Appearance vs. Reality: Bringing forth the opaque effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) into a visual experience


When I suffered my first seizure while asleep, I didn’t know what had happened. I only knew that I felt as if I’d been run over by a Mack truck. It wasn’t until later, after my quality of life had deteriorated precipitously, that I finally received a diagnosis: nocturnal epileptic seizures. They were life-threatening—and uncontrollable, even with medication. Brain surgery offered me a way out. But after surgeons at Seattle’s Harborview Hospital removed my right temporal lobe and “tailored” a portion of my hippocampus, I awoke to a disorienting world in which my own face was no longer recognizable to me in the mirror. This is my story of pain, diagnosis, and recovery. My book brings forth the unseen effects TBI has on the survivor by using ananologies of what we experience. I hope it will aid others, whether patients or their supporters, as they navigate the uncertainties associated with TBI and recovery.

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