A Writer’s Block-Head

Dec 14, 2013

Christmas bouquet arranged and photo-shopped by PCS survivor

I’ve had writer’s block for about a week now. At least that’s how long I have wanted to write something but can’t. They say you should just write anyway, a defiant shaking of the fist at the blank page, like, “The blank page is beautiful” one hundred times or more. Personally, I would rather walk into the kitchen and find something to eat, or go outside into the freezing cold and walk around my yard with a small pair of clippers like I just did. I was going to make a wreath. Instead I clipped a few branches from three different trees and stuck them in a vase. It’s what my husband would call one of my hippie decorations.

My biggest fear is I’ve just run out of things to blog on. Someone asked me once why I couldn’t just post a good recipe. Why do I have to write about things that make people cry, or angry or maybe just confused? So I explained that spencersmom.com was primarily birthed as a place of resource and hope for those who have or are traveling through very dark places. I don’t expect my blog to be a glorious beacon of light. Only Jesus can do that. But maybe my words can point to the light, a place of reference for those that are lost with no map. A recipe really won’t help.

I smacked my head hard a week ago. I was skating in North Carolina, maybe showing off a little and my skates caught as I turned, throwing me backwards. Southerners really stink at ice-skating, so you can go down there and feel like Dorothy Hamill as everyone else clings to the wall terrified. But I was humbled. And I was in a lot of pain for about four days. I fall a lot actually because I am in denial that I am getting older and I should be more careful. Oh and I’m also clumsy. After I broke a rib a few years ago falling off a water slide the nurse gave me a little smug half smile  and said,

“I guess you won’t be doing THAT again!” which made me say, “Yes, I will.” And I did.

Anyway, back to my head. I felt good enough to return to work Wednesday but I noticed right off that my brain was not working right; connections like short-term memory, multi-tasking and even long-term memory (like You became a nurse, Robin and you work in a hospital taking care of sick people) were not firing or they were misfiring. The next day seemed slightly better. But the whole week was stressful. Yes, I could’ve stayed home but I really felt okay. And all my patients looked happy and alive at the end of the day.

But…I did make some minor errors, two of them caught by physicians. I told them both I had Post-Concussive Syndrome and they seemed impressed. Not in awe, but at least silenced. It reminded me of when I was in high school and I was running out of standard reasons to miss school so I became more creative:

Robin was out of school yesterday because she developed a secondary infection from the strep throat she had last week, which traveled into her heart and then threw a shower of emboli into her brain causing multiple seizures. She’s better now.

They were impressed, or at least silent. They might’ve passed it around at lunch.

I have since read that Post Concussive Syndrome, or PCS, increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease by 20%. That number seems a little unfair. One smack to the head and you jump to the front of the line of at-risk baby boomers.

Anyway, what I’m getting at is it’s an adequate excuse for floundering at Christmas crafts and writing a decent blog. At least for this week. So here’s a really good recipe:

 Caramel Apple Cake

3 eggs

2 cups sugar

11/2 cups veg. oil

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

3 cups chopped peeled apples

1 cup chopped pecans

 CAKE: Mix together in order above. Pour into greased, floured tube pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hr. and 15 min.or until done. Cool 10 min before removing from pan.

TOPPING: ½ cup butter, ¼ cup milk, 1 cup packed brown sugar, pinch salt. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil 3 min, stirring constantly. Cool slightly and slowly pour over cake. 

 This is an amazing cake. The sky won’t split open with a choir of angels but everyone who eats it will love you and love always helps.

Maybe next week I’ll write something more meaningful although according to the Mayo Clinic and other authorities like Wikipedia, PCS can last for months, even a year! Then Alzheimer’s. Well, stay tuned, stay warm and eat cake. I’ll be back. And yes, I will go ice-skating again.