1/6/17

Seven Year Anniversary

Today is the seven year anniversary of me having an unexpected carotid artery dissection, which led to an aneurysm, which caused a stroke, which caused significant brain damage.
I had to undergo a risky surgery that involved having a stent inserted into my upper neck so that I didn't bleed to death.
I had to re-learn the alphabet, my family member's names, my friend's names.
I had to re-learn to read via children's books.
For a while, I felt very nervous that I might not be able to write poetry anymore, even though poetry had been my primary passion in life for years. Sometimes my own poetry doesn't make sense to other people, but for a while it didn't even make sense to me!
Fortunately, I think it was my genuine passion for words and writing and individualistic communication and creative expression and poetry that had a powerful impact on my recovery. I'm pretty sure anyone who met me these days would have no idea that I had underwent such serious brain damage.
I still have issues with some easy words, but since I'm a word-based person, I've gotten pretty good at replacing those words with other words. Actually, I think it's pretty interesting that the words I have the most trouble with are the easy basic words, but I'm fine with uneasy unusual big words.

Also, sometimes I can't think of a word, but I can think of its first letter and VISUALIZE the words length. However my brain healed itself from its neurological damage, I'm now more visual than I used to be.

The stroke didn't change my overall personality, but I do feel it made me more mentally prone to separating the genuinely REAL from the FAKE when it comes to friendship, relationships, and love.

***

Little update: The last paragraph above could probably be interpreted (or possibly misinterpreted) in different ways, in part since I got tried while writing it and lost the energy to elaborate, but I can say it wasn't directed at any one person, situation or relationship.

It was directed at various different kinds of relationships in general.

And sometimes it's hard for me to understand what "friendship" or "love" means to other people, because it means a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

And I think all of those things are fine, as long as they're genuine.
***

"Post-Stroke my words are not over-
ly obvious. Why on earth should my
non overly obvious poetry be dead?


1. Telebloodied brain cadaver with pernicious red limp.
2. Telebloodied drain dagger with growing open limbs.

3. My carotid swirling, awaited a dangerous blow torch
from the crotch; clicked in, rose up, added platinum mesh
deep inside my odd head. In spite of my almost annihilation.

4. A vicious new voice will slowly seep out of my skull.
5. Will spill more pretty crooked plucked out wordage."

***


the first poem from the first tiny little poetry chapbook I created after my stroke:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/69547229/post-stroke-by-juliet-cook?ref=shop_home_active_16