I am 70% back to my baseline before the setback that I had.
My Neurologist, Dr Thomas Hill, thinks that the symptoms and setback were caused from headaches causing sleep issues for me which in turn caused increased cognitive deficits. Since I already compensate around cognitive deficits, I am trying to adjust as best I can to the, hopefully temporary, increased cognitive deficits. What I have learned in my recovery is that sleep deprivation causes the same symptoms as brain injury. So the good news about that is that solving the sleep issues will solve the temporarily increased cognitive deficits. And, like Dr Hill said, because I have successfully resolved 70% of my symptoms, it is likely that I will be able to resolve the other 30% of my increased symptoms. He is confident of that I will, so my job is to be hopeful and continue to do what I have been doing and believe in his confidence.
It has been 6 weeks though and realistically I know that recovery from these increased deficits will happen at their own pace.
I also know that this recovery may not happen in a linear fashion. What that means is that each step may not get me better, it may be that each step will lead to getting better but not all steps will look like progress until I am actually fully back to my baseline. That is important because I know that getting my head and my psyche on board with my continued recovery is essential.
In some ways, achieving this last 30% back to my previous baseline will be much harder than one would think.
Here are all the things that I am balancing. I want to resume my life as it was. Its been 6 weeks, so I have put a number of things that I had wanted to do, “on hold”. And I want to get back to them, above all. Doing the things that I enjoy and give my life meaning–being a mom, a wife and an advocate–are what keep me going in life. So not being able to do them like I could before, as a result of my increased deficits, makes my life tougher.
Since my deficits are not as bad as they were 4 or 5 weeks ago, after the setback but before I was able to turn the corner on getting better, it is easy for me to think that they are all gone. They are not, and I need to finish the recovery, else this period of not being completely back to my baseline will be prolonged. And I know from experience that it is easy to think that I can “push past” this period. I also know from experience, and from the wisdom of my health professionals, that ”pushing past” the deficits I still have, won’t shorten this period of increased deficits.
My real choice is to continue to heal or to prolong my increased deficits.
My real choice is to spend more time and energy focusing of recovery and hopefully recover quicker, or to spend less time and energy focusing on recovery and recover less quickly.
The uncertainty of whether I will recover the last 30%, is of course the thing that ultimately is bothersome. I have to believe in my doctor and my experiences of recovery and I have to have faith.
I was thinking this weekend that given what I am going through now, thank goodness I have been through this recovery and rehabilitation before so that I can rely on the increased awareness and knowledge and compensatory strategies that I learned in rehabilitation.
As usual, when I sit down to write, I have way more to write about than what I have planned.
Since I am still observing increased cognitive rest (20 minutes on the computer at one time), I am going to post this and save the rest for the next post.