Stroke of Genius
I once watched a news item about a company that prefers to hire people with disabilities because they reasoned that they are more innovative.
When your body doesn't cooperate in some way, you certainly do need to “engineer” all of the activities most take for granted.
In 2017, I had major abdominal surgery which necessitated hiring a home health aide to stay for two weeks to assist in self and home care. I didn’t have much choice as far as accepting help with certain tasks, but I am very stubborn and wanted to do as much as I could on my own. I had been living with a disability from a stroke for 19 years when Mary was hired to help. She watched me struggle to do as much as I could without constant assistance.
People usually have difficulty watching me do everything using my super-coordinated right hand and my spastic left hand; they want to jump in and help. Over the course of so many years, I have developed countless strategies to deal with this limitation. I am in a constant state of working around it. The fact that my right hand is usually occupied with carrying a walking cane further complicates activities.
If our brains are indeed “plastic” and have the ability to re-route neural connections, then my brain has been re-wired in astonishing ways. I’ve gone from total paralysis of my left side to living a full life with lingering physical deficits over 20 years.
My cognitive abilities were only mildly affected in the immediate aftermath of the stroke. Some of my friends felt that the stroke just brought my intellectual level down closer to everyone else’s.
When Mary was ready to leave at the end of two weeks, she remarked that she believed I am a genius.
Thank you for reading:)