Wading Through the Landfill
When I was ill in May, I literally died and was brought back after being life-flighted to the medical center. I had developed acute renal (kidney) failure, had no blood pressure and quit breathing for a few minutes during which anoxia (oxygen deprivation to the brain) occurred.
The first few weeks I was very confused and couldn’t remember what I should have readily known. It was six weeks before I was able to start writing again, and several more until my thinking began to clear. I am much better now and back to fairly normal activities.
In my writing class last Tuesday, our exercise was to write about a journey we had taken. The facilitator suggested I write about the journey through this confusion.
This is not meant to be a literary masterpiece, but a sample of how confused my thinking was those first few weeks. I thought it might be interesting to share as we all know someone with confusion whether due to mental illness, physical illness, or dementia. These are written as fragmented thoughts as that is how my mind was functioning. I have not written them in sentence format.
Dusty windows conceal attic treasures--long forgotten memories packed away
In search of the picture for which I bought this frame, forever buried
Bits and pieces of two months remembered, mostly obstructed by thick fog—moving ever so slow
Every day so very long, but only a few minutes remembered
Computer upgrade, a maze of nonsensical icons, ever changing, mind stays the same, learning impossible**
Glasses forever misplaced, can’t find them without wearing them
Bus drivers forgotten, although they remember me
Dirty dishes, what were those used for, did I eat today?
Grocery lists written, items purchased never found
Days out of order despite looking at two calendars
7:00, light outside. Is it morning or evening?
Wading through a landfill of thoughts, not remembering what searching for
Did that really happen, or was it a dream, real versus imagined, indistinguishable
So very hungry, refrigerator a puzzle, can’t figure out which piece to remove, stomach growls, weight lost as well as my mind, clothes too big, run over dress hems which tangle in wheels of chair
Warm fur beside me, comforting, familiar, always by me, centering a bit
The poem I wrote and posted, or maybe not, searching for the right words
Afraid to leave house, fearing the once known, now forgotten
Was it today, or yesterday, or tomorrow or imagined
Isolation lonely, but conversation tires me. Have I heard that before?
Write down everything, wake, sleep, pills, phone calls, visitors, but what day is it? Calendar useless if days are missing, or maybe two Tuesdays this week, or was it last week?
Afraid to do anything, afraid not to, fear permeates my life
A trip to the ER, somewhat of an answer, oxygen deprivation, brain damage, how much, how long, should I tell anyone—probably obvious anyway…