Well, Agnes, I was in a small commuter plane (seats for eight passengers plus two crew, but there were only four passengers plus pilot and copilot when it went down) that got a gust of wind up the tail as it was making final approach in bad weather in February 1982; it dropped below stall speed and went bouncing through half-frozen swamp. I had a broken wrist, broken ribs, broken foot… and what is now referred to as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) when my face smashed againt the seat in front of me. (Oh year, broken nose. It’s still crooked. Also still gives me nose bleeds at inconvenient times.)

I have very distinct memories of the accident. Most of them not true.

Then later, after I reported to my sub, I had on-the-job problems, involving things I previously had known how to do but somehow couldn’t seem to remember when it counted. I got taken off my sub and spent some time in a nice hospital, where I was given a variety of tests. A nice doctor told me I was okay, kind of, but I basically had the brain of a guy in his 40s (I was 25 at the time) in terms of thinking and speed, especially under stress. Not so long afterward, a board of nice doctors decided I could stay in the Navy, but it would be better for everyone if I wasn’t assigned to nuclear submarines any longer. (I ended up in computers, instead. It worked out.)

Alas, the nice doctor couldn’t tell me if I would catch up to my brain in my 40s, or if I would have the brain of someone in their 60s by that point. In my 40s I felt fine, and did pretty well, so I thought my brain was fine. (Pause while we consider which part of my body was making that assessment.) Now I’m 62, and yes, I have to respect the fact that in many ways my brain is now 80-something. And so I retired early rather than go through too many more days of not being able to perform my programming duties properly.

I’m hoping I can look forward to another decade or so of happiness with my wife before dementia sets in. And we’ll see how things go from there. (Hopefully that’s not too much information! Tre, bless her, has pointed out I tend to do that sometimes. She likes me anyway. ❤️)

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Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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