|They pronounced me dead at the scene. For more than a month after my car hit the tree, I think I must have been deciding whether to start a second life. I was in a coma. Maybe I was thinking about coming back to life. I’m glad I came back. I still had nine months to do before I really came out into the world. I spent those nine months with all the good nurses in the hospital. Those people are like the best mothers there are. I came out with a new face—all the bones in the old one had been broken. I came out using my brain in a whole new way, too—after my head hit so hard.|
I still remember my old life, and I miss it. I finally got a job at a supermarket. I wish I could have my old construction job. I remember smoking weed and drinking. That was fun, but it isn’t my life anymore. I can drive again. I think about going too fast, and how quickly a life you love can end, when the road bends and you can’t do it fast enough. You thought you had it all under control, but you didn’t. And you never will again. I drive slowly now. I do everything much more slowly. I learned from my Traumatic Brain Injury group at the Carson Center that this is the way it has to go—slowly, one step at a time.
I want to apologize to you. I am hard to understand. My speech was affected by the injury. Also, I say things impulsively, and I might have hurt your feelings, but I can’t remember. Not remembering is part of it. So, please forgive me. That’s the best way, I think. To tell you that I can’t really tell for sure if I’ve done the wrong thing, and how it is when your brain is injured. I will go slow, and you will know, and I think it will go alright.
By JAC Patrissi