Rhyme Time: Get a Job(s)

Teaching aboard the millennium falcon. Obi-Wan isn't pictured, he had to go to the bathroom. The sign with the rooster reads "this isn't the rooster you're looking for"
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Teaching aboard the Millennium Falcon. Obi-Wan isn’t pictured, he had to go to the bathroom. The sign with the rooster reads “this isn’t the rooster you’re looking for”

My injourney

has led me

To many

Ways to make a penny.

 

My preservation,

Indeed, my continuation,

Rests on many a vocation.

A patched together living in summation

 

The latest of these

I do with ease,

Lounging in my jammies

Teaching English to Chinese…

 

…Children. Thanks to the internet,

I don’t get wet,

Or take a jet.

I Haven’t even been to China, yet.

 

Pronunciation and grammar are my trade;

American dollars are what I’m paid.

Fortunately, I don’t have to grade…

…Papers, and the lessons are already made.

 

I simply report to the designated digital place

With a smile on my face,

Speak at a slow pace,

And keep a clean workspace

 

“No, not ‘parsent’

“It’s pronounced ‘parent’

Don’t worry about your accent

I know what you meant

 

This pedagogical enterprise

Supplements my daytime guise

Where I mesmerize

Teach and civilize…

 

…local students at the secondary age

In order to engage

Them with sage

Advice for life on the world’s stage.

 

These jobs offer little remuneration,

But, keep in mind, monetization

Isn’t the only form of “job well done” dispensation,

Much of my efforts are met with adulation.

 

Indeed, the compensation is sufficient

For spiritual nourishment,

But the commercial payment

Won’t even cover rent.

 

Such is the way

I earn my pay

Allowing me to stay

Productive and bizzay (busy)

 

Life doesn’t stop because of brain injury.

I’ve still got to get out and feed the monkey.

I just never imagined I’d be

So busy…

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

The More You Know…

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I’ve started substitute teaching. You probably remember crusty, old geezers teaching your class when one of your teachers was gone. These fossils were fond of telling students that they don’t know what hard work is, that they had to recite the pledge of allegiance in Greek and had to learn math with an abacus.

 

Whatever the case, there was always the assumption that, like teaching vampires who only came out during the school day, subs didn’t have an everyday normal life; when the school day was over they’d retreat to the school basement to read the textbooks for enjoyment before using them as a bed to sleep on until they were called to action again.

 

My point is that, with a single day substitute, there isn’t really a chance to get to know the sub.

 

I typically sub at the school where I once taught and assisted librarily, so I know most of the teachers and they know of my condition. Given enough notice, I’ll offer to give a presentation to the kiddos about me. This way the teacher doesn’t have to prepare as much and the students get first-hand knowledge of why I am the way I am. I’ve posted a version of this presentation before (LINK), but it was a raggedy old PowerPoint.

 

AND THEN…last summer – I went to a writer’s conference to pitch my memoir. I wanted to stand out, so I put together a presentation. I had just given the students a crash course in PowerPoint presentations and Prezi, so I thought I’d give that a try. I didn’t get a book deal >:(, but my presentation was pretty sweet. Find it HERE

 

AND THEN…a new school year started and the sub jobs came pouring in. So far, I’ve presented to about 250 seventh graders, most of the eighth graders saw it last year.

 

AND THEN…my younger sister, a Latin teacher (She teaches Latin, she’s not a teacher who is Latin, no one is or really has been since the Roman empire), asked me to come talk to one of her classes. I thought that this nexus of presentation opportunities called for a revamped presentation.

 

AND THEN…I combined the raggedy PowerPoint with the fresh, shiny Prezi to create a PreziPoint (PowerPrezi?). The svelte can be viewed in all its smoothly transitioning glory HERE. Or, for your convenience, I’ve reproduced the presentation here in slideshow form.

 

AND THEN…actually, ‘AND THEN…’ doesn’t work here, but I’m nothing if not consistent, the frames with a 🌟 in the lower right corner were adapted from the original PowerPoint. This means that the ones without a star make up the original Prezi.

 

AND THEN… If you don’t notice, apart from the book excerpts, it rhymes! Isn’t that delicious?

 

AND THEN…FIN

 

AND THEN…@JarrettLWilson

 

Jarrett vs. Health Insurance

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output_0fhCWAGreetings, the internet!

