Chapter 69 - September 25, 2012

You can take a horse to water but you can't make him drink. Remember that saying? Well, in this case, it's true. If you have traumatic brain injury, you can have all the tools in the world. A car, a power chair, lifts, etc., but if you don't have the desire to improve, you'll never get better. It depends on what level you want to end up. Some people are happy being in a wheelchair watching TV. But I want to get back to where I was. It's a good thing I had a background training. I worked hard every moment to get better. You gotta be like that.

Well the results from the EEG are in. I do have a brain, and it seems to work just fine. It's amazing what they can see. They saw I had brain surgery twice. They could see where I had the bleed. They wanted to check for seizure. They noticed some activity, but they're not sure if they're seizures or what. You know, they don't know everything. So I continue to take my anti-seizure medicine, and do therapy, and get better. There was an article a friend of mine sent me. It was about a woman who had traumatic brain injury. It took her 6 years to get better. So you gotta be patient.

Let's see, what else happened this week? Oh! I took possession of our new car. My parents got a new car that will take me in my wheelchair. We got it cause I almost crushed my mother while transferring. I basically fell down. So to save anyone from getting hurt, we got the car. As I get better, I could always sell it later. Remember, don't get hung up on the tools. My friend here will include a photo of the car. It's big but it works real good. Oh, yeah, my friend here asked me what I called the car. I call it The BEAST. The other thing I've been doing a lot is painting. I paint every day. It's been very fun, and very therapeutic. It's good for my hands. I highly recommend it.

Also check out my new project this is a link below to info related to it. I'm pretty excited about it.

That's it for TBI. Let's talk about some stories. Back in the early 80's I worked for a famous fashion photographer. One of our jobs took us to Africa. We were working for French Vogue and we were shooting in Togo Africa. Well, getting off the plane, the fashion editor said to me, "Get our stuff, we'll be by the pool having drinks." I thought, great, this is going to be a fun trip. Well, when I went in for the bags, none of our stuff came out. Everyone had gone. I was standing there alone when all of a sudden, a guy came over with a machine gun. He said, "Sir, are you ready for your bags?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "OK." He described the bags that he had. They were ours. He said, "OK," he said, "Come with me." So I went with him. We got in a Jeep. Drove out of the airport, across the runway to the other side of the airport. I was thinking, this isn't good. Anyway, we got to the other side of the airport, he said to me, "Go in there." and "there" was a bunker that I was to go into. So I went in there. Inside the bunker was like something out of a movie. I walked in, the room was very dark. There was a chair in the middle of the room. I sat in the chair, and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw an old guy on a bench wearing clothes that were even older than him. He was shaking. He looked really scared. And then a light came on. There was one single bare light over a long table. The table was perpendicular to me, starting left to right. The bare bulb hanging from the ceiling had a lampshade over it. Once again, it was like a scene from a movie. There was a guy who was obviously the authoritative figure. He was sitting in the middle of the table under the light. The guy looked like Idi Amin's twin. He had lots of ribbons and stars. There was some guy whispering into his ear. There were lots of guys with machine guns standing around. I thought, great, this is gonna be fun. And then the guy said to me in perfect Oxford English, "Is this your stuff?" And they brought out all of our equipment and clothes. I said, "Yeah, that's our stuff." He said, "What are you doing here?" I said, "Oh, we're doing a fashion shoot for French Vogue." He hesitated, looked at me, looked at the stuff, said, "OK, someone will help you back to the hotel with your stuff. But stay around the hotel and if you photograph the president's palace you might get shot. Have a nice stay." That was nothing compared to the rest of the trip. While we were there, there was a military coup, and an emergency evacuation, a garbage bag full of pot, etc., etc. Never a dull moment.

The next story takes place in Paris, France. I used to shoot all the time for a fashion magazine that came out weekly. I loved shooting with them. I used to shoot at least once every two weeks with them. I would always have to meet with them to discuss the shoot. I would leave my house, go down Rue du Seine, have a coffee at my favorite cafe, go across Pont Neuf. Go through the Louvre, cross Rue de Rivoli and go to the magazine. Not a bad commute. It was a nice walk. I loved going there. The production team, you know, the girls that put the shoot together, they were real cool. I used to hang out there all the time. I would go to their office, sit around a big table and look at the production board. It had my name, the name of the shoot, the fashion editor, the models, the hair and makeup, etc., etc. We would think of girls to use and make up to use, and then we'd talk about restaurants, eating. It was nice. OK, I went on a bit of a tangent there. I guess, I long for the good old days.

Well, that's it for now. I will say one thing. It's an interesting observation. It seems as I've become more and more aware of my body, I get more depressed. It's kind of a drag. You know, this has been going on for three years. I joke about it, but it's tough. I am getting better. Like my friend says, I just gotta suck it up. The other thing is, my voice keeps cracking. I just tell everybody I'm going through puberty again. Talk to you next week. Love, B. Nice