A lot has happened since I last posted something here, and I think it’s time to share a bit. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll just say the easy part: everything is moving in the right direction and I’m happy with how I’m getting better all the time. That’s a fact, Jack.
I’m going to avoid a cliche, mostly so I don’t sound cheesy. You’ll get that, and I have to own it for myself: it sounds a little like “very special episode” stuff, but here goes: I have an attitude of gratitude.
The fact is that I feel overwhelmingly lucky and happy. I’m alive, have full command of my faculties, and I’m really looking forward to the future. That’s great news. What’s especially wonderful is that I’ve had so much support from family and friends. Apparently, I must have made a good impression on people over the years, and the outpouring of love, support, encouragement, and sympathy is frankly humbling to me. I have so many Thank You cards to do, and it sounds like fun.
So let’s do a status update. So many things have gotten better for me that it feels like this is all going to be over sometime soon. The mental fog is really on its way out, which is approaching my traditional fogginess. I’ll always forget what I was doing, and that’s just a part of being me. I’m easily distracted, which is familiar. I’m running at about 85%, and I felt like I was at 20% around July 1st.
For sensory processing, it’s been a huge improvement. Back in July, a grocery store was a nightmare of overwhelming stimuli. All the stuff on shelves, people wandering around, and music on the store PA was way more than I could handle. It’s all pretty easy now, and the biggest hassle is my crummy eyesight. I was reading labels the other day, and it was hard to see the letters. That’s just a little inconvenient, so I’ll cope.
The big goal for me as the sensory processing improves is that I really want to get back to driving. My personal timeline is looking like January at the latest. When I ride in the car, I’m back to being able to judge speed and direction of other cars and pedestrians. I’m seeing everything I should, and that’s good news. I’m not stupid enough to get behind the wheel until I believe I can be safe, and I have to convince myself to start. Then I’ll have to convince others and pass a driving test. I could probably drive semi decently today, but I’m not willing to put other people at risk just to prove a point.
Man, I miss that. I love driving, and taking the bus isn’t as much fun.
Physically, there’s stuff getting better. I had surgery on my arm nerves a couple of weeks ago, and they re-routed my wiring to my right hand. I can feel my pinky and ring fingers again, and I’m looking forward to being able to use my right hand again. I just got the stitches removed today so I can heal completely. That really sucked, but it’s just a short bit of pain. Then it’s time to get the muscles rebuilt. I’ve been singing about my “achy brachial plexus” and there’s some physical therapy coming soon for my shoulder.
There are a couple of nerve-related things, and that’s not a big problem. The right side of my face stays a little bit numb all the time, and we’ll see if it improves in a while. The left side of my body from the neck down to my toes just feels weird. It’s kind of like everything is covered with plastic wrap, and my sense of touch is just turned down a bit. My left hand is in good shape, and is just acting normal. Otherwise, the left half of me feels odd. But it’s not miserable or painful. Maybe it will get amusing, and maybe it will work out in its own, but I’m not bothered by it. Give me 50 years of that and I’m ok with it.
The point is that there’s a lot more living for me to do and I’m fortunate enough that I’m on a path to being a normal adult. I’m not living in denial here, just being pragmatic and optimistic. And it’s time for me to get back to work and put this insane year into the history books.
In the meantime, thanks for reading this. It’s my hope that I will be able to help somebody who has found themselves in this situation, and the mere fact that you’re reading this is really comforting to me. I’m grateful to have my story known, so thank you for caring. I promise I’ll pay it forward.
If you ever want to get in touch, send me an email! The address is my last name at Gmail. I’m still a proud non-Facebooker, but I’ll cheerfully reply to you in the old fashioned way.
Lots of love,