July 2012 archive
Some nights ago I spent some time browsing through the obscene stream of photos that are currently hogging up all the space on my phone. Some of them I don’t remember taking, like the ones taken in the days following the accident. I just don’t remember. I have been told that epileptic seizures do not lead to memory loss unless you have had hundreds of them. I have had 4 in total. Nevertheless, I feel, and has felt this every single time, that my short-time memory has been affected In some way. Things don’t stick, and days gone by become blurry. All of this could probably be entirely blamed on the shock of the experience, and be viewed as my subconsciousness trying to put the pieces back together in my head in order to make the puzzle fit. Any additional noise on the airwaves might be unnecessary at this point.
Once the hospital had me take a test, where I was strapped to a gurney, which was then put upright. The nurse put a tablet of nitroglycerin underneath my tongue, and did some additional thing which I don’t remember. I never understood the point of the test, only that it had something to do with understanding the cause of my epilepsy. The nurse spent the whole duration of the test with her back turned towards me, observing the reactions of my brain, heart, pulse, etc, as they were happening. After sticking it out for thirty minutes, counting every second of every minute, experiencing the worst bouts of dizziness, heat-flashes, nausea, cold-sweats, etc, I finally told her that I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was going to pass out. She put the gurney down and gave me a glass of lemonade, which I sipped while she waved me with a pamphlet. I was pale as a ghost, and felt totally betrayed that nobody had told me how nauseatingly awful this would be. She brought my mother in, and together we got the results of the exam. “The aim was to get you to pass out”, she said, “To see exactly what happens in your brain when you do”. Well, that was sure news to me. She then continued, “You were too strong, though. Your body really fought for you.” When she said that, I felt proud. Proud to have such a strong army of organisms working in my favor, keeping up their end of the deal.
After the accident (I accidentally wrote “innocent” — freudian slip?) , the word that came to mind constantly when trying to explain how I was feeling was “disconnect”. It’s splattered all over my journal, like word vomit. DISCONNECT DISCONNECT DISCONNECT. I have felt, and still feel completely disconnected from my body. I am so angry with it that if I could I would make it sleep on the couch. On top of that, I feel like I am living inside a bubble, looking out at everybody else.
I cry several times a day.
Today I tried to sort out of my future… I know which university I want to attend next year, and I know what I want to major in. I also know that I would want to participate in the exchange student program, with an American university being my preference. But, what does all of this matter, when the word “want” is not connected to any sort of emotion for me? Logically, I would want it. I know the old Sofie would. Emotionally, I am completely apathetic. It doesn’t get me excited. When doing this, I feel like I am planning somebody else’s life.
I am writing all of this here, because I can’t say it out loud. I don’t think I am very good at hiding it, though.
I am back in the summerhouse, and I can finally say with no exaggeration that the weather is nothing less than LOVELY. When the sun finally decides to pay us a visit, the Danish summers are difficult to compete with. There is absolutely no need to go anywhere else, weather- and temperature-wise. What a privilege it is to be able to spend all day lounging around in a lawn chair with turning the pages of the book you are reading being the only strain.
I may have mentioned this before, but I have officially no longer on any sort of pain killers. I felt one morning that I no longer needed them, and have been just fine ever since. My hip is no longer in pain, except for the few times where I accidently flex the muscles surrounding that area. That hurts. Mentally, I am also on the right track. Last night, 12:30am, was the “anniversary” of the accident. That’s what I refer to it as, both in English and in Danish. I cannot believe it’s been a month. I also can’t believe how much I have changed in that month. There has been so much internal processing and inward-looking that I am positive I will never be the same again. As a person, I am no better or worse, just different.
Yesterday, when we were driving to the summerhouse, my grandmother asked me how I felt this whole thing had affected me, as far as mentality goes. At least I think that is what she asked me. It is horrible, but I think I remember my own process of reflecting better than the question itself. All I know is that I told her that I no longer believed in fate. I no longer believe that I have been singled out as the carrier of all of these diseases because I can carry this amount of weight on my shoulders. Throughout my life, I have always believed that the consequences of my chronic illnesses would at one point come to a halt. That someone would say, enough is enough, we are going to give her a break and let all the shit she has going on already become status quo. I am not a religious, and yet I talk as if I was once a believer. I guess I was a believer. I must have believed in something, or else it wouldn’t be possible for my illusions to have become shattered. Whatever beliefs I had smoldered between my fingers that night.
