Archives for the Month of October, 2010

René Descartes drew a brain…

Descartes brain drawing 1662 / Wellcome Images

Descartes brain drawing 1662 / Wellcome Images

Wicked Stepsister

My speech teacher said that my old self is “your wicked stepsister,” someone you hold up as perfect, now that you are not.

Dr. Strangelove Arm

I have one arm that sometimes moves in directions I don’t want it to. This is called spasticity (spastic-ity). Stroke victims call it less cordial names.

Do brains smell?

Let Them Grow / Library of Congress

Let Them Grow / Library of Congress

I asked my brain surgeon if our brains have a smell. He wrote:

“Like anything some peoples brain smells like flowers and others like s__t.
thats why it’s better to live your life like springtime.
just kidding. no smell at all”

Stroke Buddy

I have one. We have never spoken.  He is maybe 40 years old, clean-shaven, always nicely dressed, clearly on his way to a job and a life. He has a hand that doesn’t work and he limps a little.  Occasionally I sit across from him on the Red Line T (subway).  He sees me, there is recognition, a slow hint of a smile, and he bobs his head in acknowledgment.  My head slightly bobs back. We understand each other.

Stroke Logic

Logic Joke: “This is a false statement.”

Logic Stroke Joke: “This is a statement made after a stroke.”


Do you think personality is permanent?

Have a stroke and you will know that you are false.

Two drinks…

A drink / Wellcome Images

A drink / Wellcome Images

Two drinks and I forget words. Not basic ones, but less common, longer words. I was recently at a restaurant and was trying to say “macadamia.” It came out “macarena.”

What does it mean when the word comes out the wrong way?


My friend said he wasn’t sure how to comfort me. “I don’t really have a clue how to comfort a friend going through such a traumatic change.”

I don’t want comfort. I don’t want to be asked ‘how I am feeling?’ I want my friends to take me out and help me forget how I am feeling.


Soon after my stroke, my neurologist said “For someone so unlucky, you are really lucky.”