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Music Critic Tim Page Rediscovers Life After A Terrifying Brain Injury

Stashed in: @troutgirl, Brain, Awesome, Brain, Extraordinary People, PTSD

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A year after a very serious brain bleed, a writer reflects on how it's changed him. Very similar to how I felt after that period of time.

His account of what it's like is beautiful and occasionally funny:

I like this:

I had what is called an acute subdural hematoma with transhemispheric tentorial something or other. And it turns out that the kind I had kills outright something like three-quarters of the people who have it. The people who survive manage to, some of them, come back as I did, but it's a tiny amount. And a lot of survivors are permanently disabled. I was fortunate enough that I wasn't seriously damaged intellectually.

I don't happen to be religious at all, but I do believe that if you come so close to death and are fortunate enough to be spared, you have a duty to tell what it was like, especially if you are a writer. So many people have had these things over the centuries and, you know, very few people live to tell.

I've had a tremendous response to it. I got a lovely letter from the wife of a gentleman who had a terrible traumatic brain injury. And he couldn't write to me himself, but she wrote a letter telling me that he was grateful. I wouldn't call it cathartic to write; it was a real bitch to write. It was the hardest thing I ever wrote. But I will say it was cathartic to finish it.

I also like that a pet helped him heal:

Mila! I got my little terrier when I was just not able to do much of anything last fall. She came from the South Los Angeles pound. And to have something to care for and something that so obviously cares for me has been so restorative.

I have to say that I have a greater and greater respect for dogs than ever. I am astounded by how much they seem to know. I traveled across the country alone for the first time since my brain injury almost exactly a month ago. And somehow when Mila got her service dog uniform put on, I don't know how she knew it, but she knew she was now doing a duty, and just sat on my lap and looked out for me.

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