I apologize for my overlong absence from posting here. This here story I’m about to unfold gives some insight into why I’ve neglected this beacon of organized nonsense. Before I get into the reading portion of today’s entry, we’re gonna do some math –

#1. Affordable Care Act + dude with extensive medical needs = grumpy insurance company.

#2. Grumpy insurance company + dude with extensive medical needs = sub-par coverage and service

#3. Dude with extensive medical needs is due for an annual MRI + sub-par coverage and service = dude pays for MRI

#4. Dude keeps records of all the times he tried to contact the insurance company + dude pays the bill anyway = legal action against insurance company.

#5. Legal action against insurance company^2 = 11…

#6. The square root of 11 is 3.31662479 – on a phone, these numbers could spell “DEMOBIPY” or “FENMAGRY”…which kinda rhymes with “gravy”, a delicious substance that clogs arteries, thus leading to more claims for the insurance companies, making them more grumpy.

I digress…

…Listen, part of my ongoing upkeep is a once yearly visit with my neurosurgeon. That annual visit is preceded by an MRI. When I was employed and insured through a PPO, I didn’t need a referral. Having an HMO (stands for Has Many Obstacles) through the Affordable Care Act, I need to get a referral to blow my nose. As if that bureaucratic labyrinth wasn’t enough, math problem #2 takes form in the…uh, form of unreturned messages and “health assistant” buck passing…hmmm, if you are a health assistant that had been passed a buck, you shall henceforth be called a “health passistant”.

Gosh, I’m all over the place, let me summarize – I need an MRI by mid August. I started the referral/prior authorization process for this about a month ago (after already having it approved, then losing coverage, but that’s a horse of a different color). All I’ve gotten in response is “I’ll reach out to your doctor’s office to see where they are in the referral process”. Three things about this –

1. The way they talk about trying to get in touch with my doctor’s office, you’d think they were trying to contact Santa Claus on Christmas eve.

2. The doctor himself told me that the paperwork was sent on June 2nd.

3. Every time I’ve called, I’ve spoken with a real person in the department I intended.

Here’s what I’m getting at – MRIs are expensive. I had one last year before paying my deductible ~ $1800. Call me paranoid, but I believe that when an insurance company is looking at paying that amount of money, there phones stop working, emails get sent to spam more often and the fax machine works maybe half the time. After all, HMO stands for Healthy Monetary Outlook. So I would have you bare witness, interwebs – I’ve done and continue to do my part to ensure that the MRI will be covered.

One more thing – I’m not slamming Obamacare here. I’m grateful that I have insurance, limited though it may be. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned, you are your best advocate. Even the best insurance companies can’t get inside your head, even if they do pay for an MRI of your brain, and decide what’s best for you.

Also, I thought of one more meaning of HMO. For this one you need to use a salty New Yorker accent – HMO = Healthy?!? Meh, Oh well.
FIN

@JarrettLWilson

So Close, Yet So Far

WP Cover PicThe prezi found here: https://prezi.com/0mvptvuqyviu/ is a synopsis, in a way, of a book I’ve been writing about my experience with a brain injury. It contains excerpts from the book, but guides the viewer with a whimsical poem. I’m gonna go ahead and blame my Ahab like compulsion to write this book for my absence from blogging of late. I made this to show agents and such at a writer’s conference. I was hoping I had enough to get the ball rolling. Turns out, I’m less than halfway done. But.as Ahab got the whale so shall I finish this book – hopefully, it doesn’t do me in, though.

Aztec Gods, Needles in a Foot and Hand Torture, Oh My!

