Monday, December 15, 2014

I Hope My Brain Never Breaks

"I hope my brain never breaks", I wrote to my brother the other day. 

"I'm afraid we have little control over our fate" was his un-assuring but truthful reply.

Dad's oxygen deprived body was brought back to life and he lived another four years and eight months inside of a body with a brain which did not recover from the trauma.

Two of my grandparents had strokes which impaired their brain's ability to function in the fashion it did prior to their stroke.

A cousin had schizophrenia which was very likely caused by severe head trauma when he was a teenager. But it was not until late in his life there was a 'word' and diagnosis which explained his behaviour and helped his mother understand how he 'saw' the world.

My grandma was hospitalized for 'nervous depression' or a breakdown for some time before a treatment plan that worked for her and gave her back a different version of her life than before. 

When the brain is injured by something we know or some invisible force of 'bad wiring', there is a domino effect of symptoms and treatments and various degrees of treatment plans and recovery. Once it is diagnosed.

This is not the first time I have turned the table and been fearful of my own brain breaking down one day.

If all of my filters were removed and suddenly I was speaking my mind, what would I be saying? If my sense of social behaviour was tampered with, how would I act? If I didn't remember who I was, who would I become? If I lost my memory would I even care who I used to be?

I think of my grandma without a filter and simply saying what was on her mind. I suppose if I start spewing random thoughts, I would like to be like her and have innocent little barbs be 'all' that I had been holding in.

I think of my grandpa who lost his ability to speak after his stroke. I remember Mom commenting on the irony because her dad rarely spoke when she was a child and then he lost his ability to speak late in his life.

I am thinking of my uncle who has been through so much these past few months. Grief, severe depression, a treatment plan which was cut short due to a minor stroke (TIA) and the cumulative effect of all of this has affected his brain's ability to function...

I have lived with this fear of my body outlasting my brain's ability to function ever since I fully understood Dad's brain injury.

Then I learned of the myriad of ways our brain can be fully functional and held captive inside of a body that isn't capable of communicating or functioning.

Is it too much to hope for, when we hope our body parts all break down slowly but surely and when it is our time to go, we simply 'expire' quietly and easily?

"We bring about what we think about" my sister once said.

I must start thinking about other things.

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