Sometimes (a poem)

Sometimes the bravest thing I can do is to walk down the stairs.

You probably don’t realise that,

as you charge down behind me,

only to be slowed by this healthy-looking woman hugging the handrail as if her life depends on it.

“What was with her?” you might ask

as I reach the ground and hit my stride, taking off across the safe flat land.

You can’t see inside me

You don’t know what’s in my head

Six years ago it happened

A momentary lapse

A sudden change of life

Six years ago

I slipped on the stairs.

I bruised my butt

And I bruised my brain.

They call it post-concussion syndrome

Fancy words for what happens when your brain bounces inside your skull

Officially, I have fully recovered.

I am  healthy and normal

All my readings are fine

(as if I were ‘normal’ before)

When they assess your brain after a concussion there is no benchmark to who you were before… that was never tested. You’re ‘normal’ and ‘healthy’ if you fit the medically proven range…

(it doesn’t matter who you were before

you’ll never be that person again anyway)

Six years have passed, and I have apparently healed.

I function well.

You might never guess I’ve been severely concussed

(some scars can’t be seen)

Just

don’t ask me to ceilidh dance, or lie down flat on the floor, or spin around a lot

And

 (please)

don’t ask me to rush down the stairs.

PC66