Friday, February 21, 2014

The One Year Recovery: The Symptoms, The Actions

Hey All!

 As you can see, I have not kept up my with my fitness blogging. I apologize for that. Fit Board Fusion has been on a maintenance path for the last year  while I take baby steps towards recovery. I'm so grateful for my colleagues who keep on keeping on in the name of Health & Fitness. Today, I'd like to talk plainly about two of the largest repercussions of a long term concussion as I have perceived them in my life and recovery process.

  1. Ongoing lethargy: I suspect this is just my body telling me it still needs time to recover. Still, it's frustrating for a mother, wife, community member and small business owner. Here are a few things I've found for me that helped fight the constant fatigue:
    1. Fish Oil. There are some sensation articles regarding the healing properties of fish oil. If you skip the sensation and read the more moderate articles, there seems to be some link to the correct oils giving your body the tools it needs to fight inflammation.
    2. Iron / Vitamin D combo supplement. This might not sound critical, but due to my constant sleeping, I never saw sunlight. I plan to increase my time in the sun this summer.
    3. Good Nutrition. This might sound like a no-brainer for an athlete and physical fitness enthusiast, but it takes hard work and effort. And when you're recovering from a head injury, it's even more important -- and everything feels harder.
  2. Confused Visual Inputs: The impact was just above my left eye. I don't know that much about the
    brain. What I remember comes from 7th grade science class and Google. I could see everything, but I couldn't process things as quickly. This means, reading music while playing the piano was virtually impossible. Pieces that I've been playing for over 10 years were suddenly incomprehensible. Let's be clear, I'm no virtuoso. I just like to play occasionally. Noone will ever pay me to play the piano - they might pay me to stop playing tho! Still, music is in my heart & soul - and to have that ripped from me as a result of a negligent driver has been painful at best. How I fought back:
    1. Tenacity. Have I mentioned that I'm not really a talented piano player? Good. Still, I love music. I just didn't give up. I noticed that my fingers remembered patterns much sooner than my eyes were able to process the information input. That means, about 6 months after the accident I could play pieces of music that I'd had memorized. Sheet music still confused me. Two hands at the same time? Octave jumps? Forget it! So, I kept at it. I practiced, I waited, I practiced again. I would take time off. All of the sudden, one day, I sat down and played the music written on the sheets in front of me. It was Amazing. Surprising. Joyful.
    2. Patience. I'm an engineer by training & profession. I like to find the solution: immediately. Work hard, work intently. I apply this to everything I do in life. Work hard, play hard, analyze everything. Unfortunately, this doesn't apply to brain recovery. I had to accept that my body would heal in its own way, on its own timeline.
    3. Experiment. When all else fails, look around and try something new. In December 2013, I signed up for the website I felt that I needed something to retrain some of my brain processes. The brain is amazingly redundant and resilient. I know this, I just needed some help retraining. For a nominal fee and about 15 minutes every day, I would say the Lumosity product was worth it.

Have you ever had a significant healing journey? What tactics did you employ to help you heal? Did you set goals and timelines? I would love to hear about your recovery.