In January 2006, I was between two major milestones in my life. I just turned 50 and was preparing to retire from my high stress job. I was looking forward to retirement from being an information technology manager and ready to venture off in new directions. I felt I was at my peak professionally and mentally. I felt very healthy and strong. I felt good about my personal life, my family, and my friends. I was very driven, always wanting to be out and about. I had prepared myself well and was ready to reach for new challenges. I enjoyed hiking, skiing, sailing, diving and other activities which I felt I had never been better at than when I turned 50. I felt so good and so much was going on and being planned on. It was great!
On January 15, 2006, I faced an abrupt end to what I was. I was suddenly toppled from what I thought to be my personal peak into a deep hole by a freak accident that left me a victim of traumatic brain injury. That is when I became Mina Kitty. I became someone who was always tired, walking around the house slowly, laying down a lot in different places in the house, taking naps, rarely leaving the house. It was like being a house cat. I felt like a house cat. Before the accident, my husband sometimes called me Willie (short for Wilhelmine, my middle name). But now Willie no longer fit. My nickname was transformed to Mina, and Kitty was added for the house cat characteristics I now had. I became Mina Kitty, birthdate – January 15, 2006. I actually do “celebrate” it…..