AtomicKnight is a RockBand.com forum member and a really determined Rock Band player. For more information on his ordeal, visit the original thread on the forums.
On May 20th of this year, I suffered a stroke that left my entire left side useless. I spent a week in the Intesive Care Unit and nearly a month in hospital rehabilitation. In rehab, they told me that recovering is essentially letting your brain find the pathways again.
After rehab, I was finally able to go home. I had to use a wheelchair everywhere. One of the first things I did when I came home was put my Rock Band guitar in my hands. I couldn't even hold it with my left hand or balance it on my left knee and I saw everything double, but I was determined. My main goal was to get good enough to play The Beatles: Rock Band in September and I wanted to reach that goal no matter what.
I actually wasn't into Rock Band until late last year, but I used to play in real bands and miss that experience. Before I knew it, I was an addict. Before the stroke, I played Rock Band at the Expert level. A few weeks after coming home from the hospital, I finally played a bit, managing only 33% notes hit on Easy. But almost every day I played more and I noticed my percentages getting higher. Then I noticed that I moved from my wheelchair to a regular chair, to standing for a few moments, to standing for full setlists now. I also started noticing my eyesight getting better, things coming together. It is still exhausting, but I know I am getting better.
I played earlier today and managed a 90% on Expert. When I go to my numerous therapies or doctors appointments, they are shocked at how quickly I recovered. When I left the hospital, they said I would be in a wheelchair almost full time for at least 4 months. It has been 3 months since my stroke and 2 months since I have been out of the hospital and I have full use of my left side.
When the doctors and therapists ask what I do at home, I tell them "I play Rock Band." Most of them don't know what it is, so I have to explain it to them, but once I describe it, they completely understand how it helps. I even convinced the people at the in hospital rehab to consider using it.
So my thanks go out to Rock Band. And just remember, the next time someone mentions that playing Rock Band or video games are a waste of time, mention me, and how I'm not crippled anymore because of it.