I used to live next door to a gal with a TBI. She had to write everything on post-its.
Brush your teeth
Turn off the lights
The market is two blocks down and one over
Your boyfriend’s name is Scott.
So I know what a brain injury can do to a person. And yet, when I find evidence that my brain no longer functions quite right, I am surprised.
And the last concussion was a really bad one but I hit my head on day one of the eruption of my world four years ago, so I never paid any attention to it.
I know it contributed to how I handled things then. I literally did not have my head on straight.
So in complete denial about any concussion repercussions, I googled, “why is my spatial awareness getting worse?”
Which translates into, “why have I become such a stumble-fuck?”
Like, seriously, it has become problematic and quite embarrassing. I fall down ALL THE TIME.
I get boats stuck on rocks every time I get on the oars. I used to be a good boatwoman.
I was a trail runner and a climber and a telemarker and mountain biker and a dancer. And now I can barekly trust myself to walk across the kitchen.
I tripped over a tent cord and ate shit in front of a couple of people who jumped up with, “Oh my god are you okay?” One of my boys’ best friends was also witness to this and sat back laughing and said, “This is her normal.”
It has gotten progressively worse over the years. My spatial awareness was never great, but as a child, I thought I just didn’t have great eye-hand coordination. It was not problematic, especially since I never wanted to play field hockey anyway.
But now, like I said, I fall down. Eat shit. Land on my face. Skin my knees. Twist my ankles. Stub my toes. I have bruises that I can’t account for, scratches and scrapes on my shins, my back, my face.
I break things because I put them down too close to an edge. I can’t park my truck any more. I’m 4 feet from the curb on average.
I got pulled over in Idaho for cutting someone off on I-15. I didn’t see the car AT ALL. I then took back roads through Utah because I didn’t feel safe driving on the highway.
It’s bad. It has seriously gotten worse over time.
What did Google tell me about my problem?
Well Lady, it could be the result of a head injury.
Well shitdamn, I never thought of that.
Which, I am beginning to think is a result of the concussions; I have lost my ability to see the obvious.
When I was maybe 3 or 4, I jumped up onto the kitchen counter and head my head full force on the cabinet above. It was painful enough that I still think of it today.
When I was 6, I went through the windshield head first. This was before we knew about concussions or chiropractors.
Or seatbelts for that matter.
When I was 40-something I hit my head on the ground skiing (or falling really).
When I was 50-something I hit the top of my head on a beam above me and lost consciousness for a split second.
A little more reading showed me where the stumble-fuck control system lies in our brain and, yep, you guessed it, I’ve hit it right on the noggin, so to speak, at least twice, most likely more than that.
They say that once you bang your head, you are more likely to do it again and again…because you lose spatial awareness.
So, why did I have to do a google search to figure out what has happened to my grace and poise. How did I not put 2 and 2 together?
It must be the brain tumor.