Saturday, January 27, 2007


How is a litigation attorney like a burrowing frog?
They both hide in mud holes and wait for the prey to fall in.

Attorneys. Can't live with them or without them.
I coulda done without the attorney from some association or other that I had met at a meeting I'd gone to for the free lunch. He used my screwing from the insurance companies as a rallying call for the service coordinators at some other meeting later during that same week. Oh, he didn't mention any names or details.
Still, when I heard that he said, "And how about those insurance companies fighting over whether an accident falls under workers' comp or 'no-fault' insurance?" was enough to piss me off. That man is useless to me, a snob. He does a lot of good for many people and places but I do not have to like his grandstanding. And I don't. And I don't read his blog either. So there.

Most of us who have had to deal with automobile accidents or workers' comp related to our traumatic brain injuries have also had to hire on an attorney. And sometimes we need one in order to get Social Security Disability.
Five days after my accident, I was sitting in an attorney's office a mass of hurt and rage. I dumped all of the work papers on his table and I said, "I can't even read these." He took them from me and he explained what I did and did not have to do.
What I was able to do for the first couple of months was, "not much." I was sleeping twenty hours a day. Aside from eating and gulping down large amounts of coffee, not a whole lot was able to get done during the four hours a day that I roused myself from my slumber.
Some lady at work kept calling me, insisting that I fill out the papers. What the hell was a matter with her? Didn't she know that I was sleeping?
No, Mz Blackhead, I didn't fill out the papers.
No, Mz Blackhead, I can't go to the company doctor 35 miles away.
No car.
Got totalled.
My doc is 3 miles up the road and I can get there by cab.

[I heard Mz Blackhead whining to the company attorney 8 or 9 months later about how I wouldn't fill out the forms. She may have been whining but I had spent considerable time bitching about no money coming in for 8 or 9 months while the two insurance companies fought over my bills...].

All of those places-- my ex-workplace, my automobile accident insurer, the workers' compensation board, the U.S. Government-- have attorneys working for them to protect their interests. At times, it felt like it was their interests over my medical care and my life.

It is very difficult not to personalize this stuff while going through it and even after it. None of us are automations. We are indeed persons. And as people, yes, we do tend to personalize stuff.

Without my attorney who:

filled out the confusing work forms for me or refused to fill a few out [example: a Safety Report asking how I could have 'prevented' the accident? Uh, I dunno. Kill all the pot smokers? my accident was the direct result of a man who had decided to smoke one joint before driving],

told me I was not to talk to any more bill collectors [after telling one twice to go eff himself],

explained to me exactly what it is I have and what I had to do about it, fought for my medical care and my life in an arena blinded to what a traumatic brain injury is and how profound an effect it has on a life--

I woulda been fodder.

And then there were:

All the doctor visits and the physical therapy visits and the aborted cognitive art "therapy" which I got kicked out of over the phone for refusing to go get drugged by HER personal internist.

The medical office which had two months to send my records to the cognitive rehab people and couldn't do that until a week AFTER my appointment. Geez.

The t.b.i. specialists were very compassionate and competent. Some of the other physicians I've dealt with could barely disguise their dislike or hatred for the legal profession. Still and all, if it wasn't for my attorney, those same docs would still be waiting for the insurance companies to quit fighting over me and pay up on the medical bills.

The effect of the joke might be lost on those who have never had the pleasure of owning a burrowing frog or two. Frogs make great pets, if anyone is in the market for a pet or two, I recommend them highly.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

Friday, January 26, 2007


Scientists noticed that folks with stroke-- who sustained injury to the "insula" [or insular cortex] just under the frontal lobes near the ear-- lose their desire to smoke cigarettes [assuming they were smokers in the first place] and just don't do it anymore. To the researchers' credit, they aren't suggesting that smokers go out and get their insulas damaged.

To further explain: The insula, a region deep within the brain that is a little bigger than a toonie, is believed to translate physical signals from the body into emotional feelings such as anxiety, hunger or a craving, said co-principal investigator Dr. Antoine Bechara of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. [end of quote from ]

Some scientists want to try transcranial magnetic stimulation or some form of biofeedback on the insular cortexs of non-damaged smokers. Others want to develop pharmaceutical drugs to target the area in an effort to reduce cravings in addicts. Researchers are warning that because the study was performed on 69 patients, the results cannot be extrapolated to larger groups of addicts who are addicted to other stuff.

Unfortunately, folks with stroke with the same injury to the "insula" don't quit overeating. Apparently, smoking is considered to be learned pleasure and overeating isn't. [I don't know why that would be-- something to do with eating itself being considered to be necessary for survival.] Rats. I thought they might have been on to something there.

sapphoq healing t.b.i. [and a.b.i.]

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


I slept away most of the day. I had no motivation for getting out of bed other than bathroom breaks. It snowed today. Just a little bit. Tonight I took the dog for a short ride and a romp through the snow. It glistened like broken glass.

Folks with traumatic brain injuries are prone to a new bout of psychiatric woes or worsening of pre-existing mental conditions. Major depression is a long-haul thing to deal with. [At least there exists good treatment to keep it manageable.] Plus, it is cold outside. The sun took a vacation to San Diego or some place like that. Those people who are interested in light spectrum therapy now have medical folks advocating for blue light therapy. That's nice I suppose.

