I’m a survivor of a debilitating brain injury and had to go through 3 cycles of intense brain injury rehabilitation at the NYU Rusk Brain Injury institute over a two year period. I’ve had to use strategies to help me remember everything in my life and relearn how to appear to be “normal” in a world where everyone is rushing, inconsiderate, and unforgiving of people with disabilities.
It took me a while to come to grips with the permanency of my brain injury. I will never be the same again, but perhaps I can be even better. Many doctors said I had to keep using strategies like repeating things, writing everything down, and asking people to speak slower. They all work very well and aren’t seen as bothersome.
The most amazing thing about the brain is that we only use a very small percentage of its capacity. I’ve done so much reading, problem solving, math, writing, watching movies to improve my focused attention, and exercise that it has brought back many of the skills I thought were lost forever. Like they say, if you don’t use it you lose it. Well, I worked my brain and now it’s working for me. My story is the demonstration of what focus and attention to your brain can produce.
I am so productive now. I use my calendar to keep me organized. I use Notes to track all of my ideas and I always ask to be the note taker whenever I’m in a group setting.
Most people think I have recovered well and say I don’t appear to have a disability. I am happy to hear this. My ongoing challenge isn’t to be recovering but to unlock the potential of my brain and to be the most productive I can be.