Damaged brains

One month ago, during a freak out-of-the-blue April snow storm, I slipped and fell in the middle of downtown Toronto. I fell really, really hard. I didn’t hit my head, but I felt very much in shock. Of course my first thought was, “I really have to get to that meeting” and staggered my way up the street.

It wasn’t until three days later, after colleagues kept saying, “Are you ok? You’re acting really weirdly” that I went to see doctor. I had a concussion.

I was advised to have complete physical and cognitive rest. No screens, no reading, no crossword puzzles, no light, only light music.

“Can I draw?” was the first question I asked.

The answer was yes. WHY that activity is allowable and others are not, I don’t know. Personally I think drawing deeply engages your brain.

So, I’ve been:

  • Sleeping
  • Meditating
  • Listening to podcasts and audiobooks
  • Drawing

I’ve been continuing to draw on the labels that I had started before (you know, the ones that my autistic daughter ripped up during an overload meltdown).

I’ve been drawing anything and everything: the bottle of Advil, my coffee cup, cells, how to use chopsticks diagrams, sweet and sour chicken balls, neurons, bugs.


I’m thinking about (and therefore drawing) brains–concussions, depression, autism, learning disabilities, giftedness, left and right sides.

And while I am drawing I am ever aware of how happy I am while doing it. I don’t care about the final product or what will happen to these drawings. I am just making.

After three hellish years of an intense job while taking care of a special needs little girl, this concussion has forced me to stop and slow down and value what really is worthwhile.





Loud kids concerts

My daughter is hard of hearing. She was identified late at 3 and a half years old because she can hear mid and low frequencies but not high ones, like “s” and “f” and birds singing and tea kettles whistling. She got her first hearing aids when she was four. They have been  miraculous! I call them “magic ears”. Anyway, this past weekend in Toronto, we went to our school’s Fun(d) Fair, and our street’s rock festival and now this afternoon a kid’s rock festival. All of these events are really really loud. Now, you would think that for a hearing impaired child that would be helpful! But no! Hearing aids, unlike glasses with vision, do not correct your hearing. They amplify sounds. So, you can imagine if the concert’s too loud for me, what it would be like for her!

But she’s stubborn, and told me she was fine and wouldn’t turn off the aids or take them out.