Corey’s cognitive recovery is fascinating and baffling!
Kate gave corey the white board. Corey’s task, to draw something and we had to guess what she drew. She could give us hints. Instead of verbal hints, she wrote her clues. Corey first wrote her name July 2nd, 2011. She typically prints all her words, but today she wrote her clues in cursive. That might seem inconsequential but it actually requires a higher level of cognitive thinking. Another first that surprised us!
Next, an association game. Kate read 3 words. Corey had to tell us how they were related. She was correct 80% of the time.
Our final game for the session, Taboo. For those of you that have not played, you are given an answer with a list of words you may NOT use to describe the answer. For instance, Hat…(you may not use the following) top, head wear, cover, sits on.
Corey could not read the cards because of the size of the font, so I whispered the answer and forbidden clues. Corey had to remember the Taboo words and try to describe the answer to Kate. She did well.
Today’s session was very encouraging on many levels but the confusion is in the off moments. Corey has no concept of the date, time, year, season, the physical building, the memory of the therapist or the therapists name yet she has the ability to play, recall and correctly answer questions geared towards an advanced level of thinking; but forgets playing the game minutes later? How does she forget eating breakfast but can speak Spanish? How can she spell ambidextrous but can’t remember her age?
Each of the therapists have also sat with me to discuss Corey’s heightened anxiety. Her behavior seemed to be improving but the last 2-3 weeks her transition to them and the work we need to accomplish has everyone on edge again. I believe that as Corey continues to become aware, her anxiety levels are rising. It reminds me of the kids early growth cycles. Just when you figured out their sleeping, eating and crying patterns, they hit a growth spurt and everything was thrown off cycle again.
Is this the same type of growth spurt? I don’t have a clinical diagnosis or case study to confirm my theory but if instinct counts, I think she’s “growing”. Emotionally, if we can talk her through her anxiety, she is beginning to explain her feelings. Cognitively, she is recalling lessons learned that are definitely age appropriate. The difficulty lies in how fragmented the day, the hour or the minute can be.
This is Brain Injury. It’s a puzzle that has no boarder to guide you. The pieces don’t offer any clues. They haphazardly appear, reveal how they could be joined yet when placed together their shapes don’t actually interlock. We memorize every piece on the table. Suddenly we find 2 or 3 that connect. Excitedly we remember seeing another piece we know is just above this small grouping but in an instant it’s lost again.
Time to stand up and walk away for a bit. When we come back we’ll sit in a different seat at the table. Perhaps if we approach this from a different angle the missing pieces and new connections will be found. xoxo