Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Impatience Goeth Before The Exhaustion

Being glum and having headaches this week is probably related to being overtired: looking back on the time logs kept for sick leave, Sunday (grading for both classes), Monday and Tuesday (teaching, preparing to teach, etc) showed almost full-time hours. Clearly, that much energy is not yet available. I’m back to redoubling my efforts to learn to speak and live Tortoise. Most of this has been improved by a lot of sleep last night and more sleep and rest--and little work-- today. Live and learn, as they say. More balance, fewer headaches.

Physical therapy this week involved some light tissue massage to try to loosen up my scalp, which is still among the most problematic remaining symptoms of this whole adventure. It seemed to make a difference in a positive way for my leg mobility, which is interesting. While most of the incision is healing nicely, the area of my scalp that was pulled back for the surgery is still “boggy” in the parlance of the surgeon. To me, it feels numb and sensitive at the same time, if that makes the slightest sense. There are places where the incision has healed so much it is all-but-invisible, and then there are three places left that are still not-so-healed. One of those is especially tender, which was identified for us in our last visit with the surgeon as likely to be the original drill hole. After learning that, I was much less enchanted with the episode of “House” (how do you punctuate the name of a TV show on DVD, anyway?) we watched that involved someone using a drill press to drill into a person’s skull to release intracranial pressure while working at a scientific station at one of the poles. I didn’t watch that part, myself. Nothing about drilling into the skull is an appealing image, even though it was so clearly helpful to me.

Kearney and friends have noted a progression of behaviors returning that indicate to them that I’m returning to my normal self: in a recent call, Kearney told me the first sign that reassured her was when I had vocabulary upon awakening from anesthesia, the second was when I wanted ice water but complained about the Styrofoam cup in the hospital room, the third when the clutter there started to bother me, and the fourth (in her words, not mine) when I started “obsessing” about getting out thank you notes for all the kindnesses we experienced. This week, my natural crabbiness when tired is back, so maybe that’s another sign that this experience hasn’t changed my fundamental personality.

Autumn is beautiful in central Illinois, especially when it is still relatively warm, the sun is shining and the sky is blue. The forecast is for frost on the weekend, but until then, the weather is to be enjoyed. I may even try to sit in my protected corner in the sun for a bit today. Cheers to all, and thanks for reading and caring. As I resurface, the number of people who mention reading this continues to take me aback. After the initial drama was over, we figured the drivel-factor would drive people away and it would be mostly a mechanism for organizing the experience. The exchanges it has stimulated have been interesting, enriching, fun and reconnecting. Thanks again.

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