Tests revealed something was wrong. Scary words filled a report with my name on it: Memory, low average. Executive functioning, low average. Verbal fluency, reduced ability. Impairment. Below expectation. Below average.
They were all ways of saying I was brain damaged.
At work, I got taken off the air. The thing I was great at was gone.
“Kim’s work is characterised by misuse of vocabulary, unclear grammar, difficulties with logic and structure, lack of sentence cohesion,” is something mentioned in a later report.
report and picture (below) from https://www.facebook.com/livingwithheadinjury/
I spent my late 20s and early 30s learning how to talk and write again. It spanned years.
I had tests using what looked like children’s picture books, and failed.
One of the puzzles Kim Baker Wilson was given while re-learning to speak and write.
I had to learn to say 10 vegetables, or 10 things starting with ‘s’, and failed.
I had to say what the similarities and differences are between a dishwasher and an oven, a glove and a sock, or a mirror and a window.
My injury is well-known in media circles. But it’s not something I’ve talked about publicly.
I’m talking about it because while a lot has been written about freedom of speech and about sport and role models, there’s still a lot that needs to be said.
I’ve been told I can never ski, snowboard, and it’d be best not to cycle.
Years later I’ve been caught out not knowing or being able to place someone if they’ve come up to me on the street, when I actually know them very well.
And if I’m tired and run down, I’ll sometimes mispronounce a simple word. I used to say the wrong word altogether, and say something about champagne instead of shampoo.
“We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”
HELPING PROMOTE BETTER UNDERSTANDING AND AWARENESS OF WHAT IS OFTEN TERMED “THE SILENT EPIDEMIC” (AND/OR “THE HIDDEN HANDICAP”)
“Simply informing, encouraging and helping bring positive change in the lives of those affected by brain injury”
“Don’t let what you can’t do stop you from doing what you can do…best.”
“INFORM, EDUCATE, INSPIRE”
SHARE, INFORM, IMPACT, UPLIFT, IGNITE, ENCOURAGE and (perhaps even) INSPIRE