Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Whatchu Say
my fave video of this song :)

one thing i love most is people. i love talking with anyone and everyone. i thrived on interacting with people.(you dont have 1400+ friends on facebook by being shy! jk) this quote from the movie waking life, was in one of my papers from senior year,
'Life was raging all around me and every moment was magical. I loved all the people, dealing with all the contradictory impulses - that's what I loved the most, connecting with the people. Looking back, that's all that really mattered.' but now, i couldnt connect with anyone. i felt and still feel so separate from anyone ive ever met and all the other patients ive seen, because i totally lost the power to speak. you have no idea how devastating and frustrating it is to be trapped inside your head, to have so much to say but cursed with silence. the ability to speak is so human, so i felt less than human... much less. i had to let go of any power i had in this world, and just let the world work around me. even though i knew the answers to everyones many questions like 'how do i work her wheelchair' or 'wheres her tshirt', i had to accept that the world would function without my answers. i had to finally learn to find humor in it all. i had to create inside jokes with myself with these situations. for instance, some of you might remember my infamous tailgate shirt that said, 'having more fun than you since 1984.' i kept this shirt solely for the memories, i never planned on wearing it again. but somehow, it got mixed up in the hospital in the pile of tshirts i was to wear everyday. so a few times a month, i would show up to therapy in my gross, awkward tailgate shirt. i could only laugh to myself at the awkwardness, i couldn't tell anyone i wasn't supposed to wear it. i couldn't tell anyone because a) i couldnt physically tell them and b) if i tried to explain duke tailgate to anyone they wouldn't understand! so i learned to just swallow the things i wanted to say. but then i started saying some sounds and some people could understand me at times. One time, my excitement overcame my better judgement. i was usually good at keeping my mouth shut...usually. one day, my nurse came in laughing hysterically and said she and the other nurses were talking about going to a strip club. i excitedly opened my mouth and tried to say, 'i have been to one!' (yes mom and dad, ive been to a strip club, but it was only for a few minutes and was totally awkward). but my nurse thought i said, 'i was one!' the misunderstanding got so out of hand that she thought I had the job on weekends to pay for my duke education. i then spent the next 40 minutes trying to get her to understand the words, 'no i wasn't one.' this was one of the most frustrating and humiliating moments of my life, but in retrospect, its pretty hilarious. i have to admit, the experience has scarred me for a while, because i won't even attempt to talk to new people or people i don't already know will understand me, to prevent any misunderstandings. so though i don't really talk to new people now and my voice is still far from normal, i am slowly starting to connect with people. looking back, thats all that really matters anyway.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

and i will try to fix you...

so life in the hospital was pretty lonely. my friends came as much as they could, but it was mostly on weekends. but i did spend hours everyday with a few people who were about my age. i listened intently to these people's problems and these people were there to celebrate my victories. i really got to know these people, and though i couldnt talk, these people had gotten to know me. these these people were my therapists and nurses, and they had become my friends... and they wanted to fix me. the other patients were scared to talk to me because i looked depressed and helpless all the time, and i was like a ticking time bomb, i could explode into tears at any moment. so im sure i wasnt the easiest patient to face at first for even my therapists and nurses. i couldnt even do ANYTHING in therapy. i had an awful bite block, so i couldnt do anything in speech therapy, and every muscle in my body was paralyzed, so i couldnt do anything in physical therapy. but they always approached me with a smile (and some joke about duke!) i couldnt talk to them at all, i couldnt even smile back at them, but somehow, for some reason, i think they liked me...they knew little about me, probably what they could gather from the pictures in my room, but what was most important was that they fully understood what happened to me. they understood that though my entire body didnt work, my mind was as sharp as a knife. they understood my progress wasnt measured by how much i could stand or walk, but by the minuscule advancements of activity of random muscles. they understood what all i was going through, because they had dealt with somewhat similar patients. they somehow understood me and that was what i desperately needed in people, or new friends. i had a hard time trusting new people, but i trusted them.... i trusted them because my nurses were dedicated to making everyday a little happier. i trusted them because my therapists were dedicated to making me a little better everyday. but most of all, i trusted them because they were dedicated to making...miracles.