I’ve gotten hooked on Dr. Who this winter break thanks to too much alone time and a little subliminal suggesting from my son’s sister, Grace and her mother. (That’s another blog) So, I am sure I am the last one of my generation , and the next to have gotten thoroughly attached to this series. I have been wonderfully surprised at the humor and philosophy infused in this show. Like the Tardis, it has been much bigger on the inside. And, a nice segue for me to this my first post of the brand new year. Last year was a wild ride, eh? Lot’s of stuff to look back on, contemplatively. I will never claim to have stuff figured out…and you have permission to slap me if I talk like I have, but I did feel like I was figuring out that I didn’t have to have it all figured out immediately. Of course, the universe, one’s higher power has a way of keeping you humble and focused on powerlessness.
I still cannot believe that on February 12, 2014, my brain experienced the trauma of a stroke. In looking back, in trying to retell my story to friends, family and curious onlookers, nothing signaled me that anything was different. I was exhausted all day but I had a long weekend playing pond hockey and living fully. It was back to the daily grind and a surprise call to work a Harley event at the Bradley Center where the struggling (okay , that’s kind) Milwaukee Bucks were playing the New Orleans’s Pelicans. I am always re-enerized when I enter the world of motorcycles and this night, exposing people to the power of being on a bike, it was no different. A young man was surprised when I invited him to sit on the stationary bike and start it up. He turned to his mom who looked at me as if to confirm this decision. I eagerly explained the safety, the fun, the thrill…she nodded and he was ecstatic. He climbed on and I talked him through the start up and shift process. He rolled on the throttle. Let me say if you’ve never experienced that “roll on” experience, well, that’s one thing, but to WATCH someone experience it, and know what’s coming…./now THAT is an unforgettable, humbling experience. This young man had just gotten his mind blown by the gods of motorcycles when my Motor Company employee partner for the event started to ask me what was wrong. I felt great! No weakness, no difference that I could feel. I have not had a chance to talk to this employee since my event. Sad to say, I never got his name, at least, not after my hospitalization. I either case, he may well have saved my life by whatever he noticed. Even riding to the hospital as the EMT lied about how the IV line wasn’t going to hurt much, ha! I felt fine. Sure, I was panicked but glad to be on my way to trained medical staff who would pronounce me terribly fatigued but able to return home and tend to my life.
I was awake most of the night, squeezing the fingers of ever appearing new nurses who pretended well enough to be having the bones in their hands crushed by my brute strength. They took my vitals, they commented on how young and in good shape I was to have had a stroke. You think!!!!!!????They popped in and out all night. I don’t know when I slept or what time the next day it finally occurred to me that I had indeed had a stroke, couldn’t move my left side and my mother was on her way from Pennsylvania. It was definitely much bigger on the inside!!!!!
The staff at St. Mary”s was skilled enough to distract me from the reality of the situation by being excited about how soon I could be transferred to the rehab floor. The nurses all assured me it would be tough but thankfully I was in great physical condition. My brain was mush but at least I had spirit. Which felt a lot like being told “You have a great personality, though…” So I got excited about my big transfer until I realized that it meant getting up at 6:45 am each day for vital checks and dressing lessons! I’m tough, determined but getting up early starts to exceed my limits. I learned how to dress myself again, in front of people who cheered for me. I’m just gonna put it out there, that’s a bit unnerving. Maybe not as creepy as if they would have cheered about me taking them off. (They didn’t).
I had people tell me my heart rate and blood pressure many times a day. I had student nurses tell me they couldn’t find a pulse (I have a very low heart rate, always have.) and they’d call for an experienced nurse, despite my telling them they could just “call it” and be done with it. They didn’t even crack a smile. Just like the morning nurse who’s always ask what I wanted to take my laxative with. Their response to “your best pinot noir” was always met with a very serious, “Now the doctor wouldn’t allow that!”. As if I really expected them to have a fine pinot on hand. As if….
And the parade of people who came into my room…medical staff, Psych staff, rehab staff, friends, relatives, vampires…early in the morning hours for blood draws. The parade was interesting and constantly changing. There were new shifts of nurses constantly and I’d like to think because I’m so damn fascinating that there was always a wide range of people who just wanted to see me. It kind of felt like a petting zoo without the petting!
And so started the story of much bigger on the inside of my life. Although that’s a lie, that story started when I entered this world. I always felt like there was more. More time, more love, more life…just out there. I was so right, I was sooo wrong. It’s not out there at all. It is right here and has always been, will always be.
It sounds cliche’, and if I had not just lived the last two years experiencing how big it was, it would have felt cliche.
And this comes back around to Dr. Who. Oddly enough. I feel like the last 1-2 years has been intensive time/space travel. I’ve seen the future and aged 10 plus years it seems, I had clear flashbacks of my old life, I am missing chunks of time where I was living in time, it was passing, but I don’t feel like I accomplished much more than moving like I was on some kind of cosmic treadmill. Then I head back to the Tardis that is my life and realize that it is huge inside and it can take me wherever, whenever I need to go.
Seemed like a cool analogy at the onset but it’s gotten rather long-winded. Ah well. Fuck it. It’s what happened and what is yet to be. Above all else, It IS bigger on the inside!