© Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Film legend Bruce Willis has been having increasing difficulty with focus and language. In recent years, filmmakers have noticed changes in Bruce. They have shortened his work days, reduced his lines, used a body double for action scenes, and had an actor feed Bruce his lines through an earwig. Finally, Bruce was having enough difficulty to simply retire. Now what?
Bruce’s family announced that what he is dealing with is aphasia, a brain condition that affects communication. The family has not shared how much medical testing has been done for Bruce, to diagnose or determine how to best help him. There are a few causes of aphasia, and there are a few types of this condition. High blood pressure strokes or blows to the head can cause aphasia. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, irreversible aphasia can be caused by slow-growing brain tumors or a disease. Speech and cognitive therapy have helped some to recover. Temporary aphasia can occur with a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA). Fortunately, Bruce Willis can afford to seek the best brain doctors.
I can relate to having a damaged brain. In my college days, I was struck in the head by a flying object that weighed about 25 pounds. Ouch! Fortunately, it struck one of the thickest bones of the face, below my left eye, and it rolled off to my right. The impact was enough for a concussion, plus contrecoup injury; the brain was thrown to the right and hit the right inside wall of my skull, creating a lot of pain. It was summertime, and I didn’t want to wait in the heat for Mom to pick me up from a summer university class. The sunshine and heat made my head pound. So I started driving myself to classes, against advice. The first day, driving home, I was turning the classic VW Beetle (standard shift) into my parents’ subdivision, when my brain went blank. I had my left foot on the clutch, with the clutch out. I had no idea what that meant right then, but I knew it was vitally important. I had my right hand on the shift stick but had absolutely no idea what to do next. I just knew it was really important not to move that little black ball other than the right way. Fortunately, it was a quiet subdivision, and there was no other traffic at that moment. I coasted to the right curb, right hand frozen on the shift knob, left foot frozen on the clutch pedal, and waited until I knew what to do. And waited. And waited. It was frightening! Finally, the concept of shifting gears came back to me, and I knew what to do. I was able to drive home. Multiple symptoms followed for years.
I wonder if Bruce Willis has been aware of and frightened of his brain’s decline? Maybe his wife and doctor will coauthor a book. Maybe one day we’ll see the brain scans. Meanwhile, it’s wonderful Bruce has such a loving family around him, as the best path forward is identified.
For the rest of us, Bruce’s experience, and that of his family, can remind us to do what we can for our brain health before bad brain factors may overtake us:
- Eat a low-fat good-fat diet with lots of greens and colorful fruits
- Avoid sports that are famous for brain damage risk, and/or wear a helmet
- Watch your blood pressure and follow your doctor’s advice if it’s high
- Get regular checkups including blood panels
- Totally manage your stress! Take up meditation, yoga, or tai chi, and nurture your calm
- Take life less seriously and laugh more
(Yes, all these topics are covered in other articles on this site.) Do these things, and that will be you, ever more Healthy Happy and Loving Lifesm!
Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert, holistic healer, and award-winning author who celebrates life. She has a longtime natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. Among her books are: Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), Inspirations for Peace Within: Quotes and Images to Uplift and Inspire, and Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. The books are available on Amazon and through Kebba’s office. They are also available in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the Franciscan Renewal Center bookstore and at the bookstore at St. Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church. Or simply email us to order: firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you!