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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Enjoy Your Trip?

Two more days until the ?st MRI (I've lost count) and my first EEG.

"What should I expect?" I asked my friend with Epilepsy.

"Whatever you do," she said, "try to make your brain shocks happen during the thirty minute EEG. If you don't, they'll keep scheduling longer and longer EEG sessions until they can measure what you're talking about."

"What, like thirty minutes, an hour, two hours?" I asked.

She said, "I had to do a week-long EEG before they caught one of my seizures. A week. You're wandering around, apologizing to the nurses. 'Sorry it hasn't happened yet.' Just try to make it happen on the first EEG."

[Idea for television show: "Seizures! Caught on tape!" (If they can make an awesome show about crab fishing this should be no problem.)

My left leg issue has come back a few times, briefly. It doesn't respond, but then it does a second later. Weird.

Perhaps I have been losing some of my coordination, too. I have had the past two days off and—of course—I have blown all my free time looking for morel mushrooms in the woods. On Sunday I was lost deep in the woods (as usual) and, going down a ravine to case a strain of ash trees, I didn't see a root protruding through the dead leaves. My left leg caught it and my right leg could not prevent a fall. My body swung to the ground faster than I could react and my head hit the dirt in a way that scared me. I was probably more shocked than anything but it felt like my brain sloshed around inside my skull during the impact. I limped back to the car and drove straight home. I remember stories about skiers hitting their heads and getting symptoms hours later. I wanted to be home where MJ could drive me, not stuck in the woods trying to describe my location to her. ("Honey? I'm feeling woozy. There are trees around me. Know where that is? Wait, there's a squirrel too!")

I felt better later on. Yesterday, I went mushroom hunting again, checking a different spot. Everything is too dry, not enough rain. I found one morel, though. I cut it open but discovered it was a so-called "false" morel, meaning it was poisonous. Bad luck. Some time later I tripped AGAIN but saved my head from another serious impact. This time I arranged myself by a tree and caught my breath. It was quiet being so deep in the woods like that. I love solitude. Probably miles from the nearest person. I lay back and looked up at the foliage. Spring. The air was moist, flowers burst open, animals skittered along the bark of trees. Everything felt so thick with life. No wonder birds sing.

The gunshots in the distance told me it was time to drive home. That I was wearing camouflage didn't help my predicament. Back at home I walked down the steps outside and somehow lost my footing AGAIN. I braced myself properly but scraped a big chunk of skin off my right knee. My right shin is bruised, my right ankle is sprained, my right thumb feels sprained and my left hand has a small gash out of it.

Sometimes it feels like my body is part of a movie, but individual frames are dropped from this movie. When I play the oboe, there have been moments where my right arm just "drops" for a split-second. I recover quickly, but I know something strange has just happened. Perhaps this is happening more now, where I lose control of fingers, arms or legs for just a moment.

When I was a child, my father would always say, "Whoops! Did you enjoy your trip?" I thought that was pretty funny, and it's good to laugh about anything you are able to.

1 comment:

  1. Did you ever hear that things happen in threes? According to your post, you've already gone on three "trips"'re safe from here on out! I love reading your blog and thoroughly enjoy your positive take on everything. Good luck with all of your upcoming tests.