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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

What the Dr. Says...

Today, I had my annual neurology exam, and question and answer time with my original neurologist, since day one.  The first couple years, it was bi annual, then it became annually.  Brain injury rehabilitation is so painfully sloooow.  I remember breaking my finger at age 12,  and being so bummed I couldn't ride my bike, for a whole month.  It was devastating.  Then in college I dislocated my elbow, which was frustrating because of the sling.  The worst was breaking my right hand when I crashed my bicycle in a race.  I'm right handed, and I had a job, where is used a computer, but couldn't use my right hand.  My typing speed decreased ten fold that year, but I still had no idea what I was in for 2 years down the road.

My questions for today were largely focused on my overall progression over the past 6 years.  I've already learned they cannot predict what's in store.  Otherwise I wouldn't be writing my life lessons, as learned from my brain injury.  I'd hoped to see my original brain scans, to get a better idea of which places had seen the greatest damage.  I also, was hoping for a then, and now type scan analysis.  My friend, Anna,who suffered a frontal lobe injury, has images done relativly often.  Apparently my images are inconclusive, meaning they could not  see profound damage, in any one spot.  Just tiny flecks all over.  No wonder they don't push to aid, or save the lives of people who lose Oxygen to their brains.  Their  wonderful imaging machine is unreliable, so it must not be possible for anyone to survive.  It feels very strange to be the only known survivor, of a severe anoxic injury.  There's no one else to relate to. When I'm explaining this to different people I meet, I've asked, "have you heard of Anoxia?"  When two different peole said yes, and started talking about music, I was lthinking, "well, that's a weird diversion, but, I'll head off now."  Eventually, I discovered , 'Anoxia' is the name of grunge looking band, thanks to the google machine.  At least it seems like a more reasonable segway to music, but I now share an unknown medical condition, with a somewhat unpleasant looking band.  Awesome.

So, what is anoxia?  It's a lack,of oxygen, simply.   I suffered an anoxic brain injury, brcausemy heart   stopped, and no Oygen traveled to my brain.  This occurrence apparently is  regarded as the end, for people, as no one has ever been sustained to a place, where they could have the opportunity to create the new connections.  I would love to say that I feel what happened to me, had to have been the most frustrating acquired disability, in that realm.  But, EVERY disability, must be the most frustrating concept to overcome, as you learn to face it.  There's an amazing book called, 'The adversity Advantage' by Erik Weinmeyer, whose unbelievable feat of summiting Mt. Everest, blind, is one of his many climbs to fame.  The book details what it was like, seeing his vision gradually disappear, as an adolescent.  My point being that while my vision is a strange, beautiful anomaly, because it returned, but also that you have take what life hands you, and put it into a positive perspective.  Life gives us lots of hurdles, some bigger than others, but we all need yo make the best of what we have, since the one thing we have not figured out how to replicate, or sustain to no end, is life.

In conclusion, seeing Dr. Gorman for my annual visit, was not as fulfilling as I'd hoped. Always pleasant, but Id wanted a visual scale, by which to measure my improvements.  Bummer for me, it's not possible.  I just have to keep self evaluating my progress, got something new and different...  The only positive thing about the lack of medical knowledge with regard, is that no one can define my limitations.  The brain is the only organ we posess, with the ability to rewrite itself.  Whatever I cannot do today, I can hope to do tomorrow.   As they say, hope springs eternal.

3 comments:

Julie/Mom said...

Wow, I guess you must feel like you are "wallowing" through your recovery. I remember the Drs. telling me that "if" you came out of your coma you would not be much more that a vegetable on life support. I wonder what kind of vegetable you are? I have always known that you have more stamina, willpower and fortitude than anyone I know....hence your fantastic recovery! Keep on getting better every day in every way- MIRACLE GIRL!!!
I love you the most!
Mom

Anonymous said...

"Hope Springs eternal" That is a lovely thought and a fantastic premise to hang your hat on!
Hmm Dr back to the future, I've always liked him.

Cheers

Dad

Anonymous said...

"Hope Springs eternal" That is a lovely thought and a fantastic premise to hang your hat on!
Hmm Dr back to the future, I've always liked him.

Cheers

Dad