One Year Later

It’s been just over a year since the cow. I’m still working through post concussion symptoms (PCS) (now with a neuro-optometrist and vision therapist), but I can easily look back and see how far I’ve come. There are many things that I still can’t do (drive for more than 30 min) or don’t want to do (read a magazine) because of my symptoms. But most days I’m able to look ahead with hope and be content with where I am. Most days. 

Some days I still wake in a funk, realize that there really is a pandemic, that my brain still isn’t back to normal and that whatever day it is is going to be just about like the day before. And that sameness of days has been the ugly silver lining of Covid-19 for me. Stores with aisles of items that shout out in colors and words as you walk by are horrible for post concussion brains. Groups of friends all talking and laughing are terribly difficult to navigate. Long car trips make me sick and it’s easier to take my afternoon nap in my own home than elsewhere. I, like the rest of the world, am sick to death of this virus and everything that goes with it, but there is no denying that it has made navigating PCS somewhat easier these last months. I don’t have to feel the blame of canceled vacations fall solely on my shoulders as I would have, we can blame it on the virus. I no longer feel like I’m avoiding friends and parties, blame it on the virus. It’s not just that I can’t go to the store because it will exhaust me, it’s better to order online now anyway. On it goes and the mental burden of PCS becomes easier to bear. The one thing that remains a constant nagging source of regret and frustration is writing.

I used to have this well of words and phrases bubbling over inside me. Paragraphs oozing together in my brain before I could even sit down and write them out. The well is still there but it no longer bubbles over. I can feel the words way down there, but the bucket leaks and the rope is frayed, the crank needs grease and the effort to haul the words to the top and keep them there is immense. Even then, sometimes all that makes it to the surface is half a phrase that flits away the minute I take my eye off it. And so I don’t blog, and I don’t write. 

One day I’ll be able to patch my bucket, replace the rope and grease the mechanisms and it will work smoothly again. One day the words will rise back to the top. I’ll go back to writing stories and I’ll go back to regular blogging. It’s frustrating but it’s going to be okay. Until then my regret is that during this completely insane time of a world pandemic and all that comes with it, I haven’t been writing about it. My memory has always been more like a sieve than a steel trap. I love looking back at years of blog posts and finding one that makes me laugh because I genuinely forgot not only the subject of the post but writing the post itself. PCS has turned my memory into a butterfly net with a hole in it being wielded by a toddler who recently ate an entire bag of M&M’s. I worry that I will forget this year and all that came with it. And maybe that’s a little bit okay. I’m not sure I really want to remember all the details of virtual schooling and days spent hiding in my room like a vampire to keep symptoms at bay.  

But there are things, like the Fourth of July parade the Clara organized for the neighborhood around our family cabin when the giant parade we normally attend was canceled, that I don’t want to lose. It was a wild success and I’ve lost the words of the day already, but I’ve sprinkled the pictures in this post of reflections so that maybe one day, looking back, it jogs a memory that manged to snag on that torn butterfly net along the way.

Edit: I sat down and wrote this just after the year anniversary of the accident -that was well over a month ago. But slow progress is still progress so I’ll take it.

 I have manged to be much more regularly active on my Instagram account behindthewillows come say hello if you are an Instagram user!  

21 comments on “One Year Later

  1. Helen says:

    Excellent writing, even through PCS, Jessie. I hope the ease in putting words on paper comes back to you soon. You write things worth saying, and I love reading what you write. Sending lots of loving good wishes your way!

  2. Diane says:

    Gosh, I did not know that was why you weren’t blogging. I’m so sorry that it’s been such a long haul. Having had a stroke in 2013 I can understand _some_ of what you are experiencing. But good heavens I hope this all soon becomes nothing but a memory. And, as someone who has always loved your writing style, it’s still coming through. I’m sending you my sincerest wishes for your complete recovery.

    • Jessie says:

      That you so much. ❤ I actually I have thought of you and your stoke recovery and your piano playing not infrequently the last years. I've had a hard time making it over to your space on the internet as well this last year. But I've got new prism reading glasses and I'm hoping they give me a little more close work/ screen time stamina as they fix some of these crazy vision issues I have!

  3. petespringerauthor says:

    I have never experienced a concussion, but at age sixty-one, I can relate to forgetting. It is frustrating. I thought your piece was eloquent and thoughtful. The words are still there; perhaps they take longer to come to the surface.

  4. Jesska says:

    Great to read from you again 🙂

  5. Rosie Amber says:

    It is a terrible time for us all, sending you virtual hugs.

  6. Small steps daily. This is a great post. Your well is full and will soon be bubbling over again. The pandemic has likely slowed your recovery; even though it has provided a “shelter” of sorts, it’s also limited your world. This too shall come to pass.

    • Jessie says:

      Jerry! Good to see your words too! Small steps and sometimes steps forward feel like steps back but it’s getting there I’m too stubbron for it not to! 😉

  7. jenanita01 says:

    Good to hear from you again, Jessie… and that you are making progress!

  8. That cow has caused you a lot of trouble, hasn’t it? We have cows wandering all over the place here as well, they’re a real pain – cows should be in fields. On a more positive note, this post is beautifully written – I don’t think you need to worry that your writing mojo has gone for good.

  9. junekearns says:

    The words seem to be bubbling back pretty well, Jessie! Lovely post.

  10. Widdershins says:

    I too, felt the magic in your words here … perhaps that well isn’t quite as deep as you fear … three cheers for having the kind of patience it takes to walk this particular path, it isn’t for the faint-of-heart.

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