I think I remember him trying to keep the situation light, and in his usual warm and welcoming manner, he offered a quip of levity, a litmus test strip to determine whether my manner was a warped joke and odd sense of humor, or whether there was really something gone terribly wrong. That was the end of my recollection of the situation. I faded from existence into a complete void, a non-existence. My next memory was voices discussing operational protocols, tubes, beeps, and smells I've smelled before after surgeries. Those moments in the ambulance now are memories during which I remember things that I can only now associate with words. In those moments, there were no words for anything around me, just things I would remember after my identity returned to me and then be able to reflect upon. "Can you tell me your name," asked one of the EMT's in the ambulance.
I remember thinking, "Hmmm, my name... What is my name?" The thought yielded nothing. I struggled for a response.
In addition to the new prescriptions I was given to prevent additional seizures, I was now less a driver's license. This meant several things: one, I would no longer be able to do a portion of the job I was hired to do, and two, I'd be getting in much better shape than I'd been in for a long time, maybe ever. I had no problem with the idea of changing my fundamental mode of transportation to my bike. I actually felt like it would be a good opportunity to show myself how life really is quite manageable without being able to drive a vehicle. The doctor explained that it would be illegal for me to drive for a minimum of three months. If after three months I've had no additional seizures, I could report to my neurologist and have my license re-instated.
My managing director approached and asked, "Since you are unable to do part of the job you were hired to do, how would you like to use your work time? Is there something you'd like to learn that could enhance your job here?" I absolutely LOVED that I was being asked this question. It reinforced the knowledge that I work with an exceptional group of people and that I was very lucky. They could have just as easily told me that I'd need to be replaced. However, a co-worker of mine took over my responsibilities and I was being given an opportunity to learn something new.
I responded that I'd love to be able to learn video editing in the interest of creating motion content for our web site. I explained that I thought all the descriptions and information of Utah's outdoor recreation could be so much more engaging with links to videos of it in the spectacular settings Utah offers. I let her know that I thought there was so much work to be done in that area and that I'd love to have the opportunity to be part of it. She responded quite simply, "Look for a class and let me know what you find."
In short order, I learned that a class in Final Cut Pro X video editing software began the very next morning at the University of Utah. My boss asked me if I was ready to start the class. So ... HOW INCREDIBLY COOL IS IT THAT OUT OF SOMETHING AS UNFORTUNATE AS HAVING A RANDOM SEIZURE THAT I COULD BE ONTO DEVELOPING A NEW FULFILLING AND CREATIVE SKILL!!!
So, thank you Utah Office of Tourism!
Here was my final class project ---
Ben Dodds is pleased to report that he's been seizure-free since October, is driving once again and has resumed normal duties at the office. Additionally, he's beginning to produce a series of video diaries from his travels with his family in Utah.