This week, I will “graduate” from the Bayside Neuro-Rehabilitation Center where I have been working to address the symptoms brought about by post-concussion syndrome. In June of last year my daughters and I were rear-ended; our car was totaled. My daughters were not physically injured, but I sustained a concussion. I’ve written about it quite a bit, and have been sharing periodic updates about my recovery.
My mother asked me this weekend, after I told her am still unable to do many of the activities I did before the concussion, why am I so happy about the state of my recovery? I said something like this to her:
I’m happy about finishing up at Bayside — the rehabilitation center I would recommend without reservation to anyone with brain injuries! — because: 1) I get 2.5 hours back to use as I wish every week (at the beginning I was at Bayside up to seven hours a week); 2) my improvements since I started there last fall have been steady and measurable and significant; 3) I have learned strategies to deal with the ongoing symptoms, the areas in my life that are still impacted; 4) I have hope (much better than despair!) that I will continue improving until I’m back at 100%. I understand I may never been entirely the same, but who could be unchanged after going through such a massive experience?
I’m also giddy because some of my brain functioning that should be “in the background” has returned into the background. One of the most difficult aspects of healing from this brain injury has been a necessary awareness of how my brain works, and what kinds of thinking are required to function in daily living. On most days, for example, I can not only happily cook dinner for my daughters, I can also listen to my very-verbal nine year old tell me about whatever feels important to her at that moment. This multi-tasking, ability to shift my focus back and forth among different tasks, ability to intuitively know (there’s that background brain work!) something on the stovetop needs stirring and getting the garlic minced should be the next step without having to stop and consider, what comes next? All of these returning skills have been bringing my quality of life (and the quality of life of my daughters!) back to the joyful but busy life we had before the concussion.
Thank you to all of you who have been following my recovery. I’ll likely post about it again as I notice new improvements. For now, I’ll just say that I fully expect I’ll be able to plant, weed, tend, harvest and prepare our garden veggies this summer. I couldn’t do it last summer and that was pretty devastating. Living most days full of gratitude is such a better way to live!