Sunday, November 15, 2009
hanging by a moment
life is just a long string of moments, good moments,bad moments, meaningless moments, and meaningful moments. some moments define us, whether we like it or not. a moment on november 29th when i had a stroke defined me, and now another moment would come to define me... so dr. m would come everyday or every other day to check my general status and to see if any of my main muscle groups had returned. he would ask me to do something little and then would wait and watch or feel for any muscle movement or contractions. they would go something like this: ' squeeze my hands' and then he would wait... and nothing, 'wiggle your toes' and then he would wait... and nothing, 'raise your shoulders' and then he would wait... and nothing. they were such little motions but i couldnt do any of them, not even a little. it must have been hard for him to do because it was disappointing everyday. it must have been awful to watch too because it highlighted how hopeless i was and that i couldnt do ANYTHING. i remember the first time someone watched. i remember the first time someone watched. anand and baldeep were in my ICU room saying their goodbyes before visiting hours ended for the day. dr. m came in to check on my status. anand and baldeep sat down while dr. m checked my muscles. again, nothing. after dr. m left, anand and baldeep said their goodbyes and left too so i was alone. a few minutes later, my nurse came in and i overheard her talking to someone. she said, 'i feel really bad for those boys. they arent handling this well. i saw tears in both their eyes when they left this room.' i cried myself to sleep that night. those words burned me, and burns never really go away. anand tand baldeep were the last two people in the world i ever wanted to hurt or disappoint. at that moment, i realized something needed to change. i couldnt hurt them anymore so something had to change, it just had to. but then nothing changed. everyday was disappointing. everyday was heartbreaking. i was so used to feeling stuck, frozen, still. but then, something miraculous happened. my mom and i were in the despised wheelchair clinic. dr.m came in to check on me. he cracked a few much needed jokes and then proceeded to check my muscles. 'squeeze my hand'...nothing, 'raise your shoulders'...nothing and then, 'move your head to the right'...SOMETHING! my head moved ever so slightly to the right. it was such a minuscule you could easily have missed it. i completely disregarded it because it was so small and seemingly insignificant. but from the excitement in my mom and dr. m's voice, it was a big deal. but i wouldnt realize that until much later. that was the moment i started to break out of this locked in state. that was the moment i started to get unstuck. that was the moment i started getting into that 20%. that was the defining moment i started to come back to life.