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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Plateau a go go

Plateaus are often a beautiful place, at least that's how they are depicted but look closely at most of the images and they are windswept , flat empty landscapes most often with some beautiful far off vistas which create an awesome scenic picture but if you are stood in the middle of that setting the chances of getting to the mountain, or down to the river seems pretty daunting ,unlikely and just too far out of reach.

And that my friends is why they use the word of plateau in language when describing the healing trajectory commonly seen in brain related conditions and injuries. It slows down. 

The first six months post my brain bleed were a roller coaster of changes, learning, adjustment and unsettling effects , learning everyday what I could and couldn't do, adapting, grieving. The second six months followed a similar pattern, starting again at my brain base camp after another invasive surgery for James Shunt, and then the second year rolled round and despite surgeons warning that progress can be slow I made great strides and regains. I delighted in it, I got scared by new pains and unexplained sensations yes, but then new ways to think revealed themselves to me, I explored what I could and couldn't do and found help along the way to adjust to this shifting state and it was a never ending shifting state, every day different. Exhilarating but also terrifying and unstable. Exhausting. The third year on and changes were less dramatic, my favourite word and ambition became 'steady' and as the year has passed I realised that I am experiencing this plateauing effect that the Neuro team had mentioned.  There is a point at which you maybe find your new normal and make peace with that, say farewell to the old reality. My normal of old, which many would agree wasn't all that normal is long gone, out of reach and ever since that point I have struggled, railed, climbed and explored to discover what was left without realising what I actually was looking for was what is in front of me, not so much what is left but more to discover what is still possible. Thing is when you aim for a steady state then hopefully and eventually things will level off which is very agreeable after such a climb  but then you realise you're really not sure where to aim or reach for next and that's me right now. Do I Risk my steady state where I have found my limits to push on or just sit a while and enjoy the view. Decisions. But what a lucky girl to be able to keep exploring that and that my brain is giving me that opportunity to do it after all it's been put through. 

All a bit deep really but since brain pop I'm much happier to just be happy with now in my life, often you're doing all that work to push and try and watch you don't often stop and look around but I can honestly say I've watched my own progress right the way through. But then you plateau, a forced full stop and that's actually a pretty pleasing point. People ask of my recovery, are you all better now, and the answer is probably not one they enjoy so I mostly say 'oh I'm doing steady' Better? You bet I'm better than I was, but will I ever recover or be totally fixed , whatever that means, well that's impossible ambition so I take my deficits, my clunky whirring brain kit, I talk to my gerbils work with it all and keep seeing what's there still to discover, what is in reach. 

And so it continues. I do what I can do to the limit of my current brain capacity , as it is for now and knowing it may well change, in fact no doubt it will. I do more, I know myself more and progress and change is less frequent but still as pleasing but to stop for a while, to  be steady in this plateaued state is far from lonely or desolate as it is time well spent getting to find and know myself again.

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