Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving Forward...

Back in February, I posted about an accident I had when I was two years old. My accident resulted in a closed head injury, and if you've read the other post, you know that in 1976 there was little known about head injury so I did not receive any after care and everyone was simply thankful I was alive and functioning.

So much more information has come out about TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injury) and the medical community is really beginning to understand the lasting effects of what was once considered even a mild head injury.

No longer is there the belief that once the initial recovery period is complete that the patient goes about his/her normal daily life and all is peachy. Most symptoms begin to show fairly quickly and follow up appointments are scheduled over the next several years. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and a whole miriad of other therapies are often prescribed to help the patient deal with the effects of their injury.

Because my accident happened at such a young age, and very few notes were even written about it in my medical chart, no one can say for sure if I experienced any personality changes. A lot of the traits I exhibit are text book TBI symptoms, however no doctor or test will be able to point to a symptom of mine and say, with certainty, that it is a result of the TBI. I was simply too young and too much time has passed.

That doesn't mean, though, that I can't benefit from all of the research that has been/is being done. Yesterday I set my alarm for 5:00 am and made my way to the ferry boat to head over to Seattle and the University of Washington Medical Center.

After an hour long meeting with a neuropsychologist and answering 5,429 of his questions adn watching him take 382 pages worth of notes about my life, I met with a psychometrist (a technician) and spent 7 1/2 hours doing neuropsych testing. The WAIS - IV & the MMPI were by far the largest and longest of them all. I did other motor skills testing and grip strength tests and a few other cognitive measuring tests. I got home at 7:30 pm BEAT and went straight to bed.

Next Friday I'll go back and we'll talk about intelligence levels, we'll identify my cognative strengths & weaknesses and then we'll come up with a plan. Again, he won't be able to say "these are a direct result of your injury", but what I am hoping he will be able to say is "a lot of our other patients have symptoms similiar to yours and we've had great success treating them in this manner...."

Let me be clear here ~ I will not go on drugs. Psychopharmecueticals have their place in this world. I do not dispute that. However, they are not for me. I've been on Paxil & Prozac. I've been on Ritalin & a few others that I don't remember the names of and with all of those medications, I've discovered one thing: they don't work for me. I will not go down that road again. My doctor is aware of this and is fully supportive.

I'm looking forward to next week. If for no other reason than seeing my entire brain function all mapped out in pretty little numbers & charts. I'm kinda a dork like that! I'll report back after that appointment as well.

I do not intend for this blog to become a journal of my recovery from TBI ~ I'm considering using my other blog for that ~ however, it is all part of my becoming a more healthy idividual. Afterall, health is not only about the physical, but the spiritual and mental as well. It's all part of my journey.

~~~I will now return to the regularly scheduled blogging about exercise & weightloss~~~

1 comment:

  1. That's great that you are getting all of this testing done so you can see if your accident did any damage. It's amazing what they can do and see now days.

    Good Luck!