Sharp or quick witted, I’m told I’m both by people who have gotten to know me in the last few years. I mention this because it’s not what people imagine when they learn I have a brain injury. The general perception of someone with a brain injury is, someone who can’t think for themselves and can’t walk or talk. But definitely the process stuff.
Today, I saw the lovely Bella (it’s Italian for beautiful, but more importantly in the feminine) it’s what I call her because I can’t recall her name, however she speaks Italian, I do not, but not the point right now.
I asked how she was and took it as an opportunity to answer honestly. Winter has just begun in Melbourne and she stated her throat is a little sore.
I recommended something and wrote it down for her. I explained to her while I don’t know Italian, I am a bit of a Nonna (Italian Grandmother who likes to look after people).
On leaving my favourite café I handed the information on some paper to Tobey (the Barista), I mentioned my handwriting has really suffered of late, so I wrote it twice. He read it and passed it on to her. He said “Yes, echinacea, I could have told her that”, so I asked “Yes, but did you?”
He didn’t hear me the first time, but he did agree he had not thought to tell her. Luckily, I will be able to give him some cheek about it tomorrow and he won’t be offered. And I will have some for Bella tomorrow.
People who have known me over the past 10+ years, they have commented on my sharp wit and that I’ve got the quickest wit of anyone she knows.
Hello! Compliment. Right here…
There are people who treat me like I’m an idiot because I have a brain injury. There are many ways people comment on my disability. One particular consistent ‘opening’ is – “You look like you’ve been through the wars!” Which I received most recently today. I was a little wet from having to walk a short distance in the rain. So everything else is my base-line already and I didn’t feel the need to comment.
First time ever I came up with the best response, but not on the spot.
So, here’s how I will respond to that line in the future.
“Not a war, a battle! I won!
Yeah! This is what winning looks like and then imagine what loosing would have looked like.”
I generally follow comments like this with a sharp look and a smile. So they know I do mean it, but that I’ve also accepted it.
Another older lady sat in the waiting room to wait for her taxi. She also had a walking stick, now she commented to me; “That’s the thing with stroke, it takes your independence!” I’m sure I’ve encountered this woman before, her name is also Helen.
I respond swiftly with ‘Ah, but it doesn’t take our sense of humour.’
I think I even put a little Scottish brogue on it in the tone of “But they will never take our freedom.”