I recall while I was in Hawaii during my in-patient care, I asked question “when does my recovery end?” My rehab doctor, therapists, my sister(happens to be a nurse) all said that I will likely never return to my previous state; and even if someone else didn’t notice, I myself would always. At the time looking back, I was for sure a bit in denial, and just couldn’t believe that. But now I realize, especially with my upper extremities on my affected side, I would now take just a fraction of that recovery back! I really can see that it will likely be a lifelong endeavor.
I recently read a chapter in the book Stronger after Stroke by Peter Levine, that really hit home…(Copied by permission from author)
When will recovery End?
“How do I know when I’m done recovering”? This is a legitimate question. Is a tough one, too. I asked this question of Kathy Spencer, a friend and one of the most motivated survivors I’ve ever met. She puts it this way…
I don’t think recovery ever ends. I told stroke survivors that with the plasticity of the brain-we are never done recovering and less frequent working or die. I still work on things, just not as intensely. I think for me, after working over two years every single day, I felt like I needed and wanted to get on with life-and I have so much recovery that I’m okay with it. I do fine with motor stuff-type, write, piano, etc., but I could benefit if I did more. I just bought one of those hand-grip things to carry my card to strengthen my fingers while driving, but now I can do so much with my fingers. I can even put in pierced earrings, hook my necklaces, jog, jump, etc.-I just don’t focus on nearly as much as I use to. So to answer your question-at what point are the efforts toward recovery no longer worth the time-it’s always worth your time, but when you can do as much after not being able to do it two years-you reach a point of satisfaction but still work-just not as hard! I would never tell a person not working on recovery ends or is a waste of time.