There’s a picture of Ma cleaning the 3 bloody pins scaffolded on my hand.
“When the fuck was that?”
Post-concussion amnesia of the accident & days thereafter. Cracked the jaw of my fucking helmet I hit so hard. It wasn’t my first, so concerns about long-term effects have certainly been on my mind, so to speak.
There were eight Army years of Army soft-tissue injuries gone un-rehabbed. There have been more years of not-living-right and falls from various heights. I always made believe that, unlike for other generations, advances in medical science would automagically outpace the degradations.
Faint, faint, very faint thinning hope for this brain business. At least I’m au courant. Now it’s all over the place. Traumatic brain injury soldiers. Hollywood movies of traumatic brain injury soldiers. Football players killing themselves, noting
I’ve always been fond of fashion but there appears no automagic in sight.
January of 2008, I took Haley & Lucia snowboarding up at Liberty Ice Rink. That’s when dislocations and breaks stepped up to the headspace & timing bubble. Crash, bang, boom. Caught the snowboard edge on 3 runs. Saw stars the first time. Started going west on I-70 instead of west.
“Fucking east coast shit skiing on frozen snow”
At work I can no longer remember alphanumeric strings longer than an old-fashioned phone number.
August of 2009, I pissed off my BMW race bike. Bessie hocked me like a loogey, catapulted me 30 away. Despite the hype, I reckon that high-side was brain-injury neutral. After all, I’d landed on grass, not the tarmac — see how that makes perfect sense? I’d shattered and sheared enough other bones to suggest they converted the E=MC2. The noggin wasn’t the first to knock.
May of 2012
“I’m doing Hot Yoga, I don’t need no stinkin’ SSRIs.”
September 7, 2012, at the 10.9 mile, 24-obstacle Tough Mudder with Kevo
“I’ll skip that half-moon obstacle, I fear another head injury.”
Two weeks later:
“Doctor, what are you going to do about his brain injury?”
“Well, we’ve checked him out, he’s ready to go home.”
“Doctor, are you ready to be personally responsible for releasing him?”
He yielded. He referred.
Ma got me to that neuropsych @ Sinai.
I used the “S” word. That got me into summer-camp in December.
I used the “G”word —
“Do you access to any firearms?”
that got my guns taken and stashed, I eventually learned, in a mini-storage unit in Retail Heaven.
This was the tarmac slip & slide episode, 2012. It was a forgotten freakout in a cracked teapot. I saw the jaw-cracked helmet.
I spent the next 5 months, under-medicated, shook-up, suicidal, self-absorbed, disassociated and sad.
The pre-existent family bi-polarity inhaled deeply.
Right to life.
Right to die.
- ” God, please end this.
- ” It is my right, whether you think I’m sane or not, troubled or not, depressed or not, to see value and purpose in ending my life.”
- ” There is nothing else I want to do but ride
- ” I’d be right back on the bike, if only …
- ” … fuck Life Insurance, I want a policy for Death Assurance … better move to Switzerland
- ” … instead of disability or dismemberment …
- ” … fuck Walt Whitman
Through this neuro doc, I signed up for cognitive testing. It took a whole day. Halfway through we broke for lunch. Kate, who had inexplicably started to, and still did, see me since a week after the 3 pins came out, joined me and La Madrecita at the hospital canteen.
Never could do a Rubik’s Cube. Can’t draw a stick-figure. Almost failed out of the US Army Infantry School after numerous failures at Land Navigation. Have spun-out and/or wrecked every single car I’ve ever owned. Test said everything we already know, but answered the question
“What have I lost?
I remain the verbally muscle-bound bully. I remain the visual-spatial sand-faced pussy on the beach.
Next step with my doctor is getting MRI imagery. At Shock Trauma I had the de rigeur full-body CT scan but would like a juicier image to put on my screensaver at work. Speaking of which, I’m still doing The Day Job, as an Oracle database engineer.
I do this work for the Department of Defense. After a dread-filled year on the present contract, I haven’t been kicked out on my ear. Perhaps I’m getting my job done to a certain standard. Perhaps the paycheck as long as I’m billing body for the shop, and don’t get myself sequestered.
I try to be as charming and personable as possible to make up with my mouth what my brain cannot do. I do wonder if I’ll be able to get my shook-up head around Java and its abstract object orientation. My business developers say
“Go west young man, learn thee the ways of The Cloud.”
Meantime meantime, and utterly ridiculous — but aren’t some desires exactly that — I want the MV Agusta F3