Originally published Friday, 01 March 2013.
In 2005, I suffered a skull fracture and brain injury from a motorcycle accident. I began to heal and pick up the broken fragments of my life and became acutely aware of my “new normal”. The skull fracture left me with permanent hearing damage in one ear and short-term memory loss (to name a few). I returned to college for senior year. My brain was still glazed over in a fog from the brain injury. The once sharp and quick-witted thinking had all but vanished. My response time had significantly decreased. Somehow... God brought me through it and I graduated earlier than expected. Presently, my brain is still working at full capacity and probably better than expected. I still, however, cringe whenever we are with friends and someone suggests playing a trivia game. It’s common for me to suggest ANYTHING other than a dreaded trivia game that requires quick response time. I have often thought, “They are going to laugh at me, there’s no way they’ll ever want to play on my team again and it’s not even my fault that I’m slow.” It was one of my biggest insecurities. Though my memory issues could be MUCH worse, it does affect my everyday life. It’s more than forgetting a day of the week or where I parked the car. There are moments when I forget where I’m driving and why. Other moments the words complete stop between my brain and mouth and I am left with a long, awkward “uhhh”. I take notes all the time. My desk is constantly filled with sticky notes and memos. If I don’t take notes, then I won’t remember. This used to bother me until I changed my view on this insecurity. God loved me enough to spare my life and save my brain. Here is how I see things now..
- I will work harder than anyone else playing trivia, because I want to feel normal. This actually makes me an even better teammate.
- God still gives me the ability to work. Instead of focusing on what could happen to my memory in the future, I choose to recognize that I have been blessed with a functional brain and can still rock my job!