Today, I had The Power.
Stroke and TBI survivors know what I’m talking about. That frustratingly rare occasion to fully function, to multitask, to knock out items on my to-do list. Just to think clearly. The Power – decreased due to brain damage, preventing me from functioning on a level as before. Thank goodness for neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to construct new neural pathways lost to damage.
On days when I experience The Power and take action, it usually comes with a cost. Fatigue sets in sooner. Concentration breaks down. Memory goes out the window. Mistakes are made. Taking frequent naps can help, or getting more sleep at night to refresh, to fight and conquer the struggle tomorrow! Because that’s what seemingly simple chores are to many TBI and stroke survivors – a struggle, just to complete.
Patience is key when using The Power, on the part of yourself and others around you. Don’t set your expectations too high. Start slowly, accomplish what you can. Next time, expand your goals, remember (or write down) how things went, and adjust accordingly. Sometimes you hit a home run, sometimes you strike out. Don’t expect miracles. Pace yourself. Housework – like healing – takes time and energy. Don’t forget to eat a good meal beforehand.
Make a to-do list, and share it with your family. Accomplish your tasks and ask candidly how you did – request feedback both positive and negative. Learn from your mistakes (if you are like me, there will be many!). CAUTION: never attempt projects that you are physically or mentally unable to do. Ask for help. Your mind and body are taxed enough in the healing process.
It’s a good feeling, having The Power. Just wish I had it more often.