Email to N

Good to hear from you. Didn’t get your email until after the meeting. I left the house around 0600 in an attempt to beat the rain to the university. Worked on the way in. Less successful on the way home.

Interesting to hear about the research study. Once I heard your description, I was glad I was not selected. Sounds like a lot of time and effort. My hunch is that you will complete the study with a level of athletic balance far superior to what you may have achieved prior to the study. This mirrors my own experience with walk therapy. Neuroplasticity post injury results in the creation of skills and abilities which exceed pre-injury levels.

On the other hand, those skills and abilities which are not selectively reinforced fail to show any commensurate degree of improvement. I am aware of achieving a level of “walk fitness” greater than anything achieved prior to the injury and have also achieved a degree of written competency greater than that pre-injury. These are the skill areas that have been selectively reinforced by my rehabilitation efforts. But there exist a wide range of skills and abilities which have not been so reinforced and they remain problematic.

Writing this, I just realized that the “lost,” or impaired skills and abilities, were acquired over the course of a lifetime of practice. In a great many cases they were acquired inadvertently – there was no conscious effort to develop certain skills, the skill acquisition “just happened” as an element of life processes, increased awareness, and maturation. Writing this, I realize that my rehab efforts represent an attempt to reacquire the accumulated skills regimen associated with 64 years of time on the planet. There is no way I can engage in the forced acquisition of that entire skill range. In fact, the focus on specific skill areas (walking, blogging) will serve to exclude, or restrict, the range of skills reacquired. To put this observation in another way: It is impossible to cram 64 years of learning into a three year rehabilitative window.

Basically, I am slowly coming to terms with a catch phrase found in the PDF you sent – that there is low likelihood of making full recovery and anyone who believes otherwise is fooling themselves. I am coming to accept the reality of that statement even though my inclination is to fight tooth and nail against it.