Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Star Trek on Neurological Damage

Honest!  I am not a Trekky, but I grew up with the Star Trek shows and movies and it is frequently the background TV sound at my house on weekday afternoons. My husband gets home from work and plops on the couch to be distracted from a long day at work by the familiar fantasy of these old science fiction episodes.

I had the old Voyageur episode, "Riddles", playing in the background this afternoon, while I was blog hopping.  I found myself caught up in the episode. I was entranced and kind of upset because it hit a nerve.

Tuvok, our logical, controlled Vulcan, finds himself with neurological damage.  He comes out of a coma like state to find himself with cognitive impairment, memory loss and a loss of his former emotional control. Sound familiar yet?

As our story unfolds Tuvok starts to respond with the care and support of his friend Neelix. Tuvok deals with the fact that he is now different and then he realizes that he is free to explore other aspects of his life. He discovers a skill and joy in baking, he laughs and he has fun. They eventually find a cure but Tuvok does not want to go through with the treatment because he likes what he has become. He allows himself to be persuaded to go through with the procedure because it is in the best interests of the whole space ship.

I think it was actually a good, but strange and thought provoking, depiction of life after stroke.

I think about the many people who have gently led me in my recovery, I think of the new skills I am now exploring and I think of all the new people who have come into my life as a result of this trauma.  Would I grab at a cure? You bet ya! Would I want to go back to where I was and pretend nothing ever happened? I don't really think so. I am, in many ways that really matter, a stronger, more confident, and more compassionate woman than I was before.

I picked the following youTube clip to share because I am considering eventually working again. It is obvious that I can't go back to the kind of work I was doing before. I don't want to hit the wrong buttons at my work station or see real looks on my co-workers faces like the ones Tuvok generates from his fictional co-workers on their fictional space ship.

What else can I add besides "Live Long and Prosper"?

There are full episodes of the show on line if you are interested. Just search youTube.
Voyager, season 6 episode 6 "Riddles"


Rebecca Dutton said...

I agree with everything you said. I would love to get my motor skills back, but it took a stroke to teach me what is really important.

body lift said...

Really this is wonderful information and I definitely agree with your thoughts.

Peter G Levine said...

I know a few survivors whose sense of humor increased after stroke.

Glynis Jolly said...

I guess I'm a Vulgan because before the stroke, I rarely laughed or cried. Now I do these two things quite often.

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