New neuropsych identified – woot

Just keep climbing
Just keep climbing

I had a quick chat with my neuropsych yesterday, to let them know I wasn’t going to make it to our standing weekly appointment. Too much to do at home, too much going on. Couldn’t make it.

I have less than two months to see them, which seems strange, because we’ve been meeting weekly (used to be twice a week) for something like eight years. It’s the longest I’ve ever bothered with anyone (including work colleagues). It’s been an incredibly productive time, and I’ve made amazing progress. I will miss them very much.

But now there’s a new neuropsychologist on the scene — and ironically, it’s the one whose office we’ve been meeting at for some time, now. My neuropsych is retiring, and their lease ran out on their old office last year, so we’ve been meeting in this other office on a different floor. Turns out, the resident doc there is a really great clinician who I believe has agreed to take on some of the “patient load” of the retiring doc.

I did some Googling yesterday, and I found some very positive reports about them, so this is hopeful. They have a strong background in research and academia, and they are also into brain imaging. I’m not sure how that will play out or if I will have any additional imaging, but I’ve been looking for someone who’s as interested in imaging as I am – and who can read what they see. My current neuropsych is interested, too, but they’ve been far more focused on talking me out of my lousy mindsets about things — and keeping me from making rash mistakes that will get me in trouble. Or get me arrested. We just haven’t had the time to explore my MRIs the way each of us would have liked to. Time is short. We have to make the most of it, while we have it.

I’m none too keen on having more MRIs with contrast agent. Gadolinium can be nasty stuff. It’s radioactive, after all, and the first time I had it, it upset my digestive tract for a few days. I’ve read other things about it that I’m not happy about, but I understand the need for contrast agents. You’ve gotta be able to see what’s in there. Ideally, I’d love to get some fMRIs done that show the connectivity in my brain, as well as other stuff that’s there. But not if it involves more contrast stuff.

But aside from imaging, I’m hopeful that this new neuropsych will be able to point me in the right direction to handle some of the issues I’ve raised with my current neuropsych, which they couldn’t address in the time we have left. The headaches have been back, along with the tremors and tics and intense sensitivity to light and sound and touch. I haven’t been able to do a lot of things this week, because I’m so friggin’ sensitive to sounds and touch. Cleaning has been out of the question, because of the sound of the vacuum cleaner… even the sound of running water. And while cooking isn’t optional, and I’ve powered through, dealing with the clanging of pots and pans has pushed my limits.  I’ve been a lot snappier than I’d like to be, and it hasn’t been easy for my spouse.

Sunlight? While driving to work? Close the danged overhead sunroof cover, already, put on the sunglasses, wear the baseball cap pulled down over my eyes. I got my haircut yesterday, wearing my baseball cap while I was waiting. The fluorescent lights in that place were crazy — as was the glare of sunlight through the windows. I was so hunkered down, the barber who has been cutting my hair for years didn’t recognize me at first.

I haven’t spent much time discussing my sensory issues with my current neuropsych. They have been more focused on getting me socially functional, which is essential, because my conversation difficulties (thank you, short-term memory problems) have a way of getting me in trouble. With the police. With employers. With friends and family.

So, this is a chance to have a new start — without having to start over from scratch. The new neuropsych is in a location I know how to get to. I have the route down “pat”, complete with shortcuts and the best lanes to travel on the freeway, while getting there. I know how long it takes me, which helps me plan my days. And I know the best routes home, afterwards. My routine doesn’t need to change all that much — except that I’m going to be seeing them a lot less frequently, probably.  There’s another therapist-type person who my neuropsych wants me to work with, in continuing to move forward in my life with my plans and goals.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t want to spend a lot of time in “analysis” with a bunch of different people. I’ll probably trade off between the two. I do need to talk with someone on a regular basis about the plans I have and how to best move forward. And I need to talk through work scenarios that might derail me, if I stay inside my head about them.

So, this is different.

I’m none too keen on the change of schedule and change of venues, but it is what it is, and I’ll make the best of it.

Speaking of making the best of things, it’s Sunday, and I need to take advantage of the fact. Yesterday I didn’t get my walk in, because I was tired and not feeling well. It’s a beautiful day today — clear and sunny, if a bit chilly. Time to take myself out and air myself out. I’ve got to catch a nap later and rest up for that Super Bowl business — when we’ll collectively watch teams of massive, powerful, full-grown men repeatedly hit their heads and bodies against each other and the ground.

I wish I loved football less.

But for now, I’ll pretend that everybody knows what risks they’re taking and are able to absorb the blows one last time before the end of the season.

Out into the world I go — with sunglasses on, for sure. Onward.

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Author: brokenbrilliant

I am a long-term multiple (mild) Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI or TBI) survivor who experienced assaults, falls, car accidents, sports-related injuries in the 1960s, '70s, '80s, and '90s. My last mild TBI was in 2004, but it was definitely the worst of the lot. I never received medical treatment for my injuries, some of which were sports injuries (and you have to get back in the game!), but I have been living very successfully with cognitive/behavioral (social, emotional, functional) symptoms and complications since I was a young kid. I’ve done it so well, in fact, that virtually nobody knows that I sustained those injuries… and the folks who do know, haven’t fully realized just how it’s impacted my life. It has impacted my life, however. In serious and debilitating ways. I’m coming out from behind the shields I’ve put up, in hopes of successfully addressing my own (invisible) challenges and helping others to see that sustaining a TBI is not the end of the world, and they can, in fact, live happy, fulfilled, productive lives in spite of it all.

4 thoughts on “New neuropsych identified – woot”

  1. This is excellent! Maybe adjust the time of day you visit the neuropsych so you aren’t driving in the bright sun? Or take über so you are less stressed (see if insurance will pay for the ride?) (see if someone can give you a ride?). I’ve only taken über once and, while it was a bit scary because my appointment was 45min away in heavy traffic and the first driver CANCELLED because of traffic near my house when SUPER HEAVY, the next request brought me a driver who used the program #waze, an awesome traffic program which redirects you based upon traffic patterns. I arrived at my appointment 20 minutes early and left home 30 minutes later than I had wanted to leave! In the end, I was very pleased with über! If you have CapitalOne, they offer discounts on über, or they used to. The $45 trip to my doctor cost me only $10 there and $5 home, plus a cash tip – you can’t add on to the tip using your credit card in the program. If you live nearby the doctor, it is WELL WORTH the difference in hassle vs being blinded.

    Since my TBI, I have super-sensitive hearing! I had wanted to teach elementary school, but my patience is for shit now, and I can’t handle that children make noise just to do so. I need to wear ear plugs/wear headphones to take the edge off of the sound in a movie theater.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I UNDERSTAND wanting to drive yourself! I haven’t driven since August 2012. That was to take a cat to the vet. (He had died suddenly and my dad was not at home.) I had vertigo and drove my non-registered and uninsured car ~3miles to the vet so he could be tended to there. If there was something that had made him sick I needed to know, because I had another cat to worry about. I live down back-roads mainly, and have primarily complex partial seizures. The buses do not roll where I live and taxis are super expensive.

    The vet determined that Charlie (2 yrs old) died of a heart attack for no known reason. Goose, my other cat, was not in any known danger. The vet followed me home to be sure I made it okay, because of the severe vertigo. (I was mainly grateful because no police would get behind me and notice the expired registration.) oddly enough my vertigo seemed to disappear for the time I was caring for Charlie. “Emergency mode” makes the brain change what is important.

    Liked by 1 person

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