After my accident in April, things are a little hazy for about 6 months. Though I'd never been so happy about life. I often think back to that period of time and realize that I was truly living in the moment. If I could get up in the morning and button my pants with two broken arms and brush my teeth, life was damn good.
My roommate had to shave my armpits for me. Humbling.
But the thing was, I wasn't in a blissful state of utter enlightenment and awareness. I just was. I just existed and lived and went about my business, happy to go to work, grateful for the people who generously offered their time and energy to help me out. I wasn't able to drive my car for 6 months, it probably should have been longer, but I ultimately started driving my stick shift with my arm braces on against doctor's orders. I wore arm braces for a long long time after my accident.
I walked around my neighborhood a lot. I met people, I made friends, I guess you could say I stood out because of my braces and apparently I had a new sunny disposition due to my concussion and all (read I was a little fruity for a while). I had more balls than brains. I bought a fake pony tail at CVS one day, because I hadn't been able to put my hair back in a pony tail since I had broken both my arms... but I figured out how to attach that thing to my head (it was so long it went all the way down my back) with my braces on. I remember my roommate trying to talk me out of wearing it. I thought it was the bees knees and that I looked pretty with such long hair. This is one of the stories that makes me very aware of how out of my head I was at the time, buying a hair piece from CVS and sporting it around the neighborhood would be something my friends would make fun of me for years to come.... "OMG. Do you remember when Chloë was wearing that hair piece?!? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It was so freaking horrific." Two arm braces and a fake hair piece, as if I needed anything more to make me stand out in a crowd.
Side note: this would not be my last purchase of fake hair, later down the road (fast forward to Seattle) I would end up spending several thousand dollars on hair extensions trying to hide the fact that my hair was falling out because of my illness. That is a much more traumatic story, the Baltimore fake pony tail story is much funnier looking back on it.
I remember walking down my street to go to the market and when I reached the double glass doors at Cross Street Market I paused outside not being able to pull open the doors with either my right hand or my left hand. A dirty haggard looking homeless person had witnessed me approach the entrance and offered to help me by opening the doors and ushering me in and saying
"God Bless You and your recovery."
I remember thinking, Wow. I must look pretty bad off if this homeless guy is offering help to me and blessing my recovery. And I remember actually taking in his blessing and a surge of compassion flooded my body. I wouldn't have even looked at this guy months before, wouldn't have given him the dignity of opening the door for me, and here we were connecting on a mutual level of human compassion. I was stunned.
The person I had been just prior to my accident and my injuries was stiff, bitter, jaded, unhappy, unfulfilled, disconnected, and lonely. I have described myself as walking around with a bitch sized chip on my shoulder.
Nothing like a good near fatal accident and a solid pound on the noggin to knock the smug shit out of you.
READ MORE ABOUT MY ACCIDENT: