People Change, Bodies Change, Minds Change, Memories Change

It has been just shy of 27 months since I obtained a traumatic brain injury. Upon my return home, I learned that I loss my sense of smell and flavor (anosmia). At the beginning of this stage, I was filled with anger, grief, and frustration. I will not lie; some of that is still there. I took pride in cooking whole foods and using recipes as suggestions regarding the herbs offering flavor. I fought eating and not eating. I won’t lie.. I still do.

However, along my journey I realized what I still have: textures and sensations in foods. Well, to be honest, the joke has still been it all tastes like chicken. When I have eaten or even prepared to eat, I have dissected the tastes (not flavors) of foods along with textures that they may offer to the point of writing about this here.

There is a new discovery. My husband has said, “What you focus on, you create.” Well, I have focused on what I still have. The result is my memories have altered. I do not remember the flavors of foods. I know to many this may sound very sad; however, that is not my goal here. I am here to offer encouragement, for the world (this condition included) is full of pain and grief. To not remember the flavor of foods is a wonderful thing, because WHAT I DO REMEMBER is textures of food and that I have appreciated even from childhood! I don’t remember the flavors of foods and the pleasure they brought. To be honest, I never really loved eating due to some early childhood experiences. There’s a song called “Don’t Know What You Got Til It’s Gone.” Well, you don’t miss things when you don’t remember them, which is far healthier than memories of what potentially will never be again. We cannot live in the future nor the past, and the best way to live is moment by moment and appreciating what you do have instead of hoping for what was and / or may never be (again).

The most miraculous thing in this experience is I did not cognitively purposely lose my memories of foods’ flavors. The only thing I did is to live in the present and try to appreciate my new life without smell.

I used to drive into the driveway of our old house from where I fell from its balcony. I pined for how and who I was. I pined for the memories that we created in that house. I grieved that I could not go back in time. I now no longer visit that driveway and peer on all sides of the house. I am focused on living in the present. The outcome is far healthier and more beautiful than focusing on what was and will never be again.

The mind is a beautiful thing. My mind has adjusted and programmed my memories based on my willful mindset of how I am living and aim to continue living: in the present.. not in the past nor the future.

If I can do this, then you can too. I will say this was done with the intent on living in the now; however, I was not directly looking to forget flavor. It happened unbeknownst to me. I hope that you will join me and find more joy  and peace in your life as well.

Claiming One’s Place Vs Circumvention

As aforementioned, I obtained a brain injury August 24, 2014 and nearly lost my life. I fell twenty feet from our former Victorian home’s balcony and had a subdural hematoma (7 inch brain clot), which had both my brain lobes on the left side of my skull.

I began attending monthly brain injury support group meetings May 2015.  It took me from October 2014 to May 2015 to even realize I had new challenges outside of inability to smell and loss of flavor (which most people call “taste). Upon attending these meetings, I met a young lady named Anna Pope who also obtained a brain injury through a car wreck. Every time we introduced ourselves, she always says she’s a survivor. I remotely heard her from day one; however, like all the other attendees, I would talk about “my accident.” Anna is a breath of fresh air to me. I am very particular about verbage, and after a while, I HEARD her. I heard she was not circumventing what occurred but instead CLAIMING her victory. Talking of only the accident is all about loss, whereas stating you’ve survived is about victory.

Time passed, and I followed Anna’s footsteps and began claiming I am a traumatic brain injury survivor. This matters. What you state and how you state it do matter. The more you claim victory, the more victorious you feel and become.

Years ago, I attended a Jubilee Church. There is a speaker by the name of Kevin Leal who repeatedly speaks of CLAIMING your life.. I am thankful that he sowed this seed and that Anna watered it. Because I now know firsthand that this is not a crock of bull. It is the truth.

Now, as of today, I just read about a fellow anosmic, Sarah Ramsden, who is a nutritionist. She obtained a brain tumor and lost all smell and flavor. She states she is a brain tumor thriver. So this is my new stance. What you focus on, you create.

My goal in this post is to help encourage everyone to not be bashful or ashamed for the lemons life has given you. You can let them sour or you can make lemon meringue pie among other things, whether sweet or savory.

Gratitude is bestowed to these wonderful influences in my life, for they have made a difference not just in a moment but in my perspective of myself and the world around me.

