Gratitude for my health – 4 years later.

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(Written 4 years ago, on June 7, 2011)

I will not be disabled permanently!

Even with my current memory and balance issues. I was deeply scared, depressed and afraid during my first 2 weeks after the accident. But…two doctors, my orthopedist (spine) and alternative med doc, had positive things to say this week. And thanks to my friends and family who visited me in the hospital and at home, even with my Keppra-induced bizarre behavior. You are saints.

I keep getting asked “WHAT HAPPENED?” So this is for my friends and family who care and didn’t know. As I like to write, this is a good memory exercise for me. I keep asking people too, bc I have total amnesia of my accident, and near total amnesia of the hospital stay and the week following.

May 14, 2011: During an 80 mile bike ride to Bedford, NY with the A19 sig of the New York Cycling Club, training for a trip (since, canceled) to the Pyrenees in France, I crashed bad. Had a good ride beforehand with my friend and ride leader, @Alan Resnick, providing caring, very wise guidance the whole way. On the short ride back to take train home, I hit bad road with major potholes and a vertical seam, I believe, so my bike stopped, and I flipped over my handlebars, likely going around 20MPH, and landed on my head. Sustained TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury): concussion and 2 parietal subarachnoid hemorrhages in my brain. My paramedic friend, riding behind me, @Edwin Roberts, saw it happen and saved my life as I lost consciousness for 15 minutes and stopped breathing. He repositioned me so I could breathe, and stayed with me throughout the first day in the hospital.

May 15 til today: Hospital, then recovering with family, then alone. A 2nd ER visit in the midst of it, stroke scare, but turned out I was OK. Help came from caring compassionate friends esp those who were parents and clearly knew how to take care of themselves. Deep insights throughout, some of which I have documented on my wall. Mostly interpersonal – I learned a lot about myself and other human beings through this period as a patient.

I was alone, probably wrongly, on my own, for 2 weeks after initial recovery with parents. It was not just my own tragedy, but a tragedy for other people, and I saw one friend almost lose her hearing the same week, and other people have meltdowns around me. And I still needed help to get down the stairs to walk one block. But I learned and recovered from the independence in the midst of the chaos around me. Had to be demanding at times, hello, I’m the injured one. I won’t reject compassionate action toward me, in fact I greatly admire it.

Seems I’m recovering pretty well.

Lesson #1: You must learn to fight to take care of yourself, bc when it comes down to it, no one will be there for you reliably. Must be shameless, even.

Lesson #2: This is bc everyone feels they are a victim and are suffering.

Be grateful for every effort that comes your way. Not everyone is given the same “equipment” or preparation to be loving beings, so those who have it, have eternal gratitude. And encourage others to take care of themselves (as well as of you!)