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I’ve been pretty lazy about the look of my blog. Previous banners have been hastily cropped images of my MRI scans or some such thing. So, I set about to remedy the situation by creating a banner representing my “injourney”. Though it may look precariously thrown together, I assure you that each object represents something very meaningful. I’ll start with perhaps the most powerful being on the banner. The colorful fella in the right corner is Huitzilopochtli,the Aztec god of war and the sun. I’ve a tattoo of Huitzilopochtli on my right shoulder blade –

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What struck me was, if you say “war” and “sun” back to back very quickly, it almost sounds like “Wilson” – and as you know, Wilson makes top quality sporting good products, and is my last name.
I jest, although not one of his defining divine powers, he’s also associated as being the guide for journeys, having led the Mexica  (Aztecs, though don’t let Huitzi hear you say that, he was against that nomenclature – thought it sounded too much like “ass-tech” and didn’t want people thinking they made fancy toilets or other such things) from Aztlan to the site that would become Tenochtitlan, the Azte…err, Mexica capital city. It is this quality that convinced me that his likeness should appear on my right should blade for the rest of my days. He would always be near to guide me.
The colorful dude on the other side is Xipe Totec, which means “He of the colorful commode”. As you can see, he’s sitting, almost squatting, on a very colorful chair. This is actually a toilet. He was fine with name “Aztec”, thought it’d be a good opportunity to spread the word his sacrificial, butt guillotine commode. While pooping, a blade slices off the bottom and flushes it straight to Templo Mayor in Tenochtitlan to be offered up to the gods.
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Again, I jest.

Xipe Totec or “Our Lord the Flayed One”, is the god of, among many other things, the cycle of life-death-rebirth. You see, I’ve come to consider May 22nd, 2009 (the approximate date of my hemorrhage), as the date my old self died. I was reborn when I had surgery to remove the cause of the hemorrhage.

Getting back to the mortal realm, the little girl in the yellow shirt and headlamp is my darling daughter, Quinn. I go to the gym, and therapize myself that I might get to be more active with that little fireball. The headlamp is for what I call “technology spelunking”. I wear it when I need to fiddle around inside my computer case or complete some other task without adequate lighting.

The hand in the vice is a not so subtle reference to occupational therapy and its toils. Not much more to be said about this – if you’ve ever wanted break off your aching hand and use it to give someone (esp. an occupational therapist) a bloody slap across the face, then flip the bird with it, then you understand that image.

Rounding (more like ovaling) out the left side is a MRI scan of the top of my head. The white dot in the middle is a marshmallow I shoved up my nose when I was seven. Since that time, every time someone asks, “What’s that smell?” I invariably answer “marshmallows”.

Come to find out, the marshmallow passed through my digestive tract the same as if I’d eaten it – as such, it has long since done the thing that biological things do, whose name esca…DECOMPOSED (!) in the bowels of some sewage treatment facility.

The white dot in this scan, and the scan of the stick man in the middle, is actually blood – these scans were taken very soon after the big bleed.

The relatively huge foot (MY foot with a NEEDLE in it) is a direct result of that white dot – the blood scrambled some wiring up there, causing a perpetual spasm running through my left arm and left leg/foot. To combat this unpleasant symptom, I get injections of botox every three months, two of which go in my foot (let me reiterate: TWO INJECTIONS! FOOT!)

All these things make up my injourney, and so, are strewn about my path like so many playthings carelessly scattered across the front yard by a whimsical child.

The stick man furthest down the path has a question mark for a head. This is for two raisins –
1. In the future, my head will probably look about the same on the outside. I can’t make any assumptions about what it’ll look like on the inside. Of course, there will still be neurons and dendrites and hormones of varying flavor, but I have to accept the possibility that there might be more white stuff (there also might be a “Johnny Mnemonic” style hard drive or an antenna ala Vonnegut’s Sirens of Titan.
2. I couldn’t think of anything to put there.

And what banner would be complete without the auspices of LepreSean? He popped in and asked, “Whersh me potta gold?” Xipe replied, “I’m sitting on it!”

FIN

@JARRETTLWILSON

Favorite people

“Men resemble the gods in nothing so much as in doing good to their fellow creatures.”

– Cicero

The above quote is etched in stone above the fire truck doors at the Stillwater fire department on the southeastern edge of the Oklahoma State University (GO POKES!) campus. As an idealistic, unjaded, starry-eyed undergraduate, I had great respect for these words. I use the word respect because, knowing what I know now, I can say that I didn’t know what they really meant.

I’ve since experienced things that have given me a more complete understanding of Cicero’s words, taught me the true meaning.

Some are quick to say that man, by nature, is selfish and motivated only by things that will advance his station in life. Still others will point out that man is a social animal.

What is the point of all this philosophology? My point is that, I’ve been blessed to meet a crapload of people who have successfully suppressed their selfish nature and become gods in the sense that Cicero was talking about above.

