Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

What to Expect and How I Do It

For those of you who are coming here from out of town for Fourth Street and have not yet packed: it's supposed to be in the eighties here (which is mid-twenties for those of you thinking in Celsius). Definitely early summer now. We may possibly be done with the rain upon rain upon rain, even.

I will be glad to see people at Fourth Street, but please remember: I can't jump up and run across the room to greet you, no matter how happy I am to see you. If you want to talk to me, please come over to me to do so if you can manage it. If you can't, please remember that it's not that I dislike you or think you smell funny or etc. Also, I am happy to be hugged, but if I'm standing up and you've come and hugged me, please make sure I've got something to hang onto before you go wandering off. Finally, an offer of an arm or help fetching something or etc. is always, always appreciated, but an offer to re-diagnose me or change my PT is not.

People sometimes say they don't know how I can do it, keeping up the PT three times a day for the last four months while it's making me feel very nasty, and not knowing when I'll be done. I had been reacting to this statement with some confusion, since I don't really see that the other choice (deciding that I'll just stay dizzy) is a good plan. But I wonder if I have been taking this insufficiently literally, and what some of these people really mean is that they don't know, practically, how one goes about maintaining that sort of discipline over this length of time.

The trick I wanted to mention this morning is forcing the choice. I think mostly when people don't get things done that they genuinely want to get done, it's not because they're choosing not to. (Things they don't genuinely want to get done are a different story, albeit with some overlap.) It's because they're drifting past without making the choice. They are not looking at their dirty kitchen floor that they want to have swept and thinking, "I choose not to sweep this now. It is more important to me to use that time and energy to read my book/catch up on e-mail/etc. I will sweep it Thursday morning early." They are just doing the other things they're doing, and letting their brains slide past the choice whether or not to sweep the kitchen floor.

So with the PT, I don't let myself think, "I'll do that later," and I don't let myself just not think about it. I do it three times daily, after meals, and if it gets to be more than half an hour after a meal and I haven't done it, I firmly say to myself, "You can do this now, or you can do it in an hour, or you can choose not to do it at all this time." But not making a choice is not on the list. "In a little bit" is not on the list. Twice I have chosen to do some of the exercises right away and some an hour later. I've never chosen not to do them in an ordinary circumstance. (In the four months, I've missed three of the PT sessions: one Easter/Minicon weekend, and one each on the days I was traveling to and from California.) I have even gone so far as to say aloud, "I'm not going to do my PT tonight." But then I always have anyway, because when push comes to shove, I want to give myself the best chance of recovering from this as completely as possible. So I make sure that push does come to shove. The pessimal condition for me would not be that I don't fully recover my vestibular functioning; that would be bad, but we could adjust. The pessimal condition would be that I don't fully recover my vestibular function and have to wonder if I could have, if only I'd worked harder at the PT. And that's the part I can control. So I do.
Tags: cons, stupid brain tricks, stupid vertigo
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