I promised that I would update my blog with my Neuro-psychology results. So to re-cap I saw the Neuro-psychologist, Dr. Bogod, at Vancouver General Hospital on January 10th, 2012 to test my cognitive abilities. I was perceiving that I was having difficulties with memory, and getting things "mumble jumbled" in my brain and having difficulty recalling words or rather drumming up words that should be simple for me to recall. Sometimes I will be standing talking to someone and it could be a simple word like "cup", I won't remember what a cup is called but I know what a cup is. Dr. Bogod explained that with white matter lesion diseases such as Neuro-behcets, MS etc. they affect the wiring up to the frontal lobe, and this is why I have frontal lobe issues.
The other result that they found is that as tasks become more complex and difficult my threshold is quite low for being able to problem solve and work through difficult tasks. I was partially aware of this because when I am in situations that I have to make decisions or listen to a lot of information, I get overwhelmed very easily. I often say things like "I am confused", and at least now that is more easily understood by those around me. The easiest understanding is that my brain is scrambling the information if there is a large amount of information that it is trying to take in.
I use to love hanging out with friends and I use to pride myself on being an amazing team player. I now find hanging out in groups to be increasingly stressful. I find parties difficult because I find it hard to track what someone is saying and to remember, or even maintain a conversation. It takes a lot of effort. If I sit back and relax for even a moment then I have lost the conversation and I can't get back in. As a result, I can come across a bit hyper and overly intense at times - when in actual fact I believe that people are seeing how anxious I am to not lose the conversation.
It was funny, Dr. Bogod said I have quite a bit of anxiety, I almost wanted to laugh, of course I have anxiety. This is anxiety provoking. I think he wants me to be aware of it though, so that I don't let it get the best of me, so I better get my butt to yoga and zen myself :) Love my yoga!!! I am aware that I have anxiety, I always have, I don't really think there is a type A person on this planet that doesn't run a little hot with anxiety at times, but I think it is really positive to have someone check you every once in awhile and remind you to pull out your healthy coping habits and make sure you are living your life in balance, before it gets out of hand.
So what does this mean for me? It means that I compensate very well because I am still very verbal and very articulate. Funny thing, I have poor visual recall....in my opinion a completely useless skill of which I never use :) lol. This all means that if I play to my strengths then I can work with my disease. I compensate by always caring around something to write things down in, a calendar, and my phone. There are also ways when I am speaking that if I lose track of a conversation, that I can use fillers to keep the other person talking while I try to figure out what we are talking about haha! I am good at this trick! So good that it worked at work all the time! I have tricks to get people to tell me what I am supposed to be doing when they already told me but just in a different way so they don't think I forgot!
Mild Cognitive Impairment affects so many people. People with early dementia, early Alzheimer, MS, brain tumours, and other diseases. It is important to understand that people affected with this are working hard to deal with it and its everyday affects on their life. Even though it doesn't greatly impact their life, to the point that they need daily care, it is still felt and it is still a sense of loss. I would like to remind people again, that a healthy body, may not mean a healthy brain so please remain judgment free of others, for we don't know what people are struggling with.
I feel some sadness right now about the loss of my ability to work as a Paralegal and I feel fear about what is to come, but right now I guess I am going to live in the moment and it is a really beautiful day and I think I am going to get out in that sunshine :)
I am including some links in this blog about Neuro-behcets as well as a video blog of a gentleman from the states who has progressive Neuro-behcets. This is for interest sake, for those who wish to know more about the disease - the more we chat about this disease the more this disease will get out there! Anybody in the medical field out there - please sign up for my blog :)
Thank you and have a great day!