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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Compensating for lost abilities

A friend commented that her hearing loss in one ear (due to a head injury) is becoming less apparent to her. Her brain takes what she hears from one ear, and gives the illusion of hearing from both ears. I responded:

I'm sure that's possible. People who suffer blindness often talk about enhanced hearing and an enhanced sense of texture. 

I lost much of my episodic memory, but I believe my memory for facts is better than it ever was (probably a compensatory change). Combined with my notes and automated evidence collection with various applications from my phone and computer dumping information into Evernote, which I daily tag and organize, I have a sense of what has happened each day that often comes close to episodic memory. (But make no mistake, natural episodic memory has a sequential quality that constructed episodic memory does not have. It's sort of like the difference between seeing a person or seeing a black and white photo of them.) 

My difficulties with tracking time have also caused my philosophy to change. I think in terms of "now," and both the past and the future have the feel of something I read in a book. Only "now" seems real. I also think in terms of "seasons" instead of activities: such as deciding today is a time for doing laundry. I may not get much laundry done, but thinking that way enables me to ensure routine tasks get done, whereas schedules tend to get forgotten, because my brain doesn't work that way now.

The one area that still "sneaks up" on me are tasks I start, only to discover I already did them. But even that annoyance has become so common that I shrug it off rather quickly now, when it happens, so in a sense, I'm beginning to feel "normal" in spite what is obviously still not working. I still hope that in a few years I will recover enough to not need disability, but I'm still fighting to get it. I will probably know whether I am considered "disabled" by the end of next month.

Regardless, the bottom line is, that unless there is work that can be done on a flexible schedule, 2 hours at a time, and no more than 6 hours a day (including travel time) there probably is no kind of work that I can do