Remembering Madison, WI, and the single best therapy for my brain injury I have ever received. Part One.

Roughly four and half years have passed since I fell in the night and fractured my skull, causing some bleeding on my cerebellum and ultimately forcing me from job and leading me to re-examine much about my life. Since the accident in 2006, I have gotten married, rediscovered my love of songwriting and released my first album ever, an EP called Deep Salvage. Marriage has been the biggest and best event, to be sure, but today I'm thinking back on another event, one that involved brain therapy.

The year was 2007, and I was feeling particularly desperate to make some progress. I was a year out from my accident, and I had run out of ideas for how to get better. I was doing yoga, going to acupuncture, attending weekly talk therapy sessions and taking an anti-depressant for both depression and to possibly help with my persistently frozen feet (they weren't physically cold but in my mind they were forever dipped in an Arctic bay). Yet, still I felt terrible and progress, if there was any, was s-l-o-w. I remember lamenting to Catherine about all this and in her goddamnitwegottadosomethinganythingaboutthis way, she reminded me that her friend had mentioned something called cranial sacral therapy and I should try it, right? I mean, why the hell not?

So, based on some info from her friend I called a cranial sacral practice in SF and made and appointment.When I showed up, the doctor who greeted me was not the doctor I had made an appointment with. She said this right away and explained why: she said that when my charts came over and she saw the true nature of my injury she could not, in good conscience, let me do cranial sacral therapy without talking to me first. She explained further that she was the M.D. half of a two-person operation, with her non-M.D. partner handling the cranial sacral stuff while she provided a more scientific balance, and in her scientific opinion, I would not respond to cranial sacral therapy. I was crushed. I asked her for other ideas, told her how desperate I was for help, and she frowned and said that there was very little that could be done for an injury such the one I had sustained. Then she brightened. She said she had studied at Madison and she remembered a doctor there who was doing very cutting-edge research/therapy for brain trauma sufferers. "Paul Ba, Bach, Bach-y… Paul Bach-y-rita!" I wrote down his name and the title of a book he was profiled in called The Brain That Changes Itself and headed home with, if not a cure, at least some hope.

Then I learned Paul Bach-y-rita had recently passed away.

Next up, part 2 and discovering the Mighty Brainport.