Sunday, November 27, 2011

Improvement (a kind of Thanksgiving)

I am getting better.
Whether I am actually healing, or just getting better at dealing with symptoms, or maybe a combination of the two... there seem to be more days without headaches and fatigue.

In September, I was able to go for my first bike ride in well over 2 years. A route was picked, and I made sure that G had a copy of the route with all of the possible shortcuts I might take (just in case...).  Maps, cellphone, RoadID, GPS, water, spare tubes, tool kit, and snack were carefully packed. Bicycle tires were pumped up. I wore a neon color so that drivers could see me.

My backpack is filled with stuff like this... always be prepared. Flickr photo by ICBondurant

I took one last look at the map to make sure I knew where I was going. And I promptly had a panic attack. I didn't know where Weston Road was. What would happen if I got lost? What happens when I get tired because of riding? (answer- my cognitive abilities dissipate..and I might get lost.. or make a wrong decision and get hit by a car).... Where would I be then? I grew more terrified of all of the things that could go wrong. What happens if I get hit? What happens if I get hit and it makes my brain injury worse???? Haven't I already gone through enough?? Maybe I'll just stay home and take a nap.....

This went on for an hour.
I managed to slightly convince myself that everything would be ok, and if it wasn't, I could call G and he could pick me up.  Talking myself down took some effort.  I had to remember all the times that groups of riders would pass by our house, and I was sad that I couldn't join them... it was too dangerous for someone like me to be on a little bicycle around cars.

After putting my helmet and cycling shoes on, I took "Sparky" (my red bicycle) out the door, and sat in the driveway a minute or two.  It was very much like standing on the edge of a cliff, and convincing myself that my rappelling gear would hold me if I went over..

Rolling from the driveway onto the road was scary.
For the first two or so miles, I was nothing but nerves. Terrified.  Even though I had picked a quiet day, there were cars... and traffic was a quick reminder to keep my head swiveling, be alert. 

I don't know when comfort settled in. Maybe it was Weston Road, with it's quiet leafy dips and hills. Maybe it was the familiar turning of the crank, the shifting.

What I do know is that I felt a sense of freedom, finally. I could get to a place without being a passenger. And I didn't end up taking any shortcuts.
Quaint Cafe on Main Street
One of my favorite places to go in Concord MA, photo by Ms. Jen on Flickr

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gallery Seven-- You're Invited

HMCraig- Nothing Sweeter
H.M. Craig, "Nothing Sweeter", 12x12", acrylic on canvas

Gallery Seven in Maynard, MA is having a Holiday Art Show from Nov 15- Dec 30th.
 I am one of the artists included in the lineup, and am VERY happy to be included. The people who run the gallery, Kelli and Nick are absolutely wonderful.

Artist's Reception
Saturday, December 3rd
7-9 pm
snow date--- Saturday December 10th, 7-9 pm

7 Nason Street, Maynard MA 01754

Other artists are:
Kevin J. Briggs
Brenda Cirioni
A.M. Clark
J.C. Dwyer
Charlene Fall
Kay Hartung
Robin Herr
Heather McClurg
Jeannette O'Connor
Max Payne
Richard Perry
Amantha Tsaros
Danielle Watson