Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I recently awakened from a 10-month coma and am slowly re-entering the world. I can't help but notice that it's in much the same condition as when I went to sleep on February 26, 2013. For 10 months I slept soundly while the world turned without me. Now I'm awake and there is snow everywhere. I seem to recall there was some snow on the ground when I went to sleep. It was cold, for sure--I remember the cold. I slept through spring, summer and fall and awoke on the first day of winter. I had a birthday during my long sleep. I was given flowers for my birthday--there is picture of them on my iPhone for proof. Apparently during my long sleep, I went on Facebook a few times and posted my status--I even wrote a few, random blog posts and posted pictures of cows! I even got married! I didn't know it was possible to do anything at all while in a coma. I must have had talented 'care-givers.' In any case, I am awake now and learning to readjust to life in the waking world. It's not easy.
On Februrary 26 I began 'writing' a fairy tale in which I was the heroine. I wrote and wrote and crafted my perfect prince and went to live with him on a ranch in Texas. It was one heck of a story. We had some adventures that you would not believe! The fairy tale was perfect except for one tiny thing. I forgot the most important part of any fairy tale: the happy ending. And on December 20 I awoke in the most unlikeliest of places: a Texas courthouse. I was on the witness stand being questioned by an attorney and a judge among a roomful of strangers. I saw only one familiar face in the crowd: my number one caregiver, Tom. I probably wouldn't have awakened from the coma without him coaxing me back to 'life.'
I have very distinct memories of what happened to me while I was in the coma. I went places. I met people. I cooked. I baked. I played pool and tennis and ping pong. I went to a rodeo and a fair and a few movies and I even went diamond-hunting in Arkansas. I went to New Mexico and Old Mexico and El Paso and Dallas and Shreveport and Oklahoma. I also went to Seattle and Whidbey Island. I got around! I developed a taste for avocados and tortillas and coffee and blueberry-pecan waffles. I got my religion on and went to a most unusual church. I talked to cows and horses. I bonded with a kitten named Tweaker. I fell four times--three times physically and one time emotionally. The emotional fall was fatal, but like a phoenix, I arose from the ashes. Who says guardian angels aren't real? I believe in them!
I am recuperating in Cleveland, back in the same place where I first became comatose. I'm here till I'm able to travel--to the Pacific Northwest, to a beautiful island I visited in my coma. I felt at home there.
When I awoke from the coma I had three pieces of incontrovertible proof that I didn't imagine the whole thing: 1) An eyewitness. Tom was with me from beginning to end. He saw it all, from the fall that put me in the coma to the moment I awoke in the courthouse. 2) A mind-bending pain in the chest that tells me I'm alive and it was all real and 3) A new last name. That one's hard to explain, but I saw my driver's license so apparently my name is now Kellie Hernandez.
I can't say it's good to be awake. Not yet. But in time, as I get stronger, I'll feel better. I'll be more sociable and talkative. Right now, I'm still trying to adjust and see what I missed while I was asleep. And you can be sure of one thing:
I am writing a memoir about my time in my Texas coma. I'm already 30,000 plus words in. As I write and re-read my writing, I cannot believe some of the things that happened to me during those 10 months. There is not one Hollywood screenwriter sitting in an air-conditioned office on Sunset Boulevard who could write this story. No one could make this stuff up--NO ONE! If you look up the phrase "Truth is Stranger than Fiction" in a book of quotes, you'll see my picture there! I lived quite a life in those 10 months and met some fascinating people. I can't wait until you all have a chance to read my story and see it for yourself. You won't believe it.
I shall close here and wish you all a Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to 2014 but I can't imagine how it could top 2013 for sheer shock value. But you know what? I hope it does because I am ready for some genuine peace and happiness. To find peace and happiness would be highly shocking! Bring it on, 2014!
Until next time!
Kellie Hernandez (according to my new Texas driver's license)