Jon Johnston
2 min readFeb 5, 2022


hand writing a mathematical equation on a white board
Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

This morning started out like most others. I got up at 6 am. I wrote for a while. I am trying to finish a book about what I went through to recover my life after having my heart attack and brain injury.

After writing, I tried to reconcile my Visa card statements. The balance seems odd, as I thought I’d paid for everything. All these statements, these transactions. All these numbers.

I know enough about myself to know it was a bad idea. I can’t do math anymore because part of my brain has been damaged. I can do simple addition and subtraction. It’s extremely difficult for me to go through several accounts and transactions and put them all together to have them make sense.

Within 15 minutes, I’d made myself non-functional. I developed a severe headache. My mind went from being decently calm to the equivalent of having 348 billion bees buzzing in my head. They do nothing. They just sit there in a frenzy, buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, and mixing all of your other thoughts up with them and making it impossible to do anything but the most basic parts of your life.

Eat, poop, sleep.

I had a math minor out of college. I studied matrix theory, linear algebra, discrete math. I was accustomed to looking at advanced statistical analysis about my favorite sports teams for a large website I run. I can’t even look at that stuff without my brain turning into fire.

I have to ask for help to figure out whether my credit card statement is correct. I have to ask for help for one of the most basic functions in life.

This is what it’s like living with brain injury. To say it sucks is an understatement.

There’s not a lot of awareness out there about brain injuries. This is but one small piece of what I struggle with.

Thank you for reading.

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Jon Johnston

Lifelong IT Consultant. Was once dead for 20 minutes and now can’t shut up about it. HA and TBI Survivor.