professional it has given me a very unique perspective into the frustrations, ups and downs that my patients have experienced.
One year ago, in the spot pictured below, Bertha came into my life, and to make space for her the universe took away a part of me that I absolutely loved. I took for granted the ability to make connections at lightening speed...the ability to juggle numbers and equations in my head effortlessly....the ability to be calm, cool and collected in a mealstorm of chaos, conflict, upheavel, sadness....the ability to effortlessly express my thoughts. Bertha evicted an invaluble part of me and I've been reeling ever since.
On March 21st 2015, another driver in a moment of impatient inattention made a split moment decision that has forever changed our lives. Just one second to make the wrong choice....one moment....a minutia of time relative to our whole life....one teeny tiny blip in both our lives....and this tiny miniscule thing started a cascade of events that changed the trajectory of all our lives.
Now...don't get me wrong. This isn't a woe is me kind of post. Been there done that. Yes Bertha did take a big part of me away, and instead of wallowing in the negative part, I'd like to share some of the good that have come from this.
In the last 365 days with Bertha I have learned:-
1. My husband is amazing...like seriously amazing, awesome, from heaven kind of special.
2. I have wonderful friends and family in my life who love me and are just rearing to have a go at slaying my Bertha dragons.
3. I am more than what I can do.
4. Even at their most destructive, crazy, evil mode, Fred and Carmela make life infinitely better...and I am sooooo glad they weren't in the car with us that day.
5. I am the world's most compliant patient...and have been told individually by various members of my medical team that I am their "favorite" patient. (Overachieving even when ill...that is how I roll)
6. I have the ability to regenerate connections in my brain.....thank heavens for neuroplasticity.
7. Rehabilitation is a 60 plus hours a week job.
8. You don't always need to bite your tongue. Especially when people say stupid shit like "But you look okay/You don't look sick".....or...."Aren't you better yet?".....or my personal favorite "Are you even going to be able to come back to work?"......Bertha is very pro-Angry-Black-Woman.....
9. You can blame almost anything on a head injury. Seriously...I plan to blame Bertha for life.
10. Oh my God...I can draw....I didn't know I could....but I can.
11. I love yoga...that is all.
12. I have a team taking care of me that is rooting as hard for Bertha's exodus as I am.
13. Netflix & Shomi are heaven sent.
14. The hospital I work for is amazingly supportive and awesome!
12. I will be okay.
13. I am a lucky lucky girl.
Thanks for reading....and please remember...be mindful, attentive and present while driving....save yourself or a stranger from the unplanned arrival of a "Bertha"