I refer to these people as “my favorite people”. Being “differently abled” like I am, I get the privilege of seeing the altruistic side of the everyday person and the godlike individuals who have chosen to work in some variation of human service. In no particular order, I’d like to recognize these awesome people –

Emily, Occupational Therapist
If you were to go to the Pate brain injury rehab facility in Anna, TX, you’d find a very pleasant blonde working with a patient with a wonky arm. If you were to go inside my head, you’d be covered in neurons and gray matter and all other matter of brain goo…Let me rephrase, if you were to see inside my mind, you’d see the head of a very pleasant blonde floating around, reminding me to use my left arm more often.
I’ve been fortunate as concerns the therapy game – I haven’t had to work with any crazy, ex drill sergeant “therrorists” (well, there was one who put electrodes on my arm and shocked me, but that’s a different story…). Still, it’s not hard to get cross with one who hounds you to click when a dot appears on a computer screen and constantly reminds you to grab that…whatever, with your left hand. I think that’s why she’s so good at what she does. She continuously hounded me, but I couldn’t get mad a at her soft voice and diplomatic word choice. For being the occupational therapist inside my head, Emily is one of my favorite people.

Here is her driver’s license photo, you know how those don’t always turn out –

Hand

I jest. I don’t have a picture of her, so this is what I think of when she comes to mind.

Teresa , Bosslady
My education is in sociology with a focus on research and statistics. Even though I chose to switch gears and become a teacher, sociology has never been far from my heart.
I figured that, having been away from research and statistics for almost ten years, I wouldn’t have a chance to use that skillset.

Enter Bosslady.

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I didn’t like my facial expression on the original, so I fashioned myself a new one.
She took a chance on me and now I get to use those skills to pay the bills. Sometimes, as I’m writing the narrative for a grant or calculating the percentage of people with diabetes in south central Oklahoma, I think to myself holy cow! I’m getting paid for this!

I remember in my first week working with her she made me a list of statistics and data she wanted, I looked at the list and thought who does she think I am? Stephen Hawking? Then I started to think, she believes I can do this so I can, NAY, WILL do it! It’s been like that since I’ve been working there. I’ll be faced with a task that I reckon is too difficult, then her perky voice pops in and says, “Just try it!” And my personal motto is “Try not, do or do not, there is no try.” As such, Yoda and my boss have instilled a great sense of worth, of purpose (porthose?) in me.

It occurs to me that some of you, dear readers, might be thinking I’m just sucking up. I’m willing to grant that. Thing is, everything I’m saying is true and I’ve already said this stuff to her in some capacity.

For being the inspiration to tackle all obstacles inside my head, Bosslady is one of my favorite people.

Allen, Orthotist
I don’t walk so good :), I’ve had quite a variety of assistive devices for my left leg – Donjoy Fullfource knee brace, Swedish knee cage, a black mesh knee brace number that certainly has a name that I don’t know, and two AFOs (Able Foot Orthosis, read more HERE).

The latter three have been acquired through Allen.

Listen, I am pretty hard on these things, have a look at how I violated my first AFO –

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You see, the protrusions at the opening by the Achilles tendon had adjustable rubber stoppers to increase or decrease the angle at the ankle, but I found the max angle offered by the stoppers to be inadequate, so I concocted all manner of home modifications. I screwed with it so much that the stoppers feel out, leaving me with no option but to continue to jack it up. I had exhausted my ingenuity as concerns sustainable solutions (solutainable?), so asked my father of he had any MacGyver worthy ideas. He actually had a wonderful idea – get a new one. This made me happy because 1.that brace was done for, and 2. I’d get to hang with Allen.

Here’s the replacement –

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They only have one color/style at Happy, Smiley Orthotics of Sunshine & Happiness in Gainesville, TX

Allen is the kinda guy you’d want to sit next to on a plane. He is very pleasant and very knowledgeable about orthotics, and I can’t say this about most people, but when he asks “How are you?” It feels as if he really wants to know, rather than to exchange platitudes. I think of Allen every time I go to the gym and put one of his devices to the test. For being the orthotist inside my head, Allen is one of my favorite people.

