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Sometime after undergoing a life saving craniotomy, I read an explanation of the origin of the word “touched” to mean insane or crazy. It reputedly came from the idea that if your brain has been “touched” you are never right or the same again. Fortunately, most of our brains are never touched.

My brain was hemorrhaging due to a congenital defect. Had it continued untouched, I would have certainly died. A highly skilled neurosurgeon drilled a hole in my skull and used a saw to cut a circle out so he could access the part that was bleeding and clean it up. I have a horseshoe shaped scar under the mass of curly hair on my head.

I made a dramatic recovery from the surgery. I always maintained that I was “still me” as I could not perceive myself as others did from outside of my own head. I had some awareness of changes in my thinking and personality mostly from what others told me.

Most changes were physical. The damage to my brain resulted in serious motor control issues on my left side. To say it was a gargantuan adjustment to living with this wouldn’t begin to describe it.

I once saw a very experienced (read old) psychotherapist about how to deal with the massive changes in my life. When I told her my husband continually told me I was not the same, and he had a hard time dealing with it, her response was “Of course you’re not the same, you’re better”. This was a few years after the surgery and I was thriving in the face of horrible circumstances.

I was definitely touched. I won’t deny that having to adjust to becoming disabled during my second pregnancy when I was a 35 year old mother of a two year old may have made me a little insane.


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A Few Perfect Hours

For The Birds

For The Birds