I went to see a movie. In a theatre. With other people.
I know, I know, what’s so momentous about that? People do it every day.
I haven’t done it in years and years.
Because my brain injury makes it a tad difficult.
There’s the issue of being able to sit through the whole picture; the issue of being able to tolerate the crowds; the issue of not having my senses blasted into overloaded white-out; the issue of remembering it right after, never mind hours or days later; and the issue of not being utterly exhausted from going to a movie.
The Brain Injury Society of Toronto holds movie outings. I usually don’t go, but when they announced this month’s movie would be Concussion, I decided to go for it.
We attended the first screening of the day, so no crowds. I was with a bunch of people who have similar issues as me, so no explanations needed. And having a discussion after meant experiencing the enjoyment of talking about it as well as helping my memory, which is much, much better anyway.
What I wasn’t prepared for — because it had been so long — was my eyes and ears and brain going, AIIEEEE!!!, as soon as I sat down and began to watch the pre-movie stuff. Hoo boy, I thought, this is going to be a blast.
I closed my eyes for a while and hoped my senses would adapt. When Concussion itself began, the story drew me in. And because there weren’t blasts and action-kind-of-sounds, it was not as hard on my hearing and sensory centres as the trailers had been.
Unfortunately, the near-constant chomp, chomp, rustle, rustle, chomp next to me began to drive me mad. I moved seats. It was still distracting, but I was far enough away to be able to get back into the movie.
But then I began to wonder when it would end. The story wasn’t even close to being fully told! Oh dear, my ability to stay focused for movie-length time still ain’t back. I began to shift. My right (the side my muscle tone is affected from the brain injury) hip and leg began to hurt then ache deeply. The stupid thing was the seats were comfortable; as most of you know, they even recline, and there was lots of leg room. I could even put my foot up on a bar in front of me. No dice. My body was not happy.
Still, I made it through. I was able to engage with it — it made me think about some things and feel for the football players. It distracted me from being alone in my own life while reminding me, through the players, how alone I am. And how few of us with brain injury have advocates, although we need them more than probably 99% of the unwell population.
Yeah, a bit of a mixed bag, emotionally speaking.
The discussion after was interesting and boring. I was a tad fatigued. Uh, well, a lot fatigued. That night, I had difficulty breathing and had to use my CES (cranioelectrical stimulation) device in the wee hours to do what atenolol used to do for my heart sans its side effects so that I could breathe again and not feel like my chest was being crushed.
But as I was saying, I was already tired even before the discussion began; like anyone, being tired makes you less tolerant of ramblers. I had also been triggered. And I had a lot to think about. More on that in my next post.
All in all, I’m glad I went. But it’s going to be awhile before I watch a movie in a theatre again. The small screen in my own place with ads or pause button capability suits me fine.