When Deb Brandon discovered that cavernous angiomas–tangles of malformed blood vessels in her brain–were behind the terrifying symptoms she’d been experiencing, she underwent one brain surgery. And then another. And then another. And that was just the beginning. The book also includes an introduction by Connie Lee, founder and president of the Angioma Alliance. Unlike other memoirs that focus on injury crisis and acute recovery, But My Brain Had Other Ideas follows Brandon’s story all the way through to long-term recovery, revealing without sugarcoating or sentimentality Brandon’s struggles–and ultimate triumph.
As part of the BookSparks Magic of Memoirs Tour 2017, I’ve been provided with several memoirs to read and share with all of you. Today’s post is on the book, But My Brain Had Other Ideas by Deb Brandon.
Deb Brandon shares her story to educate others and to bring attention to a disease called Cavernous Angioma. Cavernous angiomas are vascular lesions comprised of clusters of abnormally dilated blood vessels. This condition has a very heavy impact on one’s body and the way their lives become a daily struggle for a normal life.
Ms. Brandon underwent three surgeries, rehabilitation and depression. She shares the chronicle of her life journey and the things she and her family had to overcome emotionally.
Prior to reading Deb Brandon’s memoir, I had not heard of this medical condition and I’m betting you haven’t either. Below are a few links if you want to learn even more:
Through this book I was better able to understand what people with brain injuries have gone though, and I hope that I will be more compassionate in the future. This memoir was another very interesting story that was well written and educational. I especially loved the following “motto” for living that I found on Ms. Brandon’s website that clearly shows her life as a survivor:
LIVING IN BRILLIANT COLORS IN THE AFTERMATH OF BRAIN SURGERY
Deborah Brandon, PhD has been a professor in the Mathematical Sciences Department at Carnegie Mellon University since 1991. She has participated nationally and internationally in dragon boating. She is a mother, a writer, and a respected textile artist, as well as a brain injury survivor. Brandon is an active blogger and regularly participates in social media platforms, including Facebook, where she discusses brain injury and its impact, and Twitter, where she posts observations about the sometimes absurd, sometimes bizarre, and always intriguing world of long-term brain injury survivors.
I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks as part of the Magic of Memoir Blog Tour (#MagicofMemoir) in exchange for this post.