Header image - Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Beyond Brain Injury

Calculus Revisited

August 13, 2017

There are days, Calculus Mustache Day Math Grad Students Fake Mustache Day and there are days: Calculus Hoodie Day And then we went for socks. Some were interesting. Others… Calculus Sock Day The teaching assistant couldn’t make it to class. So… They asked, “Can we have a candy day?” Calculus Lollipop Day There were some … Read more


August 9, 2017

When Joan gave me a plate of yummy looking cookies, my immediate thought was “that’s the way the cookie bounces.” I wondered whether that expression meant the same thing as the idioms “that’s the way the cookie crumbles” or “that’s the way the ball bounces.” According to My English Pages, “that’s the way the cookie … Read more


July 23, 2017

Mum was not the only one to tell me I was brave. I don’t feel like that title is mine to claim. Mum was referring to my choice to undergo brain surgery. I was genuinely confused—there was no real choice. After the brain bleeds, I was only capable of shuffling from one step to the … Read more


July 15, 2017

I was lost, broken after a third brain surgery. I searched for a clue, something to anchor me, a first step. But there was nothing. Nothing that truly addressed my needs, neither in books nor on the internet. Yes, there was information out there about the medical side of recovery from brain injury. There were … Read more

Moments of Joy

July 10, 2017

On days when I feel lonely, or sad, Gus always manages to raise a chuckle. When the bloody brain is being hard on me, he settles by my side, touching, sometimes resting his head on my shoulder, his warm (and not too stinky) breath brushing against my cheek. He wakes me up in the morning … Read more


July 6, 2017

I started my day sitting outside in the shade, typing on my laptop, working on an essay about one of my experiences in the Old City in Jerusalem. It was a lovely morning. The skies infinite, the temperature gentle, a mere hint of the heat to come. As my fingers danced on the keyboard, I … Read more


June 28, 2017

I pointed. “I wonder what that is.” then realized—crickets, very dead. Fried? Grilled? How would you eat them? As a garnish? In a sauce over rice? A snack, like sunflower seeds? Instead of the eeew I expected from my inner voice, I heard myself wonder whether crickets are kosher. After all, locusts were. Only then … Read more

The Inevitable

June 24, 2017

Sometimes it gets to me. I can’t let it hold me back. I won’t let it hold me back. I want to live. I have to live. I refuse to give in. But sometimes, I have no choice. Sometimes, the Bloody Brain leaves me floundering. I don’t mean headaches. I don’t mean poor balance. Or … Read more

Gus Versus Calculus

June 12, 2017

In Calculus Lecture. At first, Gus gave me the impression that he was very studious. But then I started becoming suspicious–he seemed to be having a little too much fun when he came to class.


June 8, 2017

When did I start suspecting? Was it when there was no talk of discharging me? Or when I felt the atmosphere change? Setting Up For a Long Haul One of the technicians who before I experienced a series of convulsions seemed to enjoy hanging out with me and my visitors, now, whenever she came in, … Read more