Memory Returns with Joke: Michael Part Three
Michael’s only island of memory before his wreck involved irony. His first memory afterwards was a joke. The story of how Michael’s memory returns.
What have people told you about the time you were in the hospital? Let’s talk about the University Hospital.
Well University Hospital, as my dad related to me, there was one nurse that got really attached to me, her name Mary, Martha something like that. It began with an M. She got really attached to me. My parents have a picture from when I was in there. Just about everywhere you think of, I had tubes and needles and stuff. Other than that they really haven’t told me too much.
So you went from University Hospital to the nursing home in Elizabethtown?
How long were you in the nursing home in Elizabethtown?
I guess, around the 17th of March and I think mid July I was there to.
Had your memory returned while you were at the nursing home?
Bits and pieces. I remember, I guess, I had regained consciousness somewhat and my parents were staying with – they’d visit me every Sunday and every Wednesday. And my parents, I don’t which day it was during the week they came to visit me, but they stayed over at my grandmother’s house. They would come over and see me, which is about 30 miles from Elizabethtown.
I do remember the first time my dad came to visit me. I think it was probably one of the most important things. I was in my wheelchair, my dad comes in, sits on the couch, he’s really upset. I’ve never seen my dad this touched before in his life and he’s like, Mike they told us, you know, they didn’t know if you could walk, if you’d be able to talk, if you use your arms, you just be a vegetable. I perked up and said “broccoli.” He said “you’ll be fine.”
That’s your first memory when your memory returns?
That’s my first memory and then after that things fade in and out. I remember doing some of my rehab, walking, learning to talk again. I haven’t learned how to eat again. I still have problems with that. I had to learn to use the restroom again. We have up to – when you had that feeling, I guess, to go.
Now you told us about the broccoli memory. You’ve heard that story from your father?
My dad told me it.
Over and over, I’m sure.
Over and over. He just thinks it’s funny.
But for him reinforcing that memory, you probably wouldn’t remember that as your memory returned?
Probably, probably not.
And it’s not until sometime later that you begin to actually have what they would call continuous memory as your memory returns, actually?
I guess at some point. I didn’t get my continuous memory maybe a few years ago. I still have problems.
Next in Part Four – Who Michael Was Before TBI
By Attorney Gordon Johnson
I have a similar story: I’m in the hospital room with my dad and I start to stir. My mom had left to go to the gift shop and my dad told me that. I should fill out this story before I continue: my brother and I (and my friends) called my dad and mom “Archie and Edith Bunker”. So when my dad told me that my mom was out, I croaked out (my first words), “Eeedith Buunker”. Everyone laughed and it took off the pressure they felt about my recovery.