Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Different Angle


I keep this blog because someone who had a tumor near their memory center eventually would lose all memory pre and post surgery and the entire story of their brain issues is told to them from other perspectives. If I wasn’t going to be able to remember it and had to hear the story, I wanted to hear it from my angle. I also write it because human memory is a funny thing even when it’s working properly, with our present emotions recalling similar emotions in the past, psychology having shown that when you’re happy you more easily remember happy memories, sad, sad memories and so forth. But if there’s anything I’ve learned from being a court officer and seeing people testify to things and having to do it myself, it’s that perspectives can vary wildly and usually there is some gaps between.
I went back to the track workout last night, the first speed workout after the seizure and got to hear some of the other perspectives of what had happened. No one actually saw the seizure and the first two guys to pass me thought perhaps I’d overheated and was laying down to rest, then they remember I’m not the type of guy to do that. They stood over me and then some other people passed by and apparently it took a few minutes to realize that perhaps someone should call 911, the bystander effect. Everyone in the running group would stop including people who had not met me since it was their first or second time there and it would be quite a while before anyone would leave. One of the younger girls who had known me for a while but had not heard about any of these events till recently stated that it became very real very suddently and that it shook her up until she saw me again. Apparently, there was a time where my eyes were open and I was unresponsive and in her mind, she hoped I wasn’t awake and unable to move like those people who end up trapped in their body. One of the older ladies apparently thought the EMT’s were handling me too rough and thoroughly reprimanded them. When I finally came to and started talking, I started joking about how “Man I have some good looking friends” and, we’re having a party this Sunday with some of the bottles of wine I brought back from Sonoma, that they should all make sure to attend the party. As with the previous seizure, more than few people talked about how helpless they felt but that they still wanted to help. I listened, wondered and then went and knocked out 5 1k’s at a 5:15 pace.
A story I heard from several different people was that the EMT’s asked who was going to go into the ambulance with me, who I liked the best so that could be who I would wake up to. There was also a discussion of who to call and let them know. (Kiana was with her mother that night by coincidence or the kindness of the universe so that was a non-issue.) Happily, there were several people who volunteered to be the one who I got to wake up to but sadly, it was unclear who should be the one taking that spot. In the end, there would be four different people that would be part of the transport, two from last year’s journey and two that I’d met since then. In the six nights since this has happened, 11 different people have given me rides due to the driving restriction and 5 different ones have stayed at the house just for extra monitoring (and while they’ve been of both genders, the jokes have begun about how my neighborhood is going to love the number of one night stands I’ve pulled off recently and my work is going to be impressed that they are all classy enough to drop me off). One of them pointed out that people are willing to do more if I would just ask; I don’t know what to ask for besides rides right now. The cure to cancer?
Interacting with my ex about about it is still strange but it appears that for the first time since the divorce she has agreed to sit down and do some coparenting counseling together though the details are still a long way from hammered out. I hope we both have the maturity to waive off any and all of the past and learn to trust each other again with how we raise this moon goddess and figure out how to coparent a lot better than we have been. One of our mutual friends said we should take this as an opportunity for her to move back in and work everything out. That won’t happen because once bitten…
People have questioned why I’m out running again so soon. Well, I do have medical clearance for starters but as I’ve said for years and will always say, no one ever says on their deathbed I wish I’d sat around more. I picked doctors and friends who were blunt and when an event like this happens , that’s both tough and helpful. My doctor is okay with the running but said “Well you have a giant tear in the most active part your brain so let’s keep the medication level higher.”
When this diagnosis first came, we were just hoping to buy time and then there was the possibility that this was not going to be the cause of my death and then MRI’s went bad and now we’re doing additional tests and having a seizure. Maybe this is a shift in the trend; maybe it was just the medication; cancer is not exactly the most predictable animal. Still, people are helping in whatever ways I know how to ask, thus far only rides. People are still coming to the wine party. Kiana still woke up this morning to tell me we needed to brush her hair. Who knows what’s coming from what angle but I’ll brush that hair down, out and sideways as long as I’m capable.

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