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I Read a Whole Chapter With Comprehension After Concussion

Surreal.

I read an entire chapter, start to finish, using Lindamood-Bell visualizing and verbalizing method. First time since my brain injury. OMG!

I got to the point of being able to read an entire chapter of The Screwtape Letters about 2 months ago but not in one go. Instead, I read for 5 minutes at a time or paragraph by paragraph or a page at a time. I finally got up to reading  chapter 1.5 pages by 1.5 pages on July 1, 2019. But I didn’t progress to reading 2 pages until July 20th. That was just one page off from reading an entire chapter in one go.

What I mean by one go is: Start reading the text, create concept imagery as I read, redo concept imagery if I’m “seeing” text in my head instead of a still image or mini movie, keep going like that until I get to the final word of the chapter, not pausing once.

Then do word summary for entire chapter: tell myself out loud what I just read by seeing the imagery in my mind and recall it from the images.

Then describe out loud to myself the main idea. I always stumble on this one. Today, I remembered the three-key-points method on my second try and got it!

Then ask myself: what do you conclude, infer, predict? Those questions, as always, help me see ideas or inferences I hadn’t seen when creating imagery and summarizing.

Fucking amazing. Yeah, it’s a short chapter. Yeah, it’s taken me till Chapter 23 of the third book I’ve read since I relearnt to read, to accomplish this. But like all the chapters of The Screwtape Letters, it’s dense with ideas, visuals, sounds, tastes, smells and, in this chapter, long strings of adjectives — I had to create an image for each adjective to help me remember what Screwtape thinks of this latest person in the patient’s life.

Lindamood-Bell instructed me that when I advance to the next level — whether from sentence to sentence by sentence or from paragraph by paragraph to page by page — I would not recall 100 percent. Sixty would be awesome. So during the word summary, having to check back to the text three times to remind myself of details or an entire argument and see imagery pop back up into consciousness so that I could close the book and recall it in word summary, didn’t faze me.

I can’t believe that with my brain injury, the huge setback from the Shingrix vaccine, and current rise of major stress, I finally read with comprehension from start to finish, without loss of focus, one whole chapter. Wow. Sweet.

And the professionals who specialize in brain injury who told me I had to accept I couldn’t read anymore and had to use strategies to make do with language going in and immediately exiting my memory and comprehension, were wrong wrong wrong. That’s why I wrote Concussion Is Brain Injury: Treating the Neurons and Me and am updating its companion web pages with my newly acquired knowledge on how to restore reading. Medical professionals are sweet people, but they’re WRONG, and you need to stop listening to them, go out, and find a way to get your book reading back — because you deserve to feel this awesomeness.