Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Beyond Brain Injury


August 4, 2020

I was lost—I had no frame of reference. I didn’t understand the rules that governed the new world I found myself in. I had no idea how to navigate through it. I had to find a way out of the chaos that was now my life. But where to start?


May 27, 2020

“I’m done!”
I sent the text to Judy and Cindy, and to Daniel and Sarah.
I skipped outside and danced in the sun. “I’m done! I’m done!”
Gus’s tail went into overdrive as he pranced around me.
I’d just finished submitting my students’ final. Barely containing the excitement bubbling up inside me, I searched my surroundings. Had I forgotten anything? No. There was nothing teaching-related I had to do. What about administrative stuff? I skimmed through my latest emails. Nope.
I was done.

Inside the Sun–Alexis Marie Chute

May 23, 2020

My first book was published by She Writes Press, which is how I first “met” Alexis. I was intrigued by her online presence–I wanted to get to know her, personally. I finally saw her in person at the 2018 ALA (American Library Association) convention in New Orleans–I was not disappointed. Alexis is one of those … Read more

Acceptance? Acceptance.

May 18, 2020

During my early days into recovery from the brain surgeries, the daily battle to survive was tangible, but I persevered. As I progressed, every struggle validated my aversion to the term acceptance. Every time the word came up, my hackles rose. I associated it with malingering and I was no malingerer.
I mentioned my attitude towards the term to my neuropsychologist. He leaned back in his chair. “I interpret the term acceptance the Buddhist way—learning to live with it.”
I could live with that interpretation. I could learn to live with the bloody brain.
He added, “It’s the feisty ones who do best.”
Yes, that would be my way. I was a fighter.

Swimming with the current

May 11, 2020

I didn’t recognize my inner wiring—my mind was a stranger to me. It didn’t work as it should, some parts didn’t work at all. Choppy thoughts came and went, entangled, incoherent. I felt disconnected from my inner being, out of sync.

Birthday in the Time of Corona!

May 5, 2020

I love birthdays, whether mine or not. Birthdays make me happy. To me, celebrating life is always a good thing, even with social distancing, even when gifts are few, even without a cake or candles, even without balloons.

Outer and Inner Healing

April 29, 2020

When I thought about it some more, I realized that physical, cognitive, and psychological recovery weren’t all there was to my journey. The pieces of the puzzle started clicking into place—I was finally ready to admit to the fact that the bloody brain had damaged me at all levels.

Sweating the Surreal Stuff

October 12, 2019
Red high heels

Why red carpet? Why not blue or purple? And how on Earth does one walk down it? Certainly not stride, unless shod in combat boots. What about meander? Or stroll? Sashay? Sashay sounds good. And what should I wear? A suit? A tuxedo? Somehow that doesn’t feel right. Certainly not a dress. I don’t own … Read more


September 30, 2019
Speed limit 5 road sign

I read the first sentence: “An island is 2 miles due north of its closest point along a straight shoreline.” Oh God! What the hell does that mean? “Closest point along…blah blah blah” There was no way I could figure this out. About to panic, I took adeep breath. What if I drew a picture? … Read more

First Last

September 16, 2019
image of countdown timer

This past summer was filled with lasts. It was my last stint as director of our REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates). I ran my last TA (Teaching Assistant) training workshop. The summer was my last summer as a college professor. And today was my last first day of an academic year.