All of this sounds awfully depressing, but I feel more clear-sighted than ever. The thing is, I am actually able to accept this change within myself. I feel strongly that it is here to stay, and while twenty-three is a little young to become such a
bitter old woman realist, it is actually liberating. It has led to me buying 200 dollars worth of clothing as a way of dressing this new person (don’t worry, I could afford it). I bought her a pair of sunglasses and a new bag, cardigans, shirts; all stuff that I have never permitted the old person, old me, to enjoy. The old me has waited for a day where all the pieces would fit together; where I had the right body, dress-size, and life to be able to a person worth investing in. Isn’t that horrible and masochistic? The new me realizes that if you put shit in one hand and wishes in the other hand, shit will fill up faster, and I just need to live in the moment and dress for the occasion.
Needless to say, it helps to write about it. All of this might read as insane nonsense, and that is okay. I accept that, too. Now, if you will excuse me, I have a lawn chair and a book waiting for me. Toodles!
A couple of mornings ago, I woke up at five in the AM to this. I went back to bed, but with a different feeling. It’s like a day that starts out looking like this can only bring something good.
I don’t have much new to report, as most of my days this past week have been pretty similar. In fact, I can’t really separate them in my head. The last couple of days my father has dropped by after work to take me out for a ride in my wheelchair. The pain has somewhat subsided, at least to the point where I have decided to stop taking morphine. I was on a very small dosage, but still. There is no sense in popping pills unnecessarily. I have spent a lot of time solving sudoku puzzles and watching television — often at the same time. My mother-in-law sent me a Stephen King book, “Full Dark, No Stars”, which I am 40 pages into, and that shit is SCARY. I have spent all week alone and actually had to stop reading it for a while because it made me scared to be alone. I am 23 years old. Thankfully, my grandparents are home now, and I have picked it up again. I am also convinced that there are ghosts in this apartment, I swear. I hear footsteps and a couple of nights ago I swear I heard laughter. Or maybe I am just going crazy. Maybe it’s all Stephen King’s fault. Maybe this book has unleashed a batshit-crazy ghost, like the one in the book. One, which laughs to themselves and plays with the dishwasher.
I have decided to use this opportunity (what opportunity exactly?) to lose some weight. Being immobile makes it so much more difficult, but I don’t care. I don’t really have much of an appetite, whereas the opposite is usually my problem. Also, Urban Outfitters are having an online sale this weekend and I kind of went nuts, so… I want to look FAB! And the best part is all the money I have saved. I love saving money. If you are quick, you can stock up on indie street rebel avenue coolness as well.
(I started this entry fifteen billion years ago, but never got to finish it. Ever since I became, well, let’s call it immobilized, it seems like all I got is time.)
Out of all of the questions, this has been the most difficult question to answer thus far, because isn’t the answer to this question terribly individual? That is why this entry is going to seem a little half-assed. The subject is just too broad and comprehensive for my little morphine-dazed head at the moment.
Truthfully, I know some people who have made a decision long ago to only do things that they find to be fun, rewarding, and have managed to avoid any compromises that work in their disfavor. They have worked hard to get to a position that allows them to pick and choose, but the road to getting there hasn’t necessarily been one that they didn’t enjoy. That’s why the answer to this question is so hard to define, because not everyone has this problem.
But, luckily for this entry, yours truly often find herself doing stuff she doesn’t really want to do, and very rarely gives herself permission to do things she enjoys, so I guess my life is pretty suitable as a point of reference when answering this question. Whoop-dee-doo.
In my case, it is a mix of being a people pleaser and an emotional masochist. No. KIDDING. In all seriousness, I am a very conscientious person. If people expect something of me, I do it, and I guess I don’t believe it is possible to lead a totally compromise-free life without stepping on somebody else along the way. I find it difficult to give myself things, because it makes me feel guilty. I just shopped for clothes online for the first time recently, and the act of shopping FOR MYSELF felt like such a milestone in my personal progress that I dedicated an entire entry to it in my journal.
We do things we don’t want to do. because it feels like we have to, because we feel obligated. Obligations — I personally wouldn’t want to live life without them. In life, you have to make sure that there is constantly a steady balance between the two poles, and that is in every regard and every field in life. It is all about the attitude with which you do things.
I am currently participating in the “50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind”-list from Marc And Angel Hack Life.
Firstly, I want to thank Meg, Jinx and Alice for leaving such thoughtful, kind and compassionate comments on the entries regarding my current situation and everything that has happened. That was really wonderful of you, and I want you to know how much I appreciated that you took the time and made the effort to reach out to me.
As is hopefully evidenced by this picture, I am in better spirits. My grandfather managed to get the airline (KLM, whom I will ALWAYS be using from now on — these people have been so kind and understanding) to move my plane ticket to the Fall, where I should hopefully be up and walking. Most likely still with the aid of crutches, but still.
