One part of concussion recovery I enjoy is working on communication. I mentioned in an earlier blog that daily activities are often part of recovering skills and working on deficits. So, I can play games on the computer or my cell phone that target deficits. Yes, right now, I get paid to play. The downside is the headaches and/or nausea. Some of the games I play are: word finds, crossword puzzles, mazes, Angry Birds (puzzles). Each game targets an area of difficulty. Angry Birds and mazes work on problem solving. The word finds and crossword puzzles are aimed at children. They may be “simple” for adults… but right now, they are a challenge for me. They are working on my reading/ vision integration. These are actually fun. At times, I smile, remembering some of the innocence I had as a child. I am actually slowing advancing to more difficult puzzles. I still can’t do any of the traditional, newspaper crosswords: I can’t solve the clues.
I still work on my PT homework assignments daily. Generally, I do these exercises in the morning, then take a nap until I feel better. I am slowly being able to turn my head more, while still focusing on a stationary object. Progress.
I am reading a book by Lincoln Child called “Death Match.” If you like mystery novels, it’s worth reading. The author quotes a haiku by Kobayashi Issa:
Haiku are deceptively simple. But, the meaning exceeds the whole. They hint at meaning but aren’t meant to be fully solved or translated. They speak to each individual and their meaning can change with different insight.
When I read the haiku, I “see” grasshoppers floating on a stick in a calm river. Their ultimate destination isn’t known. The grasshoppers may experience rapids or even a waterfall: their journey may not always be peaceful. Are they singing from ignorance? Or are they embracing life, even with all the unknowns? The adventures, the challenges, the times of floating peacefully on a calm river? Are they being complacent? Or mindful?
In a sense, I feel like my life right now is like the insects on a bough. The river is powerful. I don’t have control over where it goes. I may not be able to jump off the bough and swim. The concussion recovery is my river. Yet, what does it mean to sing? Can I create a meaningful melody from my experiences? Not just in the future but right now in the moment? If I mindfully accept the river, how will this impact my recovery? Mindfulness: experiecing and accepting (non-judgementally) what is at the moment. That doesn’t mean not working towards goals or correcting a bad situation. In order to achieve goals or fix a problem, one has to accept the current situation. Perhaps if I accepted the current symptoms for what they are now, I would have less anxiety about the future. They are now: it doesn’t follow they will be the same tomorrow (or next week).