I don’t have a picture of Allen, so like I did with Emily, I’ll put an object that comes to mind when I think of him.
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Two reasons for this comparison – they share the same first name, and 2. EVERY device I’ve gotten from him requires an Allen wrench of some size to loosen or tighten various parts.

I’ve more favorite people, I’ll introduce them from time to time. In fact, a favorite who was originally meant to be on this list didn’t make the cut after all – his back story is too long – I’ll talk about him next time.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Jarrett takes a stand

OMG! I had a beautifully written blog ready to post, I clicked “save”, the screen went blank and a dialogue box saying the file no longer exists popped up.
I shall persevere with a brief synopsis of that splendid blog now lost to the great digital abyss (digibyss?).
I wrote the following letter to a collections agency disputing the charges.

August 21, 2015

Texoma Emergency Physicians

PO Box 8775

Fort Worth, TX 78124-0775

Re: Account #Wouldn’t you like to know

Dear Madam or Sir,

The above referenced account is for an emergency room visit on February 10th, 2015 for symptoms that were ultimately caused by an implant malfunction in my spine. Insurance refuses to cover it because I had already been to the ER that day.

I returned due to the fact that the treatment they administered (a pain pill) was having no effect and I felt like I was brushed aside as if I was merely trying to get a fix (an assertion made more credible by the fact that the doctor who referred me is a physical medicine/rehabilitation doctor who specializes in pain management).

If you were to check my medical records in the weeks after that ER visit, you’d find a surgery to correct my implant malfunction and a visit to my neurosurgeon in Dallas to discuss a small hemorrhage that resulted from complications due to the malfunction of the implant.

I recount all of this to show that I knew something was wrong, but was not given the attention I deserved on the first visit. Indeed, I gave the hospital a scathing review when they emailed me asking about my visit – concerning that critique, they’ve not contacted me. The only attempts at communication have been when they call to collect money, indicating their true interest, my bank account, not my health.

Frankly, I don’t think I should have paid the first ER bill – if I got that kind of service at a restaurant, I would have asked for the manager and left no tip. Unfortunately, TMC’s management doesn’t seem to take a customer centered approach when they find out you have insurance (I use the term “customer” as a slight, as I was never treated as a patient).

Please consider this appeal for the $425 balance of the above referenced account, and prove me wrong – that hospitals and those associated with them aren’t just out for the contents of my wallet.

Respectfully,

Jarrett Wilson
You see,  insurance refused to pay because the bill was for my second visit to the ER that day. Given the fact that I  received the brush off,  guy looking for a fix treatment the first time,  I went backand was upgraded to a bed in the hallway! This is an upgrade because EVERY member of the ER staff saw me. Twenty minutes later they saw me leave again.
That 20 minutes in the hallway might cost me $425!
I wanted to share this with you because:
a. Doctors might know more about THE body,  but you are the expert concerning YOUR body.
b. I rarely get the chance to write formal letters,  and I write them real good 🙂

EUREKA! And some OT

Turns out, the pump was not to blame for my recent neuro woes (neurwoes?) I’m not totally convinced that the pump isn’t somehow involved, but it appears that I had a small bleed at my resection site in the Pons region of the brainstem.

some of the symptoms (the excruciating pain in my ass muscles, the temperature fluctuations on random areas of my body,  and the increase in spasticity…

ITEM! I’ve just now (unless you read this after 7:23 on Friday, February 13th. Then it’s the date/time you’re reading this minus the above mentioned date/time) found the cause of the hemorrhage, methinks.

You see, I was about to mention increase in blood pressure after “increase in spasticity”. My blood pressure shot way up.  This probably aggravated the small bit of cavernoma, causing it to bleed ever so slightly.

So let this be a lesson to you – if you do trunk rotations, DON’T let the catheter from your baclofen pump pop out of your spine. If it does, DON’T let your blood pressure spike. If that happens,  DON’T let the pressure get to your brainstem. If you DON’T heed any of these warnings, DO go to Zale Lipshy University Hospital,  ask for Dr.  Jonathan White and get on a low dose of ‘roids to reduce the swelling. Next, DO start with therapy exercises, because the ~18 month window of best recovery has officially opened.

You might try something like this –

Next,  be prepared to eat a LOT, because ‘roids make you ravenous!
FIN
@JarrettLWilson

Presenting – My…Presentation

I used to work at a middle school.

