Survival stories are important

March is TBI awareness month. Supposedly there are around 1.5 million TBI’s per year. There are also 3.1 million individuals who are disabled (and living with a disability) because of TBI. I couldn’t really get my head around that, but maybe many of the 1.5 million TBI’s are “just” concussions which under normal circumstances wouldn’t likely cause significant disability. My own TBI was a severe variety, comatose 53 days, hospitalized 49 days. I was on Dilantin as an anti-seizure medicine until I attempted suicide by taking about 3 times the normal dosage, I then had ice cream, which I suppose slowed the dissolvation of the pills, and when I told my mom, she got me to an emergency room, they gave me ipecac, and that tasted bad, and I threw up the pills. I think it was determined then that I needed to not be on Dilantin. That was a long time ago. Growing up with limitations caused by the TBI (slow speech, left side weakness, reduced effective executive functioning, and some other “typical right frontal TBI” impacts on social skills). Junior high was lonely, high school was lonely, I did okay academically. I had an apple II c with a 300 baud modem, and connected to the world of computer mediated communications (BBSes at the time) I enjoyed the interaction at a higher level than I usually experienced when people were dealing with me face to face. At Florida State University, I discovered the internet. I was away from home, and had some interaction with some vocational rehab counselors who wanted to get Marty trained so that he could get a job, and not be on SSDI, or whatever system. I ended up getting an undergraduate degree in Religious studies, and a Master’s Degree in Library Science. With the Library degree, I was working in a medical library at a VA Hospital, and because I was touching computers, showing people about the internet and stuff, the head of the computer department offered me a job working with computers at the VA Hospital. I’ve been employed at the hospital for 17 and a half to three-quarters years by now.
I conclude in my observations, that suicide doesn’t really solve problems. It leaves holes. Nature abhors a vacuum, so holes get filled, but people who care really can’t understand. I conclude that there’s probably some internal dialogue that goes on, some trying to make sense of things.
I enjoy going to disney, and observing others have fun. I also like walking around at Epcot. I don’t drive, and I live in close proximity to the VA Hospital where I work. I usually walk home. I am Married. I met my wife at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa on one of the days that temporary workers (my status at the time) for the federal government weren’t to report to work (the government shut down). We started as boyfriend girlfriend, but 10 months later, we were married. We eloped, my mom was talking about wanting to get a flutist for the wedding, and my future wife thought that Flutists were over the top. We went on a cruise as a honeymoon.
Life is given to us so that we may experience it to the best of our ability. Our capacity for experiencing life can grow, as can our understanding. We can have fun.

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