Recovering Who You Are

Hanging Flower StandRediscovering who you were before a brain injury is one of the challenges and joys of rehabilitation.

Imagine how it feels for an old talent to nudge its way to the surface.  You might fall in love all over again with music or working on cars or basketball. For many patients, the reconnection process can be profound.

One of our patients is making the connection to his woodworking skills again. His first project was a hanging planter and now he’s going to lead a patient workshop to pass on his knowledge to his friends.

Part of a rehabilitation therapist’s job is to find out what talents, hobbies, or interests a patient has and encourage them to experience them again. It may be a while until full skills are recovered, or the competency level may never return – but the simple pleasure of finding something loved again after an absence is healing in the deepest sense.

“(He) was so incredibly proud of his handiwork; apparently he was quite an accomplished woodworker prior to his stroke,” says Pate’s Anne Marconi, a speech-language pathologist. “I’m quite sure that until now he doubted his ability to ever do this type of work again – that is, until my student encouraged him to give it a try. The result was a new-found confidence and outlook – we’ve seen a new man…and his wife has reported seeing good things at home as well.”

The workshop is starting shortly!