Okay, so whatever I said earlier about this being exclusively a ‘writing’ blog, that changes effective immediately. Too much going on for that to be the case. Instead, if I fail to get everything writing projects on here, go to my facebook book page, “lettucewrite.com”. Must be friended and invited to this page, but it can be done.

Today several notable things happened. A lot of things came to mind to discuss with my friend, the Brain Trauma nurse, at the hospital. Also a visit to another friend’s thrift store, the owner’s wife also brain injured. We related well to each other, and discussed some of our issues. Unsurprisingly, the majority of the things we struggle with would be similar. She was like, “Yeah, you get it.” Not many do, unfortunately; only those who have been touched by this quandary. Or “blessing,” as we concurred. She was thrilled when I invited to her to the tbi support group next month….and may, also, be included in my next book. We’ll see.

Great meeting this afternoon with JK, my friend with a brain injury. Many nearly identical symptoms, hers apparently also being right hemisphere damage. Related well. Talked easily. Facing many battles, hoping they won’t be insurmountable. Discovered many things, including her having good editing skills, which may help as several of my books progress. Thinking she’d be really helpful with my Mitochondrial Disease memoir. For starters, she may start keeping a journal. Excited we scheduled a meeting next week already.

Fabulous brain injury survivor’s support group this evening at the hospital. Miss Gloria did a great job with her presentation which outlined the brain’s various components/lobes. Great talks by various people. Exciting to learn of the Brain Injury Association walk for awareness. More info shared later. Learned also about the organization Miracles Among Us in Naples. They have events in March. Looks like I can attend some of those, and they may be interested in helping me sell some of my books. BTW concentrating on finishing my final edits for “Till Death Do Us Part, 2nd edition,” in my spare time….and mostly at the hospital.

Had a coke and a smile. Who remembers that commercial from back in the 80′s? Mean Joe Green.

Spent several hours at Panera Bread this afternoon doing some more PTSD research. Still in the book discussed the other day, got quite a bit done. Many interesting insights. Met for an hour with my first client in the peer counseling program at Lee Memorial Hospital’s Brain Trauma Unit. Fascinating discussion, a lot of similarities. More later when I’m able to process things. Had a few notes written beforehand of things to say; instead we just had an introductory visit.

Actually, maybe that’s all that should be said at this point. Any more would make me depressed. LOL That right there is a very common characteristic, the depression and negative thinking, for TBI’s. One thing I think we discussed (the unit nurse was on site this first time, too) was how the brain is so pliable, or gets easily bounced around. We must take caution. Another generality is that no two brain injuries are the same; and have the same effects. Right-hemisphere, left-hemisphere, great. Still they are all unique. What remains amazing is that the human body and spirit is resilient. Some of us have been blessed to recover to a great extent.

Just as no two injuries are the same and absolutely parallel, the exact spot of injury and impairment and penetration to the brain differs. I’m sure classifying them as left or right hemispheric acts as a guideline. Though it would be worth noting that in some cases one has more or less of one hemisphere’s characteristics and some, more, or less of the other hemisphere’s, too. I’m told that mine was a massive closed head injury, a subdural hematoma. Oxygen-deprived for many long minutes. My father, also a physician, stated my brain as being catastrophically damaged. He said you couldn’t specifically say left or right side. It was smashed, the whole thing.

Excited to be going to Lee Memorial’s second TBI support group tomorrow evening. Eager to hear the presentation. The nurse I sat by today is the featured speaker:)

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy…..The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred….Begin it now.
-German playright Goethe

Only read a few paragraphs tonight in the PTSD book and believe I will say a few things. The following from two or three sentences of the portion just read. And for the present, these thoughts, too, will go unedited.

Just when you think things are generally understandable, trauma may often be something that happens to change one’s entire course of life. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Whatever it is that may happen, you no longer feel in control…..you feel vulnerable…..difficult to make sense of things…..the meaning of life as you recognized just a short time ago now is gone. Your sense of reality has been altered: feelings, thoughts, relationships, behaviors, attitudes, dreams, hopes. Gee, might that not be everything? Yet, it can be a way for the survivor to find a new purpose in life. A new direction. It “can” be. It “may” be. It might be. For the fortunate. For those not stricken too severely and with some sense of reality.

Like a refugee, “they” have exited the land of hurt and loss. They want to get on with their life. The journey, though, is long. The backpack they carry is heavy. It is weighted down by their particular issues. Whether right or wrong, and undoubtedly not parallel, I like to refer to this ‘backpack’ as their thorn in the flesh. It is what they have been given. Or they have been gifted with. They have been found worthy and capable of living with whatever it is. We all have something or other, some issue. No one is immune. Sort of like the Scripture, “There is NONE righteous, no not one.” In this case, for ‘righteous’ substitute perfect. (Pronoun switch, since fortunately only a sub-group has been affected by trauma.)

Sort of like a crossroads in the path of their life. Two choices: they can turn around and head back to the world of trauma or they can go on. Can they persevere? In my last post, I mentioned the qualities of perseverance and persistence as being grueling. They do take a toll on one’s body. To go on requires great effort. It is difficult. I really doubt one can fathom the effort this takes unless they have been on the receiving end of a traumatic experience. It is something wished on no one.

Nevertheless, it would be true that the grass is greener on the other side. The sun looks shinier, clouds appear fuller. With a greater sense of appreciation they can view the world and those they love. So trauma can be seen, then, as both warping and reshaping their worldview. But not only that. It permits them to see things in a whole new light, with a sense of gratitude like no other.