When friends find out I've had a brain tumor removed, a common response is, "How did you know? Did you have terrible headaches?" No, I did not. What I had was a strong pulsing in one part of my head that made my work increasingly fatiguing and caused me to make a doctor's appointment. (I believe it was God knocking on my brain to get my attention) However, the doctor's appointment would have been useless if I had not had a serious car wreck and brain trauma seven years before because his initial response was " It's probably stress".
It was a weekday morning. I had just taken my daughter to school three miles away and was coming back home, when a car, going way too fast, didn't make the curve and ran head on into my car. Because I had very serious trauma to my brain, several MRIs and other scans were run on my head during my hospital stay. A lesion (looking like a scratch, we were told) was seen on my brain, but the doctors did not feel it was associated with the trauma to my brain due to the car accident. So, eventually I was dismissed from the hospital with a note in my dismissal papers that a lesion of undetermined origin was seen on my brain and should be followed up on. My focus became handling a slow recovery, getting well enough to walk, take care of myself and my family and getting back to work. My husbands focus was taking care of me and the house and handling the medical bills. So, we had never followed up on the lesion on my brain! Now, seven years later, when the doctor labeled that pulsing in my head "stress", I remembered about the lesion and asked if we should check on it. The doctor was taken aback and said "yes, definitely!" I was sent for an MRI and discovered that lesion was now about the size of a golf ball in the occipital region o f my brain and I was in danger of blindness and other damage. Surgery was needed and fairly soon, so we scheduled it for a week after my daughters wedding.
The physical pain from each of these brain traumas was excruciating but in both cases, the outside evidence eventually healed and you could not tell by looking at me that I had brain injury. Unfortunately, the emotional pain lasted much longer and I will probably never forget how it felt. So, I decided to try and tell you what my brain injury felt like in hope that it might help you, my friend, to understand a little better how someone you may know or love and has suffered a brain trauma, injury or failure may feel.There are many different circumstances that can cause injury to the human brain: trauma, lack of oxygen, stroke, aging, illness and surgery are a few. You probably know someone who is suffering this way.
It feels like you are missing what secures you,
Like a tree with no roots,
Like a house with no foundation,
Like a kite without a string,
Like an earth with out any gravity.
It feels like you are missing what makes you useful,
Like a lamp without a bulb,
Like sails without a boat,
Like a paint brush without the artist,
Like knowing with no language to explain it.
It feels like you are missing what makes you complete,
Like a hug without any arms,
Like a cup with no saucer,
Like a straw without a drink,
Like a book without its cover.