April 14, 2008
a funny thing about becoming neurologically ill.† Apart from all the interesting visual and spatial distortions
that I *know for a fact* other people pay good money for.
youíre stumbling around in the thick of it, unable to balance, addled on the
drugs, falling down and frothing at the mouth and occasionally breaking bones,
you come to a rather startling realization.
start to fear you.
regard you as a Thing Apart.† A leper.
matter that you spring up jauntily afterwards, brush yourself off, dab off
whatever blood is oozing and pick up where you left off:† people get freaked out.
friends start to fall away.† They are
afraid that this is some type of madness, something contagious.
fairness, it must be pretty frightening to witness.† And the drugs change you.†
They do:† itís a fact.† You become distant, disinterested.† And depending on the drug: sedated, manic,
hereís the thing.† And a case in point.
I have a
dear, dear friend.
seems absolutely terrified of me.†
Despite my calls and my emails, she has not responded.† Iíve been there for her in some of her most
difficult times.† Iíve celebrated her
triumphs with her; Iíve held her while sheís cried.† I know all the secrets of her soul and she knows mine.
now?† Since all of this has become so
Nothing.† Not a word.
find it in my heart to blame her: sometimes there just are no words and I know
there is no malice in her.† She has
recently found the happiness that she so richly deserves and I hope with all my
heart that it lasts her a lifetime.
same, I feel abandoned.† And so bereft
of this friend.
no support system here and whatís going on with me neurologically (we wonít get
into it here, but it is a bit more than simple epilepsy) is pretty scary.
my drugs kept me up for 90 hours straight, until one of my long distance cop
friends (a former neurological nurse) urged me to ďbotherĒ my doctor on the
weekend.† I did, and he drugged me into
the other thing:† drugging me to sleep
leads to all sorts of complications.† I
donít react well to barbiturates.† They
make me paranoid, make me forget things.†
I get major hangovers from them, canít shake them off for days.† This morning for example, I put a pot of
coffee on and forgot to put the pot under it.†
Result:† a kitchen floor full of
the meantime, itís an endless parade of MRIs and CT scans.† A PET scan is scheduled but because thereís
a big waiting list:† I wait.
fear this illness and they fear me in the grip of it.
even want to talk about my own fear, which I keep at bay by writing.
my condition has spread and has rendered me unemployable.†
wants the liability.† Oh, Iím a great
lawyer, but who needs the lawsuit if I fall over and split my skull open in
court?† Itís compassion galore to my
face, but no job offers.
days, I can go out because the ground and sky are staying where theyíre
supposed to be.† On bad days, I see them
at 45 degree angles relative to where I am and keeping† my balance is impossible.
have one friend here who has been my salvation:† Sara.† Sheís busy
inventing her own gourmet cat food business so she works at home but she always
has time to come over and sit with me when my own personal spatial perception
thing refuses to accord with the laws of physics and gravity.† She has her own 1-10 scale of ďbug-eyedĒ
when it comes to me. †She makes me tea,
she brings the cats food, she sits and gossips.† She never treats me like a freak.
is another lifeline.† Iím currently
working on my first novel and sheís been thrust into the role of my
editor.† She has absolutely no pity and
I adore her for that.† I donít want
pity.† I want honesty and the
recognition that Iím still here:† Iím
still me.†† She sends me constant
emails, the gist of which is ďkeep writing, keep writing, keep writing.Ē† And no bullshit from her:† she says itís brilliant writing:† I trust her not to sugarcoat it and so I
keep at it.
sometimes think itís the only thing that keeps me alive.
too young to give up on everything just because my brain has decided to
germinate something it shouldnít.
still write, and Iíll get this bloody book done.† My brain owes me that much, I think.† Whatever else is in there affects my balance, the way I see
colours, my sense of dimension but it owes me at least one great book.
doesnít change who I am.† I donít talk
to Xenu, God doesnít pop by for tea, I donĎt have delusions or experience
magical thinking.† I see no
unicorns.† Iím not a witch, a vampire, a
shape shifter, a goblin or a werewolf.†
I donĎt come from another planet, nor am I invisible.† I canít fly or raise people from the dead. I
donít get messages in my fillings.† I
donít see ghosts or think Iím the King of France.† The cats donít talk to me.†
I donít hear voices or think Iím a prophet.† I canít walk on water or change base metal into gold.† I canít predict the future or even tell you
if itís going to rain tomorrow.
just this thing in my head.
from that, Iím still here.
can still laugh.
Till next time.