Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Twelve years ago, I heard the first plane hit the World Trade Center in New York with my own ears. I smelled pulverized steel and people with my own nose. I felt the street shake as if an earthquake had struck when the first tower came down with my own two feet. I was there, and it was a terrible day.

What has it to do with recovering from brain damage after a stroke, though?

In the hours and days following the attack, my horror and sorrow were tinged with optimism: the tragedy was an opportunity, a chance at introspection, a shock that had a chance to change a country's way of thought. A moment to ask why? and to make the connections that would preclude another such attack.

Since having a stroke, I have been happy to make connections that I might otherwise never have made. With the Eqyptian-American guy I know whose father has had a stroke, with devout Christian midwesterners that I have little in common with but brain damage and most of all with friends from my past that have turned out to be good friends still.

I've also connected briefly with other stroke and brain injury sufferers talking at (and participating in) the ASPIRE program, and I hope that this blog is useful or informative for those who've had a stroke, or their carers.

It's not enough, though; I want more. I want to be able to have a conversation with someone who has first-hand experience of brain injury. I want to share the stupid weirdnesses of not having a limb respond when you think it will with somebody who has empathy, not sympathy. I want someone who gets it to share war stories and bore stories with.

So if you're lurking, talk to me.

Also, all you other people, what do you want to know? If you're too shy to ask in public, I'm not too shy to answer and my email address is my first and last names

After 9/11, I learned some Arabic, and after I had a stroke, I kept talking; but I want to converse. I don't love the sound of my own voice that much.

For the record, I wrote about my experiences on the day.