Health Update: 8 Weeks of VRT

Thursday February 28th, concluded my 8th week of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). It was also Rare Disease Awareness Day— a day to raise awareness for rare diseases all over the world.

8 weeks ago, I skeptically began VRT attempting to improve balance, coordination, and overall movement.

Without surgery, could my brain really be fixed?

To explain the workings of my brain is difficult. I mean–I may look fine but my brain is an upright vacuum. A Hoover with a little light on the front to see all the dirt in the dark corners.

Now–the vacuum’s power cord, where it meets the vacuum shaft, is damaged. The cord is loose and fraying. So you ring it with duct tape and hope. I mean– you like this vacuum and you don’t have the money to buy a new one. Fortunately, the vacuum still works, things inside spark, but the power connection is often interrupted. The motor stops. The little light tends to blink a heavy blink. The suction is temperamental. And the vacuum only works, like it should, when all the wires inside are aligned.

VRT was an attempt to align those wires.

To my surprise, through both physical and mental exercise, I’ve been able to strengthen the connection. Tighten the duct tape, which has not only physically improved me, but also restored both confidence and toughness– two things that a rare disease can easily shred.

VRT worked. I’m better than I was. But I still have work to do.

During my 8 weeks my therapist, a young guy, revealed he didn’t read as much as he should.

“Reading takes effort.”

I laughed and said he sounds like one of my students.

He then told me he likes war books and he has a few sitting on a shelf at home.

Before I left the rehabilitation office today, for the final time, I gifted my therapist The Things They Carried. I shook his hand, handed him the book, and I told him I’d email him in a week with questions regarding the first three chapters.

He laughed, “Now I have to read.”

Life, like therapy or reading a book, will only offer you its fruit if you take action. An unwilling patient, an unread book standing idle collecting dust, is just a finely woven gathering of potential energy.

I get it–life is frustrating. It’s consuming. It’s overwhelming. It makes you feel small and powerless. And we waste so much of that precious energy worrying about what we should do instead of actually doing it.

Yet if I’ve learned anything–it’s that life is about doing.

We discover new strengths, new ideas, and new perspectives only by doing. By doing challenging things. Things we’re scared of and skeptical to do.

But if you want to improve– at anything– you simply have to do.

Be well,


PS (Please Share) – If you know someone who might need some encouragement to do–please share this post share with them.

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