I’ve was employed there in some fashion for a number of years.

My first two years I taught 8th grade US history and coached boys’ athletics. The next year I taught 8th grade English and coached girls’ athletics.

At the end of that school year some blood vessels in my brain leaked like so much kiddie pool left to rot in the sun.

I taught 8th grade English for half of the next two school years. I came back the next school year as the assistant librarian and have filled that role for four years.

Assuming my math is correct (2+1+.5+.5+4), I’ve been working there for 21,554 years – this raises a few questions.

Firstly, I’m only 32 years old. Secondly, the school has only been there for 40ish years. Let’s round that figure down to eight school years.

I did so enjoy working with students. Thing is, I’m was’t like any of the other teachers/professionals in the school.

When I returned to teaching after the hemorrhage, I created a PowerPoint presentation about my condition to show to my class to prepare them for my uniqueness.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to the new seventh graders. I modified the presentation to fit my condition today. I thought I’d share it with you, the internet –

1

This is the title slide – note that it has the title written (in English, no less!) on it.

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This slide is for a handout. The students were given the same graphic, but with blanks. In essence, they started with an empty brain and ended with a full one (symbolic, no?)

3

In the same fashion as the previous slide, the students filled in the blanks on the same graphic.

4

This slide is a pictorial representation (pictoriational?) of the functions of each lobe. For instance, the temporal lobe (orange) controls the instinct to swat things away from your ear (actually, that represents hearing), and the frontal lobe controls the confusion that comes from staring at gibberish on a sign post (actually, that represents planning).

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Now we get to my contribution – you see, the seventh grade reading classes at the school where I work are covering non-fiction. They are reading Gifted Hands by Dr. Ben Carson – the brain surgeon that removed half of a girl’s brain. One of the teachers is a friend of mine and asked me to present my experience as a primer. The image in the slide is my brain (isn’t it beautiful?). The white dot in the middle is my cavernoma isn’t it (or rather, wasn’t it) ugly?

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Not much to say about this slide that isn’t in the slide. I’ll just add that the symptoms listed are enough to get you a 20 minute helicopter ride.

7

Much like the image in the “My Brain Issues” slide – the head pictured is my head. My head is perfectly round and my brain has many different colors. I know what you’re thinking, “But Jarrett, there weren’t no color in the other image and your head ain’t perfectly round.”

I’ve a twofold reply to this comment. First of all, I was joking – that’s not my head. Secondly, you need to work on your grammar. Moving on, this one has info about the surgery. That fact weighed heavily in my decision to title the slide “The Surgery 9/2009.”

8

A few summers ago I went on a tour of a Nair factory – this happened to be the day that Gillette planned to sabotage the Nair factory. They set explosives…I’m tired of this explanation. It started off with promise, but now I hate it!

Truthfully, a few summers ago I wanted to see the scar, so I shaved my head.

9

This slide is linked to a file with moving pictures and sound! This “video” is about *drumroll* neuro-plasticity! A fancy term denoting the brain’s ability to form new connections.

10

This is a visual representation of how your brain thinks. For instance, you see a donut with your occipital lobe. That info shoots to your frontal lobe and activates your happy gland. Your happy gland shoots a message to your parietal lobe “GO GET THAT F’N DONUT!” Someone gets it before you can, so your temporal lobe tells you to break out your megaphone and shout obscenities at this person and threaten to call the police. This guy grabs a nearby napkin dispenser and wangs you in the Temple…

11

…That blow to the Temple gives you a TBI. Your brain rewires itself and finds an alternate route to your happy gland.

12

I included this slide to give the students an explanation as to why I sometimes shake when I speak and why I walk with a limp and hike up my left arm like so much Bob Dole. It also helps explain the little girl in the moving picture mentioned earlier. It also gave me a chance to…

Treating Hypertonicity with Pic

…mention the painful treatments. One thing I’ve learned from working in a middle school is that, as much as the kids want to be treated as adults, they still love to hear about people getting poked with needles and meeting a real life cyborg.

13

I like to pepper in some humor here and there to make sure the kids are awake. When this slide appears, it’s accompanied by a very loud, obnoxious laugh.

15

I don’t really do any of these anymore, but I mention it because I did it for so long, and it drives home the point that I’ve had a long road.

