Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day 737 - Jun 5, 2010

Well, we made it to the picnic, but by the time we got there it was pretty much over. Kevin was just in a bit of pain most of the morning and there's just no sense even trying to go anywhere when he is already hurting. So we got a much later start than I had planned on.

Other than that, we did nothing today. We came home and played a few games of Skipbo and that's about it. He was hurting pretty bad most of the rest of the day so he mainly stayed in bed.

So I guess I'll just answer a few questions/comments:

Hallie - my thoughts are with you and your husband. I feel confident you will have the strength to get through it - it always just seems to come from somewhere!

Janna - I gave a lot of thought to what you said about me knowing the real Kevin more than a therapist that spent an hour and a half with him. Truthfully, I have given a lot of thought to that whole episode period.

I think that Kevin does know the bulk of what we are saying/doing. I think he understands the important parts of a conversation and let's the unimportant parts fly by because who really cares, right?

For example: the story mentioned a woman named Anna who lost a ruby ring and she cried. When asked if her name was Anna he said yes. When asked later if her name was Amelia he said yes. Who cares right? When asked if it was a diamond ring he said yes. Later when asked if it was a ruby ring he said yes.

He knew the story was about a woman who lost her ring and she cried. He did tell us that, but he didn't know the specifics and I think it's partly because it wasn't important to him.

Now if it were Breezy and she lost her red ring he would know the who, what, when, where and why. But he really didn't care about the person in the story because it didn't affect him.

Now obviously he is cognitively impaired. If he weren't - if he were completely better - he would remember the person's name, the kind of ring, etc. And I am aware that he is impaired and it didn't come to me until way later that he does understand the things that do affect him. He does understand the things that affect myself and Breezy. The things that are important to him.

Something else that made me think about his memory is getting gas yesterday. We got gas and although I never look at the price, for some reason I did while I was pumping. Probably about 15 minutes later, when we were on our way home, Kevin said 2-6-7. I had no idea what he was talking about so he made the sounds and the hand motions of someone pumping gas. I still didn't know what that had to do with it, but then it clicked. $2.67 per gallon. He remembered how much the gas was. So if he can remember that 15 minutes later he obviously can recall things that are important to him.

I don't know...maybe I am just grasping at straws, but it just seems to me that if he can answer appropriately a lot of the time, he has to know what's going on around him. Ruby or diamond ring be damned.

Chalkie - thinking of you and Carol often. Will email you soon!

Kathy in IA - I have purchased those books at Walmart for Kevin to work in, but he absolutely refuses. I think it's because they are children's books. The therapist mentioned some adult papers so hopefully we get them before the year 2020. (yes - some VA sarcasm - still no bed, still no one handed soap dispenser, no reverse osmosis, and on and on)

Lorraine - I can't believe that Rick got a tattoo of Howard the Duck on his chest, lol. He is such a character!!

Karen in Vancouver - thanks for your comments. Kevin and I have started to slowly read the blog from the beginning too. It's amazing how many things I was told that I didn't retain (due to probable shock). Honestly, I didn't remember that the doctors cut out part of Kevin's brain - all this time I thought it was just dying off and reabsorbing into his system. It makes sense though. The CT scan shows an exact line where it was cut and I often thought that was weird.

Ok - this has become a book. Off to bed for me...


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you went to the picnic.
From what you were describing earlier, could it be that Kevin is better with numbers in general?

Anonymous said...

(previous post)

Anonymous said...

Hi Les, Is there a date that Kevin will be getting the plate put back in? What exactly has to happen first before he gets it put back in? Does he still have infection? Michelle Long

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think that guys remember details the way that women do. I'm in agreement that guys remember what they think is necessary and the rest is fluff (or whatever). I'm amazed that Kevin knew the gas price....that is so great. Does he do well with story problems in math?
Hope you get your VA items soon.
Hugs to you guys .....

karen said...

One thing bothers me about our societies that value education over experience, is that we forget to LOOK AT THE INDIVIDUAL when assessing someone.

I would imagine, being at the mercy of various "experts" all the time, that Kevin is regularly, nay constantly being fitted into charts and graphs and theories so that he can be assessed. If I were in your place, I would have non-stop existential angst about the futility of some of this testing ... give them something for their reports but you not much to work toward.

I want to encourage you to continue to teach and advocate for Kevin as that individual and, while taking what you can from the "experts", remember that you live with him 24/7, you see him functioning at Walmart, within social contexts, riding his trike, etc. so your expertise is as, if not more, important to Kevin's future. If you don't mind me saying.

Mostly what I'm saying is that if their words don't give you encouragement, discard!!! discard!!! People want us to be realistic, but based on what?! If you had have been realistic, Kevin might not be walking. He might be in some care facility, wasting away! Imagine!

Sorry. Incapable of short comments.

Anonymous said...

When I took Psych 101 I was taught that memory had two components. One was repetition and the other was level of interest. That is, you remember things repeated over and over ad nauseum and you remember things of great interest that you only see once, like a car accident.

But most things you remember are a combination of both. The more it's repeated, the less interest you need to have in it to remember. The more interest you have, the less you need to repeat it.

So, what you're saying about a ring that has no connection to him by a fictitious female he's never met . . . unless he thought the test had some importance to him personally, why would he bother to be interested enough to remember? I don't see how it could be a good test of his cognition or memory.

If the story was about a rock singer who liked to snowboard etc etc I bet he would have and easier time remembering the details . . .