Level Up

Good news! I’ve progressed in my light therapy. I am now staring at a green colour for ten minutes and then back to the blue colour for ten minutes. I do this five days a week. One day of therapy with the therapist, and one day break. 

For those with a concussion, therapy can be a daunting thing. It is hard to physically and mentally motivate yourself to want to do therapy when everything about you wants to go back to bed. It can easily become monotonous. It can be hard to stay focused when you feel like you’re doing child’s work. 

The toughest part is advancing levels. It is rewarding to know that you are moving up in the abilities of what you can do. It is exciting to your family and friends as well hearing of the changes taking place. They may even see the differences before you can. 

I was warned when I started the light therapy that I would feel gross for a bit. They said I would experience nausea, exhaustion, headaches, and the like. Well, I got all of those and they hung on. Mind you there were other factors going on in my life at the time as well. So, it was difficult to know what all the triggers were. 

What the doctor didn’t mention is that I would experience everything all over again when I progressed to the next level. Nausea, exhaustion, and headaches are all back – for at least another couple weeks. 

I mention this to remind or warn anyone doing therapy. This is okay. It stinks and it certainly doesn’t feel good in the slightest. However, we need to keep reminding ourselves that it will totally be worth it. Cut as much as you can out of your schedule. Rest when needed. Make your therapy top priority. The more you focus on getting through the symptoms at the beginning of the next level, the quicker your body will adjust and you’ll be able to handle even more. 

There’s a common saying in the exercise world: “No pain, no gain”. It’s as true with brain therapy as it is with exercising. In order to grow your muscles, you need to lift weights. What are muscles doing when you lift heavy pounds? They are tearing. They are receiving small little tears that will heal and expand your muscular fibres allowing your muscles to grow and withstand more. 

In a way, our therapy is doing something similar. It isn’t tearing our brain, but it is creating new neuro-pathways that are rewiring all of our nerves. It is training our brains to relearn the basic and more advanced functions of daily life. It’s teaching it how to accept light, sounds, and information in new ways. It is causing greater resiliency. 

All of this is also preventing us from things like early Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. If we leave our brains in the injured state they currently are, they will stay broken. This will eventually lead to a breakdown of other health issues because our brains are the center hub of everything that keeps our bodies functioning. 

Just like someone working out needs to go through levels of weights so as not to damage the muscles, we need to take the cautionary steps given to us to safely get back to greater health. Don’t overdo it and don’t under do it. Follow the advice given and keep trying.  It’s time to toughen up and grab those “brain weights”. It’s time to do what we need to do in order to keep moving forward in our recovery. We need to carefully work through our therapies and do what the medical staff are informing us to do. So that we can get back to enjoying life, connecting with others, and being a blessing to those around us.

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