Lately, I’ve fallen behind in my book reviews and such (sorry sorry sorry!) due to my contracts picking up. Some of my family members have expressed an interest in reading some of the books in my queue and offering their opinions, so why the heck not?! There’s a big family trip coming up (that I’m not going on due to aforementioned contracts) and I’m divvying up books for them to read and give me their thoughts on. I think they’re all quicker readers than I am, and I’ll be asking them questions. For fairness, I will indicate which book reviews I actually did and which were done by someone I know. I wouldn’t expect things to start churning at a furious pace because that would just be too great to be real.
I have also been working on a handful of projects that have been sitting in my queue for some time now and it has raised some interesting questions. Most of these are things aimed at my recovery, which I mentioned in a previous post. To aid in my recovery, I’ve been working on things to sort of “practice” my memory-izing skills. It has been really effective for me and has done a lot to improve my mood too (not the goal, but very much welcome all the same).
I have been working on short term memory, so remembering short number combinations for just a couple of minutes at a time. The way I do this is by analying data sets for relationships. I do that because it fits in with my interest in data and my learned skills of database management. Not everyone is going to find that particularly fun, but there’s always sudoku and other games. I also do things that require remembering short patterns and colors, usually games or something similar. While working on my data, I use highlighters to give me that color-memory practice. I typically need to talk out loud to repeat the basic rules I set for whatever I’m doing because it will be gone in a second if I don’t.
Part of this is also to help with my vision, which I lost some of last year. My peripheral vision just isn’t what it used to be, but there’s a very effective means of regaining that too. Playing video games actually does help you develop that peripheral vision or, in my case, regain some lost ground.
When I first started these exercises about seven months ago, I was getting headaches and seeing drastic mood swings. I’d get frustrated at the drop of the hat, even if I was actually doing very well. This can be typical with acquired neurological damage, but since the brain remains relatively plastic throughout your lifespan, there are ways to regain lost functions.
A downside to increasing the number of brain exercises I’m doing is that it makes me very tired very quickly. Based on what I’ve been reading, this seems to be pretty typical and I have been seeing improvements in my day-to-day routine (like I actually have a routine, haw haw haw). I’ve even gotten back into volunteering, albeit at 1/5th the level I was originally volunteering at. The next step for me I think will wind up being some sort of mentoring thing like Big Brothers, Big Sisters or something similar.
One day at a time.