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September 25, 2014 / bikesbytesbites

Recollections – Part 1 of Several

MedStar_Brain_InjuryIt has been an overly eventful little-over-a-year for me. The starting “event” was my bicycle accident, on May 17, 2013. The culminating event was my father’s death, on August 6, 2014.

“Recollections” is kind of ironic, when I refer to my bicycle accident: Since my injuries included a severe concussion, I have no actual memories of 3 hours before the accident, the accident itself, or (and here’s the good one) 10 days after the accident.  And, according to my friends and co-workers, my memory was a bit spotty even after those 10 days were over, for say, at least another month or so.  (So, that’s their “recollection”, as recounted to me.)

Several things prompted me to try to figure out, a little bit more, what actually happened to me after my accident, and how it affected me. One was quite sad and horrifying — the life-threatening accident that happened to a friend (Lynn K) last February: as she was going through phases of her recovery, I kept having parallel lines of thought: wishing her well in her (admittedly, much more arduous than mine) recovery, and thinking about how her recovery phases compared to my recovery phases (for example, being transferred from one hospital to rehab (for her), and, for me, being transferred from my original hospital to the Traumatic Brain Injury ward of another hospital. (Although I didn’t remember the first hospital at all.)

Another thing that prompted the trying-to-recollect was the invitation from that Traumatic Brain Injury Program to an “Open House and Educational Fair”, just about a year after I was in that program.  So, I went and “met” my physical therapist and occupational therapist. It turns out that the very first thing I remember from after the accident was a conversation with my physical therapist, where I insisted that, no, I didn’t need physical therapy for balance, I always had bad balance, and it wasn’t a result of the accident.  Hah! Total BS, as it turns out.  I had remembered the conversation, but not who I was having it with. So, it was great to get it confirmed (by Gina). I apologized for being a lousy patient, but I guess it’s pretty par for the course for someone who’s had a concussion, doesn’t remember she had a concussion, and continually questions why she’s in the hospital (despite the pain in her ribs and clavicle from the broken bones). And Gina seemed quite happy to see a patient who has (apparently) recovered from her brain injury.

So, anyhow, I’ll post some recollections I’ve put together over the past year-plus. With thanks to my sister and friends for actually remembering some of this stuff, supporting me while it was happening, and putting up with me asking questions about it after the fact.

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