Ahem! After weeks of waiting after my initial speech therapy appointment for insurance approval and scheduling, etc., etc., I have finally embarked on speech therapy (yes, a weird misnomer–my speech therapist is supposed to help me with my memory) in earnest. Friday was my second appointment, a long awaited second episode in an ongoing series.
My speech therapist started off the appointment by asking me to name 20 things I had done in the last 48 hours–I could use my “compensatory strategies” (e.g., reading my memory notebook where I write everything I do, aka my diary) as needed. I started naming the things I’d done, things I’d eaten, places I’d been.
In a way, it was a nice review of my mother’s visit (yes more on that to come in a later post) thus far as I listed my ongoings and activities–and bordered on story telling or confessional work (was I teetering on the brink of psychotherapy there?). After what I thought was a substantial list, I asked my therapist how many I’d stated: eleven. She said I was doing well, and she did not hide her gleeful surprise. I got to twenty without opening my book, all on my own.
Who knows–it may have been the act of keeping a diary and jotting these things down that have helped me to retain things, and it may be that I’ve just been busy during my mother’s visit, but it is clear that I am getting measurably better.
Now of course I’m scared that I’ve progressed so far that the insurance company will not deem this necessary, even though my neurologist, who prescribed this treatment, said I’d be treading new ground with my speech therapy, a treatment traditionally for the severely disabled. But a part of me is so happy to have measured improvement in the last month.
We discussed new goals for the next 4 weeks. I listed some hefty ones: to be able to write fiction, and accomplish writing a whole short story, to up my reading rate to 50 pages/day (she said that was a rather large goal)…to learn other compensatory skills in addition to my memory book (because I can’t have my notebook with me ALL the time, especially in the ever expanding amounts of conversations I am having)…to be able to sit in a meeting of more than 3 people and hold myself together and participate (I’m thinking ahead to the Fall, when I’ll be in school again, in classes full of competitive student peers)…the most important items being able to read at velocity and to write fiction again.
“These are big goals!” she exclaimed.
Yes, I know–and if I don’t achieve them, oh well…but I so wanted to try. I really want to try. I wouldn’t be Me if I couldn’t at least strive to get those skills back for myself.
But of course I know that I will never be the same again. I am grieving for that change, but at the same time, beginning to accept that reality in earnest. I’m also beginning to realize that a “100% recovery,” as predicted and stated by doctors, doesn’t mean, “Exactly the same as you were before.”