Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I was carrying a pail to the kitchen sink.  On the way, I dropped it.  It upended and I spent the next 30 minutes cleaning up.  Fortunately it was "only water."  The water was dirty but even so, there are worst things I could have dumped onto the floor.

Out came the paper towels, mop, more paper towels.  A mess.  The floor is now [finally] drying but the garbage can is full of sopping paper towels.  Three rolls of paper towels.  It was after all a lot of water.

Pre-accident, my brain was a bit sharper when the unexpected happened.  I would not have had to stop and think through my options.  Somehow, [I believe] my cleaning up would have been less haphazard, more efficient, quicker.  Still, I got the job done.  

Pre-accident, many actions were more automatic.  I have to think things through now.  Even simple things like where to put my feet when negotiating a corner require extra thinking steps.  I am a somewhat clumsier version of my old self with a few twists.  Briella, my post-injured brain, is still brilliant although a bit sideways.

I may not be able to do things in the same manner as I used to do them.  I am, however, still able to get the job done.  Today, that will have to be good enough.

sapphoq on healing t.b.i.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

You Never Told Anyone

You never talked about it with any of the others.  You didn't tell them about my accident.  My broken brain.  That I was lucky to have walked away, to be alive, no longer working but functioning.  You never told them.  You left it for me to tell.  The awkward silences.  They hadn't even been told that I was in an accident.  Never mind that my career got smashed up along with the car.  Retired.  The junkyard.  Kaput.  What did you tell them if they asked?  That I'm fine, living in the cold country on a farm.  Away from civilization.  If they even asked.  I am the forgotten one.  Invisible.  Quiet.  Disappearing.

I know they asked about her.  She has a fancy job.  A fancy car.  A manly man of a husband. She's going places, that one is.  You were always so proud of her.  She is gifted. Beautiful.  Wonderful.  You wore your pride on your sleeve.  You never hid it.  Even in these moments when you are closest to death, you still don't.  She is larger than life.  All consuming.  Her problems consume you.  Everyone knows about the flood that ate her living room.  Everyone.  

Her brain is intact.  She's never had to use a cane.  She's never had to fight the System.  She's never been on a picket line with signs and comrades around her in masks all screaming "Feck the System" in one terrible silent voice, arms and hands moving to form the words that too soon die in the throat.  She's never been tested.  Her brain is not broken.  She is enviable.

My brain is broken.  I am awkward.  Falling.  With twisted words and too-loud laughter inserted at the wrong places in too-long conversations.  Lost in a sea of faces that all merge into each other.  Knocked over by putrid pink drifting up from the scummy floor of the public rest room.  In the corner, hiding my eyes from the sun.  Hiding under my hat.  Darting away from the glare.  This is who I have become. 

I am the forgotten one.  But no longer invisible, quiet, silent, good, disappearing.  I am enraged.  I am the one on the picket lines with signs and comrades around me in masks all screaming "Feck the System" in one terrible silent voice, arms and hands moving to form the words that too soon die in the wind.  You forgot to tell them about my car accident, my broken brain.  You forgot to tell them that I've had to fight for every damn thing I've got.  You forgot to tell them that the System is not a free ride.  That every day is hard work.  That I have to remind my brain to think and my body to move.  That rhythm is not spontaneous, that every movement is artificial.  That nothing is automatic anymore.

I am the one on the picket lines with signs and comrades around me in masks all screaming "Feck the System" in one terrible silent voice, arms and hands moving to form the words that too soon--
You forgot to tell them.  But I haven't forgotten.  We rise up together, comrades in masks with signs with rage with flags.  We rise up and demand to be seen, heard, acknowledged.  We rise up together a crippled mass of hurt and twisted pain.  We rise up together beautiful in our rage.

sapphoq healing t.b.i.

Monday, February 04, 2013


When I tell you that I cannot shovel snow, which word in the sentence "I cannot shovel snow" don't you get?

Car accident.
My back is wrecked.
Bulging discs.
Restrictions on lifting.
Will not get better.

This is not a newsflash.  Use the snowblower.  Hire a plow.  Or piss on it.  Whatever.  
I cannot shovel snow.
I cannot shovel snow.

Yes, I use my car to move the snow around the driveway a bit. 
                Innovation.  Adaptation.  Compensation. 

But not remelioration.

I have brain damage-- known in politer circles as traumatic brain injury-- but I am not brain dead.

I understood quite well when I was advised of my brain and spinal injuries.

Why   don't   you   get   it?

sapphoq healing t.b.i.