Brain Check

Last Monday I went to McLean Hospital to be the subject of a concussion study. It was one of those days where I met a lot of new people who were all super nice! I wanted to be their friends and get to know them better, but I wonder if I’ll ever see them again in my life. Also at the gym later that day my new gym friend wasn’t there… I thought she was going to be! We could’ve been cool friends. Oh well.

Despite all the intense brain jogging I did for 8 hours, it was quite an enjoyable experience. The hundreds of questions I answered about my life and psychological profile made it more clear to me that I’m going to be an internal rugby ref! Because I’m going to have the best attitude about it! And thank goodness I rolled with the punches (or literally, hits) and adapted my rugby goals and aspirations to this brain. (Brain pics after the jump.)

There were SO many questions about my goals and if my friends are supportive. I feel like have the best friends in the whole worldddddddddd who are always there for me. Hundreds of questions were about adapting to change, accepting challenges, persevering, not giving up when things are hard, and staying enthusiastic about hard tasks. (For real though that red-white-cube-tangrams activity was so hard!!! I seriously considered giving up but good thing my competitive edge pushed though. They looked like square pokeballs of death. It was so. difficult.)

In conclusion, I’m glad that Dr. Killgore’s lab is studying TBI. Maybe that could be a future path for me? I’m glad that I’ve been so fortunate to have the best friends and family. (When I had to list as many words as I could starting with “F” in a minute I immediately started with “Friends, Family, Fun!”) I’m glad that I’m lucky enough to be healthy still and have the chance to be a ref: to be the very best that no one ever was.

Thanks McLean! And thanks everyone else! These experiences are such a confidence builder and disguised-affirmation, like disguise fitness! I hope I don’t have an inflated self image though- gotta stay humble, Em!!


3 4 5






ps. Any radiologists or MRI specialists out there who can tell me if my brain looks okay?


  • Some words they made me define that I automatically related to rugby: haste, impatient, enthusiastic, mollify.
  • One of the pics they had me draw looked like the deathly hallows.
  • I’ve done WAY too many of these tests. IMPACT x 3 and now this – my strats have really improved each time! I still remember the 16 words weeks later. (Truck, giraffe, spinach, bookcase, motorcycle, cabinet, lamp, zebra, boat, cabbage, subway, celery, cow, desk, onion, squirrel.)
  • Tried staying awake in the MRI by singing Wagon Wheel and mathematical pi but to no avail. My bad.
  • One activity gave me flashbacks of Organic Chemistry exams where you have to draw as many isomers as possible. (Had to connect dots in as many ways as possible in 60sec a bunch of times.)
  • I was the first test subject “TM001” so of course I thought of TM01 and promptly shared my happy insight with the researcher.

This part of the pi song is perfect!
Once one night I had a dream, 
That pi was gone and I had to scream,
Cause all pi things had disappeared.
Can you imagine a world like that?
Circles aren’t round and spheres are flat,
It’s the culmination of everything we’ve feared,
‘Twas a nightmare of epic proportions,
One that gave me brain contortions,
Oh wait! I mean contusions,
They put me in some institutions,
But then I escaped and now I’m free!

To sing of the virtue of pi,
Pi, pi, mathematical pi,
3.14 15 92,
65 35 89 7,
932384 62,
6433832 7.

Brain Check

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