What’s an escape room like after a brain tumor?

I had suspected for a while that I would not be good at an escape room. I had tried this once years ago so I knew what the general concept was. Given that I don’t do well in time-sensitive activities anymore and that I’m not the best at puzzles anymore, I figured an escape room would be pointless. However, my need to keep stepping out of my comfort zone and trying things like this triumphed. With four people I didn’t know and one person I did, I spent an hour in an escape room trying to solve the mystery of the black widow. As expected, I was pretty much useless in helping solve any of the puzzles and I couldn’t really follow what was going on with the group and any time I thought I might have something to contribute, they were already way ahead of me. Luckily it was a small room and only a group of 5 people in addition to myself so while it was over-stimulation of a sort, it wasn’t the kind that made me extremely uncomfortable. I simply surrendered to my limitations and amused myself with how different my reality is. The four people I didn’t know didn’t have any idea who I was or what I’d been through, so for all they knew I just wasn’t very bright.  More likely they were just focused on the game and didn’t even notice that I didn’t really contribute. It matters neither way.

I used to be really good at solving puzzles and I loved doing puzzles for entertainment. My cognitive testing from last year suggested that I can solve any problem if I have no time constraints. The escape room is a timed event, so that puts me immediately into that category of things I have difficulty with. I did wonder afterwards, if I was given the same instructions and allowed to just be in the room for as long as I needed to, would I have been able to figure the whole mystery out?  I have figured out how to put furniture together on my own, though the instructions for those aren’t intentionally trying to trick me. Maybe one day I’ll make friends with someone who runs an escape room and ask them if I can get in on a day they are closed and just see what happens. Anyone know anyone with an escape room hookup?

In addition to validating my lack of escape room skills, I also “attempted” to play ConnectFour and it was a laughable venture. My brain just had no idea how to use those old highways, clearly bogged down with lots of construction and detours that prevent my little signals from reaching their destinations in any useful time frame.  Maybe one day my brain will be able to connect more dots again…

One thought on “What’s an escape room like after a brain tumor?

  1. Raegan, yes! I absolutely could get you an escape room experience with no time limit (or at least one of several hours). It would need to be a weekday morning. Ravenchase even owns one in Northern Va, but I’m confident that Sam of River City Escape would do it too. And he has a room that has no locks, it’s all buttons, colors and charmed objects, which might be easier if seeing tiny numbers on a dial is difficult. If it makes you feel any better, even escape room pros often go through rooms without contributing much. Our kids were MVPs in the last one we did. Let me know if you want to set up a long session. In the meantime, there are escape room games you can play on the computer or phone.

    So glad you tried this again. I really enjoy reading about your adventures.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s