When Nothing Is Planned, Nothing Is Known
October 20, 2019
I collapsed today. It’s not the first time my body has given out on me since the accident — though this came as more of an unfortunate surprise, because I felt a bit physically stronger of late, responding well to a deliberate increase in superfoods, medications and supplements. But no. Forget taking it one day at a time, this recovery process shifts minute by minute, as I simply try to make it through, listen to and respect what my body is capable of at any given moment.
Here’s the thing about accidents… that’s just it, they’re accidents. And my accident six weeks ago was a bad one! When nothing is planned, nothing is known. When nothing is comprehensive, nothing is conclusive. When nothing is definitive, nothing is procedural. And while doctors do their best with whatever information is available, test results, past findings, patterns and predictions, I am learning that it’s called medical ‘practice’ for a reason.
All face and brain trauma survivors I have connected with say the same thing: this recovery process will be unclear, unexplainable, uncharted and unreal — entirely unique to my body, my brain and my situation. It will be shocking, tumultuous and longggg. And even if I so desired, there is absolutely no way to fight, control or hasten that — just surrender to blessed, infuriating, passing time.
I can only try new things and take any step, major or minor, when I feel ready and willing, something I alone determine. I’m doing my best to listen to myself and, of course, the guidance of doctors and professionals. Today, after collapsing in San Francisco, evidently from merely standing too long while waiting, the medical response team pressed the importance of ongoing rest — that I can’t be up or out much, that I must use caution when moving about even at home, that wheelchairs are the safest option for prolonged periods in public. They also underscored the need to avoid potentially stressful situations of any sort, as well as crowded or busy places, because in addition to unhealthily and unnecessarily heightening anxiety, it clearly further compromises my capacity and thus increases risk of collapse or yet another injury. I was lucky not to hit my head when my body gave out this time, though it has exacerbated head pain and eye spasms and, well, all other existing ailments, as well as unfortunately exposing new fears.
Back to bed I go. There go my dreams of a fall pumpkin patch excursion… or much of anything.