I had a thought on brain damage, Wreck-Free Sunday

Actually the thought I had was on something totally different, but that thought vanished and I couldn’t find it again, because of the brain damage. So now I’m back to thinking about brain damage.

The thing that really “gets” me is that my TBI was on the mild side as far as immediate effects went. I really didn’t discover anything until I was back at work trying to run searches for the symptoms the clients were giving me on the phone, and unlike before the wreck when I got exactly what I needed in the first try I couldn’t get anything to come up in several tries. That’s when I started to get a hint that something wasn’t right. After I lost that job when the office was sent to Bangalore, I started noticing other things missing, as all of a sudden I couldn’t follow the action on the Spanish language TV channels and translating signs from Spanish to English had become an agonizing process instead of the read it and move on I had before the wreck. I started re-watching my Anime in the original Japanese and it no longer made sense until I read the subtitles. Eventually I discovered the only bits of foreign language I had were the things my mother used around the house to try to keep her French sharp, and the bits of Italian we used after we got “adopted” by the family that had no grandsons.

When I started trying to write poetry again I discovered that my ability to hear meter in my head as I wrote was gone. I could still read the stuff I had already written, but I could only rarely write anything new. As time went on those flashes of being able to write in meter became fewer and fewer until they stopped completely, sometime after 2006. That was also the time I stopped getting asked for job interviews when I had to present the application in person.

So, it is established that TBI is a major pain in the tukuss butt. It has also been established that under the current system getting compensation for TBI is pretty much impossible unless you have visible symptoms that can be correlated to your TBI, like tremors or a limp. The problem is the worst effects of TBI are not physically evident, and that even mild cases of TBI can make a person permanently unemployable. Another problem is that when I was injured the technology to find my kind of brain injury was not widely available. To find the kind of injury that is now believed to be what I have an MRI needs to be done within two hours following the event that caused the injury, at the time I was injured MRI was not available at even the highest level trauma center in the area, which is where I was, the best trauma center in the surrounding 200 miles. I think they have MRI now, but not having it then made documenting my injury impossible.

Getting off the subject of my brain don’t work right, I have been converting a Friday the 13th Halloween mask into a winter face mask to keep my face warm this winter and still let me see where I’m going by having someplace for corrective lenses to attach and baffling to prevent my hot humid breath from fogging the lenses. I’m to the point now that I’m ready to paint the mask black and glue the foam baffles into the mask. The way I used to hold the lenses on the mask is really red-neck, the old pair of glasses had a pair of bars between the lenses that I could use a bolt through the mask and a wingnut to hold the frame to the mask. Like I said, red-neck, but when red-neck works is it really red-neck or just inelegant engineering?

Of course re-purposing a Halloween mask as winter protective equipment is already about as red-neck as it gets, but I prefer to think of it as “value-added engineering” rather than “red-neck”. As has been previously stated, the economic situation here at the the Poet house is somewhat dire. If I hadn’t found a total of $3 in loose change in the streets since Thursday I would not have been able to buy the stupid hockey mask. So I’m taking stuff I had around the house from Freecycling exchanges (foam), leftover from other projects (plastic paint), broken stuff (glasses) and making stuff I need for riding my bike this winter. Of course this means that now that I have the mask it won’t get cold enough to be able to use it this winter.

And as I was completing this post I remembered what I was going to write about originally, fueling the cyclist on a limited budget. When you have a $5 (that is FIVE dollars) to spend for groceries this week and you have a person that burns more than 4000 Calories a day and is losing weight that at this point does not need to be lost, what do you do? Well we get the perishables like milk and bread and hope we can ride on what we had in the pantry from the previous week. And I resign myself to coming in under my best weight at the Lab Rat Keeper the end this month. I still fit the classic definition of a cyclist, eating machine on wheels, but I’m lacking the material to process as an eating machine.

PSA, Opus


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