Anosmia and Artificial Flavoring

As aforementioned, I acquired anosmia versus being a congenital case. Therefore, I understand if those of you who have had aosmia your whole life either understanding or not understanding some of my posts about this condition regarding food and eating.

I have never loved food. The reasons are a whole different story. However, there are things I enjoyed before I had anosmia. There are some things about my former life that I have realized are still part of who I am and my preferences.

You would think that artificial flavoring would not affect anosmics, because we only taste from our taste buds and miss the 95% of “taste,” which is flavor. Here’s the thing. There are foods that have taste condiments, which offer more sweet, sour, salty, and occasionally bitter. Chocolate is the closest food to tasting as it was. HOWEVER, chocolate flavoring versus genuine chocolate DO NOT taste the same. I would think this is more known to us, as there is probably a way to offer the aroma of chocolate giving the one eating fulfillment, as flavor is a huge facet in eating to most.

Due to this realization of imitation chocolate flavoring, I have come to understand that artificial flavoring does matter. The point of this is that reading labels or what is written in fine print is pertinent if you are seeking to enjoy what you are eating. Furthermore, understanding that flavoring is not the same as the genuine food offering tastes is not the same. Therefore, at bare minimum understanding this can keep you from feeling disappointment that the food does not taste as you remember.

I do understand that hardly anything tastes what it did before becoming anosmic; however, understanding limitations along with having a moment of some pleasure eating is better than always being down in the mouth (pun intended).

Redefinition, Reinvention, and Stumbling on the “Old Me” Who is Still There

In many ways, there are injuries and events that change who we are. I could write about TBIs and all the changes that occur physically, emotionally, behaviorally, and more. However, I am going to slant this outside of the medical world before formally venturing there.

Twenty-six years ago I was a waitress/server. After I became pregnant with my oldest, I quit work so I could be a stay-at-home mother. After that, her father and I eventually visited the restaurant franchise where I was a server. Even though I was not in uniform, my mind and emotions took on that role, as if I was on shift at that very moment. I heard the orders being called to the cooks, the salad bar’s containers that needed to be refilled and more. I could not relax. Here I was a server and could not be a leisurely patron at this restaurant. I even found that at many restaurants I would still mentally be working. It was void of being able to relax.

After a while, I thought to myself how ridiculous this was and how I should place myself in the role of being a patron/customer. It developed to the point that every once in a while I request the server for something I would prefer, which took some gumption, as I always saw it as making the server be put under more demands and stress. In other words, I had to reinvent how I saw myself along with my actions at a restaurant. I have always been independent and have never reveled in being served. That waitress is still in me.. the older version of me is still there. I stack the plates, etc. when my party and I are preparing to leave and pay the bill.  Actually, it is comforting for me to do this for the server. I have had that sort of job.

So, I have a new me, whether I want her or not. When you have had a brain injury, things change. For some, there can be loss of limbs or ability to move a portion of their bodies in the same way they could. I have that a little but not as much as emotional, psychological and behavioral changes. I used to keep my thoughts and feelings totally to myself. I still do that some; however, I don’t do it all the time. I have come to learn that some of these changes are healthy for me, whereas “stuffing” all thoughts and feelings may be more amiable to everyone else, it is more unhealthy for the person doing this. So, the first step is to see the good sides in the “new hand” that life has given.

My injury took place August 24, 2014. My battle for the “old me” unknowingly began around October 3, 2014, as that was the day I was released from the hospital. I did not know I was fighting until around May 16, 2015. All I saw for so long is everything I am not anymore. It is as if anything I appreciated about myself seemed to be gone. HOWEVER, this is not true. I was a daredevil from the time I was a little girl. I pushed the bar with the restrictions with my return home. Yes, I know that going beyond what is recommended/advised by the medical field is not the wisest choice. I wanted to be free, and felt like all of these rules were caging me. Upon a recent conversation with my husband, I revealed all the different ways I have crept beyond the line or attempted to do so from decades ago. These are all fun moments to remember BUT NOT ONLY THAT! Just speaking about them HAD ME REALIZE SHE’S STILL THERE!!! Sure, I’m more vocal and I see how that can be frustrating. Yes, my daredevil side is there; however, THAT’S PART OF THE OLD ME! What that means is I’m not an alien to myself. Sure, there are facets about me that have changed, but I have loved music and singing since I had a gym set. I have been a daredevil for most all my life at least a little. So, I have changed. The grief is a lot less coming to grips with the facets and characteristics/traits of me that HAVE NOT CHANGED.I am not saying all my “old ways” are the safest or even advisable to maintain; however, there is more inward peace and acceptance of myself between the combination of understanding the good things that have developed and the fun ones that are still there.

