It’s no secret to people who read this blog regularly, that I’m not a fan of the “you’ll never recover from brain injury” proponents.
I mean, sure, there skills and abilities that will change — some of them drastically. And we may never be able to do certain things again.
But how damaging to talk about “recovery” only in terms of those things.
Recovery is about more than motor abilities. It’s about more than cognitive abilities. And behavior. It’s about quality of life, adjustment, getting yourself back, regardless of how much of a stranger you may feel like.
In fact, I would say that brain injury recovery is far more about recovering your Sense Of Self, than it is about re-learning how to walk and talk and do the things you used to do.
Because think about it — throughout our lives, we change. Our capabilities change. Our capacity changes. Our cognitive reserve changes. But we don’t declare ourselves disabled and incapable of having a real life, when our memory starts to “sputter” and we’re not able to run a 12-second 100-meter dash anymore. When we start to creak and ache in the morning or after a long day’s work, we don’t say, “Oh, well that’s it. I’m done for. I’ll never be any good again!” and give up our humanity, or our aspirations to living our lives.
And yet, that’s what we’re expected to do, when our brains change after an injury.
Because supposedly “there is no full recovery after brain injury”.
I don’t even want to think about how many people have been deeply harmed by this statement… how many people have been stripped — from the inside out — of their dignity and hope, because some individual in a white coat had a skewed vision of what “recovery” is all about.
We can recover from brain injury.
We DO recover from brain injury.
I — and many, many others — are walking, talking proof of that.
And nobody can convince me otherwise.