The Logical Philosopher

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Egocentricity of Communication

I ran into some old friends of the family last week. After meeting them it was quite obvious they knew about my accident. When they saw me I was greeted warmly...and loudly...and s l o w l y .

"Hi how are you?" He yelled over the defeating silence of the empty street. "I heard you were in a bike accident and hit your head. Is .. everything .. ok .. now?"

"Well," I started, only to be cutoff by his wife as she pulled my arm down to her. "Do . . you . . remember . . who . . we . . are . . dearie?" WTF? Did they think I got obtuse as well? When real facts get passed through about six different old people, things tend to get garbled. Actually, it usually only takes one but the story gets better when going through six. Last month someone saw me and heard I was in ICU. Emergency Room for 6 hours vs. ICU for 6 weeks. I could see where people could get that confused. They didn't react too positively when I asked why they neglected send me flowers or come and visit. Screw-em if they can't take a joke, especially when they didn't send flowers for real.

The brain is a complex organ - processing millions of bits and bytes of information every nano-second. It has been explained to me that one's mind is like a gargantuan filing cabinet, everything in it's place and easily referenced upon demand. However, when your head hits the ground and your brain continues to shoggle around like Jello, all the files get mixed up. So, through some cognitive retraining and rehabilitation one can either relearn the new location of the files or reorder them back to normal. In the mean time one does tend to call things the wrong name, take a few seconds to find the correct word or use just plain weird phrases. My favorite I heard this week was instead of saying "thunder" for the weather term, "noisy storm property" was used instead. In the moment frustrating, but in retrospect actually very comical.

Just because I don't say what I mean, how I meant it, or how it actually happened doesn't mean I don't know what the hell I am talking about.
"It's okkkk" I responded slowly, with a slight slur in my speech. May as well give them what they were hoping for. At least it will keep the rumor mill going for another month.

"Well .. take .. care .. you .. hear. Give .." They shuffled off, oblivious to how far off the mark they really were. Damn, I thought after. I should have drooled a little to play it up, or faked a seizure to see how fast their reaction times were to start CPR.

N e x t . . t i m e . . I . . w i l l . . b e . . m o r e . . p r e p a r e d. Definitely I will save the seizure for when I'm feeling like spicing up things, but mental note: don't use it on old ladies unless I am prepared to do CPR on them if I scare them too much. I'd hate to try to explain that one to the paramedic.