The ending to a traditional tale is “And they lived happily ever after.” But did they really? Was Cinderella happy after she married the prince? Or did living in the limelight trigger depression? Did Goldilocks become a juvenile delinquent and end up in jail? Did Jack fall on his way down the beanstalk and suffer a severe brain injury?
People ask me, “How are you doing? Are you fully recovered? Are you where you were before?”
There is no “full recovery” from severe brain injury. You cannot return to the way you were “before.” Brain injury changes you, forever, for better and worse.
I will always struggle with some residual issues, such as overwhelming fatigue, trouble managing high volumes of sensory input, poor organizational skills, and short attention span. Some of the issues are almost unnoticeable much of the time, only to rear their heads every so often, others are an integral part of my daily life. Though the rewiring and recovery are ongoing, I probably won’t improve much beyond where I am now, more than four years post-surgery.
Thankfully, the gains from the bloody brain are here to stay as well. I have become better able to connect with people, and I am more observant, more aware and self-aware. The bloody brain has caused me to grow as a person. I has also rendered me totally incapable of stagnating, there is always something new to contend with or to enjoy.
I have good days and bad days, now they are mostly good days with a sprinkling of bad days here and there. Through it all, I continue to evolve and grow. The bloody brain has changed me and my world, and fortunately, continues to change them.
There is no end to my story. There is no “And she lived happily ever after.” Though I am more alive than I used to be, more content, more fulfilled, despite daily life being more difficult.
The bloody brain was a blessing in disguise.
On second thought, the bloody brain is a blessing in disguise.