This post, just as a warning now, may seem melodramatic, and at times attention seeking. But I promise the reason I am writing this now is not for your attention, your sympathy or to even to sound over dramatic. The purpose of this post is to describe how I feel in a way I can not express when a person casually asks me after such a traumatic medical incident occurred.
If you are unaware of my traumatic incident here is a brief recap:
Labor day weekend I took a trip to Boston, Massachusetts with one of my biggest role models, one of my best friends since birth and lucky for me one of the most caring and responsible women I know, my older cousin, Shelia. We went out for an adventure, to do something spontaneous and fun, however, my brain decided otherwise. I don’t remember anything from the night past 6 pm so what I’m about to tell you is based off what I was told by others. I was at a bar, around 11:30pm – 12 am and I was drinking so I was feeling good but not sloppy. At about 11:30pm-12am a main artery in my brain burst and I went head first to the ground. I was transported to Mass General where I was in the emergency room for 7 hours before I woke up to blinding florescent lights and about 3 million questions that I later found out were testing me for mental deficits. I spent 6 days in the ICU at Mass General then travelled 7 hours over night with my parents back home to Buffalo.
My parents found out about my fall because my cousin who was not allowed to see me while in the Emergency Room called my parents then my parents called the hospital and then drove to the hospital overnight to be by my side. My cousin was later allowed to be with me after I asked for her 6-7 hours after arriving at the hospital.
WAIT, is this real life? Yeah dude. It sure is.
How do I feel?
Immensely grateful. There are so many unknowns for me but one thing I do know is I’m lucky. The artery that burst was bound to burst, it was a ticking time bomb in my brain. I think about all of the things I could have been doing that would have resulted in a much worse outcome. I could have been driving, I could have fallen forward and smashed my teeth in, I could have been alone, I could have been sleeping or I could have woken up with severe mental deficits or not woken up at all. I’m grateful because something that could have killed me or changed me significantly didn’t. I’m grateful because I had people around me that acted quickly and potentially saved me from mental deficits. I’m grateful because I’m alive and at the age of 25 I never thought I’d seriously have that thought.
Rationally terrified. This happened once and of all the neurologists I’ve spoken to, none of them said it wouldn’t happen again. For the first time I hesitate to get in my car, I hesitate to be independent and travel places alone, I hesitate to to leave my home at all. Am I a ticking time bomb? How do I live without fear when my actual brain seems like a bomb? How do I explain this fear, this terror to people in a casual conversation?
Cautiously optimistic. The fact of the matter is I think about all of the terrible things that could have happened or that can happen and how they haven’t. I have to believe there is a reason behind it. Being 25 I think I struggle with what every other young person struggles with- and that is understanding the reasons behind why things happen the way they happen. I struggle to find success, to find my purpose, to find my place in life. But unlike the average young person I believe I have concrete evidence for my life- I was thrown through an experience that has killed people before and I’m not dead. I’m not dead and I’m not a vegetable and I’m not mentally changed. And for those that don’t believe that there is a reason for things happening then I am cautiously optimistic for being outrageously lucky because how things happened really worked out in my favor for absolutely no reason at all.
To recap, life is crazy and life is unpredictable- take time to apperciate the life you were given regardless if it’s going the way you wanted it to or not.
Love always and forgive often.