Sunday, April 21, 2013


Are you familiar with that feeling when your brain is simply full and there's no room for anything more at the moment?  I have been training someone new at work the past week and I can see the expression in her eyes..the look that says "My brain is full, but I have so many more questions! The more I learn, the more questions I have!".  
My brain, in its periodically MS-addled state, feels full.  As I cram Cryptosporidium's symptoms and causes into a corner behind coagulation and flocculation, I find that things such as the memory to pay utility bills gets pushed out. But as I learn more, I have more questions! In some perverse fashion it's a bit like the body's reaction to eating some tasty ice cream. Eat sweets, crave more sweets. In this case my 'sweets' have way too much to do with fecal matter to make a really good analogy here.  An example: While trying to memorize the causes, symptoms, latent phase and effects of Botulism, I read this under 'possible causes': "aluminum foil wrapped baked potatoes".  What!?  Why? I am going to have to get to the bottom of this toxic mystery or I may never feel safe eating a baked potato again. And what about s'mores?  Are aluminum wrapped graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows a Botulism risk?

In the midst of working, training, studying, parenting and being a member of my community and a citizen of this nation...I find that when something forces its way into my brain, something like the Boston bombings, the Texas fertilizer plant explosion or the earthquake in China, then something else is going to fall out the other side of my head! It's not just my capacity for compassion that fills up, it's my brain.  I wonder if wearing ear plugs would help to keep it all in? I wrote last week about chronic trauma exposure and trauma exposure response.  I've been reading and learning more about that this week. It causes me to ask more questions, to want to find answers to my questions.  

At 11am this morning I sat down to the computer to write today's blog, I had a mini conversation with myself to make sure I was prepared. "Coffee? check! Trauma Stewardship book? check! Internet access? check! Comfy slippers and furry, fleecy jacket? Of course!"  The ideas started flying, fast and furious, as my fingers sped across the keyboard. The questions, the possible answers, the metaphors...oh the god awful metaphors between the fecal matter of my studies and the $#!+ that has gone on in the world this week. I was on a roll.

Then my cellphone beeped.  A text from my youngest son, with one word. "Hello?". My brain raced to pull my consciousness back up from the analysis of crap! Why was he texting me from his room? No...he is not in his room. He is at his dad's. No...he is not at his dad's.  He is at a friends. And I was supposed to pick him up at 10am. Cryptocrap! I sent a quick apology that I would be there in 20 minutes. Dashed to the bedroom to brush my teeth, put on some actual pants and comb my hair. While brushing my teeth I heard a tapping sound. I turned off the water and paused to listen. As I stared at my wild-haired self, foaming at the mouth, I realized someone was knocking at the front door.  For some reason, as I hastily rinsed my mouth, I thought perhaps Hunter had found a ride home. Through a time portal apparently. But no, when I opened the front door, there stood Hunter's dad, my ex-husband. He was here to pick up his son for Lacrosse practice! I had forgotten about that as well.

I hate these moments. It feels as though someone has literally reached inside my skull, squeezed and jumbled things around. Time moves at a surreal pace. I stutter. People are generally helpful, as Hunter's dad was today. They recognize the terror in my eyes and are good at suggesting next steps. So that I don't have to think for just a minute while all the pieces fall into place. Maybe it's my MS, maybe it's my system stuck in 'fight or flight', maybe it's me trying to do too much and calling my auto-pilot back into service. (Let's all remember that he's wicked and unreliable). I don't know. 

What I do know is that you are not going to get my questions and analysis of the world's $#!+ today.  I know you are disappointed.  Maybe next week.  For the rest of today I shall keep it simple.  Pay my bills. Get a haircut. Then I will have Andrew drive Miss Daisy (me) to the mall where I will purchase one pair of shoes for me and two pair of shorts for him. I will come home and we will make dinner. I will watch an episode of Ru Paul's Drag Race because it makes me happy. I will do my injection and go to sleep. Nothing else, except perhaps some conversations with my partner or my kids. That's enough, thank you very much. Assuming I haven't forgotten something important I am supposed to be doing.....

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