Thursday, January 21, 2016

traffic jam

Sometimes the communication wires in my brain are a traffic jam. There are simply too many thoughts rushing in too many directions for anyone to keep up with one train of thought. And that's okay.

My husband is a very private person. There are times I write a post, only to delete it because I realize it's not just my story, but his as well. And he's not into social media.

Other times life is just very busy, and there's simply not the time in a day to sit down and write. (Although one of the many reasons I started this blog was to help me do that very thing.)

As much as I like to write, and as much as I do an okay job of teaching, I find that I'm not the best communicator in the world. I was reminded of that this past weekend.

We spent three days at the hospital. Day one was in the ER as they ran tests and waited to see if things would improve on their own. The nurse in charge of our section was laughing a little. She remembered us from last fall, only because the doctors kept going through their checklist of questions (that mainly involve pain levels and symptoms) and we had to constantly remind them that as a quadriplegic, Bobby does not feel pain in those areas. She found it a little funny. One of the cardiologist nurses came by, and in answer to one of her questions "How did you know..." I responded, "Well, he was beginning to show the classic signs of..." She shook her head and said "And what is that? How did you know?" I was totally stumped. After it was all over, I thought of many things I could have said in response. She did later inform us that she had worked in a rehab facility with many paraplegics and quadriplegics, and she was always amazed at how they knew, or had a very good guess, as to what was wrong. There are some things that once you've experienced, you just never forget.

Probably one of the funniest things to me that happened during our stay (and there were several) was the cardiologist PA sitting across from Bobby explaining what was going to happen for the day, then asking "How are you feeling? Are you hurting?" and him glibly responding "No. I feel fine." and the look of utter disbelief on her face. After she responded "I've seen your heart monitor." I reminded her that pain in the area was in the cut-off region of where he could feel sensation. I think that was a little more than her comprehension could process at the moment. Yet, after it was all over, she had some answers to our question "How can we know when this is a problem? When do we seek help?"  And for me, that is one of my biggest traffic circles. When do I push for answers? When is it unreasonable to expect doctors to help find answers when we can't totally explain the problem? How do I articulate something is wrong when SCI symptoms are so different from those of everyone else?

Then throw into that mix thoughts of housework, and groups, and studies, and elections and dead chickens and dogs and weather and such, and I think you can see why sometimes I need to debrief before writing. Otherwise, this blog might resemble one of those elementary writing exercises where the student is supposed to strike out all the sentences that do not belong in a paragraph or essay. Some days, I could easily write those.

For today, I'll just write about exit one from the roundabout. And maybe one day I'll get to those cars that drive into the middle and just park. :)

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