Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Trauma, a year later

There will be a quick recounting of the New York trip later on.

One year ago, I was sitting in a room at MCV under the alias Trauma Case Plum. My wound dressing and IV were being changed while nurses and med students were brought through to see the patient who had been shot while interrupting a robbery, the hero. The news had already hit the newspaper and television news. My father had come to the hospital to see me, and I was wheeled alternately into X-Ray rooms where they took pictures of my esophagus and into CT rooms where they determined that the bullet was large but hadn't damaged anything vital. I had what the CT tech called "The MIllion Dollar Wound." I hadn't even begun to process what had happened yet.

A year later, I am still struggling to process what happened. I am still trying to put my head and body back together. Though the simple act that brought this about seems small and far away now, the scars and ache and muddle I often feel in my head are constant reminders of how much worse it all could have been. They are also reminders of my work over the past year to make my life a better, kinder, more responsible place—despite occasional recidivism.

At the time, I joked that it was Colonel Mustard in the alley with the revolver, and that I got lucky. A year later, I realize none of this is a joke.

/navel gazing