I think it is safe to say that every time I come back to Bluffton from somewhere else, I want to write. On my most recent trip this managed to work its way into academic writing, but El Paso makes it into my blog. And today, rather than tacos, I would like to talk about my head injury. On my second day of work, I fell down some stairs when I was going from my office to drop off some paperwork and head to class.
I mentioned the injury obliquely in facebook posts, because, really, who needs to know every detail about my brain. And let me tell you, I learned so many details about the brain. So today is the day that I will share some with you. I learned, for example, that the area where I hit my head on the stairs at work is the area that controls language. I learned that my brain moved around in my skull and that’s why it hurt on the front of my skull too. I learned that my skull fractured, which was painful as any and all swear words you can mash together, actually protected my brain. I learned that the second language is stored elsewhere in the brain, so my ability to speak Spanish never would have been affected.
I learned that it takes a year or two to recover from a head injury, although family, friends and colleagues assure me that I appear normal as ever. I do get more tired, am much more disorganized than I have ever been in my life and continue to get headaches. Unfortunately, the absent-minded professor trope seems to be incarnated only as a man. An absent minded woman is an airhead. And a woman with a headache is just a terrible stereotype.
I learned that it would be impossible to recover from a head injury alone. I don’t understand how it would have been possible to complete my activities of daily living, or have heart-to-hearts with my insurance provider, Ohio BWC, if people hadn’t been cleaning my house, feeding me, or making sure I was fine. To be fair, I had so many drugs I might not have noticed right away if they hadn’t…
Since it is now a bit more than 6 months since the head injury, I am mostly ok. I use it as a convenient excuse to get out of events that were exhausting before, and are unbearable now (meetings), and as a legitimate excuse for writing much. more. slowly. I refuse to believe that this was foreordained so I could see the quality of the people I work with and a strange kind of empathy for my football playing students. Moral of the story: never get a head injury, because it takes a long time to heal. But, if you have to have one, make sure it happens in Bluffton.