Choose to Laugh or Cry After a Brain Injury

One has a choice after a TBI: to laugh or to cry. Artist Ginny Ruffner thinks a TBI is like the universe having a really wicked sense of humor ... but she shows that determination and humor can outmatch any challenge.

How humor helps me is, I think this is really absurd. I mean, look at this. The fact that I can't talk like everybody else, I can't walk as fast, I think that's really absurd. And it's funny in an ironic sort of way. Mainly, I think that one has a choice, in any situation, whether to laugh or cry. So why not laugh? It's pretty funny. It's--I'm thinking, what is it? The universe has a really wicked sense of humor, saying, okay, you like to be active and dance and move around, then bam! Make it so you can't move. You like challenges? Here's a challenge. Or you like to talk; you like to sing. Well, boom! Here's a challenge. What are you going to do now, Smarty Pants? The reason I started walking after being in a wheelchair for 5 years was 2 reasons; both of them probably qualify as vanity. I hate to be ignored, and when you're in a wheelchair people talk to the person pushing your wheelchair. You pretty much get ignored, which is extremely aggravating for me. And the other reason was I had just bought my house. And the walls were all nicely painted, and I kept banging into them, and I thought, "This ain't going to work." So I was in the house for 2 weeks and I decided, okay, I'm going to walk, because I don't want to mess up my house.
Posted on BrainLine September 19, 2012.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Ashley Gilleland, and Jared Schaubert, BrainLine.