When I started doing schoolwork again (in home instruction) after my AVM brain bleed, I worked alongside my class to do a novel study. The novel had been added to the curriculum long before my bleed, and as I have mentioned in other posts, in order to overcome my short-term memory loss, I had to read each chapter twice myself and have my mom read them to me as well while I took notes (which I later typed up as an additional way to review the information before my summative evaluations). The novel was “The Cay” by Theodore Taylor. It takes place in 1942 when a young boy (Phillip) and his mother are trying to flee the war when the boat they are on is torpedoed. Phillip is hit on the head and ends up on a raft with a black man named Timothy and the ship’s cat. The injury leaves Phillip blind and dependent on Timothy, but shortly they arrive at “the cay” where they must fend for themselves.
This was the first novel I read in entirety after my AVM brain bleed.
Fast-forward ten years. I find the sequel “Timothy of the Cay” in a used book store. The story tells of Phillip’s journey to regain his sight, as well as Timothy’s life before meeting Phillip. Phillip is examined by doctors before his surgery and is informed that he has had a brain bleed. (I started shaking…but in a good way!) The doctor then tells him that the bleed was caused by an “artery-vein malformation, or AV-malformation.” I just about went through the roof!! It has to be one of the most ironic and amazing things a book has ever done to me!
Unlike the three months it took me to read the first book, I finished the sequel in four days. When Phillip regains his sight and returns to the Cay, he realizes it is much smaller than Timothy had described. When I look at the novel that took me three months to read, it too is much smaller than I remember it being–a mere 150 pages or so.
Sadly the author passed away a month before my brain bleed, but being able to accidentally stumble across another AVM survivor in an all-so-familiar novel was incredible! Has anyone else found a book (or t.v. show) where the character had an AVM?