Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Developmental Profile

I've never written one on myself before. I've never written one on an adult. Since the bleed it has been like I had to start all over-like a special needs child. I've come a long way from laying in a hospital bed only able to blink my eyes.

I'll start with motor skills. Regarding gross motor, I do not walk. I get around with a power wheel chair. I have a much lighter travel chair for outings. I can sit unsupported. I am able to push to a stand, and if assisted, can stand for longer periods of time. In fine motor, I use an inferior pincer grasp, or thumb against the side of my index finger. Usually, we see the neat, where one is nit picky. One thing to be noted, I'm now left handed. I was right.

Communication-I talk. This is unusual. For a long time I didn't. Then I started making sounds, which prompted a camera being stuck down my nose to look at my vocal cords. It was determined normal and left at that. So over the years I have taught myself to talk and speech therapy has been spotty. Receptively and expressively it's all in English. There is still some work to do on pitch and volume, and a few letter sounds (like "D"), but I am understood.

Self-help has some. I dress myself every morning except tying my shoes. I brush my teeth (I hated those toothette things in the hospital). When it comes to eating, I have a G-tube. I get all my nutrition, 7 cans of Ensure. I do take some food by mouth, "pleasure eating". I drink 1 more can of Ensure and eat a cookie. Being able to take food by mouth has been a process. It was thought I may never.
Social hasn't been much of an issue. Can't move-can't be a behavior problem. Actually, can't move doesn't have any behavior. Due to motor difficulties it is important to keep social up.  When I started moving my head I was put on anti-depressants. I think doctors knew what I was doing. I could only move my head and knew I had a blood vessel in my head that could explode. I shook my head.

I'm saving the best for last-cognitive. Usually I have it first, but this is very unusual. You see, I wrote this. I should be mental mush in some nursing home somewhere. I'm not, though. Obviously, I have mental capacity higher than the 5th grade. (I think that's all you need.) I'd say all my cognitive skills are in tact from prior, plus more from the last few years. My cognitive scores have always been above average. I've qualified for testing with MENSA, but haven't. I really don't agree, but it was pointed out to me that would be an incredible feat for someone of my caliber. So I keep the option open.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

No Services To You

So I was designated "semi-vegetative". I didn't get much of anything other than be kept alive. I always thought it would be different if I was MCS or Minimally Conscious State. I was wrong. They don't get anything either. "Most patients in a minimally conscious state (MCS) are now cared for in long-term nursing facilities, without the benefit of rehabilitation or status-changing treatment." http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070817215750.htm

So I get nothing yet I make progress. How could that be? Am I some sort of miracle? No, just determined. The miracle happened a while ago and that is a different story. There are so many now who suffer from brain injury. I say "suffer" because that is what they do. Sure medicine saved their lives...my life. But now what? The answer has been long-term care; deal with it; it's your problem now.

Fortunate for me (see me sneer) to know how to provide those needed services. Yes, you learn just the basics when you do in-home Early Intervention. You have to. You see so many babies not disabled enough to get more than a special ed teacher. You end up learning so you can give it to them. So here I was with this knowledge, and I could barely move.
Something else was going on:
Neuroplasticity: The brain's ability to reorganize itself by forming new neural connections throughout life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

This is from WebMD's site on terminology, http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=40362. I would think any live brain with necessary components would go through this.

So I did little movements. They eventually became bigger-neuroplasticity took care of that.

Wait a minute! What about John Doe with the TBI who gets nothing? Oh come on, I can only do so much. A brain training software program to promote neuroplasticity would greatly help. That should be combined with on-going therapy-speech, OT, and PT.

In the meantime I write it down. I find and give what I can to John Doe. (If you are a Jane or John Doe, then here, http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2010/12/rehab-at-home.html.)