February 12th, 2008

—but it pours—

Before I forget to mention it, last Friday my head was unusually bad, so I asked my father to drive me to and from campus, and in between he could run some errands he’s had piling up. (He still hasn’t bought a new car after wrecking his last summer.) I wouldn’t have gone in at all that day, but I had a midterm in my History of English class.

On the way home, we got rear-ended by a bloody huge pickup truck. (It was as much the city’s fault as the other driver’s: we were in a left-turn lane covered with slick white ice, ours was the first vehicle to stop at a red light, and the truck would have been the second — except it didn’t quite stop quick enough. The judicious application of a snow plough or a sanding truck would have prevented the whole incident.) My head snapped forward at the moment of impact, and I could immediately tell that I had aggravated my concussion or whatever it is that I’d been suffering for two weeks past.

Just moments after we left the scene of the accident (having exchanged all information required by law), my head started twitching violently and uncontrollably. I was also unable to speak without stammering. Any third party watching this would, I suppose, have thought I was doing a very good impression of Derek Jacobi playing Claudius. I asked my father to take me to the hospital.

I was there four hours, during which I was strapped to a board, put in a neck brace, X-rayed, CT-scanned, and left to wait for the interminable intervals between these things on a bed shoved into an out-of-the-way corner of the ER. (I shouldn’t complain; I was lucky they had a bed for me at all. People are waiting on gurneys in corridors in ERs all across Canada these days, and some of them are dying there.) It turned out I didn’t have a broken neck or a cracked skull, so they gave me Tylenol 3 and let me go after about three or four hours.

I have a follow-up appointment with my GP, at which I shall be pleased to inform him that I have, in addition to occasional head tremors and stammering, debilitating headaches, bouts of insomnia alternating with whatchamacallit, occasional short-term memory loss, and the odd flirtation with aphasia, as just now when I couldn’t remember the word for whatchamacallit, which is when you can’t stop sleeping, or a little earlier when I had to google Derek Jacobi because the first name Derek looked so funny that I was sure I’d got it wrong. (Basse Aphasia and by no means Haute Aphasia, as Silverlock said to Don Quixote. I reread Silverlock the other day; at least I can remember that.)

The one bit of good news, other than the non-smashment of my bones: Next week is Reading Week, and I may be able to take some time to recover from the worst of my ills. Meanwhile I have a midterm in Late Roman Antiquity in ten and a half hours, and I can’t even think of sleeping right now. Besides, I still have half of Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History to read before then, or at least half of the half of it that we were assigned.

Vae and oimoi and all that.

Update, 10 minutes later: Narcolepsy, that was the word. I only found it after guddling about on Wikipedia for some time. In the course of which I found this article, which describes my normal condition perfectly: Delayed sleep phase syndrome. —Complete with as-yet-unexplained correlation to clinical depression.