A Word...
On Healing From Traumatic Brain Injury
from the author


The Incredible Dream Computer could predominantly be called a book about dreams and dreaming. More than that, it’s also a book about healing—specifically, about healing from brain injury. Any kinds of Traumatic Brain Injury are reason for concern to victims and their loved ones. Even seemingly minor bumps to the head can cause problems that often go undetected or ignored. People are quite often unaware of the real effects of traumas to the brain, because they are conditioned by a culture of violence to trivialize being struck on the head as cavalier an event as skinning one’s knee, getting up, and walking it off. Yet it’s not. Brains are delicate organs, among the most studied yet still least understood of all our bodies’ vital parts, simply because their optimum functioning is critical to every action, reaction, function, and movement we make. And that’s why, we are often reminded, they are encased in the most protective of armored vaults, our solid-boned skulls. One would think that knowing the results of damaging brains would make us prone to be even more protective of them. Still, our modern societies invoke risk taking as a badge of merit somehow worthy of admiration. Our behaviors and activities are often recklessly at odds with survival, resulting in a large number of brain injuries every day.

While no head injury should be trivialized, some are, of course, more serious than others. Of those, the most serious would be those described as “open head injuries,” where the skull is penetrated and the brain’s tissues are damaged. A less serious kind of head trauma, with higher chances of recovery, is the type of trauma I suffered in a fall, called a “closed head injury” because the skull remains intact. Even so, when brain tissue is compressed inside the cranium, many kinds of life-threatening damage can be incurred that make some closed head traumas more dangerous than other kinds of TBIs. In falls or being struck by blunt objects like rocks, baseball bats, hitting walls, floors, trees, or anything that causes concussive impact to the head, neurons and tissue can be sheared, bruised, twisted, and bleeding can occur.

A closed head injury can become more threatening when it requires the skull to be opened to undertake some form of intervention upon the damage. That often occurs when the brain bleeds inside its calcified suitcase and the blood needs to be removed. In the instance of my injury, arteries were ruptured on the outer lining of the brain, called the “dura mater,” leaking blood onto that lining between the brain tissue and the skull. So my closed head trauma became an open skull surgical intervention, which is somewhat riskier and more complex than the term "closed head injury" implies.

While I once believed in the myth that we only use 10% of our brains in our daily functioning, I now know that even a small percentage of brain damage incurred may result in a considerable degree of dysfunction. I consider myself lucky to have recovered from my injuries, to reach as high a level of functional integration back into my life and society as I enjoy, and my gratitude to those who saved me can never be repaid. I know the difficulties of having only been “moderately” injured, the time it took to make progress healing, and have a painful awareness of the residual and permanent damage brain trauma involves. Tens of thousands of head trauma victims each year are not so fortunate, and do not receive the care and support they need after their injuries, largely because of a lack of resources. That is to say, funding for follow-up care, information distribution, and support groups, all vital necessities of post-traumatic brain injury recovery, often just isn’t available. One goal of writing The Incredible Dream Computer is to help raise public awareness about the importance of understanding how serious injuries to the brain can be. One way to do this is to help fund the research that provides the resources to as many people who need them as possible, in order to educate them about this issue.

So, as a means of enabling that, each book bought through Trafford Publishing, or sold at my shows and appearances, helps this cause. A minimum of one dollar from every sale of The Incredible Dream Computer purchased directly through those outlets is earmarked to The San Diego Brain Injury Foundation. Likewise, for every copy of the “Dreamsongs” CD purchased separately from Modiolus Opera & Die Studio, at least 10% of the profits are donated to head injury research. Your support, through your purchases, makes this possible. So tell all your friends, and their friends, to buy the book and CD. Give a copy to someone who needs to hear what it has to say. You will be helping more than to spread the word that although there can be some bad dreams after head trauma, there can also be good ones to still come true. You will be helping people to be better able to live through some of the bad ones …and maybe even to live some of the good ones too.