Quite the imagination: A personal account of TBI and hearing loss

I felt like writing an essay today so I’m switching up my posting schedule.

I have quite the imagination. Always have. It’s gotten me through long family trips when I was a kid (I invented imaginary birds) and my awkward teen years where I hid by practically climbing into the novels I read. Then more recently it got me through a near death experience and the resulting severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the severe hearing loss and distortion that goes along with that. It’s only now as I’m writing my memoir (learn more about that on my About page) that I’m realizing how valuable my imagination is and has been.

It allows me to not feel stuck and to find work arounds to the new problems I face with my injury. Can’t hear music or much of anything but have to go through arduous medical tests like MRIs, etc.? Okay, just “play movies” in your mind by running familiar movies scene by scene from memory. Find yourself living with your parents again when you’re an adult? Okay, start a blog (now non-active and archived on this blog) where you make fun of the situation (good natured) and use it as a lens to write about pop culture. Can’t hear even close to what you could before? Okay, but you can still use technology quite well and love to research. So use those skills to find smartphone apps to aid with your hearing loss (I did an extensive post reviewing apps for hearing loss).

I think if I let it (by that I mean don’t let myself get too overwhelmed) my imagination will continue to guide and aid me. Don’t get me wrong. I still have off days or moments but if I let my imagination and humor guide me out of those moments I will using my natural instincts. If you read the “Harry Potter” books or saw the movies (or both of you’re a Potter-head like me) you know there is a special spell that can be used in times of need to conjure up a Patronus. The Patronus is an object (usually an animal) that can be used as extra backup when you need it. If memory serves, Harry’s was a stag. I think I can imagine my imagination and humor is like my Patronus. Only what would it be? If my humor gets involved it would be something like a banana 🍌 peel (for slipping on comically) or the poop 💩 emoji. I’m not letting my humor take over! My Patronus is going to be… Selby my cocker spaniel pup! No surprises there! Besides being obsessed with her (see the Instagram account I run for her: @selbysweetie) she’s a lot cuter to visualize as my imaginary Patronus than 💩 or 🍌!

This essay kind of took a turn. I didn’t expect to be talking about making Selby my Patronus. I was going to talk more about how my distorted hearing is like having a horror movie in my head. I’ll save that for a later date (maybe closer to Halloween 👻).

Memoir Writing Update

Truthfully I haven’t touched it since last week. Maybe I should conjure up the Selby patronus to help me finish it.

Don’t forget to check out Selby on Instagram: @selbysweetie

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