Losing A Mind 7: Poison Recap

The estimated reading time for this post is 2 minutes

A lot of people are still asking, “wait, what happened? You were POISONED?!” Instead of making everyone read the whole story I think a quick, easy to read recap would save a few sanities.

  • Most likely hypothesis: On a twelve hours overnight bus back from Hong Kong, China to Fuzhou, China the bus circulation wasn’t working properly and/or there was a carbon monoxide leak into the bus. (CO poisoning)
  • I arrived to two days of extremely intense headaches that made everything feel like a fog.
  • For the next two weeks I had a hard time focusing and my brain felt really tired and confused.
  • I went to the hospital and they weren’t much help.
  • I suddenly deteriorated rapidly to the point that I couldn’t use a web browser.
  • My friend helped me get at ticket to Taipei, Taiwan, where the hospitals are much better.
  • By the time I tried to get to the hospital, I couldn’t open a door or speak clearly. I was experiencing the same symptoms as advanced Parkinsons combined with confusion.
  • I saw three doctors, including two neurosurgeons, and got another MRI.
  • By the end of it all, when the last doctor was seeing me, I was coming out of the worst of it. The MRI looked clear. I was given blood flow drugs and told to chill out and see if it improved.
  • I could now open doors, walk around, and talk at almost full speed.
  • Basically functional, I decided I couldn’t miss our movie opening at IDFA and, although weird, flew to Amsterdam.
  • During the time in Amsterdam I overdid it enough to have the shaking and confusion come back for little visits. I decided to return to the States and rest and recover in a safe environment.
  • I am now at my parents’ place outside Chicago recovering from a combination of jet lag and the poison, hoping to be feeling much better in a month or two. I’m still a little shaky here and there and my brain gets tired but nothing like the near-death experience I was having in China.

There is a lot to process emotionally. I really thought it might well be my last few days, if not of life then of being a functional human being. At this point it looks like at best I’ll be right back to myself and at worst I’ll have these minor shakes and slightly diminished mental capacity for the rest of my life. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a gnarly and unknown beast. So, you know, avoid it!

Update 2012-04-20

I was gifted a ticket to Austin and I’m currently spending a little slow time around friends and trying to finish some work I have to do. I don’t, and can’t have, any plans right now because everything is a question mark. My life is on hold. I don’t know how long it will take to recover and I don’t know what I can commit to without knowing how much energy I have on any given day. That said, things aren’t bad. I’m in Austin, a place filled with sunlight and good people and I’m alive to see them.

2 thoughts on “Losing A Mind 7: Poison Recap

  1. David Alvarado

    I am so sorry this happened to you. China is just a poisoned country at this point, and I would not recommend that anyone go there anymore. It really is that bad. I don’t think the outside world has any conception of the horror they are inflicting on themselves.

    I am glad you got out, and I hope that with time things will get better. I still struggle with my condition, but at least I am able to lead a functional life.

    To anyone else reading this, please, don’t go to China.


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