When I was in the ICU following treatment for a brain hemorrhage, a doctor or nurse would stop by my bed every 10-20 minutes. They’d tell me to pull their finger and ask me things like “what year is it?”or “what’s your middle name?” They always seemed so pleased I knew all the answers
the system in my head
I told Mike, one of the nurses, that my system was functioning fine and still running from my hospital bed. Imagining things could have been worse but still breathing, I’m creating things on a computer within and all is well. He was the one nurse who seemed to understand what I was trying to say. My stay in the ICU went on for 12 days and finally I came home. I remembered my name and there were no nasty physical symptoms - nothing to prevent me from surviving this thing intact.
That was nine years go and fortunately, what was done following the hemorrhage was effective. At last inspection, I was given a lifetime guarantee by the physician. We both chuckled at that.
The timing of all this was lucky - that guy who came in late at night and took care of my problem without even cutting me open had been practicing about 15 (maybe 20) years, having been one of the earlier practitioners of that type of interventional radiology. He told me stories about Neil Young and Sharon Stone having survived similar procedures and going on to live normal lives. I felt rather normal for someone who also survived it.
and the bottom line
Did somebody say normal? There is no normal. What’s normal exists within each of our souls and experience. And if there’s a point to be made about normal and surviving terrible things, it’s that life goes on. Thankfully, life goes on.