The other beauty in this is the ability to dream and not only be redefined by the event itself but also to reinvent oneself. Part of my reinvention is to write about such things to help others.. not for accolades, just to help others in ways I may or may never know. In the past, I only had hats relating to my family (friends are family too) and not others. Now, I have invented the idea of creating a firsthand voice and responding to those I know and do not know. I would not be writing about anosmia or all these changes if it were not for that TBI. However, there is NEW compassion and NEW comraderie along with a NEW zeal to write my positive experiences to help all those others out there fighting their own battles. As aforementioned, no accolades are sought. Giving with no expected results is quite wonderful.

Appreciation Vs. Loss

I was released from the rehabilitation center for my TBI on October 3, 2014 after my accident happened August 24, 2014. Since that return home, there have been many battles. The primary battles have been regarding loss and change. TBI survivors often acquire Alzheimer’s or dementia. A local chiropractic neurologist linked that to depression. Upon talking to my husband, he stated that when one is depressed it takes all that person’s attention and that person becomes forgetful of everything outside of the topic causing depression. Ironically, patients with Alzheimer’s are better with schedules. They become adapted to the schedules and even less accustomed TO CHANGE or the feeling of LOSS.

I have not appreciated my husband enough lately. I have not tried to show this; however, I have pined and longed for “how we were” and “how Dan was.” However, how can Dan be the same? He almost lost his wife. He had to play both the mother and father role suddenly without his wife for about six weeks. I cannot be the same even if I try, at least not totally. How can Dan be the same? Why should I pine for something that cannot happen?

Amidst all this pining, appreciation has been diminished. Many TBI couples divorce. That TBI survivor does not act exactly the same or maybe that survivor cannot physically do what he/she did, whether math, see, smell, taste, hear, read, move, etc. Surviving such a thing and having cognitive skills with no new reference markers to who and how we are, there is a slower understanding of changes to the survivor. There is a slower understanding of to whom and what our loved one/s have lived and adapted.

Today, I talked to a friend about my fall and how my husband had to plan meals, be the business secretary again (I proudly took that role early in our relationship), adjust to a more confined, smaller house in the middle of the chaos while not knowing i I would keep breathing or have cognitive skills. I then relayed how I miss “that look” he would give me and some of “the feelings” that seem to outwardly be gone. They’re not gone.. they are changed.. in a new light, but they are not gone. However, without “the look” it has felt that way. However, coffee on the porch, calls when he is returning home, and even a milkshake now and then on his arrival.. those scream the love is still there and is shown in ways and methods that were not there in the past; however, back then, he did not have a job away from home. My point is I am on a path to regain appreciation of the “changed” Dan due to the “changed” me. I’m more outward with my feelings, and he is more outward with his. It may feel worse; however, if he stuffed his emotions like I had my whole life, THAT WOULD BE WHAT IS WORSE.

It is saddening to know I accidentally took him for granted and have not appreciated him as much as I can (and should).  Maybe I don’t give him a certain look and will give it again without ever knowing it was there or gone. Regardless, appreciation is a much better focus than on things and relationships that cannot return to how and what they were.

Happy New Nose! by Debbie Jinks

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2016 and here’s hoping you’re still with me on this blog! I wonder what this year will bring? The eating thing wasn’t too bad over Christmas, I managed, but it definitely wasn’t the same, and a lot of thought went into what I could or couldn’t handle, which was great of  my family. I may not have eaten much at all otherwise.
Will I get my sense of smell back? Will I get my sense of taste back? Will I give up? No to that one. But 2015 ended up being a very bad year for me and I really don’t know what to expect this year, how much fight I’ve got left……I’m not starting on a very good note really.
Good grief snap out of it Debbie you’re going to scare everybody off before they even start reading the first post of 2016. Sorry, finished telling myself off now. Are you still here?
As I write this post it’s the evening of January the 2nd so I may not finish it tonight. I had a bit of a moment when I thought I wouldn’t even be able to start it……and now my heads gone so I’ll try again tomorrow, sorry.

