Monday, January 12, 2015

The rules of recovery

There's a difference – in my mind – between recovery and rehabilitation. Recovery is getting back what the stroke took. Rehabilitation is a medical model that may or may not help recovery.

I'm a fan of rehab for the most part. Good rehab from (approximately) the first week, through the first year in a system with folks who are trained and with the fundamental equipment needed to promote recovery, represents the best that can be done. But for most, this in not close to the reality.

But instead of trashing the system and the people in that system, let me focus on recovery. The rules of recovery are simple. The process is dauntingly difficult, but the rules are simple. 

What are the rules of recovery?

The rules of recovery are the same as deeply learning anything arduous; lots of hard work, lots of repetition, lots of planning and constantly looking for breakthroughs.

Of course, there are a few flies in the ointment. What of spasticity? What about the classic stroke Catch-22-- if you can't move, how do you repeat a movement? If the ability to be rational is gone, can the level of effort needed be achieved? And then there is the huge number of other issues that can get in the way. Issues of balance and vision and sensation and all the other illnesses that may befall us, and finally, aging.

The rules of recovery are the rules of every effort and every success. Let's not make it complicated.

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