Dear November __, 2004,

                You’re a date I should never forget, but sometimes I forget to remember.  “When was the accident?”  I’ve been asked so many times by doctors, optometrists, surgeons and specialists, as they examine me like a scientist observing a specimen in a Petri dish.  And despite the repetition of the question, the reaction is always the same…confusion until I turn to Mom or Dad with pleading eyes.  And as I hear them rattle of the date with complete recollection, I know I’ve lost my voice.  I’m no longer in the room.  No more alive than the metal instruments and plastic contraptions surrounding my chair.  They turn to my parents for all the answers, and sometimes I just want to scream, “Look at me!  I’m the patient,” but bravery, it seems, is as distant as my memory.   

And so I remain silent.

                A nurse rolls me into the bathroom and helps me slide onto the shower chair.  I turn the knob and water hits my broken body.  I’m almost completely relaxed despite her eyes upon me, seeing every flaw, every scar.  Billows of steam rise from the floor, and I notice my thighs have turned a bright red color.  The nurse reaches across me, and retracts her hand quickly from the powerful stream of water.  “You’ve burned yourself,” she says.  “Couldn’t you feel the heat of the water?”  Again I remain in silent confusion until she adjusts the knob.  I can’t feel a difference. 

And so I stop feeling.

                I stare blankly across a bare table, as the neuropsychologist presses the record button on a tape player.  “Remember this list of words,” she says as she reads from her yellow pad of paper.   “Hammer, apples, sunset, jacket, California, snowflake, pencil, peaches, waterfall, cowboy hat, watch, peanut butter.  Let’s go through your times tables.”  She flashes cards with simple equations on them, and I dread the moment when 9 x 6 appears.  I can never remember this one.  On to the next test.  “List for me as many types of trees as you can,” say requests.  I try to focus my mind.  “Pine, Oak, Maple….”  My voice trails and I slip into silent confusion.  “Remember that list I told you when you came in?” she asks.  “Repeat it.” 

My head throbs after hours of neuropsychological testing.  The results show I have the intellect of a third grade student.  “What do you want for lunch?” my mother asks.  I try my best to answer, but it hurts so much to try and focus on an answer to any question. 

And so I stop thinking.

November __, 2004, you’ve taken so much of who I am, that sometimes it feels like I’m just a hollow form floating through the motions of life.  Back home, back to work, back to school.  And as I walk across campus, I’m faced with a decision at each crosswalk.  I could keep walking and fighting my way back to the person I was before, or I could stop halfway and brace myself for the impact.  And I am tempted to choose the later, because it’s so much easier when you know exactly where you stand, even if it is in hell.  But if I stop now, I’ll give up the one thing I have left...determination. 

And so I keep walking.                        

This website and its content is copyright of Megan Roney- © Megan Roney 2009. All rights reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with written permission from Megan Roney, distribute or commercially exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

Make a Free Website with Yola.