Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Chapter 37 - Valentine's Day 2012

February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day everybody.  I hope you're having a good one.  My present today was to myself.  I got another from my parents.  It was an Up & Go.  Thank you again, Mom & Dad.  Medicare did not cover this, so they paid for it.  The present to myself was, I stood up.  The present from my parents was the Up & Go.  It's a remarkable machine.  It helps you stand up and walk by yourself.  It will help me get better.  A great gift.

Sometimes I wake up at night and I say, "What the Hell? I'm back at my parents!"  I feel like I've gone through a wormhole.  Let's recap what's happened to me real quick:  imagine being my parents 30 years ago.  Imagine going to highschool, going to college, getting a BFA degree, an associates degree, running across America, traveling around the world, moving to New York City, getting married, moving to South Hampton New York, moving to Australia, living there for 10 years, working a lot there. moving to Paris, working a lot there, moving back to South Hampton, NY, getting divorced, moving to New York City, working a lot there, working a lot again in Paris, moving back to New York, getting married again, building my dream house in Montauk, having a great baby, working in New York a lot, getting a traumatic brain injury, having 2 brain operations, getting divorced, and now back here my parents wonder what the hell happened.  Was it all a dream?  One hell of a dream.  And like I said before, never think too much.  I have to start over again.  But, I've done it before, I'll do it again.

I was in my medical van coming back from rehab the other day, and there was another patient in the van with me.  Poor guy, man this guy was messed up, but you know what, it could have been me!  I've had a lot of help from my parents and my friends.  I've been very fortunate.  This poor guy was not as fortunate.  He was stuck in a nursing home for 13 years.  Hardly any therapy.  Then he lived at home for 2 years with no therapy.  The point is, you gotta get better through therapy.  Time will only heal you so much.  And you also need someone to look after you.  You can't do it alone.  I've learned one of the hardest things to do is ask for help.  You shouldn't be afraid to ask for help.  I really need it now, and it's cool.  I've got a good support team.  Remember, look out for each other.

I'll recap how I feel about what I'm going through.  It's a good benchmarker.  Lately I've been really tight in my face and neck as well as my hands and feet.  It makes it very difficult to talk.  I find that it's hard for people to understand me.  I really do believe that at this stage, you know, 3 years later, it starts to become real mental.  I find myself getting slightly panicky sometimes.  I feel very claustrophobic.  I guess it's because my brain is just like it always has been.  I'm cognitively ok.  I'm just physically messed up.  You know, I can't walk properly.  I'm dizzy.  I could go on and on.  I'm messed up, but I am getting better.  It's just so damn slow.

O.K. Flashback:  My flashback brings me to the ICU, and it was weird.  I remember, I always felt like I had gloves on.  I didn't but it felt like that.  And I felt like I had plastic in my mouth.  It was weird.  When I think about what I went through, I don't think I could do it again.  I guess when the body goes through what I went through, the body kind of goes into shock.  It doesn't really register.  It's starting to register now.  I remember what I went through.  It wasn't fun.  Not a great way to spend 3 years.  I think I'd rather be on a beach in Mexico, surfing and drinking margueritas.

One last thing:  The picture above is kind of how I see now.  It's how I've been shooting lately.  I'm having a show in August.  I'll keep you posted.  Happy Valentine's Day everybody.  Let me hear from you.  Love, B. Nice


  1. Hi Brian...I had no idea what you have been going through! Your determination and attitude are truly inspiring. I wish you all the best and look forward to seeing your pics. xox Lorie Baker

  2. Happy valentine's day!!! hope you are feeling the love inside and out! : ) would love to come up for a visit very soon! you are a very special human being Brian, and i wish you a continuous adventureous journey within. LOVE your photo, and look forward to seeing more. Look forward to seeing you soon, let me know when it would be a good time to come on up....

  3. remember Brian...you made both experiences bearable..your willingness to listen and be coached from the beginning is what allowed us to help you...YOU made this possible. I remember when i first walked in the hospital room some 3 years ago..mind you i had laid all my family to rest at that point...one with your help just months previous to your first big attack..buried two of my best dog friends, carried a man that was shot in the back of the head in front of my face in no other then Medellin, Colombia to the hospital when no others would help..had two near drowning experiences surfin blacks and the shoal..suffered a broken neck and still walk around with it today..multiple car accidents that should of killed me each time..i had been through so many near death and death like experiences you would think it would prepare me for how I would see you like for the first time that day...but it didn't..i was the one who was terrified..i know you never knew this but i quickly left the room and fell to my knees in the waiting room with so many emotions....but all the training and the beautiful place i had gotten myself to in life allowed me to gather myself..wipe away the tears and all fears and returned to see you..to coach you..to be with and help you and your family because i believed if anybody could do this it would be you or me and i know you would be there next to my side..man cuz you really were f-ed up! stuck to the bed on your back with your lungs barely functioning..God I don't think i could do what you did..you were so damn patient...you were scared shitless but when you saw me staring into your eyes every time you woke late in the night holding your arm..sometimes not sleeping for 27 hours straight because i would not leave you alone..i hated every time you woke up and saw the terror on your face each time wondering if this was real..you loved us all being there and became somewhat calm when you saw others eyes looking into yours..but you made this terrifying experience bearable with non other then your great sense of humor and your drive to see Sam again...you did not mention Cnut one time..go figure..so neither did we(kata and i imagine what and where you would be had you a supportive wife who showed love and was by your side everyday let alone 3 or 4 times during the entire experience..hind site i know)..you be proud of yourself because i know you will never remember just how special you were..especially early on during the first attack..you allowed others to experience greatness in the shape you were and how you faught...you are one hell of a man...better then i could ever be..proud of you cuz..