Today marks three months since my last blog posting.
You yawn and say, “who cares?” then cite statistics about how most of the 175 million blogs on the web go inactive in less time than that.
How about what happened a month later, I volley back with a description of the previously-unknown aneurysm rupturing in my brain on April 20th? The rupture initiated a 35-day hospital saga filled with Lifeflight rides, blue bag resuscitation, and Michael Jackson’s favorite drugs. Most punishing to a writer was my lost voice, courtesy of an emergency tracheostomy.
At long last: light and play during dreary ICU days -- thanks to E.T., the pulse monitor.
Countless rounds of physical and occupational therapy later, I finally possess enough sustained energy to write a blog post.
The picture tells a thousand stories.
There’s E.T., aka the pulse monitor, who brightened my days because the little red light gave me something to laugh about. Eighteen days in Neuro ICU does that to a sick brain.
Priscilla, the Prairie Dog, nests by my right arm. She’s a remnant from my childhood, Fed-Exed to my Nebraska hospital bed for comfort and familiarity. Yes, there’s a story in her active presence in my 55-year-old life.
IV tubes hang to the right of my bed. What you cannot see is the second pole. It bears another half-dozen or so liquid-filled bags.
On the other side of the bed is the wall plug that delivers oxygen to my tracheostomy. The god-awful nasal tube provides “nutrition.” How did I lose a dress size?
There’s more to the story, the nightmare, the misadventure, and I’ll write about all of this over time.
But for now, today, I’m back.
The blog is renewed and so am I—living the New Normal with a brain that simply feels different. Either that or I’ve morphed into a human-looking cat and this is my second life.
A writer's work is never done!
Actually, I never disappeared. Not all of me.
In the Neuro ICU, the old, familiar voices that feed me story ideas and spur my imagination returned. Once freed, they yammered in my head.
Out came my laptop, especially on days the headaches vacationed or after my family rally team had left for the day. I would write and write, capturing whatever dropped in and desperate to never forget this surreal misadventure.
I wondered if maybe detailed reports about days I no longer remembered were true. How could I have been in deep sedation from a staph pneumonia that I did not remember? Did my right lung really collapse? What did it all mean, this experience that had yanked me out of one world with a blind cruelty that took my breath away?
While I had no answers—and my furious writing reflected that—I kept writing anyway. With the return of the voices, I knew my life had come back, albeit dramatically changed in a form I did not understand.
Regardless of where I lay, it was time to write again.