Books have always had my heart. Reading came easy and quick for me. Prior to being hit by a car, I could read a book a night. I’d start at 10 pm and finish at 1 am. Night after night. It was one of the quiet joys of my life.
Until… I couldn’t.
Reading just one paragraph became a challenge that could bring me to tears. The words would swim before my eyes and I felt stupid. I couldn’t get my brain to focus long enough to decipher the words and sentences. I’d try to read a job description and end up in tears because I realized if I couldn’t read the description, I clearly couldn’t do the job.
Not being able to read because of the TBI (traumatic brain injury) was one of the biggest identity losses during the early years of recovery. They didn’t even identify the affects of the TBI until more than two years after the accident. It took persistence, speaking up, finding the right doctors, self-advocacy, and courage to finally get the right testing to identify what had really happened and how to restore function.
I’m so thankful that I have regained much of that function. I’m also incredibly grateful for the much greater capacity for compassion and understanding that I have for others who struggle with reading.
Books will always hold a place near and dear to my heart. Even as we become global nomadic adventurers, there will surely be a few boxes of favorites that get saved in storage while we go!