Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Today I got to visit a neuropsychologist!  Incidentally, that is what I am interested in pursuing whenever I figure out what is going on in my life in the next few years.  Initially I was applying to the USUHS graduate school program for a Ph.D. in either Clinical or Medical Psychology.  As that requires serving in the military, I don't think that is going to happen (at least not right now).  However, assuming I get into this Master's in Health Administration degree program, hopefully that will be a good stepping stone (according to the psychologist, he thinks it will be).  The neuropsychologist was actually enlisted Army, then became a naval officer, and now has a successful private practice, so even if I have to wait for awhile, I still stand a chance!  He started pursuing his Ph.D. at fourty, and I'm a bit younger than that, so we will see what happens.   

Anyway, I went because of issues with memory and whatnot.  I also brought up the fact I get lost sometimes and randomly have issues figuring out where I am/what I should be doing at things like intersections (haha, bring up the lost LT jokes now!)   We did some tests for cognitive functioning, and I'll know more after the official write up (which I will get on Monday), but currently I know that he confirmed a few things:  1) I have terrible visual/spatial orientation, 2) I also have terrible verbal memory, and 3) I apparently make up words, and there is a term for it called neo-something-or-the-other,  which is very likely a function of the left temporal lobe epilepsy that the neurologist suspects (we're still trying to figure out WHERE exactly in my brain the seizures are starting, but based on what I told the neurologist, and based on what just happened at the neuropsych's office, it seems pretty likely).  The neuropsychologist explained that people who generally make up words the way I did (I wasn't even aware that I did it enough for others to notice!) have some type of misfirings happening somewhere around the left temporal lobe.  Also my awful verbal recall.  He read me a short sentence that I had to repeat back... Yeah... about that.   I guess that would explain why I was awful at learning vocabulary in Russian, and memorizing terms and dates and whatnot for tests.  Oddly enough, I did a great job with remembering shapes that I saw on a piece of paper (visual memory is good... verbal memory is bad.  AKA, I can read and write, but I really suck at listening/remembering what I hear.)   Anyway, I find it all quite interesting, hence the reason I would love to get into something along these lines in the future.  Maybe long term future until I know what is going to happen in the next few years, but still the future.  Since the neuropsych knew I wanted to get into that field, he was educating me in the process.  Awesome!  He also said he'd make the write-up educational as well and told me I could ask any questions.  Maybe I can do my health administrative internship over there... That'd be pretty sweet.  Too bad I'd need to drive to get over there and that is still a no-go in my world :(  

Some of you may have been really bored by that write up, but again, this is really interesting to me, so actually getting to sit down and talk to him was interesting.  Plus, it's easier to learn stuff when you're experiencing it yourself.  Somehow, things are much more interesting when they pertain to ourselves I think :)  

On another note... My running is getting better again.  I still have a hard time breathing at the beginning of my runs, and don't feel amazing, but I'm getting it back.  Slowly but surely.  I'm trying really hard not to over-do it, as I am still struggling a bit with my IT band syndrome and my tendinitis in my right foot.  I've been able to resume the use of my Flector patches (voltaren gel in a patch form) because my skin is no longer as itchy and irritable.  At least, for the time being.  They help a LOT, but I'm afraid I'm not able to leave them on long enough for them to have a big effect because my skin goes into irritated, angry, inflamed mode.  I'm also nervous to start another seizure med (the one the neurologist spoke of) because of the rashes you can get.  I all ready have sensitive skin, so I'm not particularly excited.  Oh well, I'll figure it all out in time I guess.  It's better than being in a total brain fog.  

Alas, I suppose I will do something productive with my time now... 


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