One of the interesting aspects of my “recovery” situation is the misdirection of those who profess to therapize. My situation was, apparently, one of a relatively hopeless nature. But here I am!
There was much wisdom dispensed by professionals who (supposedly) understand these situations and know (theoretically) best how to handle them. One of the most interesting of these was the passing on of the idea that whatever recovery I experienced during the first year was likely to be all I’d ever see. Au con·traire !
The greatest effort I am aware of that was made was the attempt to get me walking again. There were two problems with this strategy. The first being the fact that my handicap was not the loss of a leg, but rather the loss of a sense; the sense of balance. Ten years later I realize that no amount of stumbling around on crutches is going to facilitate the recovery of that sense lost. What is needed is a reprograming of the computer that keeps me upright. The second problem for my would-be therapists was the fact that I didn’t give a flying one-winged shit about walking. Truth is the only thing I really cared about is that I was gone and never coming back.
I missed me… I Still do!
In spite of misdirection and venality on the part of those who should’ve occupied positions of constructivity, I stumbled like an accidentally crafted tune into the key of coming-back major. Tuning up for a new melody… The staff and notes I played would be hard to follow but they landed me in classes at Utah State University and a BS in English! Creative writing major / Folklore minor).
It was toward the end of this educational symphony that I became aware of a principle known as “brain plasticity.” I was far from any real understanding of it. But it appears exemplified by an educational career that ranged from getting a D- in Biological Anthropology during my first semester (brain damage having all but eliminated my ability to retain the material covered), to getting “A’s” in every writing and linguistic class I took, and finally graduating with a 3.8 GPA followed by acceptance as one of only 8 admitted into one of the most prestigious Folklore MA programs in the country.
Much of my brain had literally been scrambled. I still have the tube in my scalp through which the blood and fluid was drained, but somehow I had developed the ability to retain a much more significant amount of data and my creative juices began to flow freely. Brain plasticity indeed!
And here, in the land of plastic brains, lies a hope I’ve only recently recognized. It is a seedbed of hopefulness for anyone suffering from a gigantic multitude of brain anomalies.
Yes, my brothers ’n sisters, there is HOPE! And you don’t have to learn to play the violin… although that certainly wouldn’t hurt anything!