I'd rather get some real exposure on a beach in San Diego or somewheres warm. Maybe I can assemble myself a light box and play reggae while using it every morning. Go down to the town sand supply shed and take some home in a bucket. Throw it around the bedroom for effect.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I was in a car accident. My head hurts.
Here, lets take x-rays of your ribs.
Oh, nothing broken there.
Go home and rest...
They forgot to check off that I might have a concussion on the emergency aftercare form.
My car was hit so hard that it got runned into a house leaving a hole in the foundation.

I was in a car accident. My head hurts.
You are just a bit sore.
I'll give you a week off of work...

I was in a car accident. My head hurts.
I can't read the letters on the eye chart. It looks like Chinese.
You are near-sighted in one eye.
Assistant, write down "post-head trauma" on the form...
That was how I found out.

I was in a car accident. My head still hurts.
Put your hand on your head and push against it.
That sort of exercise works wonders...

Welcome to my world.

Fortunately, I fought until I found competent medical care.

sapphoq healing tbi

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

FROM A.D.A.P.T. 1/10/07

For Immediate Release:January 5, 2007
For Information Contact:Amber Smock (312) 253-7000 x191;
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504;

ADAPT Youth Appalled at Parents Surgically Keeping Disabled DaughterChildlikeYouth

Members of the national disability rights organization, ADAPT, todayexpressed shock and outrage on behalf of the entire national membership of ADAPT at the news of nine-year-old Ashley from Seattle, whose parents had her uterus, appendix and breast buds removed, in addition to having her undergo hormone injections in order to minimize her height and weight as she grows older. In their blog, Ashley's parents have rationalized these drastic measures to manipulate Ashley's size and physical maturity by saying it will be easier for them to care for her and involve her in family activities.

"As a young woman with a disability, I am extremely disturbed on multiple levels by Ashley's situation," said Amber Smock of Chicago, Illinois. "I am angry that Ashley's parents, the medical establishment and society at large think it is acceptable to surgically and hormonally manipulate Ashley because the reality of her adulthood as a person with a disability is too "grotesque" for them. With these drastic measures, her parents and doctors are physically reinforcing the disrespectful attitude held by many that people with disabilities are all "childlike," and can be treated like property or science experiments."

Ashley has now become a modern day symbol of the long and dishonorable tradition of sterilizing people with disabilities. In 1927 the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Buck vs. Bell upheld that tradition as a way to "eliminate defectives from the gene pool." Today, parents and others rationalize sterilization by saying it will prevent any possibility of pregnancy from abuse. Ashley has not been reported to be at risk of either abuse or pregnancy, and her parents say that her only caretakers are themselves and her grandmother. Ashley's parents also say in their blog that removal of her uterus will prevent her from having periods. For over two decades there have been far less invasive means of suppressing menstruation in women when medically indicated. It is not known why Ashley's parents resorted to the much more invasive procedure of a hysterectomy.

"Perhaps even more distressing to those of us with disabilities," said Smock, "is that a medical ethics committee supports treating Ashley not as a human being, but as a"problem" to be managed in a way they wouldn't consider or allow for other children. We have enough difficulty with the medical establishment's power over our lives, and its lack of recognition of disability as a social status and not a medical problem that must either be "cured" or"killed."

"This case opens the door for other people with disabilities to be subject to mutilation and chemical castration, simply because we have a disability. The severity of Ashley's disability does not mean that it's okay to treat her as less than a full human being," continued Smock.

"The impact of Ashley's situation is not limited to just her and her family. Ashley's mutilation has started us down a slippery slope where her case could very well be used as a precedent to damage one person with a disability after another. Instead of mutilating children, we need to put our energy into assuring that people with disabilities and their families have the support they need to age naturally and live lives of quality in their own homes and communities."

On behalf of ADAPT, Youth ADAPT members encourage the Seattle Childrens Hospital ethics committee that approved the invasive procedures to issue a statement acknowledging the socially and other harmful aspects of whatAshley's parents are now touting as the "Ashley treatment."

FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at

Sunday, January 07, 2007

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 1/7/07

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke maintains a website here. The site has a search listing all of the disorders the Institute covers and a searchable database of clinical research studies currently recruiting volunteers. Anyone with any sort of neuro-disorder might want to head on over to check out the trials. Currently, trials which include traumatic brain injury deal with various concerns as treatment of depression, stem cell research aiding children with t.b.i., "age of blood" in t.b.i., pharmacology, and medical and non-medical interventions. The clinical trials pages are very thorough. They include a clickable U.S. map so survivors can instantly be brought to the trials recruiting in their home state.

There is also a short abstract defining each disorder followed by a list of links off-site and I.N.D.S. publications. A helping of I.N.D.S. news and Congressional reports round out the site.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

Monday, January 01, 2007


On November 26. 2006, Reuters' Will Boggs reported the results of a pre-clinical study modeling stroke using animals in South Korea. Dr. Rau stated that hypoxia-dependent nitrous oxide produced from ischemic brains was shown to have some protective properties during evolution of a stroke in laboratory rats. Whether or not the nitrous oxide was beneficial or harmful depended upon several environmental and quantitative factors. Infusions of sodium nitrite was shown to be more beneficial than sugar-water when administered to ischemic rats. Pre-treatments with the infusions before occuring strokes had no benefit. If more pre-clinical study confirms that sodium nitrite infusion is beneficial, then clinical studies will be considered.

sapphoq healing tbi and abi