The Upside of Head Trauma [Traumatic Brain Injury as Treatment for Life]

Anya used this piece as inspiration in her latest art project and somehow the image ended up on my phone.  Seeing Anya inspired again warms my heart.

I believe I misspoke when I stated that my goal for recovery was to return to 100%.  I certainly hope for  resolution of post-concussive symptoms, but I don’t want my old brain back.  I believe that the accident that caused my injuries had a higher purpose (as foreign as such ideas are to me).  Last night I listened to the recounting of an accident that was like mine in every way, except that the driver didn’t live.  The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.  It is a miracle (or I am making it one) that I am here writing about my head injury and my luxury problems.  This near-tragedy has brought my family together in the most unexpected ways, but only after a series of missteps and failures.

My husband says that our family is finally the way we’ve always wanted it to be, something we could not claim before my accident.  Every one of us has sacrificed the comfortable for the chance at something better:  Connor is opening up and expressing himself of his own accord (beginning, I believe with his request for bentos);  Finn has gotten the hang of junior high without a hitch and for a time, without his computer (my baby, who the doctor thought he might have been wrong to spend 20 minutes resuscitating);   Anya has blossomed, shedding depression and inattention for joy and determination (she advocated for a proper diagnosis and we listened); My husband and I communicate, at turns sharing and minding (my husband is the only male who understands how my mind works, and he interprets as needed).

I had to get out of the way for this to happen.  Brain damage made me teachable and a long convalescence gave me time.  My family needed my attention, more than they needed my income, or carpooling, or housekeeping or any of the other myriad of things that kept me from being present for them.  I don’t want to be so well that I stop listening or opt for quick lunches or miss soccer games.  I don’t want life to get in the way of my family.  I will be careful when I pray for my recovery.

I create bento boxes as treatment for a traumatic brain injury.  My traumatic brain injury is my treatment for life.


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