I can’t tell you exactly how the accident happened because I don’t remember. I can only tell you what I’ve been told. So, on an August day in 1982, I was in the apartment building next door playing at a friend’s. There were three of us I believe in the kid’s room on the second floor. For some reason I went to the window and waved down to the other kids on the playground. The window was open, but the screen was loose. I didn’t know. I guess I pressed on it because the screen popped out and fell and so did I ——— head first two stories down on to the sidewalk. I was three years old.
After the injury, I had some trouble talking, walking, and with general coordination. I also had seizures for which I would take medicine for several years. Funny though, I also had another kind of seizures, unaffected by medicine, that would not be diagnosed for fifteen years.
From this time to age eighteen, I felt good, healthy even. I finished high school while working a part-time job, had great friends, learned to drive ——- though I kept wrecking my car, cars actually. I went through a few of them. That should have been a clue, but no I’m Taurus dammit and I had things to do.
After graduating high school I went straight to college. Soon I became sick with bad headaches and a weird bump on my head. I ignored it for a while and then one day I had a grand mal seizure in my dorm room. After tests and wrong diagnoses I was finally told my brain was herniating against my skull, hence the bump, and this was all from my original injury fifteen years early. I needed brain surgery. So, after a few weeks of getting a high dose of anti seizure medication so that I wouldn’t have a seizure on the operating table, I had a cranioplasty. A small damaged portion of my right temporal lobe was removed as was a part of my skull, which was replaced with a plastic plate. Also, and what I frequently forget, a piece of bovine (cow) pericardial muscle (Really sorry cow!) Was used to try to repair meninges.
From what I gather all of this happening is quite rare. My doctors had never performed this procedure before. I don’t remember that part of the conversation either. But, once again I thought everything good and myself healthy, the constant depression, and anxiety aside.
Five years later I went back to college. I graduated in the winter of 2007 with a B.A. in English with an emphasis in creative writing. I credit myself for hard work, yes. But, also some very understanding professors who knew what I going through. Two years before graduating I started feeling sick again. I was having memory problems, extreme fatigue, trouble walking and at times even talking. All these symptoms and new ones would progress over the next several years. I forget my name, the day of the week, date, my age, my phone number and address. It is not fun finding out who you are and then losing her so soon.
I have been tested and misdiagnosed for essential tremor, Parkinson’s, MS, etc. I am told I have Hippocampal Sclerosis and that all of this is from my original traumatic brain injury.
Thanks for reading. Take care. Peace & Love.
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