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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Technology, Coaches, and rehabilitation.

This video demonstrates how technology with the help of a coach can help a person with Mild TBI function normally, in spite of short-term memory and attention difficulties.

Coaches serve an important role with a person with attention, memory, and awareness difficulties. I meet informally with a friend, who once a week, discusses my plans and makes suggestions on what to delegate or abandon, so that priorities can be handled. He also goes through my mail, making quick decisions and marking items as trash, "scan and toss," (my Evernote software indexes scanned documents so I can find them. It can also schedule when I look at those documents). Even with his help, I have difficulties sometimes.

What the video does not show are the every-day difficulties that happen when equipment does not work as expected, when alarms for less important events cause distractions that are much more serious than the problems they were designed to solve, or when unrelated but intermittent difficulties such as sudden disabling vertigo suddenly make walking impossible. Personally, I have to continuously monitor my level of awareness (for which I use technology). When I my level of awareness drops below a certain level, I become confused and disoriented, looking for a car I used to own years ago, or more commonly, knowing I'm forgetting something important distracts me from what I'm doing at the moment.

There have been times when I start noticing time "gaps" in which the fluid motion of other vehicles on the road seems to be replaced by a set of still images in which cars "jump" ahead a few feet at a time.
For that reason, I avoid driving at highway speed, and no matter where I am, I pull off the road and take a nap if I realize I my awareness is faltering. I use guided relaxation recordings (also a use of technology) to help me rest, and to get back to my responsibilities quickly. If I catch myself loosing awareness, I can usually stop, take a ten or twenty-minute nap, and be functional for another two hours before signs of lost awareness creep up on me again.

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