Frustration

It has come to my attention I should take a break.

During a cognitive evaluation last week I mentioned my frustration with the results of my tests on Lumosity. I am not showing improvement, in fact some areas are showing a decline, and my best scores are in percentiles below sixty. I used to routinely rate in percentiles of the upper nineties, my IQ is well into the “genius” range. My arm is healing, why isn’t my brain?

The therapist suggested I step away from immediate results such as Lumosity, my recovery will take at very least a year, and there is no guarantee I will ever have the abilities I had just a few months ago. Watching the progress at this point is bound to be frustrating, and frustration can be a stumbling block in the process of creating new neural paths. I’m hoping she will also be speaking to the folks who approve my disability payments, they seem to think I’ve been away long enough, I can dress and feed myself, I should be healed.

I am not healed. Although my writing has been sporadic, what used to take a few hours to put together now takes several days, and my latest attempt sits in my “drafts” file, less than half complete after a week. I am quite frustrated.

HST at a similar crossroad

HST at a similar crossroad

My mind is filled with fragments, lines, and even paragraphs, but I can’t tie them together into an article. There is so much to write about, but I still want my thoughts to make more sense than the reality which inspires them. I will probably work on drafts and withhold publishing them until they are proper. Subscribing by email will ensure you receive anything I do manage to publish.

At the moment, frustration and depression are fighting for dominance, today would have been Emma and my seventeenth anniversary. I am aware I am not the man she loved, and question if love will be a part of my life again.

One more appeal, the bills haven’t stopped coming in and a future with a roof over my head depends largely on charity. Please share my GoFundMe campaign, little contributions add up.

I just can’t stare at empty pages right now.

 

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6 comments on “Frustration

  1. Mike R says:

    Surely depression is some component? As someone who is going through a chronic illness without recovery, I can attest to the impact of depression on my cognitive abilities. Not just cognition, alone, but motivation and the exhaustion that is part of the disease. Where i used to have the ability to write relatively at will, now I stare at blank pages. I can only imagine that having an IQ in the genius range and now finding yourself struggling with what was once fluid, is frustrating. On the bright side, you had a lot of IQ to spare. 🙂 With the combination of the new disability and the MS, I would think the disability should be possible. In my work in health care, I found that it often too, up to 3 applications in a row. Usually after the first denial I would recommend that my clients hire an attorney, and the process usually came through the 2nd time successfully. I hope my encouragement doesn’t come across as glib or as making less of what must be a difficult situation, Blake. Surely writing is subject to seasons. When I became more ill, I finally ceased trying to blog as I was dissatisfied, or actually disgusted, with my efforts. So it is a season of non-writing. A season of hopeful recovery. And, if not, transition to whatever God is now pleased to send my way. His heavy hand can and does work its way. I am finding some help from a Puritan book entitled “The Mute Christian Under the Smarting Rod”, by Thomas Brooks. You can find it for free by googling. Difficult to read as are 17th century spiritual writings. But full of great wisdom. We are indeed under the smarting rod.

    Liked by 1 person

    • kblakecash says:

      My neurosurgeon said “Now you know how the rest of us feel.” I didn’t take offense because the statement was self depreciating. I don’t take you as glib, but it is difficult to explain without sounding pompous.

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      • Mike R says:

        In my past experience working in health care, cognitive issues seemed to the be the slowest in recovery. But it varied so much. One firefighter with a head injury that I treated regained 90% of his abilities, in time, but was oddly left with a speech accent–he sounded perfectly Cajun. He actually turned that into a career move as he went into instructing, where his accent was loved, and matched his sense of humor. Another case that baffled me was a man with a stroke who gained everything back quickly but his right, dominant hand was extremely slow to recover. I tried training him to write left handed but the progress was abysmal. So we opted to go with the right. Over the course of a year I helped him retrain his handwriting, which he admitted was never very legible. I used a teaching method based on European handwriting instruction, but adapted it to his poor motor skills. For months he practiced writing huge letters on a big painting pad. Over and over. All he wanted was for him to regain the ability to fill out a check and sign his name. I lost track of him eventually but he stopped in a year or two later to say hello. Then he showed me how well he was doing. He had not only regained the ability to write, but was teaching a calligraphy course at the local community college. If I learned anything over the years of working with upper extremity hands suffering from central nervous system problems, it was the incredible plasticity of the human brain, far greater than had previously been understood. Of course, there were people with closed head injuries I treated who regained great intelligence and cognition, but retained a slowness that was not observable to others, unless they knew them very well. Considering that you play musical instruments that require both hands, I would guess that the cross-linking of your right and left hemispheres is naturally greater than most of us. That will come in handy as well. Oh that time could be sped up!

        Liked by 1 person

        • kblakecash says:

          Normally I would say I don’t want time to be sped up, I would never want to miss anything. Perhaps there is something to learn through all of this, Sam has suggested I write about the experience. I’ll be taking notes, the treatment of those with brain injuries seems unjust, but I need to experience more (and remember what I have experienced).

          Like

          • Mike R says:

            I agree that the treatment of brain injuries is unjust. I’ve felt the same way about mental health, for similar reasons. I think Sam’s idea to take notes and write about your experience someday is a great idea. Thanks for sharing what you have with us. Your writing about your life and experience with Emma was inspiration, for me. I feel that I am better prepared to face a similar situation.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Mari Collier says:

    My heart aches for you. The therapist is right. It takes time. I have seen people recover from a stroke and some who didn’t. Those that recovered took anywhere from six months to a year. I wish I were in a position to help, but I am still supporting my son’s family. According to the doctors, this should have ended, but he is too strong to let go. Either a miracle happens or this ordeal will continue. You are alive. Give thanks and continue your fight to regain your life. Prayers and blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

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