The new normal

Today is the first time I’ve been moving at a normal speed for the whole day.

Although I didn’t exactly jump out of bed, I woke up around 7:30 a.m. and had a normal morning routine: a shower, coffee and breakfast, my art improv exercise, reading a magazine.

A month ago, I couldn’t imagine normalcy or how to get there.

Today, I worked a normal morning shift: read and answered email, gave our project webmaster feedback on our website redesign, talked to the executive editor for 30 minutes on a seven-item agenda, fixed my home office Internet, had a catch-up call with our project admin officer, and reviewed our progress on the quarterly report due this month.

“I can’t believe you had brain surgery less than two months ago, and now you’re talking to me and you’re totally lucid,” the admin officer said.

Yep. It’s only been seven weeks and three days since I had brain surgery.

The day went on with an afternoon of normal stuff: I organized paperwork, loaded the Christmas decorations into the car to take to storage, heated up some lunch and ate, changed into public clothes, and made the 45-minute drive to the oral surgeon for the completion of my implant. More normal errands on the way home, talking to Sara, then answering emails, dinner, re-runs of the The Newsroom, etc. etc. etc.

All along the way, no one I saw would have guessed that I almost died on Nov. 15. Even people who know me can’t tell.

I look normal, I talk normally.

I’m not.

I’m still not right inside.

I can tell that I’m not thinking as quickly. I can actually measure it on the Lumosity brain games.

My brain still refuses to read anything longer than a news story – no books allowed. My brain still doesn’t want to hear music. My brain is easily distracted and forgetful. My brain loses its place.

I forgive my brain. It was attacked by an inside job explosion and then by men wielding knives. It was invaded at the deepest levels.

I know it will get better. All the important pieces are intact.

For now, though, I have to accept whatever my brain does.

It’s normal.

Today’s penny is a 2012. A normal year is 365 days; 2012 was the last previous non-normal year (otherwise known as leap year).

Jan 7 2012




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