Before June 7th, I could stare at my computer for hours. Sometimes, I keenly spewed my motherly adventures to the Unmuted. Other times the words just floated around in my head without any rhyme or reason, but never reached the tips of my fingers or the computer keys to share.
I had a “choice”. I could write whatever I felt and hit “post”. There was no deadline. Some days the stories were good. Others, it was just as sour as the overdue, milk carton date I now stretch my eyes to read. I could still write garbage, if I felt like it. It was always an “option”.
And, then, BAM! No, I really mean, BAM! You see…I hit my head. I hit my head…hard. How many times have I knocked my noggin on a car door or a kitchen cabinet, but walked away unscratched? 100s of times? 1000s? How many times have I walked away with a tiny bump that looked like a huge zit or a mound I could cover by changing the part in my hair? Before, my klutziness was disguisable…physically.
This time, the hit made my brain move and discombobulate. It was internal. It was as if there was a mental cleaver settled two inches deep into my brain. It settled hard enough to damage it for a while, but not long enough to sever any nerves, permanently. Miracle?
My brain moved so swift and quick that even the greatest NFL receiver wouldn’t have seen it coming. I saw stars. Yes, seeing stars exists. The Looney Tunes characters were really experiencing this. There was a full halo of stars; only the audience couldn’t see them, in my case. Only I didn’t fall back with a stiff body and a full coat of hair. Only the stars didn’t go away after two seconds. Only Tweetie didn’t fly over my face with an innocent, yet sociopathic smile.
It was like an early 90s rave without all of the Dr. Seuss paraphernalia, endless bottles of water (no alcohol in sight) and glow sticks flailing in the air. I went back in time for a moment and the only glow I could see when I caught reality was my four-year-old daughter’s yellow dress and the light creeping through the shades of my friend’s house. The only pounding I could hear was in my own head.
Where was I? I was at a preschool graduation party at high noon. And, the only hit I had was the back of my head meeting the top of an industrial strength bookshelf…twice.
I was out of it for long enough that I could have traced the big dipper with a sharpie while singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Only I was still functional. I was walking around like a zombie, but with super-zombie powers. I could pretend I was human and that everything was OK. In fact, I thought everything was OK.
There was no way in f#$%ing hell that I had a concussion. Alex Smith of the 49ers suffered a concussion and still scored a touchdown, was benched for two weeks and then lost his job to Colin Kaepernick. Concussions are cruel and they only happen to athletes, I thought. Troy Aikman retired because of them and he’s pretty damn tough.
In fact, I made it through the entire party thinking I was just a “little off” from a lack of sleep. After all, I had barely slept the night before, because I was ripping songs for my 4-year-old daughter to remember after her graduation. I was ripping these songs that would empower her through the years. The songs that we always sang together and danced to during our DANCE PARTIES! (Yes, DANCE PARTIES deserve caps and an exclamation because they’re high energy and cool at our house.)
Anyway, I headed home. I was tired and confused, like I feel most of the time after I haven’t slept. This is obviously my norm. I felt like my brain was in check and then BAM! I felt a little sick. I felt a little strange. I thought, “Damn, I shouldn’t have eaten whatever the heck salad I had.” I thought, “Maybe, the hot dog I inhaled the night before while I was ripping my sentimental, masterpiece playlist had salmonella in it.” (Yes, that doesn’t make any sense, but I was sleep deprived and not fully privy to the fact that I was in the midst of a concussion.)
I called hubs on his way home from work. I said, “I hit my head. I feel a little off. I couldn’t have a concussion, right?”
He replied, “No, you’re fine. You don’t have a concussion. Just relax.”
This is exactly the way husbands respond to their hypochondriac wives. He wasn’t in the wrong. As far as I was concerned, he had me at “no”. I believed him. As far as the concussion idea was concerned, it was as possible as me smiling (truly) and eating mayonnaise covered eggplant with okra sprinkles. (If there was ever a Fear Factor challenge that I was suddenly part of, this is the one thing that would make me puke all over Joe Rogan.)
To Be Continued…