But My Brain Had Other Ideas
A Memoir of Recovery from Brain Injury
by Deb Brandon
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Pub Date 10 Oct 2017 | Archive Date 17 Oct 2017
2017 USA Best Book Awards Finalist in Autobiography/Memoir
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.
“It’s impossible to read But My Brain Had Other Ideas and not be in awe of this woman’s determination to triumph over her disease. Brandon’s clear-eyed approach to her story will hook you from the first chapter and remind you what it means to live life full on. Her refusal to be circumscribed by angioma is a reminder of the power of hope in all of our lives.”
—Lee Woodruff, New York Times best-selling author and journalist
“Told in poetic and exacting language, Brandon's intimate account of life with a damaged brain is equal parts hypnotizing, harrowing, and inspiring.”
—Michael Paul Mason, author of Head Cases: Stories of Brain Injury and Its Aftermath
“Disability does not discriminate, it can be joined in the blink of an eye or in this case a rupture in the brain. But My Brain Had Other Ideas is a mind boggling roller coaster reality ride of personal trauma , disability and societies mind numbing response.
—Lawrence Powell, past director of the Office of Disability Resources, Carnegie Mellon University
"But My Brain Had Other Ideas is wonderfully written―not only from a literary point of view, but also as a deeply personal and clear explanation of what it feels like to experience the things that Brandon describes."
—Dr. William J. Hawthorne III, Psy.D, clinical psychology (neuropsychologist)
"Deb Brandon documents her journey with cerebral cavernous angioma, a disease of brain blood vessels, with ferocious honesty. Her tale offers a glimpse into an often confusing and frightening world in which reality can be upended from one day to the next, a world that requires reaching down to the depths of resilience to stay afloat. Deb's struggles and triumphs will resonate with anyone who suffers from invisible illness and those who love them."
—Connie Lee, Psy.D., President and CEO of Angioma Alliance
"Deb Brandon is analytical, precise, and detail oriented. But her prose reveals “another side of her brain”: authentic, poetic, and romantic. I was singularly captured by Deb’s storytelling. Beyond my perspective as a surgeon and expert on cavernous angiomas, I could not resist hiking along her in the wilderness, watching Deb draw from nature the strength to adjust, and readjust. As a professor, I wanted to be with her, as she balanced her challenges with the desire to teach and continue to contribute at the highest level. But My Brain Had Other Ideas is a lively portrait of the personal toll of brain disease. "
—Issam A. Awad, MD, MSc, FACS, Director of Neurovascular Surgery, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Services
"But My Brain Had Other Ideas is a courageous story, one that rings with the truth of living through trauma that robs us of what we take for granted―a functioning brain and body, a sense of normalcy and trust in life itself. Deb Brandon’s chronicle of her journey through the life-threatening brain bleeds of a cavernous angioma, the surgeries, rehab, and the long slog to adapt as a brain-injury survivor offers a beacon of hope for all coping with a disability of any sort."
—Susan J. Tweit, speaker and award-winning author of Walking Nature Home
Average rating from 13 members
This is a very moving story and it shows how much strength a human being can possess. We really do create our own life and reality. There is nothing that we can't overcome.
I normally don't read this kind of books, but I'm really glad I did. It gave me a new perspective on life.
Although I found the text somewhat chaotic and a bit all over the place at times, I see why that is. It must have been a very confusing time for the author and her memories are all jumbled up. She's trying to make sense of it all.
Really well done. If you're into this type of books, make sure to check out this one.