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Beyond Brain Injury

Risk Management

September 25, 2012

I awake into pain. My body is heavy with it, my legs, my arms, my head, my eyelids. Pain meds? I struggle to open my eyes, to lift my arm. The combination of weariness and crushing pain, weighs my body down, paralyzing me. I give up, and fall back asleep.I woke up several times. Each … Read more

Spatial Awareness

August 12, 2012

I’m afraid to move.There’s nothing out there for me, nothing to hold me in place, nothing to support me. I cannot give myself up to the nothingness. “Here, I put the chair right behind you. Just sit down.” How can I possibly sit down? I will fall, forever. I ponder my feet again. Dare I … Read more


July 25, 2012

Today, I experienced such callous behavior that I came very close to losing my faith in humanity. Only five people out tens of thousands came to my aid when I was in need. One of the neurological deficits I have sustained since my brain injury is referred to as stationary ataxia—when I am standing in … Read more


July 7, 2012

I planned to use Lysol wipes to clean the bathtub, I knew I was okay with those, but forgot. I knew that I had trouble with various cleaning products, but I forgot. Last time I used the Lysol spray it affected me badly, but I forgot. I meant to open the window wider, but I … Read more


June 16, 2012

I sat down at the loom and felt… right; just like that first time, more than fifteen years ago, when I learned to weave. I felt as if I’d come home, as if this was where I belonged, sitting at the loom, weaving.While I wove, throwing the shuttle back and forth across the width of … Read more


June 16, 2012

I cannot focus. I read and reread the section I just wrote, but I cannot see the whole picture as I need to. All I can manage is the odd sentence. I change a word here, delete a phrase there. But I’m frustrated. When I first started editing the piece I’d felt that it was … Read more

Not-So-Senior Moments

May 10, 2012

I stare at my student unseeing, my mind a complete blank—total and utter silence, inky black darkness, no words, no thoughts, no emotions. I blink, and feel the hum as my brain reboots and the lights in my circuitry blink back on, one by one.Once all my systems are operational, I become aware of my … Read more

Look Me in the Eye

April 4, 2012

Pity is condescending, pity dehumanizes. When people pity you, they avoid making eye contact; they look right through you, without seeing you. Pity is about judging without listening, it’s about being thankful that they are not in your shoes. Pity is egocentric. There is nothing egocentric about sympathy. To be sympathetic you have to care, … Read more


February 11, 2012

Mum was trimming my hair. “Oops.”It was no longer a trim, but a full blown… haircut? She hasn’t cut my hair since. It’s one thing to hear a hairdresser saying “oops” but quite another to hear a brain surgeon say it. Nor would you want to hear a brain surgeon say, “Can I see that … Read more


February 11, 2012

You hesitate briefly, your hand hovering over the saltcellar—it may not need salt. You pull your hand away, pick up your fork and dig in.You raise a forkful of scrambled eggs to your mouth, take a bite, and chew on it reflectively. It is blander than you could have possibly imagined. These eggs could not … Read more