You don’t know the grief of brain injury until you hear a gentle, compassionate voice drop the devastating news that you can’t read while you’re holding your usual paperback.
You never know how brain injury will play out over time. What you think at first is mild becomes worse and worse. Biochemical changes wreak hidden havoc as the medical system of psychiatrists, neurologists, and therapists waits to see what emerges on the surface before they teach you how to be positive about the losses.
I remember learning how to write when I was three years old. By then, I already knew how to read. I have no recollection of when I first read, only that I knew how to read the alphabet when our teacher began to teach us our ABCs and print it in pencil. Reading was my identity, the core of who I was, my life. The lack of research into reading as a complex cognition and psychiatrists not treating reading restoration as central to rehab, failed me as it has so many others.