… Probably from the title, you guys know what this post will be about, but fear not!…
I remember back in University, I always loved taking psychology courses. However, there was this one course that I struggled with, despite the fact that it was a mixture of biology and psychology. That course was the anatomy and functions of the brain. I despised having to remember all the little details/structures of the brain and how everything functioned together. In a sense it was concrete but not at the same time.
In this semester of OT, I was reintroduced to the structures and functions of the brain. It was coming back to haunt me. But having a great prof makes an absolute difference. I loved my neurology prof this time around. He made it so ‘simple’ and although it was an 8 AM class, I loved every bit of it (Can you tell I’m a dork?). The brain is so fascinating, especially the concept of neuroplasticity!!!
As part of my Christmas present, my friend bought me the book ‘My stroke of insight’ by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist who suffered a left hemisphere stroke. It talks about her experiences and her slow, long road to ‘recovery’. I don’t think I have ever really stopped to think how even the smallest of actions require such complex brain action, such as lifting your finger, until reading her description of what having a stroke was like. She also delves into those concepts that were taught back in neurology class like the ‘use it or lose it’ concept! It’s absolutely amazing in the sense that it really puts things in perspective.
It also talks about some of the implications of rehabilitation for people who’ve had a stroke. In the appendix, she has ‘recommendations for rehabilitation’, so I encourage anyone out there who is interested to read this! It’s a short read and don’t worry, it doesn’t get too technical or scientific, which is really nice. At the end of the book, she quotes Albert Einstein: “I must be willing to give up what I am to become what I will be” and this quote holds true throughout this entire book. It also gives you a different perspective on things.