Monday, June 19, 2006

Mike's having a good day today. I was at the hospital from about 1 until 3:30. I actually got some work done here at home this morning... imagine that. Mike and I hung out and chatted out on the roof deck for a while until his neuropsychology appt with Emily at 1:45. Emily usually works with patients trying to deal with the emotional aspects of their illnesses or disabilities. But, in Mike's case - her main job is really getting Mike to recognize that he has significant deficits so that he can begin to realize he needs to look to alternative strategies.

Unfortunately, he really has no awareness of his problems - unless you say, "Do you recall that you have vision issues?" in which case he'll say yes. But if you simply ask, as Emily did today, "How are you walking, Mike? The same as normal, a little worse that normal, or pretty badly?" He responds with confidence, "Same as normal." Same with vision, "Can you see like you used to be able to see? Is it a little bit bad? or is your vision terrible?" he says, "No, it's fine." Then, when you ask about memory issues, he says he's having no trouble in that area. Emily tried to illustrate through comparison to get Mike to accept - even just for a moment - the fact that his STM doesn't work.

"What did you do yesterday for father's day, Mike?" Emily asked. Mike looked up and down, closed his eyes a second, then casually and naturally turned to me and said, "Oh yeah - what did we do?" just as any member of a couple would turn to the other for him/her to fill in the blank. But I told him that he needed to answer the question for Emily, but he couldn't. Then Emily and I both told him how Bax came in to see him and we all hung out and snuggled for a couple of hours. He said that "sounded nice." When I asked if he thought it was weird that Emily and I had a perfectly fine recollection of yesterday, while he didn't, he shook his head, "nah."

"Why don't you think it's strange that we can remember yesterday while you can't?" His response - I forget the exact wording - implied that he wasn't weirded out by it because he had other people around to tell him about yesterday. phew.


Walked with Mike a bit more in PT this afternoon. He's getting stronger. At one moment, we stopped and looked into the full length mirror on the wall of the gym. He said he couldn't see himself, but when I raised my own hand in the mirror and had him do the same, it was as though he could find us in the clutter of the reflection. On a whim I asked if he could tell what time it was on the giant wall clock above the mirror. Without missing a beat: 3:15.

Correct! That blew my mind.

The key to figuring out how to make this complicated situation work: sleep. Last night, got 7 hours (which is really good compared to recent weeks), Bax woke up at 5:30 am (boooo....) and he and I ate and went for a great 1/2 hour walk along cooper river... all before going to daycare at 8:30.

And BTW - no wonder the boy cried for 7 days straight and acted like he hated the world." I have giant canker sores all over my tongue (my version of what Bax had) and I can't stop biting it and can't eat anything normal. My dinner (thanks to my neighbor Michelle) - 4 fudgesicles and a bowl of vanilla yogurt. I'm surprised that Bax didn't just learn the F-word out of sheet anguish last week. That's how badly these sores hurt.

Ok, time FO' bed!

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