January 11, 2017 | Andy Nichcoison
Most of us have an Acquired brain injury from our AE.
Guest blogger, Andy Nicholson, aka the brain damage Baron shares this piece with us. ( it will be blogged in 3 installments due to length and can be read in full at The Brain Damaged Barron)
Sunblock is a lovely illustration of what we experience in our daily lives showing that no matter how the brain is damaged the results can be the same.
Part One Sunblock
Sweet birdsong flutters through the clear and crisp air, shattering the morning peace. An unrehearsed symphony heralding the day with its joyless melody. The glass of the bedroom window and the thick, lined curtains are no match for its piercing, deafening cry. Like a hot knife though soft melting butter, there is only ever going to be one victor. It is white noise, a cacophony of sound, nothing more than an irritant. Every morning, every damn morning. It’s a part of life, like breathing, eating, suppressing wind, the quest for love or even the fearful headaches that have overtaken life.
Ah, headaches. From the mild discomfort of a mere background soreness through to the agony of a pain so severe that it feels as if a scalding dagger has been plunged into the temple. And twisted. Disabling and seemingly unbearable until the blissful release of an intricate blend of medications eventually sweeps away the pain.
The incapacitating pains are now as much a part of life as the infernal birdsong that welcomes the day with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Every day, every single day.
‘You have brain damage, and severe brain damage at that. The effects this will have on your life will become apparent, but only in the fullness of time. For now, we must wait’
As statements go, it’s right up there with,
‘You have a degenerative disease,’
‘A close relative has died,’
‘You’ll never walk again,’ or…
‘Those Ant & Dec fellas, they’ll be immeasurably popular for decades.’
They are just words; however their significance can never be lost. Sure, the statements are difficult to comprehend, almost impossible to believe. Nevertheless, they are undeniably true. The sooner the brain is trained to accept them as just that, the sooner life can continue unabated. But that brain is already immensely overloaded, burdened by the enormous task of almost starting from the very beginning. Again.
Some of the lessons that need to be learnt are thankfully brief. Flickering embers in the mind relight when the flame is fanned. But others, others can’t be relit even with a burning match. The blaze has long since died and a fire hotter than the sun would fail to even raise a single weak spark.
Grief for the life once had, the death just lived through. No longer the person who grew, who learnt, who matured, who loved.
The person who lived.
Now gone, a hazy memory, a distant afterthought. The images are printed on the glossy paper of memory, paper that faded with the passing of time. Soon the images are so distant, so worn that reality and memory simply fades into one amalgam. It’s a blend so intricate that reality is unattainable. An alloy of memories, loves, losses, abilities, smiles and tears that falls from the grasp.