(Lucid) Viridian Dreaming

(Cross-posted with Patreon)

Something odd happened the other day. I woke up slightly ahead of the alarm clock. As I lay half-dozing, a scene played out in my head with William. There was even detailed logical technobabble on the nature of magic that was internally consistent and it will eventually become a major plot point in the future. I relayed it to Runsamok and she thought it was awesome, as did Tempest.

So, you may be asking, Matthew’s being creative, big deal, right? I used to do this a lot.

The last time was in 2015, before the gout, pneumonia, respiratory failure, and hospitalization. When I woke up in the hospital, the mental fog was pretty profound. I’d suffered a period of low blood oxygen saturation and it took its toll on the old grey matter. But it got better. The “tip of the tongue” (where you know you know the word, but can’t quite recall it) episodes went from constant to occasional to rare. I still tend to forget NPC names when I game with my D&D group, but my friends are patient.

I did a stupid number of sudoku puzzles on my phone to track my recovery in other areas.

But my creative “energy” for lack of a better term seemed to come back the slowest. Editing and mechanical wordsmithing was one thing, but creating things whole-cloth became like wading through molasses. My original works got more attention both because of my obligation to provide value to my supporters and because frankly there were fewer things to keep track of, canon-wise.

And now it’s 2020 and I’m literally doing it my sleep again.

So why am I talking about this now, other than to say hurrah at last? I’ve been hesitant to broach this topic because one, it’s deeply personal as it really hits me where I live. Two, I don’t want sympathy, I am fully aware that I got off bloody lightly. Due to lack of bed-space, I did some of my physical therapy at SCTBI (Southern Crescent Traumatic Brain Institute Center) and met some people that had their lives profoundly altered.

Despite all that, I’ve been presented with direct proof that the human brain is a little more adaptable than we might ordinarily think. Given enough time, patience, and effort sometimes it can make a fuller recovery than might initially seem likely. Even if it takes five years.

I know that I would have found this idea encouraging years ago when I was wondering if I was ever going to be “fully back” again. I may never be 100% of what I was, but I’ll settle for “too close to tell the difference”. So I wanted to share this with anyone who is in similar circumstances or knows someone who is. It’s not over until you give up.

11 thoughts on “(Lucid) Viridian Dreaming”

  1. I’m happy for you, that that moment came. I’m glad you’ve had the time to recover, and the support needed for it. A lot of people are going to need this determination soon. Best of luck, stay as healthy as you can.

  2. The precise circumstances differ, but I’m seeing similarly unexpected levels of recovery in my mom. She had a massive stroke a couple years ago, and they told us she’d probably never walk or talk again. Most of her talking is unintelligible still, but she’s able to support herself with aid, and more importantly, she’s weaving again – which requires far more dexterity and cognitive function than any of us thought she’d ever get back. Dad has a hard time seeing her progress, because he’s right there, and it’s so incremental; but the rest of us, getting word piecemeal, are constantly flabbergasted by her progress. The doctors said after six months she wouldn’t improve further, but she’s proving them wrong daily, even now.

    • That’s awesome! Something that might help your Dad is to say “last time I saw her she couldn’t even ______”. Keep encouraging her as much as you can, from what I have read it’s the continued effort that pushes the recovery. I’m really happy for you both!

  3. Yay for recovery!

    My wife has various chronic health problems, and I know that one thing that really bothers her is how the poor sleep quality (from pain and various other causes) means constant brain fog. She’s a smart lady, but struggles to feel that way when she’s stumbling over words or forgetting things. It’s great to hear that you’re getting something back that was… Shall we say “on vacation”?

  4. That is absolutely wonderful to hear! It has been 4 years since I have read Team 8, and to this day I have yet to find a fanfic that has enraptured me as hard as this one has. To hear that your wonderful, creative mind has finally started to recover is the best damn news I have heard all year. I eagerly await your triumphant return with baited breath!

  5. Phone sudoku is the best, I use it to keep my mind mildly on track during math class when we’re going over something I already know. Glad to hear you’re okay mate, stay safe out there especially now.

  6. Couldn’t be happier that you’re finally feeling better! This story is absolutely fantastic and I can’t wait for your next update!

    I was curious as to where you will be posting your updates now that fanfiction is out? Could you let us know which site you prefer so that I can continue to check?

    Thank you, well wishes!


  7. It really is amazing what the brain can do when push comes to shove.

    When my dad was a toddler, his babysitter would hold him over an unlit, but active, gas stove to stop him crying. This caused a massive amount of brain damage; we found out when I was little that his entire frontal lobe was basically dead. No blood flow, no activity. Yet, he was still perfectly functional, even if he had a lot of problems expressing and regulating himself emotionally. Despite all the damage, he was still coherent and, at times, frighteningly intelligent.

    I’m wishing ya all the best on your recovery, my man.

  8. Where can I read this now since fan fiction website deleted it? It’s obviously been a bit since I checked on this wonderful story.

  9. NoFP is one of my favorite fanfics of all time. I started reading it when it first cam out and it inspired me to start writing and editing.

    I recently took my first job as a creative editor.

    I just wanted to thank you and let you know that you touched and changed my life. I’m beyond pleased to hear you’re recovering well.

    Thank you.

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