In case I forget.

“So how long does it take for most people to get pissed at you?”
October 31, 2006, 11:37 pm
Filed under: Brain Bits, Dr. NeuroPsych A, Neuro

Today I had an interesting experience. I failed a test. Not something I’m used to doing. Oh yeah, sure, Dr. NeuroPsych A said I didn’t fail, that it’s not a pass/fail test but HEY I know what only getting 50% right means. It means I FAILED. Did not. Did so. Did not. Did so.

I took three neuropsych tests today. The first was the Trail Making Test. Apparently, I can draw lines OK.

The second was the Stroop. I did OK on the first part because blue means blue and green means green. On the second part, I slowed down like car with a clogged fuel pump. Green does not mean green. It could mean tan, or red, or freaking blue for chocolate’s sake. Dr. NeuroPsych A said I did OK but in my experience, 65% isn’t OK. It’s not even a “C”. Below average is not something I am comfortable with.

The third is when I hit it out of the park. The Wisconsin Card Sorting Test SUCKS. I got the first set no problem. The second set took me a while. After the third incontrovertible “INCORRECT” I said, “So how long does it take for most people to get pissed off at you?”. The third set was even worse, and by the fourth set I just gave up trying to figure out exactly how the tester was fucking with me and just went with color because everything else I tried didn’t work. So I came in at about 50% on that one.

The last time I failed a test was in 4th grade and that doesn’t freaking count, right?? What a frustrating day. I’m trying to look at this as progress – we now have some level of documentation that shows exactly where my shiny new neurological deficits are. And I guess that’s good, right? You can’t fix something if you don’t know what’s wrong, eh?

None the less, very frustrating. Dr. NeuroPsych A asked me if I wanted to throw something at the tester. I was very gracious and said “He didn’t design the test”. What she doesn’t know is that I came home and stuck pins in the voodoo doll with the new name of “TESTER”.

Yeah I’m still here.
October 25, 2006, 11:06 pm
Filed under: Dr. NeuroPsych A, Memory, Neuro, RX

I know you all thought I had moved to Costa Rica, changed my name to Juanita, and started selling bananas at the docks but no, I’m still here.

I’ve seen Dr. NeuroPsych A a couple of more times. Last time we talked about neuropsych testing and I questioned what the point is. I know what is different about my cognitive/visual/etc skills now -v- pre-brain injury so I don’t see the need for my insurance company to pay $1,500 dollars so I can be told I have verbal problems, memory problems, comprehension problems, visual processing problems…

Dr. NeuroPsych A brought a bunch of dice to our last meeting. The dice were multi-sided like D&D dice. We played a game where she rolled the dice. One die had a big number on it and I was supposed to figure out how to add and subtract the numbers on the other dice to reach the big number. She demonstrated and could do it almost without thinking. I tried four times and, had I been a six year old, I would have thrown the dice at her out of frustration. Instead I just tried and tried and couldn’t do a single one. Not even close. It was like reading Sanskrit.

The burping has really improved over the last few weeks – I’m down in the 15-10% range most days. The last two days have been in the 25% and heavy range so that’s worrying. After my experience with Lamictal earlier this year when it quit working I am hypersensitive to its ongoing effectiveness. I don’t know where I’ll turn if it quits working again. Scary stuff.

Thanks to the two folks who have sent emails checking in on me.  Mainly just trying to be patient until my next appointment with Dr. Neuro B in the middle of November.

Thinking about rebuilding
October 13, 2006, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Brain Bits, Dr. NeuroPsych A, Memory, Neuro

A report on Dr. NeuroPsych A.

A pretty darned positive experience. A striking physical environment, which I might tell you about later. For now, just imagine piles of papers and magazines and file cabinets. And bright colors. Like yellow. We talked for about two hours. It was a focused, good exchange of information.

She is of the school that believes the brain can regenerate connections that are damaged because of various events, including traumatic brain injuries. She’s been at it for many decades and I liked her. We’ll talk next week about neuropsych testing. It’s something I’ve been asked by many doctors, etc., since the accident but no one has said “do this”. I’ll talk with Dr. PCP about it before I do anything of course.

The most surprising and exciting thing about my time with her was when she said, “When you see Dr. Neuro B in November, please ask them for a release form so they will send me their records on you.”

I said I would and added, “The records I REALLY want are those from the injury – the transport, ER, surgery, and inpatient records.” She said that of course they’re mine for the asking. But – I told her that the hospitals charge a lot for those records – to patients and attorneys. But if a doctor is treating a patient for the problem the records pertain to, the hospital will fax them directly to that doctor for no charge.

She said, “Great. Let’s see if we can get them.” I signed the release and am excited at the prospect of reading this stuff. Like the pictures that came to me a few months ago that answered so many questions for me, and gave me so much perspective that I couldn’t have gotten any other way, these records hold the truth about a vital event in my life. They are the only source of this information and I am itchy at the thought that I might get them. The best part – I told her I wanted to read them, highlight them, and then have someone explain to me what I don’t understand. She patted my arm and said, “Let’s get them.”