Just a little over 6 months ago my world was literally flipped upside down (4 times) and I haven’t been the same since. Anyone who thinks a concussion is just “getting your bell ring” should walk, or rather try to awkwardly balance in my shoes for a day.
4 weeks ago I went to a specialized TBI Clinic, and what I found out was eye opening, and a little earth shattering. My balance is severely impaired, I couldn’t stand on one foot if you paid me. If I was ever asked to do a field sobriety test..just take my license. I can’t walk heel toe no matter how hard I try😢
Kyle would tell you, Mom you were never the most coordinated person on the planet..remember BLEACHERS!! I can’t navigate them for the life of me, my family always wanted to sit way up high. I always stop about 3 rows up and park my ass right there!
Little by little my eyes are starting to track side to side better, up and down is still a crap shoot. My favorite hobby has always been reading, but for now that is out the window. It gives me an atrocious headache. The TBI Dr told me to take a piece of card stock and cut it so only 2-3 lines come through at a time. The problem is, I read a whole page at once and my brain removes all the unnecessary words, and, if, or, but, the, than, etc. Then if I need them I put a word back in.
I still can’t walk heel toe, nor can I multitask, I have to write everything down, and scatterbrained really doesn’t begin to describe me. I somehow misplaced my “Best Bonus Mom Ever” travel mug in the house yesterday 🤯
I have confidence that I will get better, maybe not 100%, but I will regain the things that are most important to me. As my Uncle Peter Whalen says..”I have faith that there is an ocean, because I have seen the Brook. 🌊🌊
PTSD is a funny creature, just when you think that you have it under control. Something comes out of the blue to shake your world up and dispel you of that notion completely. We are never really in control, we may think we are, but it is an illusion, a fantasy if you will. We cling to that fantasy like a life raft, when in all reality we need to let it go, and understand that we are just along for the ride.
Last Wednesday I was running errands, minding my own business, checking things off my to-do list one by one. My monthly waxing appointment in Florence, pick up prescriptions at Walgreens, get Cat Litter for the picky babies, get my car inspected in Buckland then go back to Greenfield and have Sheila the Nail Goddess fix my nails.
As the phrase goes “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” I accomplished everything but the car inspection and getting my nails done. I was driving up Route 2, minding my own business, headed to Mohawk Repair so that Keith Alletson could inspect my car.
As I approached the intersection of State Street (on my left). I began to turn, and that is when all hell broke loose.
I was rear ended by a car traveling at a high rate of speed. My car began to roll, I remember the first roll, but that’s it. The brain blocks out things that it doesn’t want us to remember. When I came to, my car was back on its wheels, there was a man in a yellow safety vest knocking on the windshield, all of the side curtain airbags had deployed, and there was glass everywhere.
I unlocked the door as he requested, and they scooted me out under the airbag, telling me that EMS was on their way. They carried me to the grass, and I asked them to call my husband. He came blowing up to the scene in less than 2 minutes.
If any of you know me personally, you know I don’t drive a vehicle or even ride in one without my sunglasses on. The force of this accident shot my sunglasses off my face, and my flip flops off my feet!
EMS arrived, collared me, put me on a gurney and transported me to the hospital. Mark’s arm was all torn up from getting all my personal effects out of the car, and the kitty litter that I put in the back hatch, ended up in the backseat on the floor.
At Baystate Franklin I was Ultrasounded, and CAT Scanned from head to hip. I sustained a concussion, bruising and soft tissue injuries, scattered like an accident road map, up and down my body.
But worse than any of the physical injuries, I feel like emotionally I am back where I was when Connor died. All the hard work I have done to get to where I was on 7/28/2020 has been stripped away. In one swipe, by a careless driver, who wasn’t paying attention.
The questions keep running through my head, questions that I don’t have any answers to, but they are on a repeat loop, nonetheless.
1. Why did I walk away from my accident and Connor didn’t walk away from his
2. Why didn’t we buy him a safer/newer car? One that had all the newest airbags and safety technology.
3. Was he riding with me (I always think he is) and did he save me and decide that it wasn’t time for me to come visit him yet?
4. I wish I had answers to these questions, but I also know that some questions just don’t get answers. Asking them is fruitless and painful.
What I do know is that physically my 2018 Nissan Rogue saved my life. My poor baby took the impact of the accident and crumpled like she was supposed to. Unfortunately there is no way for my brain to easily un-crumple after thatt accident. It will take time, hard work and therapy to put Humpty Dumpty’s pieces emotional pieces back together again.
Some of my favorite posts on Facebook are the ones about things that are falling to pieces. The town in British Columbia that was abndoned for 30 years, yet looks as if the inhabitants have all just gone to work. The lawns are mowed, the houses are dusted, the public buildings are maintained. The company that owns this town hires maintenance workers, and security guards to keep this town looking pristine and tidy looking.
Today I came across a post that was equally interesting yet twice as disturbing. A post about defunct, dilapidated and to be honest quite creepy and haunted looking amusement parks. They are scattered across the country,
from Rocky Point in Rhode Island
to Santa’s Village in California. With a truly scary one in Ohio called Chippewa Lake Park, it looks as if you might find Jason hiding behind a rickety door at any moment.
Maryland has a scary defunct amusement park that could top all the others through. It is called The Enchante Forest Theme Park, popping up amongst the weeds and dead branches you will find odd colored stones that look like evil gingerbread men. They are painted sickly faded pastel colors, pink, purple, green, yellow. Making the gingerbread men look both ill and gruesome all at the same time.
Even Alaska isn’t immune from the disturbing, someone tried to put a hotel/attraction n that was meant to look like a large igloo.
It now sits defunct, the windows are too small and it can’t be used. So in the middle of nowhere in Cantwell Alaska sits a big white igloo, it looks like an over grown marshmallow.
Each state in our union is dotted with these, no one is immune. Disney shut down their River Country Water Park in 2011. It was under the gun for years after a young boy died from a water born disease caused by faulty filtration. Finally in 2011 the State of Florida passed a law forbidding fresh water from being used in water parks. They have since opened bigger and better, water parks. But River Country sits abandoned, proving that even Disney Company is not immune to the, weirdness that dots our country.
These closed amusement parks harken back to the days of parents plunking the kids in the car and taking them for an adventure. Those adventures don’t happen as often now, we travel by plane rather than by car and our children are attached to their electronics with an invisible cord. We don’t have as many uses for Igloo Town, or Rocky Point or Santa’s Village. We want Six Flags Amusement Parks, bigger and better and higher and faster. Not kitschy and cool or even creepy and scary.