May 2009

Back to dependence on communication for cognitive ability assessment — such a one-way dynamic; tester’s influence on responses (superfluous comments on expectations and levels of difficulty; nervousness or anxiety of tester when administering it verbally; incomplete instructions. Lack of alternative formats reducing reliability — violates model assumptions to a sig degree.

Language so fundamental. Prominence of translation. Diff areas of brain for processes–affects timeline after physical insults for coordination and quick switching in rehab tasks. And then whoosh! (For maybe parts… Yet family and therapists still hold impression of individual during compressed frame of prior time–THAT is where the most flexibility in thinking is required.

We all, always have much to learn, in different ways and domains. And there’s no reason it shouldn’t be enjoyable. (More an interpretive issue there… the learner’s decision to make a task fun–and have an inducive environment to act.)

Yesterday wasn’t my first unassisted shower since March–that happened two days prior. Yesterday (cue music) was just the first standing and using the grab bar instead of my old tendency to use the wall as an intermittent touchstone/balance reference. I didn’t know if/when it would be possible, but just made the attempt when I felt ready and receptive to a positive outcome–even though I realize I need a chair or bench to clean my toes-and-in-between as well as I should!). I’m trying to do things on my own, but don’t read that as being set on such: I am in full favor of aids and assisted living arrangements (Mutual benefits–and I think the social aspectz are huge, yet largely neglected in policy considerations due to the difficulty of quantifying them in a standard way). As much as I enjoy and appreciate freedom of movement and “independence,”* I have learned through experience that conservation of energy can be key to productivity of many kinds–and go ahead and extend this to higher scales, but at the basic individual level, the benefits are readily apparent to me (as is the necessity of inputs and outputs to forestall anomie), while access is still largely obscurred, or at least inconsistent depending on age, location, and a number of social/cultural/biological/economic factors. So much for equality. I know, I know, it’s a process and takes time. In it to be part of it. Whatcha gonna do about it? Because this affects us all…

*Independence is merely a matter of degree/what is generally acknowledged to constitute it–back to the power to define the situation… Independence as a degree of interdependence resurfaces here–as does the denial that characterizes those who would deny dignity and respect to self or others for needing assistance.

First unassisted shower and day of outpatient therapy sessions without wearing a hat. (This resulted in me being more chatty and outgoing. But then my post-op Self has been developing too… Don’t ask me to detangle it so early.)
I only needed help once, late in the day, to get up. Handled quite a few steps with walker unassisted.

Within the last several days, my mind’s been cranking more. I started some hypergraphic writings, but I’m gonna let things simmer like the good old days. Today’s cognitive testing (about which I have repeatedly quipped I’d rather be on the administering and tabulating/analyzing end!) included some reverse retention exercises, using spoken numbers. This is sorta like the ones in the Memory part of Big Brain Academy, but without the visual cues of the numbers, colors, and limited response set. And, I’m deaf and lipreading, so my mind’s working that extra OOMPH on the stimulus intake (brain focused on converting mouth movement instead of imagining/organizing the sequence). In any case, I extended that portion of the test up to 8 numbers. Fatigue started to play a big role because I’d done a number of the “name as many X (e.g. animals, names, things that start with letter _) as you can in a minute” items (which I am still inhibited in answering because it sorta feels like the scene in Ghostbusters yada yada yada).

Ok, so there’s a tiny slice of the action here from today.

To everyone. Words don’t do my gratefulness justice, so I’ll just try to reciprocate sooner-than-later!

I am coming along at an unpredictable pace. it seems so much got squeezed into the last three months/year.



I just started out-patient therapies again last week. I figured some pain in my leg was just new muscle forming. Or something like that. The swelling of my ankle and foot persisted, so I saw my GP, then was admitted to the hospital friday evening for an ultrasound–reminicent of the 1995 peroneal/tibial nerve tumor discovery but w/o the months of intensifying and then peaking symptoms to pre-shadow it. It turns out I have a few blood clots. (We also ran an MRI to rule out tumor/s.) Family members are relishing the op to stick me like a voodoo doll.