Howdy Hydrocephalus

Understanding my unique gyroscope

Life on the Unit

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The fish tank

The fish tank

I completed a 3.5 hour neurospsych test in a quiet uniterrupted environment on Monday. It took me 24 hours to recover physically and mentally. I can not even begin to explain how exhausted I was. To put it simply it felt like I had run a marathon (not all desk work) and a truck ran me over! The results were to be expected that I do have some difficulties with short term memory, visual processing, thinking processing speed etc….but overall within the normal range for testing. The kicker was that it was stated that testing was done in a quiet environment so that the results so that they do no reflect real world situations and to expect that all hell may fall apart when put back into real world scenarios. That with continued time and therapy, I should be able to learn strategies to adapt. (oh goody! can’t wait) The psych indicated that when I plan to start my masters we may want to test again to determine what accomodations may need to be in place for me prior to starting. Mmmmm not to sure if I want to drop $25,000 when I am not bringing in any income. I was planning on working and completing my masters at the same time to offset cost. (I am not going to think about this at the moment – it hurts my head! I will focus on getting better first)

So what happens when you are guest on the unit. Predictable routine happens. We wake up, get ready, have our medicine and eat breakfast. We get to choose our meals for the next day at breakfast and the fun part is that we may not get or remember what we picked so meals each day can be a surprise. We are all scheduled in to a vareity of groups and therapies with intermingled breaks.

Every day I am scheduled to go to the gym where we are working on getting my right side strength back. I have physio where they work on my right side coordination and getting the head to body part connection quicker. In Speech, I am working on techniques to help with my stutter which includes many steps and coordination. Occupational therapy works on my audio attention, and my being able to take in all the wonderful changing environments and stimulation. It helps with problem solving and gosh knows what else. I also have recreation where I sometimes work on my sorting my photography drive, make cards and some other weird art piece. I also participate in the physical recreation in the gym where if I am concentrating on something my visual inattention is noticeable. I jumped like crazy when I didn’t see a basket ball bounce right near me.

Each session is 30 minutes long. I know it doesn’t sound like much and I even looked at like – Whaaaat are you kidding me, but after 30 minutes of physical or mental I get wiped and have to lie down for a rest and usually get a headache. Yup a rest. I never used to have to do that! I still can not get over the fact that my body and mind still act like they are possessed by some dumb/slow lazy person which was totally opposite of how I acted before. I miss being super quick at talking, thinking, decision making, switching tasks, multitasking, living life etc…. I like how I could only put in minimal effort get my school done with good grades and work done to spend more time playing or creating and being with family. Now it seems that I need to put in great effort to understand what I am reading, coordinating, putting together my thoughts and doing things. I know that I must be patient and that I am only four months into recovery and will see improvement upwards of two years, but I guess I am still missing the old me. I have read that people with a brain injury do go through a grieving process – denial, sadness, anger, acceptance (don’t know the order). I know I am at the acceptance and moving forward phase and it is okay to miss the old me. I am learning news skills for me to adapt and to move forward. Just wish I could learn them quicker so I could gain back some control so I can begin to plot a new direction.

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