Bang your head. Wait, make that my head.

Bang your head. Wait, make that my head.

I heard the other day about some guy who’d had a head injury and had been suffering the effects for years, with little to no hope of improvement (sound familiar?). But one day, he smacked his head good and hard in an accident and, you guessed it, now he’s fine.

This got me to thinking.

What if I simply ran straight into a wall, or asked Catherine to whack me in the head with a frying pan, would I be cured? Sadly, I doubt it. In fact, I think the story I started this post with is an urban legend, because here’s what happens with a TBI (traumatic brain injury).

At the very, very least, some of your brain cells are stunned into silence, kind of like rational economists were when they first heard about Obama’s plan to borrow our way to lower deficits. The stunned cells gradually re-awaken, and within 3 to 6 months, they’re all back on line (unlike U.S. workers). If your accident is a little worse, some brain cells can die, and these do not come back (as we all know from our drinking years). Finally, if you have bleeding on the brain (which I did), the blood kills any cells it comes into contact with. And until some other part of your brain can take over their job, you’re going to miss them.

That last little detail about permanent cell death is especially key for me. Not because some of my cells died, but rather where they died, which was in the cerebellum. Why is cell death in the cerebellum somehow more deathly than elsewhere in the brain? Because the cerebellum is the part of your brain that teaches undamaged parts how to do what the damaged parts did. Tragic, no? One doctor told me it was as though I had killed the teacher (got me to thinking about high school, but I digress).

Long story short, more trauma to my brain is unlikely to cure what ails me. In fact, at this point, nothing will, and I confess, I really struggle with this fact.

Wait, that’s too doom and gloom. Time heals, it truly does, it’s just a three toed sloth in terms of how quickly its benefits can be felt.

But, here's the real point to all this: when you find yourself in a lousy situation healthwise, you will consider trying almost anything to get out of it. So while am not ready to bonk my head again, I have tried various Western meds, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, my BrainPort, and, um, uh, well, there's been other stuff too. And though none of it has cured me, some has helped, and I will continue to try stuff. I'm interested in bio-feedback, cranial sacral therapy, a stem cell injection and whatever else seems to offer the potential to help, without great risk of harm, which pretty much rules out more blunt force trauma. But I am not giving up.