I'm processing (again).
I took a test a few weeks ago,
called the "Speech-Language Pathology Evaluation".
It's typically a test that they administer to people with traumatic brain injuries.
People with dementia, Parkinson's, Alzheimers, etc.
It rates you on things like
Basically, it's a test that gives you a score on your overall cognition.
I knew my brain was messed up over the last month.
I've hit a rough patch after significant improvements,
and I can feel my brain backsliding so quickly it's alarming.
I can't remember things, I have to prep for another healing trip,
packing, trying to teach the kids,
trying to remember to take care of myself, it's overwhelming.
My face hurts, my head hurts. Everything hurts.
Who wants to know my scores? No one?
Too bad. Here's what my brain looks like right now:
Informal Observations from my clinician:
-I can only remember 3 out of 10 words that were repeated 4x. Words like cabbage, metal, ladder, etc.
-I have difficulty recalling 30 word short summary of a story about a house on fire.
-I could only name 17 total fruits and vegetables with fair to diminished thought organization (e.g., as opposed to stating all berries, all big fruits, all oranges- often mixed items around). Normally people can recall 25-30, in order of group, rather than a scattershot.
-Trying to read coding and repeat what I saw was impossible (think standard eye exam but they take the image away for a second and you tell them what you saw)
-I could not find basic words for things like pliers (I said wrench instead, and I know my tools)
-I had a breakdown at 5 numbers for a multi-digit span, a list of numbers that I was supposed to repeat.
-During figure drawing section I missed the square and reoriented the three small circles
I'm 41 years old.
Total Scale: Average Index score is between 110-119.
Beth Martin's Index score: 80; percentile rank of 9 - indicated below average performance.
BELOW AVERAGE. HOW. WHY COVID, WHY.
What happened to my body that deprived my brain of what it needs?
Was there a blood clot?
Am I not getting oxygen?
What is wrong with my brain to the extent that I cannot THINK?
For someone that used to pride myself on my quick moving brain,
I can't even compute this.
I can barely compute folding laundry.
They have me playing memory games,
apps, reciting fruits and vegetables while I drive in the car,
I'm supposed to categorize them.
I don't even know how to categorize fruits and vegetables right now.
They told me I need more rest.
I made a sweatshirt. It says "Bardo College",
I got it in the mail today.
So here I am, going to my own made up college
with no brain.
A college made up of Tibetan traditions,
a reminder that I am constantly in this state of reality of being in-between.
I'm trying hard not to cling to this as a diagnosis,
trying to hold out hope for my next stem cell treatment,
trying to do the brain exercises.
Trying to be ok with in-between.
Testing my oxygen levels at certain times of day.
I can do this, I know I can do this.
I will heal. I will. I know it.
I don't even have the energy to reach out to my beloved friends.
I am so goddamn tired.