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January 23, 2020

THE HIDDEN INJURY

I wasn’t in a coma; my skull, it didn’t crack

But I can’t figure out how to get my darn life back

No punctures and no blood loss; my bones, they didn’t break

But don’t think for a moment that my recovery’s cake

My TBI has only deserved the rank of Mild

“Only” you might say—ha-ha!—when I feel like a child

I once was Valedictorian, a whiz-kid, and “The Brain”

Now I glitch and stutter and mental tasks are my bane

Yet I’m not “bad enough” to warrant some assistance

When I look for some help I am met with resistance

My injury is brushed off like the most annoying gnat

No program, no therapist, a neurologist?  What’s that?

I got a couple months of rehab after the crash

But PPOs don’t like those who siphon all their cash

They booted me as fast as (in)humanly possible

Why I should need their help was now not cognizable

I scramble and I scrimp and I try to keep afloat

But having to be “normal” keeps crushing my li’l boat

I’ve fallen through the cracks and been caught in-betweensies

Because my inj...

January 21, 2020

CONTINUED FROM:

—Merry Christmas from a Drunk Driver

—More Presents from a Drunk Driver: Traumatic Brain Injury & Scoliosis 

“What happened?” the taxi driver asks me as I lurch my way in and wrangle the seatbelt around me. 

“Drunk driver rammed me on the freeway.”

His eyes fly open. “By Uintah?”

“Yeah.”

“And you’re WALKING?”

I shrug. “Mm-hmm. They say I’m fine.

There’s movement off to the side of me. Dad has come in from the kitchen. I lean back farther on the couch to look at him because I can’t turn my head. His mouth is moving. He’s saying something, but I can’t—

Can’t—

I blink. 

I can’t hear him.

I haven’t gone deaf. The TV is still on. More mouths moving. Background laughter from the sitcom crowd. A little ditty of music as the scene flips. 

Dad tilts his head. He gets that look. I know that look. He’s repeating himself. 

And I can’t hear him. 

I try to tell him. I try to explain what's happening but I don't understand it myself. My mouth is hanging open. I can feel it. My throat contracts. 

Noth...

January 2, 2020

Continued from BLAM: Merry Christmas from a Drunk Driver

December 21, 2000

12:16 a.m.

I-25 and Uintah, Colorado Springs, CO

…my driver’s side wheels slam back onto the ground. My head slams into the doorframe. My car skids back across both lanes and comes to a final, jarring stop. 

Silence.

Black sky.

Dashboard lights glowing.

Hands still death-gripping the steering wheel. 

Am I breathing? I think so. 

Can I move? I dunno. 

Headlights flash from the frontage road, bounce into the ditch. A truck. Guy clambering up the ravine. Car door opening. A man’s voice. “Are you all right?”

“I dunno.”

“Don’t move. I’m a fireman. I’ve called 911.”

Is that a flashlight? I wince away. Too bright. Stop it. 

Questions about how I am and my name and what happened. A blonde lady brings a blanket. 

Dashboard lights. Orange. Dome light. White. I blink. Slow. “Is the other person okay?” I ask.

        

The blonde sniffs. “Yeah,...

December 29, 2019

If only I wasn’t such a social butterfly, a hostess-with-the-mostess, a proud, doting teacher—I would have made it to the back room and had my costumes packed before ten o’clock after our holiday dance recital.

If only I had let someone else drive a friend home after her truck broke down, I would have made it to Walmart twenty minutes earlier.

If I had just braved some holiday crowds and finished my shopping earlier in the week instead of waiting until three days before Christmas, I wouldn’t have gone to Walmart at all.

If I had arrived a few seconds earlier at the checkout and beaten the man in the tweed overcoat and clomping boots, I wouldn’t have had to wait four minutes until the single cashier was through with her midnight closeout.

If I would have been a creature of habit, I would have taken my sneaky-route home through the back streets.

If I would have been a speeder, I would have been home already.

