Deb Brandon: Living in Radiant Color

Writing About Seizures

Where should I start? The first time I experienced a seizure? The first time I was diagnosed with psychogenic seizures by that awful neurologist? What about beginning with my sojourn in the epilepsy monitoring unit, several years into my recovery?
There’s so much to this story, so many twists and turns. Whenever I think about the topic, my emotions dart all over the place—frustration, anger, and resentment, grief and sadness, and finally relief that for the most part, I’ve come to terms with the whole story.

Brain Injury Community

Standing in line behind her in Starbucks, I observed her as she leaned nonchalantly against the counter. I knew that stance—that was me, more than a decade ago, the slight swaying in the nonexistent breeze, the carefully annunciated speech, and the slow response to the barista’s terse questions. There was no doubt—this tall, skinny, unkempt woman was a brain injury survivor, in her early days of recovery.

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

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.

Crash Cart

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?