That’s better, I’ve been talking to some of my Anosmia group friends which has bucked me up. Thanks to you all as ever.
I think I’m finding the start to the year frightening as I really don’t know if I will ever heal, I know I keep going on about fighting all the time but it doesn’t mean it’s going to work. I make a lot of daft jokes on this blog sometimes to give my self some positivity, but also so it’s not going to depress the hell out of you all.

Thankfully I have people that keep me sane and these are three of them, (apart from the one on the bottom left), being me, and I look insane despite this.

There ya go I’m getting positive again, nothing like a bit of family support to cheer me up. There are many more supportive and wonderful family and friends out there of course, but this is a cool picture so I thought I’d Share it with you.

However, I think next month, February the 7th to be exact, will be a very testing time for me as that date will be my first Anosmic Anniversary. One year ago on that day, I banged  my head and came round finding I’d lost two of my senses. Anyway onwards and upwards as they say, but be prepared for a few tears on that day, even though you can’t see them……no I will not post a photograph of it!
Mulling it over I think I’m coping ok at the moment, for those who haven’t read my first few posts have a look and you’ll see what I mean.

(Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Debbie for opening up about her experiences with Anosmia. Many people live with conditions that most would never see, experiance or understand but to read about them allows us to open our minds to situations we cant comprehend. To read more from Debbie you can visit her personal blog (icantsmellathing.blogspot.com) or check out her author page here.)

One Night Changed my Life Forever by Debbie Jinks

I didn’t think going to a friends for dinner would turn out to be a life changing experience, (yes she’s a great cook, but not for that reason!) It is a day that has been burned into my memory for the rest of my life. Saturday 7th February 2015 – the day my life came crashing down, or should I say I came crashing down, quite literally!

I had been at her house for all of five minutes when I bent down to get something from my bag. I stood up too quickly, went dizzy and fainted. As I crashed towards the floor I hit the back of my head on the wall. Not just a little knock, a large thump.

When I came round again, I had a major headache and a huge bump on the back of my head. But other than that I was perfectly fine. Or at least I thought so at the time. It seems that may have been a little naïve.

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It wasn’t until a short while later that I realised things were not quite right. The curry that my friend was lovingly attending to was bubbling away, but I couldn’t smell it. The scented candle burning on a side table next to me looked pretty, but yet again, I couldn’t smell it.

But that wasn’t all. As we sat down to eat and I raised the ‘scentless’ curry to my tongue, I discovered that not only was I missing its heady aroma, but I couldn’t taste it. At all.

That was when my nightmare began.

My little fainting turn had caused me to contract what the professionals call ‘Anosmia’.

I’m won’t bore you with the ‘science bit’ but in a nutshell, Anosmia is a complete loss of your sense of smell. It can be congenital, meaning you are born with it or, as in my case, acquired. This can happen for a number of reasons, a severe sinus infection for one or (in my case) a severe head trauma!

Unfortunately for me when I fainted and hit my head, the impact was so hard that it rattled my brain, (yes I do have one) so violently that my Olfactory Nerve Fibres were severed.

These tiny delicate fibres are attached to my Olfactory Bulb. A structure in the brain that processes information about odours. So as they were no longer attached to it, they couldn’t tell my brain what things smelt like anymore.

But to add insult to injury, as smell is very much interlinked with the taste receptors, (think about when you have a bad cold, your taste is often dulled or almost non-existent, isn’t it?) I stopped being able to taste as well. It is important to point out that this isn’t always the case but is a common occurrence.

The next few months were excruciating. I didn’t feel like myself anymore. At least not the me who used to relish the smell of freshly cut grass when I was out running in the sunshine, or the me who liked nothing better than to bury my now bloody useless nose into a bouquet of scented flowers – honeysuckle, lavender. I could bore you with a list, but the fact of the matter is that you never realise what you love the smell of until all of a sudden you can’t smell it anymore.

My perfume for example. I would stare at the bottles and think “may as well chuck that out now” and my scented body wash “I should probably just use unscented soap.”

Even my husband’s aftershave. The one I buy him every year for Christmas. That’s the smell of ‘my husband’, isn’t it? That special smell we associate with the ones we love?

Right I need to stop reminiscing or I’ll cry all over my keyboard.

My whole life changed and it was devastating.

I was unhappy. Resentful. Angry.

Why me?!

Oh yes and let’s not forget the food thing. Ever since I was a kid I loved my food, but what is the point of eating when everything tastes like… well… nothing!

It didn’t taste anymore!

The ‘flavour’ has disappeared from my life and Anosmia had robbed it from me.

