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When You Have a Traumatic Brain Injury, You Should Really ‘See Stars’ photo

You wake up seeing red and blue strobe lights. There’s a man—is that Elliot Stabler from SVU pounding on the side door of your Mazda? There’s an ear-splitting noise. Your head rests on a soft pillow on your steering wheel, not an airbag. 

Detective Benson is on the other side of the car. They are both yanking at the door handles. What a weird dream. It looks really bright outside your car though. And what an interesting angle your car is perched at. Are you in a ravine? You reach for your iPhone to turn off the loud alarm, but your arm hits broken glass. Oh well, close your eyes to go back to sleep without hitting snooze.

Suddenly Stabler’s got the door open. You don’t fall out into his arms because you wore your seatbelt. He’s got his sunglasses on. He reaches over you to take out the key and stop the horn. You try to smile. He reaches over you again to take off your seatbelt and says he’s got you now.

A muscular EMS from Grey’s Anatomy runs over. (Is this a crossover episode?) He says he has to check your memory and asks how old you are and if you know where you are and also if he can have your phone number. Then he says, “Wow, you look so young! What skincare routine do you use?”

He tells Elliot and Benson that you need to be on a backboard because they don’t know yet how bad your neck injury is. Just then it gets super windy, and you hear a helicopter.

You wake up again and there is Harrison Ford (the swashbuckling 32 year-old Harrison Ford, not the one who keeps getting investigated by the F.A.A. because of his near miss landings) taking you on his helicopter. He says he knows the quickest way to the hospital.

He says, “I love you.”

You say, “I know.”

The next time you wake up, you are at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital, you think. Dr Sam Bennett who looks a lot like Taye Diggs does a full examination and tells you, ‘no surgery needed, well done, you.’ He also tells you that because you bought the best healthcare insurance and the best disability insurance and the best accidental-vehicular-dismemberment-while-driving-home-from-blackwater-rafting-on-a-Sunday insurance, your recovery will be fully covered. Bennett calls your boss and explains brain injury and that you can’t put pressure on yourself because that will only slow your recovery.

Bennett doesn’t sugarcoat it because he knows that you’re strong enough to know the truth, and that you’re a fighter.

Just then, Tom Selleck, in his best reverse mortgage voice, volunteers to call your parents and break the news that their daughter almost died. Your mom is happy to hear from him since she always liked Magnum P.I. despite having no interest whatsoever in other shows of the genre.

An insurance guy calls to tell you that your insurance also covers anyone you’ll need to help at home. It’s your brain injury, so you get to choose. 

But maybe you can choose after a nap?

Your home nurse might be Daniel Craig, or a younger Pierce Brosnan, or since we’re going with younger, you go for it and make it a young Sean Connery. Sean wears an apron on top of his black suit, makes your favorite gnocchi and Cipriani sauce (both from scratch) whenever you want. He also cleans your house and washes the dishes and anything else that requires turning one’s neck or lifting one’s arms.

Young Sean Connery offers to scrub your body in the shower, but every girl needs to leave a little bit of mystery. 

You shake yourself awake again, wondering how you ended up in bed. George Michael is suddenly dancing next to your bed, singing ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, and he reminds you about your appointment at PT to work on getting your balance and coordination back. Then you hop in Sean Connery’s Aston Martin to go-go to PT. 

At PT, they play The Cure because they cure everyone, and because Robert Smith is your physical therapist! You become ‘therapy buddies’ with Tom Brady who has a rotator cuff problem, since you both have the same appointment time each week. Robert Smith tells you that working with you is just like heaven. At least you think that’s what he said. You still don’t get his accent.

When you get home, you fall asleep watching Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade because you feel like there might be some message hidden inside it. When you wake up, Sean acts out what happened in the movie for you. (He doesn’t recognize himself as the dad Dr. Jones. But you wonder who really imagines what they look like when they’re older?)  

Then, your friends Wendy and James from work visit, and Sean reminds them that you will be back to normal in a year if you let yourself heal. That way, no one needs to ask “how much longer is this going to take?” and you never wonder if you are going to be smart and funny again because of course you are. And anyway, Sean reassures you whenever you start doubting yourself.

Your friends convince Sean that you can hang out for a little while. But you’re getting tired again. You look in your pocket because it feels heavy. And there’s a pocket-size Andrea Savage? She hops onto your shoulder and up into your wavy hair to hide. She whispers that you can just move your lips while she’s talking. She says witty rejoinders when your friends say things that go over your head.

Sean comes in with tea and scones, asking if you need anything. You are so sleepy. You remember that people have said that you look like Isla Fisher, and you have a brilliant idea. If Sean could check if Isla is free to ‘play’ you this evening with your friends, then you could just head upstairs for that nap.