I had a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage on July 21, 2016, just a month after having my son, Evan. The neurologist couldn’t find a reason for my subarachnoid bleed. “Just one of those things,” he said.
“Do I have to change my diet or work less?” I asked.
“Other than avoiding any traumatic head injuries, you can live your life as is.”
And so I have. Since that unexpected evening where I was rushed by ambulance down the Southern State Parkway to Northwell Health in Manhasset, NY, I’ve acted as if nothing happened. That is until recently when I felt a dull, needling pain in my right temple. It was after a long day of thinking way too much.
On a normal day, I think about a million things. Most of my thoughts consist of trying to figure something out, whether that be how to make more money, how to save more money, when and how to buy a home, how to build a lucrative and successful career as a writer, podcaster, and the founder of Latinx x Love Magazine, and what to do in the meantime so I can (say it with me now) make more money (money is on my mind A LOT). Plus, there’s Evan’s speech delay, Evan growing up way too fast, and my ex and his home-wrecker girlfriend. Oh, and money (did I say that already?).
On a regular day, I assume my mind probably looks something like this.
And my body definitely reacts to all of my swirling thoughts. My shoulders tense, my neck aches and, when my mind is finally quiet right before bed, I feel that needling pang in my right temple that scares the shit out of me.
I felt that pang last night after a day where my thoughts banged against each other as I worked through yet another life-altering decision: to teach or not to teach again to increase my income. It’s the only reason I’m actually considering it.
In my heart, I know the answer. But then that answer leads to more questions which leads to more thinking which leads to a fear that I will indeed suffer another brain hemorrhage. Because as much as Dr. Neuro reassured me that my subarachnoid hemorrhage was just a fluke, that I could go about my business like it never happened, it did happen. I lived it. I remember it. And I never ever want to experience that again.
I am lucky to be alive. Blessed and highly favored by God. I am thankful to be present in mind, body, and spirit, to have all of my senses, logic, and cognition, and to have the ability to share my stories with whoever wants to listen. So from today forward, I’m going to stop thinking so much, let go, let God, and just live.