I hate that word. Anosmia. It’s like that mean girl at school whose very name makes you frown and growl.

If I was blindfolded and food was put in front of me even now, I couldn’t tell you what it was unless certain obvious textures gave it away

I had to force myself to eat, and sometimes I just didn’t bother. Cue the lovely little added side affect of this condition – yep you guessed it… the weight started to fall off. Slowly at first, then as I got increasingly defeated and unhappy, more quickly until I pretty much stopped eating altogether.

This is when the doctors started to worry! Protein supplements were now the order of the day, and yes I was ordered! But it wasn’t until I collapsed at work and ended up in A&E with such low blood sugar that I could have fallen into a coma, that the severity of my condition really hit me.

In a crazy way this was a wake up call for me. I now try to eat sensibly, or at least try to eat enough! I’m still a skinny little wimp, but better than I was and no longer at death’s door, yes it sounds melodramatic, but that is how bad it became. Who would have thought losing my sense of smell could result in me almost losing my life? It seems ridiculous to those on the outside, but trust me, walk a day in my shoes and you quickly realise just how much you rely on this under appreciated sense.

no apetite

Almost a year and a half down the line, I’m still here. Still fighting and still Anosmic. There is no cure, you see. Sometimes the nerve fibres can heal, (for instance, I can now tell you if it something is sweet or savoury – that in itself is a massive leap forward) depending on the extent of the damage.

It seems my nerves are as determined as me to get back to their normal self. They have been trying to reattach themselves to my Olfactory Bulb, and I battle with the positive and negative repercussions of that every single day!

But that’s another story, if the lovely ‘Glass House Girls’ will have me back I’ll tell you more about Parosmia -ghost smells.

Have I whet your appetite? Oops bad choice of phrase!

(Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Debbie for opening up about her experiences with Anosmia. Many people live with conditions that most would never see, experiance or understand but to read about them allows us to open our minds to situations we cant comprehend. To read more from Debbie you can visit her personal blog (icantsmellathing.blogspot.com) or check out her author page here.)

Isolation, Self-Isolation Vs. Compensation Therapy

This portion was written March 27, 2016.

It has been 19 months and 2 days since my 20 foot fall onAugust 24, 2014. October 3,2014, I learned that I can no longer smell. My first reaction was shock. I learned when I whiffed my husband’schest to smell his cologne while we were watching a movie. I learned that it was not there. When we returned home, I picked up every bottle that had a scent: dishwashing detergent, bleach,shampoo,etc. Nothing..It was all gone. A short time later, I told my neurosurgeon about this find, and he replied that if it did not return six months from my accident that it was permanent. There was no warning of danger. There was no emphasis to keep eating and to find a way to enjoy it. Maybe he did not say anything because there is nothing he can do to fix a dead olfactory nerve.

As time passed, I learned I cannot “taste” flavor anymore. I learn that all I have is what my taste buds allow me to have and that flavors are stimulated from smell. This caused me to not want to eat. I would rather other people enjoy food than me “steal” it from them. After all, the enjoyment was and still is gone. Every time smell is mentioned, it has caused me to feel isolated. My response was to cut myself off even more, thinking that would reduce the pain. However, it only causes more pain to be isolated from the world and then to cut myself off from it even more.

My husband, Dan, loves fragrant flowers. He bought some for our new yard last spring. Every time the wind would blow and he could smell their fragrances, he would mention it. It is sad, I will not lie. Then, my granddaughter made remarks, so instead of letting it bring me down, I took her around our yard to smell every blooming bush we had. I did this for her, and I did it for me to help me to raise my head higher and at least for the moment not feel such loss.

This year we had mandevillas die over the winter. I decided to buy jasmine for my husband to give him what he loves: fragrant flowers. Was it difficult to open the store’s door? Yes. It was even more difficult to talk to the representative about my loss and my goal.. and how I cannot begin to sense what might be the most fragrant. I brought the dormant vine back, and we have planted it.

My whole reasoning behind buying this vine is to help me face what I will never gain. Furthermore, it is to give permission to my loved ones to enjoy what they have not lost. I do not have the end of this story yet; however, this seems much healthier than giving in to the natural isolation followed by me causing more isolation. I am the cause of this jasmine being in our yard, and I am the one giving pleasure to my husband. No, I cannot enjoy it as he can. Yet, giving to him beyond what I can personally experience does offer fulfillment. After all, I love him and my children so much that I do not want to keep them from pleasure.

