Monday, August 30, 2010

Rehabilitation after a Brain Injury: Thinking outside the box.

Good Monday to all, another week!!!
Neurorehabilitation can be time consuming. Survivors, caregivers, and providers are the witnesses of how much time rehabilitation takes. The point I want to bring today is that rehabilitation doesn't stop when therapy is over. As survivors we have to strive to apply every skill learned into the real world. It is relatively easy to apply these techniques in the therapies' controlled environment. But how are we going to know how functional we are if we don't take it to the real world. My days at the rehabilitation facility are pretty long, after I'm done at the center I go to volunteer, work on the blog, do house responsibilities, or whatever would keep the rest of my time busy. It is when I go into the "real world" that I see (or others) where are those deficiencies that are still present. Maybe during therapy there are areas that are perceived as superb but going outside proofs that I still need to work on them. I'm not going to lie, it can become frustrating at times.
Since the early stages of my injury I have had big improvements. It is always getting better. But for example, I go to church and it becomes very hard to sustain my attention. I can notice it. But I really can't hold my attention. How do I notice? I try to think on what the pastor had said and I can only recall some words, but nothing too specific. My wife notices it because I look like I'm daydreaming. Like I said it can be frustrating, imagine a leader that was in charge of a logistics platoon in combat that lead multiple combat patrols, now I have to be supervise in almost everything. Even to cut pieces of paper. Sometimes I receive instructions, if I don't write them down I skip steps.
Like a good friend of mine says, I'm a baby in this BI life. Yes at times ordinary things in life seem like big mountains. I don't stop, I just manage to get over them. It gets better with every day that goes by. Here in the next few weeks I will start to volunteer at a brigade combat team. The leadership will give feedback on my performance. That's the only way I'm going to find out if I'm ready or not. I have to continue to take my rehab into my "real life". I think that trying to work in things I used to do will give me the best rehab there is. Is like home and school. At home your parents showed you basics but in school you learned the advanced things and applied what you learned at the house. I think same applies in rehab.
My message today is: take your rehabilitation out to the community. Let others give you feedback. By your performance in the "real world" you will have a better understanding on what things you have to focus on.
See you tomorrow.


  1. wow I think you might be putting too much pressure on yourself. I'm so glad you remembered what I said about being a baby in this new life. When I go to church I have to either sit up front or in a sit that has some space a head of the next row, or I get so ditracted. Even to this day. In a group of a lot of people. I get too scatteered. That is the way my NEW life is. But I know this so I can try to do things to make it better. You will find the ways too. Just give yourself some time.
    I was going to ask you this morning before I read your blog. Do you get really tired after a meeting like you had last week. I still do. If I have to really pay attention to someone speaking I just turn them off after a while. It is called FLOODING. There is a book you guys need to read. It is by a doctor that has a BI. She explain so many thing. Your wife will love it too. It is called Over My Head by Claudia L. Osborn. I even met her once. She is great! Get the book, it will explain things to you.
    Have a super day Victor.
    your OLD BI friend, Lee

  2. In my prayers today for less frustration this week for you. Hang tough and know your service matters to me and so many Americans.