Chapter 68 - September 18, 2012

Suck it up. Suck it up. That's my profound word for the week. You see, a guy I knew from the hospital I went to came by the other day. He was interested in photography so I gave him some pointers and some tips. He has a good eye. I'm not sure exactly what's wrong with him but he has traumatic brain injury like myself. He has a difficult time communicating. He can't really speak. He has a small device on him about the size of an iPhone. He'll press a button and the device will say, "Hello" or "I'll have a coffee." It's basically a communication device. The one thing he can do is sing. He can sing what he has to say. Apparently speaking and singing are two different parts of the brain. So, when I started complaining, he sang to me, "Suck it up." I thought that was amusing. The last time I was told to suck it up was when I was in the ICU (intensive care unit). Then I had to get an MRI done and I didn't want to do it. I hate those things. A friend of mine is a nurse said to me, "Brian, it's really important you have this MRI done. You have to suck it up." I said, "All right. I'll suck it up and do it." Well, on my way into the MRI, a small child came out of the MRI as I was going in. I thought, well, if he can do it, I can do it. I don't know how little kids do it.

This week has been a real busy week for me. First of all, I had to get an EEG done on my brain. It's basically a bunch of wires they put on your head and you've got to carry a little monitor over your shoulder for 24 hours. It's a bit of a pain in the ass, and you look like an alien, but it's important to get it done. My new neurologist wanted that. I've yet to see the results, but no one has called to say you have no brain. So no news is good news right now. I see the neurologist next week. The other thing that happened was I got my new car. It's basically a car that will take you in a wheelchair. It's called an MV1. It's made by Ford and it'll give me a little more freedom. I can go with my friend here to have a coffee. Get out of the house. I will say it's amazing how expensive it is. It seems anything medical is expensive. I got a wheelchair the other day. A power chair. Hell, the thing is so expensive you could trade it in for a new car. Just an observation.

I was going through my old blogs the other day and I noticed that I have made some improvements. They are slow. Very slow, but I keep moving forward. I did it because I was really depressed about my progress. It seems like I'm not getting better, but remember where you were. That's what I do, and that's what I did. I looked back to a year ago. It made me feel better. Hell, when I was in ICU I was almost dead. So I say, I'm better now.

Let's tell some stories. I am doing this blog to try and help people that have traumatic brain injury, I've gone through a lot and a lot's happened to me. I truly believe all these things got me ready for what I'm going through.

I worked for a certain English fashion magazine all the time. I worked with one specific editor all the time as well. We worked together so much she even gave me a theme song. It was a song done by Crowded House. The song was entitled, "Everywhere you go you take the weather with you" and I guess it was true. Every time I worked with her we had bad weather. It was crazy. One time we were on the east coast of America and shooting when a fog bank rolled in. It was the Spring. I was driving the minivan around thinking what on earth am I going to do? It's horrible out. Just give me a nice house with porches. I can make it work. But there was no budget for a nice house with porches. I was driving around when I saw the perfect house. I went up, knocked on the door. No one was there. I looked in. It was obviously boarded up for the Winter. I thought, well, there's no one here. Perfect. Let's shoot here, ha ha. So I spent the rest of the day shooting at the house. Thank God nobody came home. But then, as I'm about to finish, the neighbor came over. She said, "Oh, how interesting. What are you doing." She said this in a very thick English accent. I said, "I'm shooting for a new English magazine and a friend of a friend got me permission to shoot here." I basically talked my way around that one. Then she said, "Oh, well why don't you pop on over for some tea and crackers." Well who can resist tea and crackers so I went over. We sat down, had a chat. I was there for about an hour. You know, just small talk. I got in my van and drove back to the hotel. The people that owned the house are probably thinking, "What the hell happened?"

I used to love working with that editor. It was fun. One of the last shoots we did I remember her talking to a priest. She was trying to explain why it's OK to have a topless girl leaning against his wall in Santa Fe. Never a dull moment.

The following story took place in Paris, France. I had a really good friend who had a restaurant near Notre Dame. At the end of the night we would always go there to have dinner, close the place down, break out the music, break out the cavados (apple liqueur), and party. Well, after a few hours and a few bottles, we thought it'd be fun to go out, so my friend got his Czechoslovakian jeep (a 4 wheel drive monster), and we all piled in. It had no roof and it was raining. My friend said, "No problem." He ran inside, got a bunch of garbage bags and we put them on. they worked pretty good. Well, he started driving and he thought it would be fun to go down the steps near the river. But he proceeded to go down the steps in the jeep I was in the back and I thought, This is not a good idea. So I jumped out. Well, they proceeded down the steps and along the quay. And I thought, "The bastard made it." Then, they started to go up the steps on the other side. I thought, well, I gotta catch them. so I started running down the middle of the street in my plastic bag in the rain. I ran by some police that were guarding the prime minister's house. I stopped running. Walked past them, said, "Good evening. They looked at me with their machine guns ready. they said good evening, so I just walked past them and continued. Then, when I was at a safe distance from them, I continued running until I caught up with my friends in the jeep. We all went to a local night club and danced until the sun came up. The scariest part about this story is this was a typical night for me when I lived in Paris. No wonder why I have traumatic brain injury.

My friend here will include some cartoons from the past.  Have a good week everybody.

Oh, yeah, I want to tell, one more story. Remember a few blogs back I told you I ran across America in 1979. It was a 12 man relay team. We made the Guinness book of world records. Anyway, at about 2 am I was running through he desert all by myself with my baton and flashlight. You see the van would drive down the road 2 miles and wait for you. Anyway, I was running i9n the middle of the road through the desert when all of a sudden a wolf/wild dog tried to bite me and then another one tried to bite me. all of a sudden I was surrounded by a pack of wild dogs. I didn't know what to do, but every time I pointed my baton at a dog, he would cower and run away. I thought to myself, hell, they think the baton is a weapon. So I was running int he middle of the road pointing my baton and screaming. Well, the guy was next to run saw me coming out of the dark. He was freaking out. He said, what are you screaming for? I said, there's wild wolves out here. No one believed me because I like telling stories. But it was true. I was surrounded by wolves. Well I gave the baton tot he next guy. I said,, holy shit good luck. That was crazy. and everyone who got back into the van said "Oh B nice is just telling another story. You know the boy that cried wolf. Typical." The last vision I have of the next runner is him sprinting trying to keep up with the van crying and saying, "Don't leave me here. Don't leave me here." The boy that cried wolf. Little do you people know, all my stories are true. Love, B. Nice