Brain Injury Awareness Month? I Guess I Forgot. I’ve Had Too Many Concussions.
Before you get pissed off at me, let me be clear. I’ve had more TBIs than most NFL players. Twenty-one, so far. So I speak from plenty of (mostly self-inflicted) experience.
This morning I read, with much empathy, a story on Medium by Blake Hrubes. This young man had an injury that was far worse than mine, and while I am happy to poke fun at my own foibles, his was no joke.
However, this one line leapt out at me:
When I think of myself, I think of the words resilient, empowered, bright, strong, adaptive, and confident.
I can hang with that. Big time, Blake.
As someone who periodically suffers from extreme emotional outbreaks, difficulty focusing, and some of the other inevitable side effects of too many conks to the coconut, I live with a completely unpredictable brain which can at times embarrass the shit out of me.
Like two nights ago, when after fielding something like fifty scammer calls during the course of what had been an already tough day, I got one too many. I didn’t recognize the number, picked up my phone and screamed GO FUCK YOURSELF at full volume.
It was my doctor.
Well then. That goes a long way towards building close personal relationships with one’s caregivers.
Life with brains that periodically rattle around like a rocks in a coffee can be fun. By the way, as we age, the brain does shrink a bit, so that there is indeed a greater likelihood that the granite that substitutes for my grey matter does indeed bonk against my cranium more than it used to.
Of course that shrinkage also depends on certain lifestyle habits, some of which we indulge in with a great deal more regularity than just on March 17th and 25th (stay with me here), so there’s hope.
What Blake’s article pointed out that I didn’t know was that March is Brain Injury Awareness month. My problem is that I have a hard enough time focusing on the holidays and awarenesses that I’m already supposed to know about in March that this one slipped past me.
To wit: I got a lovely card in the mail, no less, from my VA Center, offering thanks for my service as a veteran. It says that in March we celebrate Women’s Veteran’s History Month.
I seemed to have totally missed Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (March 1st). There doesn’t seem to be much instruction as to how one celebrates this, from spreading it liberally on one’s apples or the apple of one’s eye, which sounds like a hell of a lot more fun to me.
I am very glad that most of us seemed to have missed National Old Stuff Day, March 2nd. Because in this youth-obsessed society, it’s possible that everyone under 30 might well have bundled all of us oldsters off to Siberia. Too bad that didn’t land on my ex’s birthday, which is the 4th, because he got his AARP card this year. I threw his old stuff (interview suits, a winter coat, a leather jacket) into the trash a while back. I didn’t need a designated day to do that.
The ex actually shares March 4th with Casimir Pulaski Day (no, you can’t make this stuff up), who fought for America, but wasn’t awarded citizenship until Obama made it official some 230 years later. Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski (no, really)was one of the fathers of the American Cavalry, in which my grandfather later served in WWII.
God I love that name. It’s just ever so much more impressive, than, say,
Kairo. Or Kynlee.
(Baby names that sound like Star Trek characters are an epidemic. And people criticize African Americans for creative and inventive names? Get.Over.Your. Self. Who is anybody to criticize anybody?) At least we’ve seen- for now- the last of Buffy and Biff.
But I digress.
I have to admit a certain fondness for National Panic Day, which I completely failed to celebrate, probably because I was in a fucking panic on March 9th.
In another unfortunate bit of bad timing, March 13th came too early, as it is when we celebrate the 232nd Anniversary of the Discovery of Uranus. Unfortunate, because only four days later, virtually everyone I know turns into a flaming one on St. Patrick’s Day. The only day you’re unlikely to get pulled over in the Windy City is because most of the beat cops are cabbaged at Fado’s or O’Callaghan’s.
For the classists among you, of course there is the Ides of March, the 15th.
For my fellow Shakespeare fans, this is a bad month to be close to people in power. As the great man said,
Let me have men about me that are fat,
Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
He thinks too much; such men are dangerous
Caesar would have little to worry about these days, given that there are damned few Americans who are lean and hungry. I suspect he’d sleep just fine after walking around a theme park. As for the current people in power, virtually all of them know it’s a bad day every single day to be in this Administration. Next job after working at the White House? Stamping state license plates for the Great State of New York.
Of course we have a day for Trump, which is today in fact. While I seriously doubt the Orange Pumpkin-butt is aware, today is Everything You Do is Right Day. For the Idiot-in-Chief, for him that’s every day. My guess is that someone over at Hallmark had empathy for those of us perpetual fuckups who needed ONE day to feel righteous. Even if we commit pedophilia, which is cool for Catholic priests, because all they have to do is line up at the closest confessional. They’re priests. Everything they do is right, right?
I have to skip to the one day that I have to admit, does it for me. National Puppy Day. March 23rd, to be exact. I am tempted- because I have time to plan- to head over to the local animal shelter and get licked to death. Now that’s a holiday worth celebrating. In fact, I might just wanna lobby to make every day National Puppy Day. But that’s just me.
In fact I vote that we make the whole year Animal Year. Animal fucking Century.
Since March 25th has dual duty, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Medal of Honor (also given to my fellow female military peep Dr. Mary E. Walker) and National Waffle Day, I vote to head to the closest IHOP. Let’s lift a butter-and syrup-soaked mouthful to this remarkable woman, who helped open doors for my fellow female vets that we’re also celebrating this month. Oh, and whipped cream, please.
Finally, although Americans on occasion have difficulty with the French (to say nothing of pronouncing the vowels), the last day of the month goes to that lovely icon of Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Why do we care? Because Gustav Eiffel was also critical to the design of the lovely lady who greets (previously welcomed with open arms) immigrants right next to Staten Island. I vote we lift our collective French fries to a lovely memory and hope for days when she can be proud of us again. Sadly so many of us do this so often that this is why the current Caesar has no need to worry about any lean and hungry-looking folk.
Of course, we also have International French Language day, but of course that website is in French.
It’s a busy month, by god. I’ve already forgotten everything I just wrote. Now what was I supposed to be celebrating?
But wait. I’m not done yet.
The UN has its own list of what we should be celebrating: Women, Happiness, Wildlife (what’s left of it) Forests (what’s left of them) Water (what’s left that’s potable and safe for fish), Poetry, Happiness(what’s left of it), Down’s Syndrome, Meteorological Sciences (which is of course fake news), Tuberculosis, and several days dedicated to Slavery, Discrimination and Human Rights victims.
Oh, and one day for missing and/or detained staff members.
Look, given that the UN is celebrating nearly every damned day of the month, it’s quite possible that more than a few staff members wandered off to pee against the side of the building and got detained for indecency.
What do I know? I’m celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month.