Memo from Your Brain

2 Aug

Before I resume the tales from my R2R and post-R2R travels, I need to dictate a memo to a friend on behalf of the universe. This memo might also be helpful for a few other readers and maybe some random members of the general public and/or their friends and family members. So, please read it.

Here’s the preface: I just came from my bike shop where I had the unexpected pleasure of running into someone who had a really serious wreck last month. He was riding with my friend when it happened, and she also “got” to go to the hospital when she couldn’t avoid his downed bike. She thought her injuries were not serious. She was wrong.

She suffered a concussion.

Concussions always should be treated seriously and viewed with respect, as this Memo from Your Brain dictates.

*   *   *

TO: Injured Person

FROM: Your Brain


You might be surprised to get this memo via the JustAdventures blog, but I had to find some way to communicate with you and I know you are an avid reader. I understand that this JustAdventures lady recently told you to NOT read anything (so that you can concentrate on sleeping and using really, really mindless FX channel movies to help heal me), so perhaps you can have someone else read this to you. Who knows, maybe they’ll learn something, too.

Here goes…

I feel like I barely survived WWIII and am still not quite all in one piece and I need you to take care of me.

As time passes and you (and I) will start to feel better and better. People, even doctors, will tell you that we are fine. They’ll say things like, “It’s time to get on with life” or “It’s time to get back on the bike and ride.”

That sounds good to me and probably even better to you, but before you rush back into the big, hard-charging world, I need you to listen to me — really listen. Don’t shut me out. Don’t tune me out. Listen attentively and you will intuit when I’m nearing a spot of trouble and it’s at that point that I’ll need your help more than ever.

I know you want to believe that we are going to be the same. I’ll do my best to make that happen. The problem is that too many people in our situation get impatient and try to rush the healing process; or when their brains can’t fully recover, they deny it and, instead of adapting, they force their brains to function in ways that are no longer really possible. Some people even push their brains until they seize, and worse…

I’m scared. I’m afraid that you will do that to me. If you don’t accept me as I am, right now, then I will be lost forever. We both will be lost.

I need you to accept me as I am today… not for what I used to be, or what I might be in the future. Don’t get distracted by looking at what you used to do, using past accomplishments as some sort of magical (mythical) yardstick to measure present activities.

Please don’t be embarrassed or feel guilt, or shame, because of me. We are okay. We have made it this far. If you work with me (and not against me!) we can make it even further. I can’t say how far. I won’t make any false promises. I can only promise that I will do my best.

Because neither of us knows how badly I’ve been hurt (things are still a little foggy for me), or how much I will recover, or how quickly, please go s-l-o-w-l-y when you start back trying to resume your life.

  • If I give you a headache, or make you sick to your stomach, or make you unusually irritable, or confused, or disoriented, or afraid, or make you feel that you are overdoing it, I’m trying to get your attention in the only way I can — Stop and listen to me.

Since getting hurt, I get easily exhausted (like, really, really exhausted — exhausted in a way that we don’t even have words to describe). I can’t succeed when I get like this. I want to be as well as I can be, but I need to do it at a different pace than I could before I got hurt.

Help me to help us by paying attention and heeding the messages I send to you.

Don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on yourself. There are things that I want to do and I want to try, even if trying has to be done in a different way. It isn’t easy. I have to work very hard, much harder, and I know that you do too.

I see people scoff, and misunderstand. I don’t care. What I do care about is that you understand how hard I am working and how much I want to be as good as I can be, but I need you to take good care of us, as well as you can do that.

Please take good care of us and of yourself. I need you very much, especially now.


Your wounded brain.

PS — The JustAdventures lady has the entire library of Seinfeld DVDs if you want to borrow those. They are even better than FX channel movies in terms of mindless (and therefore mind healing) activity.

2 Responses to “Memo from Your Brain”

  1. woodenmonkey November 11, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    I could not have found this on a better day! I tore my dura (the thin membrane that surrounds your brain and spinal cord, and keeps the cerebral spinal fluid -CSF- in place. Where it does handy things like cushion your brain and keep it from bouncing around your skull) almost two years ago.

    So it’s been all kinds of fun, if your idea of fun is the feeling of an ice-pick in your brain, an aversion to bright lights, faulty memory, and a collection of class four drugs.

    In May a fabulous doctor managed to patch most of my leak, but as soon as I tried doing anything physical I would fall into what I call “a sleep coma”.

    Just bought an elecric assist bike to help me get out of both the house and the car, but even after a one mile ride (where the e-motor was doing most of the work, and I my average speed was 6mph) I still felt my brain turning off, and had to hurry (as hurried as you can be at 6mph) home to lie down and fall into my sleep coma.

    I was sitting here yelling at myself for being such a whimp when I found this post. Now, well, I’m going to try and be more patient with myself and more poor traumatized brain.

    Thank you.

    • justadventures November 11, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Patience is EVERYTHING. Cultivate it well. I wish you all the best. CSF leaks are tricky business…

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