It’s August 4th. Marika and I are planning a stop at Terre Bleu lavender farm and I keep thinking: Does lavender have magical properties that help cure? Is there a lavender salve for the brain? Will a whiff of lavender renew neurons that have atrophied?
Yesterday Dizzio asked me how close I thought I was to 100%. I said maybe 70-80%.
Then we talked, and I told him how exhausted I was on Tuesday. Was it the work conditioning on Monday? The swimming on Saturday? A cumulative effect of everything?
Dizzio looked at me in his unique, physio-geek way.
“I’m downgrading you to 60-65%, if you don’t mind,” he said. “You’re not the Energizer Bunny yet, neither in terms of symptoms nor energy.”
What I didn’t tell him was that I still find morning activities (what he calls activities of daily living or ADL) exhausting. That often, after I do my exercises, make the bed, have a shower, and eat, I feel it’s time to lie down.
“You’re pushing the envelope; therefore, you’re tired,” Dizzio explains.
He doesn’t mind that I’m tired. (“Your tiredness is an empty gas tank,” he says.) But he also expects me to be back up for work conditioning on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
To illustrate, Dizzio grabs a pen (for once, he has his own!) and draws a chart. Then, suddenly remembering what he said as I opened up my notebook (“Ah, the journalist has arrived!”), he decides that it probably makes more sense to drop the illustration straight onto my page.
Like everything, these instructions bear repeating and further explanation. (Why can I never catch on the first time?)
I knew that Tuesdays and Thursdays are supposed to be rest days. They’re an opportunity to recharge and recover after work conditioning. But Dizzio now explains that the weekend is a double-day reservoir. I shouldn’t do too many chores because I need to be back up by Monday. (Note to self: Not too many chores!)
I tell him that the past weekend at the cottage wasn’t about chores. It was more about physical activity, which felt great. I did my 20 minutes of cardio. I went swimming in the lake.
Dizzio looks at me, again, in his physio-geek way. “Cardio is instructing the body that you need more reservoirs of energy,” he says solemnly.
I write this all down, diligently, in my journalist way. And then, less than 24 hours later, wrapping it all up in this little summary, I realize again that I don’t totally get it.
It takes another week, another Tuesday and a flurry of texts with my concussion sisters before I begin to catch on. We’re not just talking about not too many chores. We’re talking about not too much of anything.
There was a time when the most important thing was rest. Now the priority is all-out work so that I can get back to work.