I don’t count the days anymore. I don’t go to sleep thinking I won’t wake up in the morning every night. I don’t keep Xanax in my pocket, in my car, at my desk, and beside of my bed anymore. I do, still almost daily, think there’s a significant chance I may not make it out of whatever situation I am sitting in at that very moment.
I’ve gotten better about covering it. I tend to get super quiet. Almost totally disconnected. In a restaurant I get up and go to the bathroom, and at home I just randomly sit down places.
The problem with head injuries, is you can’t “just fix it”. It’s your brain. It doesn’t work that way. So when something doesn’t click. I panic. I panic internally now, but I panic.
Now I only “alert” people around me when I’m pretty sure I’m about to die. I know I am trying to make light of it a little, but it’s true. I got tired of always being the person with a headache, that was dizzy, that this or that… now I just get quiet or excuse myself from the situation.
The most annoying thing I am still trying to get in check is that when I panic, the rush of adrenaline that rushes through my body alone almost knocks me out. I’m not joking either.
I’ve had a neck ache this week.. the first neck ache I’ve had since the strokes. If you know the story, you know it all started with a neck ache. So this week I’ve already been a little “concerned”. So yesterday at dinner I suddenly had this strange sensation on the left side of my brain. Idk what it was…. all I know is as soon as I felt it, I also felt this huge rush of adrenaline. I sat there for a second. Made sure I was still okay, and went to the bathroom.
Why the bathroom? Idk. It started as me proving to myself that after an “event” I was still able to walk… talk… etc. So I go to the bathroom… typically wash my face with cold water, and then I feel a bit better. From what I have learned, I now know that once a stroke happens, it happens. It isn’t something that happens over a long course of time. When you have one or start to have one, you know it, or you don’t. Strokes are painless… at least that’s what I’m told. I think I remember it being that way. I remember my neck pain was horrible… and I remember the sudden headaches, but apparently those are symptoms after the fact… by the time I felt it, it had happened. I remember that morning, everything spinning, me sweating… God the sweating…. but I don’t remember thinking “oh my God, my head….” actually I told 911 it could be a heart attack as a I stumbled through trying to keep talking to the operator while the paramedics got there.
I also have this overwhelming urge to get away from EVERYONE around me when something triggers a reaction from me. The bathroom is the easiest, fastest way to make an exit.
I also know stress makes all of this worse… and the ridiculous, often childish, stress I have been through lately is crazy.
Life is too short, you know? When you wake up in the morning you decide how your day is going to go (for the most part). You are the one that decides how you are going to react to situations, you are the one the decides if you are going to be full of self pity and anger, or if you are going to be happy and make the best of every situations, realizing how short life is…
So… if I randomly get quiet, or space out like I apparently did at dinner tonight… or especially if I get up and go to the bathroom… know that I’m internally dealing with something… probably.. or that I have to pee. Know that I probably don’t hate you, unless I do, and you probably aren’t boring me, unless you are. 😉
Just remember, everyone around you is dealing with their own crap… sometimes you have to put your big boy or girl pants on and deal with your own problems without brining everyone around you down too. Doing that just makes every situation worse.