I have been having a lot of issues "psychologically" the past few months. I had Brainstem surgery back in March 2013 and after a year and a half, I can say that physically, I am mostly recovered. But cognitively is another story. My short memory is absolutely horrible. I have alerts on my phone for any little and big tasks; yea its always going off! Long story short, the past 2 months, I have been having some personality issues. I literally have had periods where I didnt recognized who I was. I was extremely confused for a few days. It was not fun, and scary. I went to see my neuro about it and he suggested Neuropsychological testing. I was wondering if anybody here had it done, and what to expect!?
Hi dandelionwishes. I have not had the neuro testing but at about 1 year, I remember feeling like wow have I been on vacation. I have continued to notice occasional cognitive improvement and even some physical improvements but I still have balance difficulties. One of my member friends has written that after 12 years, she still notices cognitive improvement and I understand that statement. I am about 3.5 years past my injury and recently, I realized that I feel more normal including retaining information. I can solve online puzzles like the Jumble and others rapidly. I used to be an avid reader and I am reading a lot now including non-fiction selections. I just finished a memoir by a physician who in the 1980's suffered a brain injury when she was hit by a car while riding a bicycle. I was amazed at some of the similarities of her recovery with my recovery from my AVM injury. Thanks for this posting.
I understand completely! My physical recovery is mostly fine- I rock climb, hike and other things I love. BUT, the cognitive side of things is where I still work hard. My short term memory is horrible. It makes school so hard - and I want to go to college so badly. I have had lots of neuropsych testing-so I could qualify for services at the public school and get an IEP. It takes hours. I had it at the hospital where I was in the in patient neuro rehab program. It has been two years for me - just. I will have my 2nd neuropsych exam later this month. I hady first at 1 year after my bleed/stroke. I know I have improved - everyone says so, but it’s how I live and what I can do that I want to see change in. It helps to hear other people say they are getting better years after a rupture. I have alerts set all the time, too. I use my phone to record everything so I don’t have to carry a ‘memory book’ around all the time to write in- my handwriting is (unbelievably) worse :-/ than pre rupture. So, I’d do the testing - it helps me understand what is hardest for my memory. In my case, it is semantic - specifically - which is why school is hard. On the other hand, if I do things physically, like find my way some place I have less trouble. I can learn/remember routines - how to do laundry (which I did not know pre rupture). So, I try to do as much physically to reinforce through my memory strengths(?). Knowing more helps.
Dandelionwishes, I've had 2 neuropsychological tests. They test you to see what areas where effected. It does take time during the test, but you are just asked to respond to certain questions.
Dandelionwishes, If you would like more information about the testing I had, please feel free to ask.
The testing takes approx. 4 hours. The result will explain what areas where effected, which for me was great knowledge.
I had the tesing shortly after I was discharged from the hospital. It's a long test. It takes anywhere from 3 to 4 hours and you will leave completely exhausted. Lots of different tests focusing on different areas. It will give them a much better idea of what deficits you may have and perhaps an area to focus rehab on. I remember leaving feeling very stupid because I had sucha difficult time with seveal areas of the test. It took a couple of weeks before the doctor called me to come back in and go over the results. That's when I was a bit more encouraged. I'm not stupid, I had very real damage to certain areas of my brain that affect the areas I had trouble in. And the neuropsychiatrist that administered the test was very kind and commented on how remarkable he thought I was doing considering what I'd just been through. It's a very useful tool so don't be intimidated and do it! Good luck!
Had it done about a week before my resection. Had it done about six weeks after my resection. had it done again about 12 months post-resection.
Each session took just over three hours. Its a good way for them to check for deficits and to give you guidance, on the cognitive side of things.
It does leave you drained, towards the end of the session, but it is being done, so they can guide you and give you a realistic picture of how you are coping.
Good luck with it, if you do take that path.
Yes, I have had the neuropsychological testing...but not until three and a half years post-op.(seizure in October 2008, surgery in Feb. 2009). I had a large AVM (Spetzler scale 4) in the left frontal lobe,followed by massive complications...blood infection, blood clots in my heart and lungs, open heart surgery to remove the clots....and 46 days later I headed home from Rochester, MN and Mayo Clinic. Total loss of right side movement and speech post op. Eventually returned. Very scary.I am a pastor, and had served the church here in Iowa for 17 years but in November 2012 I was asked to resign. I hadn't even looked at what left frontal lobe brain injuries entailed. The executive function is included in left frontal lobe brain ABI's (acquired brain injuries)....which includes, sequencing, multitasking, self-awareness, impulse control, etc. all things that are pretty important for pastors and all of us in day to day functioning. But after I was asked to resign that got my attention and that's when I began to look into this. We made an appointment with our Mayo doctors at once and I ended up having a neuro-psych test done five months later. It was a grueling 3-4 hour testing of every area of brain functioning. Some of it was short term memory...lists of items to remember, some things were more abstract, and some stuff was absolutely impossible...at least for me. I too felt that some parts of it went way better than other parts. But it does serve as a baseline for the future if you are thinking about that. You cannot have objective proof of improvement without an objective baseline with which to measure. My heart goes out to you as you are dealing with these things! I am currently writing a book about our experiences from the past six years...people do not understand brain injuries. No two are exactly alike. So grace and patience are the key, both from others and from ourselves...to ourselves! Sincerely, Mike