Gone But Hopefully Not Forgotten
A Resurgent FibroChampion
I have maintained a low profile for the last month and a half. I have been working on finishing my first novel. I first started writing my Blog, FibroChampionsBlog at CallahanWriter.com to promote the cause of fibro awareness. I then realized that, having fibromyalgia myself, for more than thirty years, one of the things we need besides a cure is validation and inspiration. I’ve been working on adding posts related to that way of thinking. I have a set of memes or graphics that I will be adding to my Blog shortly, which came from my rough draft of the novel I am working on. I think most fibro patients or fibro champions, as I like to call us, will appreciate them.
After writing off and on for a while, mostly for my Blog, I learned from my neuropsychologist that fibro fog affects the body much the same ways that brain damage or traumatic brain injuries affect the brain. Just because you may have brain damage or TMI doesn’t always mean the damage is permanent. Some or all of the memory portion can be reclaimed by physical therapy.
Yes, physical therapy. I’m not talking about exercises that work the muscles and joints, but exercises to physically work your brain. I heard an ad on the TV or radio about seniors learning a foreign language to help them keep their memory sharp. I ask my doc about that and she said it is true. She went on to say that any language-art affects the brain the same way.
I asked about writing, would writing have the same effect as learning a foreign language? The answer was yes. She went on to say that any activity that works the brain actively, like reading, computer games that need strategy, writing, learning languages, puzzles, crosswords, sudoku etc., they all have the same effect. Unlike the muscles in our body that need time to rest and recover between workouts, the brain can and should be worked out every single day for best results.
I like reading and writing. In the past two years I have read about a hundred books. I have written a lot. Somehow, I got the idea to write a novel where the protagonist, the main character has fibromyalgia and has to deal with it through out the story. I wanted the story to have fibromyalgia as a conflict against the main character.
I have spent six months writing the book and completely thrown away one story line and finally found the characters I wanted and then threw out two plot lines until I finally settled on a plot that could go the distance.
You all know how fibro fog does more than affect the memory, I finally had what I wanted, I just needed to complete the rough draft. I had serious doubts I could finish it and so I finally put everything aside and forced myself to do nothing else but wallow in pain and work on completing the novel to the first draft level. I needed a story laid out from start to finish. I needed it as much for a sense of completion. Big projects can be difficult for us fibrochampions. Now that I have finally completed the rough draft, I have a sense of major accomplishment and I feel like I can take the story all the way to publication. That won’t be for a few months, but I feel like I can actually do it.
AND I can say that after about eighteen months of physical therapy for my brain I am remembering things a little better. I still have serious memory issues, but over the last couple of weeks I have noticed a small difference in my memory.
What I want to say to you all is that physical therapy for the brain works and most of us are disabled and have the time to work the brain every day via computer brain games, reading books, especially creatively written books. Writing is good. Languages are good. Eighteen months will pass where you try it or not. Two years, three years, five years, or ten years will pass by, whether you try or not. Everything that counts as physical therapy can be done in bed, on a couch or recliner. Good luck.