I remember when I was “Wet behind the ears” and out of the hospital after experiencing a brain injury as a teenager. I had an AVM which stands for Arteriovenous Malformation.

I always thought it was a brain aneurysm until I was corrected, but yea, this happened to me!

 An AVM is a tangle of abnormal and poorly formed blood vessels (arteries and veins). They have a higher rate of bleeding than normal vessels. … Brain AVMs are of special concern because of the damage they cause when they bleed. – Wikipedia

I eventually upgraded to a walker which didn’t help for trying to pickup girls like the cane did (Continue reading). I looked like an old (young) man pushing a walker and it was difficult to hold onto the handle with my left hand since I had left side paralysis from my brain injury. During this time, it was difficult to embrace my brain injury because I was still forming an identity. I wasn’t the same person before my brain injury and it took time to find my wheels and feel comfortable. I believe many brain injury survivors go through this and it differs depending on the severity of their injury.

After being released from the hospital I was first in a wheel chair. I remember going out with the family to rehab/therapy, malls and other places, but I can’t recount too much on the experience since I was still waking up and coming to after being in the hospital for so long including a coma.

I’m one of the lucky ones who was only left with left side paralysis and double vision. I work out often to stay strong and most people now-a-days can’t even tell that I’m any different.

TRANSITION TO- The days of the cane or pimp cane as I called it- 

Now, let me add I do not endorse pimps but as a 15-year-old with a sense of humor I used the pimp cane to shed a sense of humor out of the situation. Moreover, since my left hand was so weak my family and I often called it the crip hand, and I would say “I need to keep the crip hand strong!”

This was during the time ‘Scary Movie’ came out starring Anna Faris which included a creepy house keeper who had a shriveled weak hand and would say “Hello child, let me give you a little pinch” using his weak hand to pinch the cheek of another. I often did this to friends, family and even waitresses to be funny and people would belly out laughs! I even used the same crackling voice of the character from the movie.

This was certainly an example of embracing my brain injury!

After moving on from the pimp cane I was flying free on my own with a pronounced hitch in my getty up. Alright, it was a limp but keeping true to embracing my brain injury I called it the pimp walk. I think anyone who has a limp can say it comes with the challenge of not feeling like everyone is looking at you while you’re walking. It’s as if you’re the only person in the room and all eyes are on you when you have a limp, but I don’t think that’s the true case.

With my unique gate I was able to have some swanky dance moves which I used to my advantage. Something, that was nice about doing a dance like the lawnmower was my limp lent a swagger in my step and impromptu dancing became an escape from walking in front of others. Plus, it was fun!

Advice for other brain injury survivors or anyone who has a disability: dance when you can! It’ll bring a smile to your face and others around you. Even if you’re in a wheel chair, try to have fun. Do the wave or worm with your arms. It doesn’t need to be perfect. People love seeing others smiling and having fun and that’ll bring them happiness. Remember that the end-all-be-all of life is happiness!

Confidence- whether you have a disability or not people gravitate towards confidence. If you can be confident enough to own your disability and make a joke out of it, others will respect you and may even feel more comfortable. Now, this doesn’t have to be for everyone but as long as you have fun and act confident, you’re golden!

I hope you found value in this. Please like and share among friends and family!

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