Redesigning everyday life – Explorations

Brain recovery, how far can the brain recover ? According to most experts your brain can recover from serious damage but once the recovery stops that’s it. It is , however possible to recover up until your old level, which can take a few weeks months or years. In most cases people change, either in their ability to concentrate, memorize stuff, finding words etc, or have changes to their personalities. And now the fun part, most of the experts agree that in the first period recovery is at its quickest. After that it slows down. Sometimes people find themselves getting better years and years after. Which is good , very good.

I have gone past the half year mark and have had some nice improvements , reading is going better and I am getting used to all the tips and tricks that make my life easier to manage.

However, a few area’s are still a bit of a problem. And not so easy for people to understand and get their head around. In this article I will try to shed some light on this.

First off, conversations. If I am well rested and in a reasonable relaxed environment , I make sense most of the time and can actually interact on a normal level. It can happen when I’m talking my brain can’t always find the right words or my sentences get screwed up. Especially if there is a lot of noise or a lot of people talking nearby. This gets worse at the end of the day when my energy levels drop. I mix up words more often at the end of the day, so most of the time only my girlfriend notices. When I am asking for a spoon when I want her to pass me the remote control or something.

More troubling I can’t really remember what I have been talking about without taking notes. Making notes during casual conversation might be a bit odd. So I don’t do that. But then something happens along the lines of , remember you said this last time we spook. And I really can’t remember it. Most people close to me know this by now. But for people a bit further away this is a bit weird. As if I am not that interested in them or have been half ignoring them at the last meet.

Taping conversations is not really an option just yet, meetings of an official nature I am leaning towards it. But for a friendly conversation this is strange.
So I am figuring this out as I go. If I meet new people I try and casually slip in a few lines about my condition and how it can affect the conversation we have. This can clarify why I sometimes ask people to repeat what they just said twice (so I can remember better) or why it takes time for me to respond. Some people pick it up really casual ask one or two things about and continue. Other people react as if they just seen the grim reaper and the fun and casual conversation turns into me answering loads of questions about my condition. Which is normal I guess but not something you always want to do. Don’t get me wrong here , people being interested is not a bad thing and most are very compassionate and nice. But I don’t want it do dominate the conversation in any way. It’s just me trying to give some insight in why I have to apply these tactics in order to follow the conversation.

Secondly, I am extremely slow in finding solutions to any given problem, question or anything hard. It takes ages. I have to take notes, read them over. Ask questions later etc.
I a meeting this is difficult. I come up with stuff way after the momentum has passed, well after the meeting has ended basically.
This doesn’t mean my level of intelligence just dropped , my brain is essentially processing everything in slow motion. And my response is therefore also in slow motion.

This has been the greatest effect , because it takes so much time it also sucks energy. I can’t work on a hard project for hours on end on just food and coffee. I have to split everything up in small parts, which hopefully makes me a great planner ;). It’s about energy management rather than time management.

So after my first goal of getting my energy, focus and concentration on a higher level has been reached , these things will hopefully have improved a lot. Hopefully these examples will give some insight , and maybe I will tape our next encounter ;-).