There's a new boogeyman on the horizon. Not a new boogeyman, per se, as this particular fear is well documented, but rather a new identity for an existing boogeyman: Traumatic Head Injury. This is some seriously nasty stuff.
Did you know that the inside surface of your skull--behind your forehead--is a jagged mass of pointy bits of bone and sockets? It's true. And guess what else is right behind your forehead. Your frontal lobe--that's the part of your brain that controls things like empathy and impulse control. It also controls what Neurologists refer to as the spark of humanity. All it takes is a pin prick to destroy your frontal lobe, and it sits nestled up against the equivalent of 50 rusty razor blades.
Then there are your temporal lobes--one on each side of your brain--which are our speech and language centers. Our temporal lobes are also the place where we store old memories and form new memories. Damage to these lobes impair our ability to speak, to comprehend speech, to recall memories and to remember anything new (remember Ten Second Tom from 50 First Dates? Not so funny anymore.).
Car accidents are the number one cause of brain injuries. The abrubtness of the collision causes our heads to whip back and forth, to and fro. And our poor, squishy brains get whipped around inside that craggy skull of doom. It's absolutely astounding that more people aren't walking around with frontal lobe trauma, unable to feel empathy or love, pleasure or pain (although that would certainly explain the behavior of our government recently.).
Traumatic Head Injury. Jeez louise. You can bet I'll be driver slower and safer in general from now on. Heck, I may start wearing a helmet just for extra protection. And roller coasters? Out of the question, as are horseback riding , participation in contact sports, and any sort of punk rock concerts.
This is what I get for bucking the crime dramas last night and watching Discovery Health Channel instead. I know it sounds like I'm a major TV junkie. In fact, I am. But that's beside the point. The thing is that I have to have the TV on in order fall asleep, but it's got to be something that isn't too terribly engaging so it won't keep me up. And nothing with a laugh track. Poirot works really well, so do those documentary-style reports like those on Discovery Health Channel--the narrator tends to have a soothing, calming voice. Even when he's talking about Roy King, the English guy who can no longer feel love for his wife and 3 year old son due to his brain injury. He can't hold a job either because of his lack of impulse control, also due to the brain injury.