Thriving, Post-Ruptured Brain Aneurysm

Despite proverbial good intentions otherwise, today marks four months since I’ve written a single word, much less posted anything here or anywhere else.

No, posting on Twitter with its 140 characters-a-message doesn’t count as “real writing.”

My disappearing act reflects the life-real consequence of a major health crisis.

To wit, today marks precisely seven months since a half-inch aneurysm at the back of my brain exploded, launching me into a journey that is only now ending. After 150 days straight of mind-numbing headaches accompanied by predictable dizzy spells, I can smile and laugh again with delightful ease. What a joyous thrill. I’m returning to the page.

This is what a brain aneurysm survivor looks like, seven months post-rupture.

These kinds of events turn your life upside-down for a long while, even when it’s a ruptured aneurysm that leaves no forever  impacts.  I’m beyond grateful for this easier-than-most ride. I wonder: how and why did I earn a pass on either temporary paralysis or a permanent limp?

I do find I am sometimes word-challenged. For a writer, that’s huge. Frightening. But common sense beckons: does forgetting a word reflect permanent brain damage from a nasty mind hiccup? My age and gender scream “no! it’s menopause! Or your saddle perch square in middle age!” Mesuspects it’s some cosmic combination of all three.

I’ve founded the Lucky Quarter Club. We’re a fraternity of 25 percenters—we consider ourselves both blessed and cursed—who have survived a ruptured aneurysm neatly.  That means our markers for this life experience are ones you’ll never see, no matter how deep you stare into our eyes or study our movements. The scars of RBA (as in ruptured brain aneurysm) manifest in us instead as an intense disinterest in old hobbies, a zealous adherence to both healthful diet and disciplined exercise, and an avoidance of fools of every stripe.

I’ll write of this Lucky Quarter Club soon. Actually, there’s a plethora of stories coming, all based on the varied aspects of this life-changing health crisis. Stay tuned. There’s a non-fiction book in the mix, too, boosted big-time by interest already expressed by a trio of power-hitter agents.

For now, here’s a picture, taken a week ago at Trinity University in San Antonio.  Yes, the hair color’s changed—it’s one way to hide the slow-growing leftovers from a neurosurgeon’s scalpel. And yes, I’ve lost a few dress sizes.



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