We only had 12 bad hours today…I’ll take it! It’s an improvement over yesterday. Corey is trying to verbally express her anxiety instead of lashing out. Today she identified and labeled her fear.
The following examples can best describe what she deals with;
Today Corey rode shotgun, our nurse sat behind her as we traveled to the hospital to get blood work. I parked, went to the back of the car to get the wheelchair as Denise opened Corey’s door to help her out of the car. Corey flipped because she didn’t recognize Denise, didn’t remember Denise was in the car and had no idea where I was. Several hours after the procedure she asked why she had a bandaid on her arm. I reminded her of our trip to the hospital. She was very upset, “why does everyone remember me getting blood taken and I don’t? It happened to me and I don’t even know it”!
We shared Corey’s latest walking accomplishment on monday. What we didn’t explain in detail was the personal interaction and anxiety to make that achievement happen. Corey was walking and interacting with Natalie for 20 minutes. When Natalie helped her onto the NuStep Corey flipped out because she didn’t recognize where she was or who Natalie was.
Despite the aforementioned examples, there are moments that Corey is spot on and understands everything around her and she will recall new information without any verbal cues. For instance, Corey recalled the details of a phone conversation from Monday with my Aunt Kay! It’s moments like this one that shock and confuse me.
Memory Loss is the most common side affect of a TBI. The cognitive gains Corey has made is nothing short of astounding. I am told it can get better, should get better, will get better…I hope “they” are right. Corey’s fear is real and I don’t blame her. Can you imagine being present yet not knowing where you are or who is with you? Not knowing whether you ate today or how you got dressed? What is it like to Laugh and interact with family one minute and when they leave not having the memory of the visit to comfort you when you miss them?
The bad news is memory loss is brutal. The good news is I swear it’s getting better! xoxo