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Mouth open before brain engaged

All of my life, I have often spoken before engaging my brain, or speak in a hurry and completely mangle what I am trying to say. One of the first times I remember this happening was when I was about four or five years old and staying at my grandparents’ house for a visit.

I had a little black cowboy hat that I wore everywhere; I even wore it to bed one night. When I woke the next morning I forgot about wearing the hat to bed, and could not find my hat. I searched the house for a few days but did not find the hat. I searched outside to no avail. I simply could not find the hat.

The bed I slept on at my grandparents’ house was a portable bed with wheels and it folded in the middle. My grandmother called it a ‘roll-away’ bed, and that name stuck for it. A day or two later I was playing on the bed during the day when one of my cars fell down between the bed and the wall. I reached down to get the car, which I did, but I also felt something else down there. After retrieving my car, I shoved my hand back down between the bed and the wall, managed to grab the item and pull it up. It was my black cowboy hat.

Super excited, I jumped up off the bed, ran to the dining room where my grandfather was sitting at the table drinking coffee and I excitedly yelled, “I found my hat down by the bed at the roll-away!” My grandfather just about choked on his coffee from laughing at what I had said.

Another time happened shortly after I arrived at the University of Louisville. I tried to describe the campus to my sister, and wanted to convey the large park-like setting of the front lawn of the campus. Needless to say I completely mangled the message I tried to convey to my sister. Here is what I wrote in the letter to her. “There are a lot of trees and squirrels here, you would like it!”

The next episode happened a few years later. While attending Lewisport Baptist Church one morning I started to feel sick, and went to the bathroom. Luckily, another member of the congregation noticed my discomfort and helped me to the bathroom, where I had a seizure. I was rushed to the hospital, and by the time I arrived there I was over the seizure and was feeling better. They released my a little while later, but not before referring me to a neurologist in an effort to discover the cause of my seizure.

The doctor ordered a brain scan to be performed a few weeks later. Several of the parishioners of the church asked me about the seizure, and I told them I was scheduled for the scan. The day of the scan came and the doctor said it looked normal. On a Wednesday evening I attended that night’s service, and a member of the church saw me and asked, “How did the brain scan go?” Before I thought I said, “They did not find a thing!”

By Ralph Dickerson

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