is there “good overwhelmed”?

not sure but yet that’s exactly what I feel.

disconnection brings along new life – I was not expecting that for sure. As I look to the past (no longer as a compulsion) I see the chapters clearly. Like an instructional book on “how to feed your pet”. Or as small and concise as the reverb pedal as its physical body with great capacity of extending the waves.

almost a year ago I woke up to a new reality – taking showers while sitting down, using a wheelchair to get around (not much if I’m honest, I was too scared to go on adventures). As if that wasn’t bad enough in a couple of weeks I’d be losing consciousness, drifting away to the death that felt oh-so-beautiful… It did. I will try and make it short yet honest. Lungs were out, heart failed. “Oh nevermind, I’m just stressed” my lack of oxygen told me. I had no idea of how serious the ordeal was and for the first time in my life I was smiling as a team of doctors put all kinds of shit on my body. Through the nose, the mouth, veins…. I didn’t feel a thing. I kept smiling. I can remember the happiness I felt… not realizing what was actually going on.

all I remember is faces all around me, beeps and machinery. The doctor speaking to me, asking me questions, trying to make me….think, I guess. All I would say (and I remember this clearly) was “I’m cold… I’m so cold… just let me sleep… let me snuggle… this feels so good….” and I know I smiled. I remember the face of young guy in his light blue ensemble guiding my body through dark hallways with a few lights here and there, he looked worried but I looked up and smiled as if to say “I’m ok! Thank you! I’m off to sleep now!”. Those nasty hospital sheets, usually something I’d freak out about felt silky smooth.. I will never forget it – I can’t even find a comparison to the comfort I felt as I pulled the several layers of bed sheets over me up ’til my nose… Words won’t come close but imagine being outside, naked, freezing, in the snow – and then hopping into a jacuzzi bathtub with relaxing music while your whole body relaxes and you thank the gods for this magical scenario. Nevermind what I’ve been through for almost a year now, that night was the most peaceful I had ever been. So peaceful I was pretty angry when I realized waking up meant that I was going to face a pretty harsh reality for the next years (at least).

Well, I just wanted to remind myself more than anything HOW GOOD I felt because I want to experience the same … disconnection of all that is pain, anxiety, and pure in-bred negative thoughts without being rushed into a room where the red light at the door means “people in here are near the end”. I’ve always imagined what it must be like to be in that room, a special daunting place for those who might leave it as a corpse.

i’ve had the unfortunate chance to sneak in those rooms twice and it was sort of a “you should say goodbye just in case” scenario. That fucking red light at the door of that room is very present in my mind. I can still see how many chairs are near that door, scratched-up orange PVC chairs that squeak while some people cry and others are in kind of worried yet hopeful mindset. I’ll never forget the fucking squeaks – you just need to breathe a bit deeper and all the teary-eyed folks around look at you as if to communicate “please don’t remind me where I am, it’s a shitty place and I shouldn’t have to wait in here to know if my life is gonna change forever”. That’s why I stood up. Pacing back and forth, trying to peek into the room. “Stop it! Sit down!” a relative told me. I did. To please them. It didn’t last 5 minutes until I started pacing around again. I have this weird habit of coming up with mental games whenever stress hits. I remember skipping every 2 tiles. Skipping in one foot, then going back the hallway in another. Is there some sort of connection between loss and the perspective of losing someone forever and the games that bring childish memories back? I’m sure there is. There always is. “Stop it, behave yourself”. I would then get rewarded. Pacing around in silence with little to no reaction sure beats a runny nose and a face full of tears. Or screams. Whatever freaks out ER personnel the most.

are you with _____ ? “Yes!! Sure am!”. The relative looks at me incredulous probably thinking “This grown-ass child skipping around should not receive this kind of attention – I, the adult, I, the ruler, should be the bearer of all news!!”. I grin. They let me in. I’m actually a really really nice person, I can get away with it after I let people know that skipping around is not a deciding factor in forbidding a loved-one to bear witness to what’s inside the red light at the door room. (I do that a lot – daily perhaps, from major life events to grocery shopping).

i can feel the eyes of the person staying behind me, in those dirty squeaky chairs, jealousy piercing my body from the back but not a word spoken against my perceived “privilege” – i won’t lie, it’s rather amusing…

the room was always frantic but well organized. Just a couple beds facing a wall of computers, divided by thick curtains – because, you know, seeing someone die by your side must take a toll on the person who is trying not to. At least until the drugs kick in. Then it’s fun, it doesn’t hurt and you couldn’t care less (yes, not using double positives, k?) about death. Because suddenly death is out of your mind – you are concentrating on those damn silky sheets which are probably ridden with yucky germs. Then again… drugs can turn any wooden shed into a 5 star resort in your mind so they’re very appreciated.

a year ago I was not the one skipping outside, waiting for someone to let me in, “against the rules”, while someone gasped at the sight of anyone choosing ME (oh, the horror!) over them to get a hold of a loved one’s probabilities of survival.

i got to experience the darkest corner in that room and it seemed completely different. First of all, I had no idea where i really was until I saw the door open and got a glimpse of that red light. And I was too damn happy to care.

a year goes by and i can honestly say it’s been the most awful, powerful and exciting year of my life. Well not the most awful but if I consider how many times I wished they’d just let me die it’s goes up to top 2 or 3.

“keep going” i was told today. Keep going is the prevalent message these days and it’s been tough just to get my head around the fact that I am different. Not me, just my body. I can’t do many things, I’m in constant pain, the brain fog is denser than the sight of a burning pile of rubber.

it’s still a work in progress and I realize it’s going to be longer than I ever expected but I’m the kind of grown-ass-skipping-tiles-on-a-single-foot-in-the-ER-to-avoid-dirty-chairs who will deal with it and just… try not to fight it anymore. Because I did. For way too many days, weeks and months… “It’s fine, I feel OK”. Turns out it’s not that simple… you know, collapsed lungs, organ failures and shit like that it’s something you can’t really *see*. I could probably feel it if I didn’t have such a high tolerance to pain (which will be the death of me one of these days). I like things I can see, things I can touch, things I can mess with.

i’ve been trying to mess with things around me more than staring at any screen. So long digital tools, welcome knobs and inks that already ruined my oh-so-pretty-but-inexpensive-latest-acquisition sofa. I will look at these stains and they bother me. Of course they do, I will always cherish my perfectionism in keeping things way-too-tidy but they’re a good reminder of how well lived this place has been so far…

not to mention every other places I’ve visited. With 10kgs of bags on my back entirely dedicated to keeping me healthy and a smaller percentage of normal-luggage-shit I’ve experienced joy I never imagined possible before. In the most unexpected ways, with crazy “on the spot” deep connections and a deep appreciation for the surprises I couldn’ve phantom a couple months ago happening in my lifetime – ever.

i will carry on, i will “keep going”. It hurts, physically more than anything else but hey – high tolerance will give me some time until I need to seek help again.

in the meantime… hello again. I am touching you. You touched me. And there is nothing that will ever prevent me from skipping around again and again as much of a mardy bum I can sometimes (too many to be quite frank) be… thank you for your patience. Your kindness. Your honesty. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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