Friday, August 30, 2013

Week Long Updates

This may sound strange, but I completely forgot about this blog. I completely forgot about a lot of things, actually. Maybe not so strange, since,  you know, I do have mTBI (apparently, the preferred name for what happened--mild traumatic brain injury).

Monday


So, Monday, I went to the concussion clinic. First, I got super lost and went to two places before I ended up in the right area and parked on the complete opposite end of the place. I had forgotten my directions and all the instructions. I ended up wicked late to the appointment, instead of wicked early, as planned.

The special doc did some balance testing...she asked if I could do it without blinking my eyes so much. I told her I didn't realize I was. She asked me to do other things. And then I got dizzy and had to sit. But not super dizzy, so I asked if I passed. She said...no, not really.

Then, I had to do a special computer IMPACT test that is specifically designed to test one's memory, concentration, recall, recognition, spatial ability, vocabulary ability, reaction time, and some other things. It also has a way to test my reliability with the test. Before I took it, I had to rate all of my symptoms, based on severity. Directly after the test, I had to rate them again. Anyways, I did that and when the scores were printed, I asked the administrator if I passed. She said..um, well, there were..some low scores..but you know what, the doctor will discuss it with you.

My head pounded, dizziness started, and super light sensitive (which hadn't been an issue) and my emotions were..a little higher.. after the test. I sat for 40 minutes waiting for the doctor, where I closed my eyes and blocked all the light out and probably cried a little bit and tried to rest.

The special doctor comes in and we talk a little bit. She tells me overall, I didn't do too bad. My words/vocabulary was really good without the distractors, but with distractors, a little low. My design memory wasn't great (spatial) and symbol match and total memory (recall, not recognition) was awful (but really, does that surprise anyone? I've never had a good memory..) My color matching was completely accurate, but a bit slow and the three letters test I was really slow. (You can google the test, it goes over the entire thing, so you can actually know what I'm talking about, and I have my exact results if you want them.)

Then it has all my composite scores listed. And then calculates my cognitive efficiency index. Mine is 0.32. That measures between accuracy and reaction time. The range is approximately 0 to .70, with a mean of .34. So I was just slightly below the mean.

So, not awful, but not wonderful.

The doctor kind of said...not so sure about school. I told her the same thing I told my PCP. If it's not going to kill me, I'm doing it. So she said okay on a few conditions:

1. I don't work, at least for the first few weeks.
2. I get a medical parking permit from school (I have to park close to campus buildings for the next 5 weeks, because I can't/not supposed to walk that much.)
3. I follow up with her in 2 weeks
4. I do as little as possible, just school, and that is absolutely it.
5. I understand that I won't do as well in school.
6. I start taking another medicine, in addition to the one my PCP prescribed.
7. I potentially go see a speech pathologist.

So here's what's actually happening.
1. I'm not giving my new job her note. I already lost one job because of this, not going to lose another.
2. I do have a medical permit now. I feel weird with it. It's not a handicap or disability, it's a different kind.
3. The appointment interferes with my practicum........
4. Well...not happening...
5. I've almost come to terms with that, but um, not really.
6. It actually has also helped.
7. They were supposed to call me and still haven't.

So that was my Monday appointment, in detail. The doctors want me to stop my life, and I get it, and I understand, but I can't do it. It's not feasible. We need to come up with a legitimate, feasible, and doable game plan. The doctor said I'll definitely have 100% recovery, but the more I do, the longer it will prolong my symptoms. Again, I get it. But I can't not do things. I can't not work. I can't not do well. I can't not engage with people. I can't not keep going to all these appointments.

She said, it's likely that with my current potential schedule, my symptoms will last all semester, because I'm doing too much. 

So I'm trying. I really am. I'll post the rest of the week in another one, because this got wicked long. 

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