Saturday, March 10, 2012

Putting it out there

At the end of the trial run, the camera guy tells me very nicely 'at the end of the script, just look at the camera - don't do anything with your face'.

OK, I can remember that.

The script is exactly 30 seconds long, talking as fast as I can. My sisters talk this fast but I'm not so good at it. We practiced outside in the car, this morning over the phone. On camera, as it happens it's all about breathing. It helps with nerves and getting all the words out.

I am literally just trying to make it through the next hour.

On the way to the studio I had to find lunch. Downtown San Jose is redeveloping itself so it's still a bit uneven. Behind me on the sidewalk a homeless woman falls in, yelling something as if she's alarmed, I don't hear what. She's loud, though! In the doorway of the restaurant, a sensation reaches the back of my neck. Wet. Twice more I get doused from a water bottle before she moves on, still yelling.

At SBI, someone guessed that I had a strong network of family and friends. With TBI it's so important for countering the loss of self, the daily challenges. There was a silence. I just didn't know how to respond.

TBI definitely impacts your relationships. In my case it's not that people are unsupportive. Most people don't seek out ways to withhold support. Like this woman on the street, everyone is in their own world. They have their own challenges. When you go off-script sometimes people will keep on walking. My guess is this response is very common. Like the medical community, we hope TBI will go away on its own.

For me, at first going public was involuntary. By keeping under the radar I felt my chances were better of keeping relationships intact.

At least while I'm staring at the red light, it feels like my choice. The truth is inconvenient and messy, but at least it's real.

I suffered a brain injury in a car accident Christmas Day, 2008.
Many tasks I’d done all the time -- like riding my bike long distances -- became confusing and sometimes scary.
Now I ride 60-100 miles a day -- but I’m still recovering. Through my riding, I connected with Services For Brain Injury.
I learned that you don’t have to recover from brain injury on your own. Services For Brain Injury provides rehabilitation for all stages of recovery including vocational training and helping you find and keep a job.

The second take goes fine. We're done.



    1. Sounds like a whole cheerleading section! Thanks for the moral support! This was a tough day...