Strangely enough, I am still having nightmares about the last and final exam I went to (which went well). Last night I dreamt that my school’s computersystem went down and that all of our exam grades were lost. The answer to this was of course to make us all re-take every single one of our exams, and, well, that sounds like a nightmare, right? I don’t know why my brain is still dealing with/processing this issue that was never an issue to begin with. I have been on vacation for weeks now, school is over, MOVE ON, ALREADY.
Tomorrow, I will be going home from the summerhouse, and will be spending the week at my grandparents’ apartment by myself. They are going away for the week, and their apartment is much more wheelchair- and crutch-friendly than mine. That means I will have plenty of time to pen entries detailing all the embarrassing/weird stuff that has happened to me while being out and about in a wheelchair.
I think I am done being angry. Being angry is very exhausting, and in my case confusing, because I haven’t really had anything or anyone to direct my anger at. It’s nobody’s fault, not even my own, and shit happens. This too shall pass.
My grandparents, whom I have been living with for the past two weeks, have been very worried about me. The first two and a half weeks after the accident, I was in a complete state of shock. It was as if I was living in a world seperate from everybody else, but that fact was something only I knew about. Nobody knew that I wasn’t really there with them. It didn’t help that I was unable to talk, eat or sleep for approximately a week due to an extreme break out of herpes in my mouth. That is how my body reacts when it experiences a trauma that weakens the immune system — my mouth breaks out in blisters. This time was unlike anything I have ever experienced before. I think I counted twenty+ blisters in my mouth. That also makes you go a little nuts.
Needless to say, my diary has been my savior through this whole process. I have pages and pages of truths that completely reflect where I was at the time. Reading it now, I feel proud that I was able to pen down my feelings with such honesty and no shame.
Friday I felt a sudden need to renew myself, so after finding out that my grandmother cuts her own bangs (she’s a brave woman), I asked her if she would help me with mine. I haven’t had bangs since I was little little, but it is something I have considered for a while, and I figured why not. So, I now have bangs. I am not normally this spontaneous, but the world didn’t end, and my hair is only slightly (charmingly) uneven, so who cares. I am very happy I did it. I think I look pretty sharp.
I have so many messages to respond to, but I haven’t felt like it until now. Well, I still don’t really feel like it, but I want to show that I am grateful for the concern and love people have shown me through all of this. I have only kept in touch with a few friends, I guess due to my state of shock and not really knowing what to say to people. But now it’s time to put my big girl pants on and do it, I think.
It’s almost Tuesday, which means I have been living with my grandparents for a week now. My own apartment is very old, very small, and very unwilling to cooperate with someone who’s in a wheelchair. I’m afraid to see what it looks like now, my apartment, considering the state I had to leave it in that morning a week ago when everything changed. It still feels like a cruel joke, which is why I am so proud that I kicked fate’s ass right back by asking my grandfather if he could please come and take me to school in my wheelchair*, still not knowing what was the cause of my pain, but knowing I NEEDED to take my last exam and finish this school-bullshit on time, once and for all. And I
aced it b-ced it. Of course, being the type of person I am, I will now spend the rest of my life wondering if I could have received an A had my brain not been so affected by the seizure my brain had just experienced six hours prior.
* I have a wheelchair because this shit has happened before.
I have been on so much heavy medication for the past week that I have only just regained my appetite today. I have had ice cream and pre-made pizza. As a consequence of the trauma my body has been through, I have experienced a massive herpes-attack in my mouth since Friday, which has left me unable to eat, talk or sleep. It has become a little better. I have also bought that journal I was going to buy and use as a New York Travel Diary… and am instead using it as a place to get all of my aggressions out.
I am so angry. For so many reasons. I am the kind of person who has always found comfort in the idea that everything happens for a reason. And this – this is meaningless. There is no one I can blame it on, no one to direct my anger at. Perhaps my brain was reacting to something, like the enormous stress I have put it through lately… or maybe it was just a simple chemical miscommunication/fuck-up on my brain’s part. Maybe it just didn’t get the signals right. Either way, there is no one and nothing to blame. But this ‘Nothing/No one’ and I still have some kind of war going, because I don’t understand why I needed to be reminded of my own vulnerability. I didn’t forget that I have epilepsy and I didn’t forget that I have a very rare genetic disease that causes my bones to be exceptionally brittle. I have struggled to finish school and have gone through so many changes in the last year, and this was supposed to be a time of CELEBRATION. Finally, some celebration! Now, I am facing all of these big changes that I didn’t ask for. I look myself in the mirror and feel extremely disconnected from the person I see. I don’t recognize myself, and that is because I know I am different, and that I will never be the same. I am like a little kid who has been told that there is no Santa Claus. It has finally dawned on me that we go through life alone, live alone, die alone, and that… I am alone with my fate.