Monday, February 27, 2012

Ten Days Later - Survival

As the evening comes on, I realize it really has been 10 full days since I woke up from brain surgery. So, first let me say, "Yes, I survived!" There is a lot more to say, and I find that specific words can be challenging off and on still, so I'll try to stay simple this entry. All in all my body is pretty healthy as I return to life's everyday experience. I can walk. I can point and write. I can cook and fold. I can see. My appearance is rather rugged at the moment; though even since this photo was taken a few days ago, my hair is already growing in. I am itchy as the drugs fade away.

There are some good challenges. For the first time in several years or so I want to exercise seriously, do yoga and move my legs and arms. The desire is incredibly deep and has nothing to do with vanity. In the hospital I started doing ballet bar exercises from my childhood when I was left alone. In the middle of the night I have been doing half hour yoga sessions on my daughter's mat in the middle of the living room. I feel like there is this new flow of energy through my whole body that hasn't really been around for more than a few years. I go for a walk in the morning and find it way too cold, though. So that's a surprise. Here I want to exercise, but having freezing air blow into me is completely shortened to the very minimum I can get away with because I can't seem to defend my body's temperature.

Temperature is a funny thing, too. Last week I ran a constant low fever of around 99 degrees, and I'm down now to 98 something. However my "normal" body temperature for years has been 96 degrees. This is all numerical and blah, blah, but the weirdest thing is that as soon as I am thinking -- like now -- I break out into a full body sweat. Does this mean my brain is working out? Maybe so. I am having to change my clothes several times a day, and wipe the scar and staples with a cool wash cloth to deal with the fact that thinking is a very hot business right now that seems to effect me top of the head to the bottom of my feet. I really hope that this will pass in a few weeks.

Thinking is interesting. I don't think with words mostly. Hmmm. It's bizarre. I look out and I have a conceptual understanding of whatever it is, but it takes a bit of time to come to words. Like this. This takes a little bit of extra time to come up with words, though I know I want to recognize these few things and say something that means what my concept is acting out visually. I dreamt of entire life sets for everyone and that has created a whole story in my brain, but I am unable to write it yet. I enjoy the pictures and the meaning of the pictures.

So, of course, I've been drawing. I've commented on some drawings and paintings on Facebook, too. I have appreciation for art. It has occurred to me that my life belongs to the arts so much more than I've allowed almost my entire life until now. For some reason I always thought I'd be more practical and my artwork was not terrific. But, now I kind of like my illustrations and moods and I am inclined to say that there will be more artwork now than there was before. I hope that is true. I really do.

Finally, I'm thinking about filmmaking and screenwriting yet again. I always think that I'm done with it and the fact that I now have three screenplays in mind after fits and starts for the past several years, I'm basically entertained by it. We'll see if the words will come back and explain these visual films I have in mind that explore the edges of the world we believe in and the possibility that just the other side of the door is a new world edge that we could embrace, or pass through on the way back, and that the way they all fit together is like the most amazing faceted gem in the Universe. We'll see.

So, that's it for now. I'll be getting the staples out of my head on this Friday and will find out what comes next. Thanks for keeping up. I need to go take a shower now and change my clothes.


Kathleen said...

You are such an amazingly inspiring woman Ms. Amanda!!

Amanda Morris Johnson (aka Amanda Morris Conti) said...

Thanks, Kathleen! Very sweet of you to say.

Deborah fryer said...

What an amazing post. Thanks for sharing! Your sensory experience reminds me of Jill bolte Taylor's book, My Stroke of Insight. She had damage to the left temporal lobe. Keep getting stronger daily and thanks for writing about this.

Cat Ohala said...

You are an amazing woman, Amanda. It seems the intuitive You is reaching for images, concepts, art. Go with the flow. Worry about words later. Best wishes for a strong recovery. You're already healing your body and mind!


Showing up for the Muse said...

Be kind to yourself through out this. I am impressed by your bravery and creativity. Hugs- tilly

Gail Storey said...

Wow, Amanda, I'm deeply touched by your courage and your gift for sharing the bodily, artistic, and soulful dimensions of your insight. What a good heart you have to go with your talents. Thanks for this post.

Beth Partin said...

I am so impressed by this post. Thank you for telling us what it's like to recover from brain surgery.


Rosemary Carstens said...

Amanda, you have just confirmed what I've believed all my life--art is healing. The beauty of creativity can't be underestimated. When I am in the zone with my own painting, all my troubles disappear. You are very brave to be documenting your journey and I loved reading it!

Kathy Kaiser said...

I enjoyed reading your perceptive comments on how your brain is working now. Good luck with your recovery.