Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Every day brings more progress. I feel so fortunate, especially when I hear of or from people who have had brain surgery and aren't progressing as rapidly as I am or are facing bigger challenges than anything I have or will have to.

As a simple example of the kinds of progress I've experienced: in the first week after the brain surgery, whenever I tried to put toothpaste on a toothbrush, no matter how hard I concentrated, the paste ended up perpendicular to the brush, another words across the brush, most of it falling off.

In the second week I gradually managed to get the paste to start turning a little each day so that it was heading more in the direction of where the toothpaste usually ends up. Until the last few days when it was been pretty much following the pat of the brush except slightly to one side, so that the paste isn't quite all the way on the brush but more half on half off.

For some folks, this might not be a big deal and may happen more often than not. But this was happening to me while I was concentrating very hard to get the paste on in the right direction and entirely on the toothbrush. So last night when I finally got it mostly on the brush it felt like a real triumph, because it was.

PS: the reading is so much better it's almost "normal"—though I get tired pretty quickly from it. And the writing is much better too, though also tiring, even a relatively short blog post. But in terms of the motor skills involved, much much better.

And PPS: I was able to watch a rerun of John Stewart earlier tonight and follow it without having to turn it off or feel like the layers of ironies and subtleties were hurting my brain to follow.


Elisabeth said...

It says something to me about the idiosyncrasies of the human brain, that you can write so well immediately after surgery but still have trouble getting toothpaste onto your brush.

What an achievement.

Butch in Waukegan said...

This morning a blog I read linked to this video.

When I got to the 8-1/2 minute mark it reminded me of something you’ve written about several times in your recovery posts: the gifts science (rationality) have given mankind.