I wasn’t and I didn’t and I hadn’t, so I passed the Bijou Exit on I-25 at 12:13 a.m. o...

November 30, 2019

What in THEEEE bleep?!? 

Screenshot of Bitmoji's trending suggestions for today:

I am genuinely horrified, especially considering what all the top bitmojis, memes, and GIFs were for yesterday:

Technically, the trending order went like this:

--Happy Thanksgiving

--Grateful

--Turkey Time and varied food-related 'mojis

--Gluttony and regrets

--Football

Shades of the inevitable descent to come...

What, did the world wake up with a kindness hangover this morning? Now we gotta detox from too much gratitude and generosity by pendulum-swinging to emotional numbing, addiction, violence, self-sabotage, greed, and gluttony disguised as shrewd thrift? 

Or was all that #Blessed #SoGrateful #Thankful gushing just one big social media and holiday-face facade? 

Because genuine gratitude and unconditional love multiplies in one’s heart, no matter how or even IF it’s reciprocated. It doesn’t leave a hole that needs to be stuffed with Things at 5:00 AM (excuse me, 3:00 AM) and it REALLY doesn’t incite thro...

November 11, 2019

No shit, there I was, at the coffee shop - stood up. OK, not exactly stood up. I don't normally attend my writer's social Meetup on Saturdays, but I had a spare weekend, awoke early, and was inspired. So I threw on some clothes and beelined down to the Hive, only a few minutes late.

Nobody was there.

Fast-forward 15 minutes and I learn that our fearless leader had cancelled the meeting because of a completely understandable dog trauma. Since I'm not one of her normal Saturday people, she hadn't thought to text me. So there I was, caffeinated and shiftless, all dressed up downtown. 

Then I heard it. THE VOICE.

"GO TO THE FARMER'S MARKET."

Whaaa--?? I did not wanna go to the Farmer's Market. I wasn't in the mood for crowds. I wanted my peeps and introverted geekly goodness in my familiar setting. I didn't want the weekend herd with their kids and dogs and--

"I DO NOT GIVE A FLYING FIG THAT YOU 'DON'T WAH-WAH-WANNA.' GO TO THE FARMER'S MARKET. NOW, MISSY."

Ears: Flat.

Pout: Engaged.

Fiiiiiine...

November 9, 2019

In Fall 2016, I switched from the traditional rack-n-crack chiropractic that I'd been doing since my big car wreck in 2000 to Upper Cervical at Genesis Chiropractic. This modality stopped my seizures in their tracks. I wrote this piece earlier this year, in the midst of my first failed attempt to launch my online school, so it never got edited. This is the foundation beneath the most recent shift in my healing journey that we'll be getting to momentarily. (Call me Scheherazade. I never tell things in order...)

3/25/19

Holy crapdoms! I just got back from the chiropractor where he had to adjust my neck on the left. My neck has never swung out to the left like that before! I didn’t even know where to put my arms when I laid down on my right side.  

For the past three years we’ve been working on this right side curvature. In my first x-rays, it was such a wide swing that the middle of my neck was almost out to my cheekbone. I couldn’t imagine how a thing was possible without looking like I ha...

September 9, 2019

A comely fisherwoman rowed her boat out into the bay at dawn one morning. Down, down, deep down, a flash of light caught her eye. Through such clear water, she just knew what lay on the bottom: gold! An ancient idol, she imagined, or a trove of coins. A treasure chest overflowing.

The water was too deep for her net, so she dropped anchor, intending to dive, but the rope was too short. The current carried her boat away. She shrugged and rowed on. After all, she was a very successful fisherwoman with a very nice hairdo. 

There was but a single glimmer of gold on the seabed, but there were plenty of fish in the sea.

*

A pearl diver rowed his boat out into the bay several mornings later. The same flash of light caught his eye. The same types of imaginings filled his mind.

Accustomed to anchoring at such depths and more, he had woven a much longer rope. When he felt the weight touch bottom, he took a deep breath and dove in. Down, down, deep down he swam until he reached...