Day 16 of 31 Days in July, “Getting Up Again”

Day 16 of 31 Days in July
The TBI Collection of the PTSD Poetry Project

“Getting Up Again”

Sweat covers my body

I am shivering

I am in pain

Fifteen years

This stays the same

Good news the day before

Only served to unsettle me

Joy flared for moments

Joy filled my heart

Until the word was used

Then I began falling



Until I hit the ground floor

It reminded me this is not over

It will never be over

I don’t get to be fully free

For now

It has been a year

Soon to become 16 months

I lay in bed with the reminder

This fight will never be over

As I sweat

As I shiver

As I vomit yet again

I had fallen down

But it doesn’t mean

I won’t get up

I’ve become accustomed to this

I always get up again


July 16, 2016

Personal journal entry

        Sleeping through the entire night is always a fight. Why is this a fight? I ate last night, no big deal and then my gut decided it was not happy. There is no room! I was sweating, vomiting, had to lay down with a washcloth on my face. Going into the fifteen year and this still happens. Somehow there is the impression this goes away. “Oh, your body will adjust over time.” Um, no it doesn’t it.

       I had incredibly good news Thursday. In spite of the insurance gal using the word I hate to hear, never want to hear. I want to avoid it, ignore it make it go away. “You easily met your deductible last year because you were getting chemotherapy, but this year hasn’t been met yet.” She explained why I have a bill, a low amount, and okay I can find the funds to pay it in addition to the other two doctors offices. But that word..why did she use this word!!

       Three years in, two solid years of never ending to get to the one year without treatment except for my shots. It’s been a solid year without chemotherapy and now I get to go an additional four months. This will make an astounding 16 months. But she had to use this word. It IS the correct word, I get it. I do. But inside my head began a fall so fast, so hard. All I wanted, in spite of this place of joy I was in with my news, was to be held. To cry in another’s arms and share this astounding news. I never thought I’d get to this particular day. Last year’s scare with my heart issue brought me face to face with my mortality.

       All I wanted was to share my news. I waited, like an insolent child for my family to ask, just ask! how my appointment went. No one ever did. I even tendered the information I’d had good news. No one wanted to know. This place they won’t even drive me to, will never go inside with me. Will wait outside in the cold or in the heat of the car to avoid going inside. No one wanted to know.

       Last night it really hit me as I stood there alone at chess club, watching everyone. Wanting to push my mind to remember what I’d learned. Will I ever retain new information? Will I ever be able to learn again? This past year I’ve pushed my mind so hard to create a new synapse jump to get at this place where chess resides. Pushed until I’d go home and sleep for hours because I was so brain tired. Push, push, go to all the chess club groups in a weekend equaling four in all that I knew of. Just to play and try to remember what I used to know.

       I played against a woman, a chess coach, and during the play there was a moment when something flashed inside my head. This ‘thing’ happened. Maybe it’s beginning to connect. But all the maybe’s didn’t help me and I felt the frustration of being ‘less’ yet again. I drove home, thinking about this past week. Thinking about the beauty of the art I’m creating, thought about my writing, the poetry, an upcoming poetry slam, and thought about how no one cared enough to ask what the results from the Hematologist were.

       I drove home in a convoluted manner with tears filling my eyes as I realized how alone in this moment I was. A month ago I don’t think I would have said this. But that memory has slipped away. I do remember there was someone who I would have called to share the news. I just can’t remember who it was. Brain injury is fun this way. I can remember other things so clearly and yet I can’t remember the person who had become important to me. Those memories fell into the abyss of the 10 day memory purge.

       So I drove home alone. Went in my room, shut and locked the door. I ate my food and then my body rejected all of this. My day ended in tears, sweat and a shivering body in pain. Somehow I have come full circle back to this place of irony.

       This morning I remind myself what I have learned. This is for now, it is not a permanent state. My healing has been incredible and I have pushed for it to happen. Even in becoming my own superhero I still have these moments of self doubt and fall down. I can get back up, dust myself off, move forward. It’s really not that hard anymore. I’ve kind of gotten used to it.




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