Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A rugged couple days...

emotionally that is. Makes the actual physical stuff seem like a walk in the park.

Met with our surgeon this morning (Dr Hanson) and we are green light to get the arm tumor out on Monday afternoon. Then spent an hour at the eye doc trying to figure out how to correct her eyeglass and reading prescription again to deal with her blind spot and double vision when she reads. Tomorrow morning bright and early is the Gamma knife brain tumor treatment.

Meagan is a bit better emotionally today, thanks to the passage of time and some phone call help from a great friend with advice on how to cope with her loss of mental capability. She was just really overcome by the realization that she is not as sharp as she used to be and has all these issues with confusion, memory, and speaking (leaving out completely her deficit with regards to numbers and dates which she acknowledges and doesn't care about). Even in the car on the way home this afternoon she said something, and I repeated it, altering it to make it correct, and she said, "isn't that what I said?", to which I replied, "no", and then she said, "but that is what I thought I said". So, many many times she is thinking the right thing, but the words come out incorrectly, and she doesn't even know it. Fortunately she didn't get upset this time, it was more realization and curiosity. But over the last 36 hours there have been buckets of tears and she even said this morning how heartbreaking it was for her to realize she is not what she once was mentally. She forgets how often things get repeated or how much she is asked to repeat what she said, and even said to me at one point, "why didn't anyone tell me?". Well, we did, but she doesn't remember. So it feels all new - this realization of mental capacity change - making it more terrible than usual.

Of course I am working triple overtime trying to convince her that it doesn't matter, that people are looking at the core of who she is and the strengths she brings irrespective of mental capacity and that it's not important that she gets all the facts right and that it's ok if she needs slight tweaks in what she says. But it is still difficult - difficult for her to realize that sometimes she talks nonsense to her loved ones, difficult for her to think she might be being treated like the retarded cousin in the corner (her politically incorrect comparison, not mine!), and difficult for her to think that people can't trust or rely on what she says as being truthful. Her self image and self perception of being a sharp thinker is challenged and it is not pretty, especially when it is the case. Even yesterday she broke down in front of Kaplan after she said, "you know, I used to be a pretty sharp person". He was very kind and supportive, but didn't deny nor can anyone really deny what is taking place. She keeps asking if it's the meds or the stroke or the brain treatments and all the docs just shrug their shoulders - who knows? So it could very likely be a permanent state - although I've heard the new chemo she will start in a week or so doesn't have as much chemo brain impact. But then again, she gets her brain zapped tomorrow, so who knows what impact that will have - a fact she is acutely aware of.

Maybe some people could just accept their condition and be graceful and calm about it. But this is not the case with Meagan. It is tragic and hurtful and sad and generates a lot of emotional distress. To everyone around her regularly too (i.e., me and the boys).

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