This morning I watched the sun rise for the first time in 18 months. I used to do it every morning right after my brain surgery when the steroids were keeping me awake. I would listen to music and just watch. This morning I had some black coffee and listened to Explosions in the Sky while I watched the sky turn from dark blue to salmon to pink and then an orange-ish yellow. It gave me time to reflect on how much has happened and what is different now.
It’s hard to explain to people what it’s like to have a brain after it has been injured in some way. This article is the closest I’ve seen anyone get to an explanation:
My thoughts this morning have been on not just the after-effects like in the article, but what I think is different about me now. Here are some of the things I came up with:
-My taste in colors is different. I’m drawn to higher contrasts and brighter colors because they are easier for me to see. Subtlety does nothing for me anymore.
-My taste in music has changed. I prefer more relaxing music than the hardcore and cacophonous music of my youth.
-I shop for clothing and other things by sight and touch equally. Once I find something I like, I HAVE to touch it and see how pleasing it feels. This is extremely important to me now. No online shopping for clothing for me.
-I walk into things a lot, even in a familiar space where I know the layout. This is mostly from the missing vision, but probably also just the slower cognitive processing.
-I still refer to my brain in the third person, as if it were a separate entity completely. After surgery my brain was a definite “he” for some reason. Now it seems to be an “it”.
-My plantar fasciitis disappeared immediately after surgery and has not returned. I chalk it up to relaxed nerves. The one major bonus to my brain surgery!
These are self-reflections; it is likely that others who know me would have their own thoughts on what is different in today’s interactions vs. pre-surgery interactions.