About Onca Seren

Two years ago I was blown up by a roadside bomb in Iraq. It may surprise people to know that it isn’t that unusual to walk away from these sorts of explosions with minor injuries. Some of the personal security men I know have been blown up six or eight times, and in the past two years I’ve met soldiers who’ve lived through as many as twenty roadside bombs.

I’m not a soldier; I was an Army civilian. And I didn’t mess around with multiple explosions – so inefficient, really, isn’t it? Make the first one count! I was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC), where I lounged around in a decent bog of drugs for a month as nurses wheeled me in and out of the OR. When they pushed me out the door with one foot in a plastic cast, one shattered forearm clamped back together with titanium plates, one retina tacked back on, and still sporting a hole in my skull, my boyfriend kindly hauled me off to his house, conveniently nearby WRAMC,  to work on recovery. It took a couple more gory surgeries and a few months of nearly daily outpatient trips to WRAMC before I was out of the casts, and another year before the physical therapists kicked me out. Random small surgeries still occur here and there, and little pieces of metal pop out of my head and wrist at regular intervals. Life is good.

I’m just a regular person. I grew up in suburbia, went to college, got a masters degree in fine art, and worked most of my adult life as a survey archeologist tripping around the Great Basin. I’d never been blown up before. Blessed with a rather sick and twisted sense of humor, in the end all this is most often viewed as a novel and weirdly entertaining experience. There are some lasting consequences that can be inconvenient to live with though, the most notable being that I’m left with very limited blurry and tilted vision in one eye, which translates to an odd sort of double vision. This causes headaches when I read or use the computer for long. As compensation, my being virtually blind on the right side provides fairly frequent opportunities for my boyfriend to fall down laughing at me. Try killing a flying mosquito with poor depth perception! Hey, I owe him … it’s the least I can do.

Although I get headaches staring at a computer or writing or reading, I found I can type up my thoughts without looking at the screen, so I’ve done quite a lot of that during the past year. I’ve been encouraged to share some of my writing, so here it is … stories are not in any particular order, though I’ve tried to put them in categories that make sense. Browse around.


Onca: Jaguar                        Seren: Star                 (It’s an old name.)


One Response to “About Onca Seren”

  1. Clara Hart Says:

    I was at WR in 2007 and I took care of a DOD employee. Can you email me and tell me your name? I may have taken care of you 😉

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