16

In my mind, all of these will someday be replaced with “Painfully normal”. For purposes of this presentation, it gives the students an idea of what to expect when they see me.

17

It can be difficult to work around young people with my disabilities. Instead of hiding or pretending that I’m no different, I encourage the students to come talk to me if they have a question. I want to think that I’m an ambassador for the disabled. Hopefully, these students will apply what I’ve tried to teach them to others with disabilities.

I included the last bullet because I’ve had some students speak very loudly and very slowly to me. You see, they have to tell me their student ID number to check out a book. In previous years, a student or two would speak to me as if I was unable to type and listen at the same time.

18

I’m a pretty smart dude and I can be pretty creative, but I didn’t discover any of this and I didn’t make this sh*t up.

If there’s one thing I learned in college, it’s that Keystone Light is super cheap and tastes like weedkiller. If there’s a second thing I learned in college, it’s that plagiarism is bad (I remember a syllabus that said there’s a special place in hell for those that plagiarize).

We try to instill that fear into the students, so I model the proper citing of sources.

FIN

@JarrettLWilson

Jarrett = Four Years Old

Hello, Internet!

Welcome to a very special edition of this blog (I know I say that a lot, but this one is more specialer, I promise).

Today is my “rebirthday”; it was on this day in that foul year of our Lord, 2009, that I underwent brain surgery. According to my calculator, that makes me four years old.

To commemorate this day I thought I’d list four positives I’ve experienced in the last four years –

1. Parking: I’ve a handicapped placard – I’ve found that the real advantage to having this blue piece of plastic is not so much parking closer, but narrowing the selection of parking places.

You see, most of you chumps have to drive around the whole parking lot to find a space; I need only check the front few spots.

Moreover, you’re more likely to get stuck behind that assclown that plugs up a row to wait for a spot (if you’re one of these people, I hate you).

Occasionally, someone will swoop in and take a spot before me. I find myself sizing this person up – Are they really handicapped? I think he/she’s just using his/her grandma’s placard.

I’m starting to sound hateful, let’s move on…

2. Helpful people: I often get asked if I need help with this or that. Writing about this makes me want to redact my previous comment about “you chumps”. But I don’t want to change it, so just erase it from your mind like so much Men in Black flashing phallus thingy.

Speaking of Men in Black, a fella that looked just like Will Smith came to help me fight off some aliens that were trying to steal my cheese grater.

I jest. He actually looked more like Puff Daddy (or P. Diddy, whatever he goes by these days).

Back to the point, seeing a person hold up a row in a  parking lot gets me thinking that people are self-centered, then a nice young lady asks if I need help carrying a large box to my car and shatters that perception.

3. New friends: I’ve met some pretty awesome people that I wouldn’t otherwise know. I’ve been lucky to have very lucky to work with very knowledgeable, caring therapists – I feel so honored to have met these people, I’ll attempt to name them all –

  • Emily x2 (OT, PY)

  • Laura (OT)

  • Heidi (PT)

  • Steve (PT)

  • Samara (PT)

  • DJ (PT)

  • Jennifer x3 (OT, OT, speech therapist)

  • Elizabeth (OT)

  • Leslie x2 (PT, speech therapist)

  • Leslynn (speech therapist)

  • That red headed (OT) whose name I forgot

  • That blonde (speech therapist) whose name I forgot

  • Kenya (speech therapist)

  • Paula (counselor)

  • Joni (PT)

  • Bonnie (PT)

I can’t think of anymore. If I forgot someone, I’m truly sorry. Wait, I’d also like to mention Sandy, my driver from my days at Pate. A very heartfelt and genuine thank you to you all!

4. Continuous possibility for improvement: The medical community says the optimum window for recovery from a brain injury is 18 months or so.

That same community also endorsed the use of leeches to suck out sickness, I can and will continue to improve.

I don’t make improvements as quickly and dramatically (dramatiquickly?) as I once did, but I’m certain that one day I’ll be able to do many of the things I once did (if not, at least I’ll look good as I fail 🙂 ).

So, not only is the being alive a nice part of waking up, but I also get to face each day with the possibility that I will finally (insert activity) again.

There you have it, folks! Having a TBI is no bueno, but there are some perks.

 

FIN

@JarrettLWilson