Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Beyond Brain Injury

New World Emerging–Post-Pandemic

August 25, 2021

I’m sure that some point soon, I will feel comfortable grocery shopping. I try to tell myself that I will be able to visit my parents in the foreseeable future. I hope that the hatred will wane, that it isn’t symptomatic of the beginning of the breakdown of society.

Three Little Fishies

August 2, 2021

I fought to zero in on the technician’s voice. “Her head is down. So that’s good news.”
Where did she see the head? Up or down, all I could see were shapeless blobs. She was saying something else. I tried to focus on her words. Perhaps she’d clue me into the secret language of the ultrasound.

10 Things I Don’t Like (in no particular order)

July 24, 2021

I’ve never really like crowds. But now, unlike in my pre-bloody brain life, I can’t tolerate them. I can’t process high volumes of information in a timely fashion. All data comes in with equal value, whether it is a loud shriek or a soft murmur. All colors seem garish, blinding, and all tactile input is harsh to the touch. Everything is a blur, without shape, chaotic. I can’t make order out of the chaos. I have nothing to anchor me and my incoherent thoughts. My brain lacks the ability to file information away under recognizable labels.

10 Things I Especially Like (In No Particular Order)

June 21, 2021

Gus’s a funny little thing, a mutt, smarter that I could have imagined. He teases me, changing the rules of games as we play, laughing at me from the top of the steep hill in my back yard, squeaking his toy as he tries to tempt me to clamber up the slippery slope to wrestle the toy away from him.

Crash Cart

June 8, 2021

I remember that they called for some sort of code. I remember wondering whether the code was for me. I also remember convulsing, and feeling a hand on my shaking leg and a voice saying, “It’s okay.” The next thing I remember was a near death experience, and then waking up to a dark room, puzzled.
According to Cindy, there was a crash cart. How did she know? Was bringing one standard when they called for a code? Did they use it?

Excitement on the Road

May 23, 2021

A car full of Santas.

The Bloody Brain vs. the Bloody Brain

May 9, 2021

And…The Bloody Brain wins—the gains outweigh the losses by far. I wouldn’t want to repeat the experience, but I’m actually glad it happened.

Over My Head

April 25, 2021

All too often, during the first few years into my recovery, feeling of it hanging there by a thread was almost tangible—whenever the headaches were particularly bad, when a new symptom appeared, when I was on the verge of collapse from neuro-fatigue. I feared the possibility of another brain bleed.

Getting There

April 11, 2021

At low tide, the sweep of the bay was just wet sand, rippled by the retreating wavelets.
The chilly, early morning walk was your idea.
We set out straight across the bay, heading for the rocks on the point,
But by the time we made it back the tide had turned,

Facing Memories of Sexual Trauma

March 28, 2021

For decades I didn’t file any of my sexual experiences under the label rape. After all, no one applied physical force—the sex was always consensual. Nor was I comfortable using the label statutory rape, even though when I was a minor, all my sexual partners were not. At the time, I knew what I was doing—I wanted it.