I believe this is a concept that can be used by many, not just anosmics. We all have disabilities or deficiencies. We should not deprive others from what they still have. Furthermore, when we give to them in the ways we cannot appreciate firsthanded shows and gives loves beyond comfort; however, it helps us accept our faults ALONG WITH opens to door to forgiving ourselves of the shortcomings we have in our lives.


This part was written June 4. 2016.

I have given more thought into compensation therapy. I bought a jasmine plant for my husband for his pleasure and the hopes that I could slowly accept my olfactory nerve being dead for life. The thing is there are so many other people who have suffered loss or never functioned with all the senses and body parts as the average healthy human was born having. Writing about smell loss is not enough. Furthermore, this concept has not had enough articulation. Below is a list of losses and ways for each of them to be accepted and even vicarious appreciation that others have what we do not. I will be adding emotional issues onto this. As aforementioned, the array is vast and will take time for me to explore and articulate any conditions and challenges that come to mind to help us all to accept and forgive ourselves for things we cannot help. Furthermore, I will be posting ideas to help social issues, as they are correlated to many brain conditions, not to mention this may be how any one reading might already function without any biological / physiological reason known.

 

Forward thinking! by Debbie Jinks

Back to reality folks. I was determined to be strong and practice my smell training every day, but its been a bit of a rollercoaster ride these last few weeks to say the least so I haven’t really stuck to it.
This doesn’t mean that I’ve given up, but Chris Kelly herself said you have to be in the right frame of mind to do it and well, not to put too finer point on it I have had some crap going on so lets leave it there! In fact so much so I’m kicking Anosmia out of the door for this post at least!
I have to heal in more ways than one. Not just my rubbish nerve fibres that are being stubborn sods and not trying hard enough in my opinion, but my whole being. My head = big mess at the moment. Life can really chuck it at you sometimes and its throwing everything at me including the kitchen sink!  So I suppose this is why I am sitting in front of my laptop now without a clue what to write about. Self doubt is a biggy for me at the moment. I need to write something so –

Questions
Have I got anything to say….yes
Do I know where to start….no
Have I lost my self worth….yes
Have I lost my sense of smell and taste….yes.  Oops, I know I said no Anosmia mentions, but I couldn’t resist that!
Have I lost it…not totally or I wouldn’t have managed a funny just then.
Can I still write this blog….yes but it may change so I hope that’s ok with you guys.
Am I waffling…I hope not

Ok the ‘self worth’ question is a bit heavy going because deep down I know I am good at things, I’m a singer, a lyricist, a singing coach, a writer or at least trying to be!  (By the way this is a rehearsal photograph, we do usually have an audience honest!)  And I’ve done all of these things successfully as a career for a long time, including the writing eventually I hope. Now all I have to do is convince myself that I canstill be this person, even after everything that’s happened.  Oh that sounds better already doesn’t it?

I also have a cunning plan…..a Website, yep my very own. Focussed around what I’ve just written on here.On-line singing lessons for a start, what do you think? The ideas are starting to form, and are not bad ones at that, now all I need to do is stay motivated for long enough to put them all into practice.  I hope you lot are with me on this one, this little blog of mine was what kept me sane when I first became Anosmic and your kind comments and the fact that you stuck with me and read the posts has all helped. So if you’d like to hang around some more, that would be great! Let’s do this!

(Note from The Editor: Many thanks to Debbie for opening up about her experiences with Anosmia. Many people live with conditions that most would never see, experiance or understand but to read about them allows us to open our minds to situations we cant comprehend. To read more from Debbie you can visit her personal blog (icantsmellathing.blogspot.com) or check out her author page here.)

“The New Me” vs. “A Changed Me”

Since my return home in October 2014, I’ve been fighting the idea of “the new me.” It wasn’t until reading the Oliver Sacks’ preface to “An Anthropologist on Mars ” did I learn a new perspective. The concept is that there is “a changed me,” with my body and mind compensating for the changes in me that I have obtained.

The idea of change is more forgiving and accepting than fighting for the old me, whom I will never have again due to mind and body changes.  Mr. Sacks articulated how the mind and body are wondrous, compensating with and even underneath awareness. It’s s losing battle to fight for what cannot return.  I am invigorated to find a substantial view with acceptance instead of pursuing insanity filled with an impossible dream .