Monday, July 25, 2011

Wheel Spinning

Yesterday afternoon was pretty frustrating for Meagan. She attempted to get into her studio and finish up arranging it, as well as tackling a few small projects. Unfortunately, her short term memory was shot yesterday, and what should have taken only an hour or so, ended up taking up the full afternoon. She simply could not remember even what she wanted to do within a five minute span. The good news is she got it done. But not without tears, frustration, and a lot of swearing.

It's hard to know what is driving this - it could be the effects of the craniotomy, the radiation, or the medications. It does seem to vary somewhat from day to day, which would lead me to think it's more the medications and how it ties to how tired she is or some other aspect of her body. But it could very well that the short term effects are becoming more long term than short term. There is no question some aspects of her cognitive capability are gone "forever"- such as her facility with numbers and dates. But the short term memory thing seems to be more "assertive" and whether it will resolve in time remains to be seen. She goes off one of the anti-seizure medications this week and we will see if that makes a difference.

It definitely causes her distress, given how sharp she used to be. She asked me several times yesterday if she was losing her mind. I've tried to reassure her that it is likely short-term and temporary, and to just relax about it. There is always the worry that it is not an aspect of her prior brain injuries, but indicative of developing brain tumor activity. I'd rather not go there speculatively, we will know that by the 3rd of August.

She is using all the tactics one should to keep her on track - such as lists and calendar management and a white board for planning. My reassurances though ring a little hollow to her, and I suppose it is just a condition she has to get confortable with as best she can. It doesn't affect her ability to interact with people and whenever she can't recall something in conversation she is able to make light of it. But in private when she is on point and trying to get something done, it's a problem she recognizes, without a known resolution. And there is nothing much that can be done about it other than acceptance.

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