Friday, November 19, 2010

Ironic, Eh?

As I write this it is mid-afternoon Friday. Yesterday, I had one of my "episodes". How shall I describe an "episode"? It is sort of "seizure-ish", but not quite. I used to lose memory of part of the day. Now? Not so much. People have told me I don't respond to questions, and if I do the answers generally don't make sense. My voice goes emotionally flat.  My face is blank, but there is a terrified look in my eyes. When I do come to my senses I am always very very weary. And, I shake like someone shivering in the cold. These "episodes" have been a part of my life since the concussion in 1999.

Now as I write it is clear my thinking is returning to a more linear pattern. Earlier in the day this wasn't the case. Yet, still when I go to speak words occasionally have trouble finding their way from my mind to my lips. That said, I'm functioning well enough for what I do.  

When I ride I seem to be able to access a different part of my brain then when doing my normal day to day stuff. For this reason I wanted to go for a ride during my lunch hour, but it didn't work out. Before I began riding, driving took me close to this experience. I always felt safe from my episodes while driving. And, I feel even safer when riding a motorcycle. Ironic, eh? When I drive I have a sense of being present. When I ride it seems the "I have" disappears and what remains is just "being present."

Since yesterday my brain has been fragile, fragmented and fidgety. Organizing thoughts has been what I imagine it would be like to herd a bunch of feral cats spooked out of their wits. Oh well, I'm making it through work. What had to be done today got done.

Before long it will be time to ride home. It will be a relief to let the cats in my head go and just ride. Later, I will make some music with friends. Later still, it will just be Heather and me. It will be then that I will surrender to the bone crushing fatigue I have been experiencing today. . . that I always experience as an aftermath of one of my cognitive meltdowns.

And tomorrow?

Tomorrow, unless the Life of All the Worlds has other plans for me, I think me wee chariot and I are going to do some exploring.

Me and my Yayli  Tanbur.

My tanpoura.


  1. Wow! That must be such an intense thing to deal with. I mean, it is what it is but you do have to deal/live with it. More power to you for keeping calm and organized and focused. Hope the ride clears your head and calms everything inside. -Lori

  2. The brain is an amazing thing with all those chemical reactions and nervous connections. I hope you're feeling rested up by now. It sounds like it takes a lot out of you.

    The musical instruments in your photos are quite interesting and beautiful. I don't think I've seen either one before.

  3. Those are some very interesting and unusual instruments there. I need to look them up and discover more about them. I have played a lot of instruments in my life, but never seen anything quite like that.

    Sorry to hear about your episode, must be frustrating, but glad nothing bad occurred. I have to admit that I have wondered sometimes if you should even be riding. But I certainly one not in a position to judge. And the brain is strange and remarkable. I would imagine that the music you play is very beneficial to your brain because it requires precise execution. And I am guessing that concentration needed for riding is beneficial as well.
    So I say keep after it all!


  4. Lori: At first these episodes were terrifying, but now as you say, " is what it is." Since I began riding the number of episodes has drastically lessened. I was thinking how they now come as almost a surprise. I've been blessed to be able to organize my life in a way where few triggers find their way into my everyday.

    Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

  5. Ms Bluekat: Indeed the brain is an amazing organ. It seems the more we know the less we know. The episodes do take a lot out of me and I'm famished afterward as well. So, it is a great excuse to eat a whole lot of food :)

    Both of these instruments found me after the accident. The tanpoura was introduced to me by a friend. In some ways I think my recovery really began with the tanpoura coming into my life.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Jim: If I'd thought about it I'd probably not began riding. It wasn't until after I bought the scooter that someone asked me, "What if you have an episode when you're riding." The possibility had not occurred to me. As I mentioned above, the episodes have decreased since I began riding. I think it may have to do with living more and more from that place in my brain I access when riding. So, be assured I intend to heed your advice and "Keep after it all!"

    The Yayli Tanbur is a Turkish instrument. You can probably find YouTube clips of people playing it. The tanpoura (there are a lots of different spellings) is an East Indian drone instrument. It usually has a large round "pumpkin" on the bottom. Mine is a more modern design that makes it less fragile.

    Thanks for keeping track of me. I appreciate your comments.

    And, now I'm off for a ride.