by LISA COX
Still reading? Great. Unfortunately, some people wouldn’t have read past the headline. This is a post about acquired brain injury (ABI). The invisible disability.
Still reading? Even better. ABI isn’t glamorous, trust me, I have one.
It isn’t fashionable or trendy and Hollywood won’t be tweeting about it. True, ABI is boring, confusing, tiring and bloody scary at times, but it affects over 1.6 million Australians. And of those with ABI, three quarters are under the age of 65.
I had a routine appointment with my Neurologist, Rob, the other day. Rob’s a nice enough guy but I kinda wish we’d never met.
I don’t remember our first introduction but it was early 2005. I was 24 years old and had just had a brain haemorrhage – like a stroke. That’s right, young, fit and healthy, non-smoking women have strokes and acquire brain injury too.
While Rob stepped out for a few minutes, I passed the time by admiring the ‘artwork’ in the room. There was the OH&S poster reminding staff to wash their hands, an eye chart and a few atomically detailed diagrams. But what really caught my attention was the brain wall.
Ok, it didn’t have Warhol-wow-factor but it was pretty cool. The wall was adorned with pictures of brains. Countless photos from CAT scans, MRIs and other nuclear medicine imagery. No really the sort of picture you’d want to tag on Facebook.
Anyway, it got me thinking. Who were these people? Who owned these brains?
One of these brains could have belonged to Einstein, Kylie Minogue, Richard Branson or Mia Freedman and how would I know the difference?
A scan of Paris Hilton’s noggin could have been right in front of me or perhaps it was a Kardashian brain in the top right hand corner on the wall?
Anyway, back to my story. So I’m surrounded by pictures of brains. Not the highlight of my week but it really got my neurocognitive functions firing.
Without the layers of makeup, designer clothes and accessories, we’re really all the same. Miranda Kerr looks no different from you and my boyfriend will be delighted to know that in a CAT scan he looks just like Ryan Gosling.