Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Game On For This Year!

Getting this year's game plan together.  In the middle of the hugga mugga with MIL, I somehow squeezed in some more assessments for myself:  hearing, vision, back, and hand.

HearingMany 18th c. treatments for psychological dist...Image via Wikipedia
 
I saw my audiologist, Maxine Young to start this year's plan for hearing.  This year, after I finish up vision,  I plan to really focus on hearing and get that straightened out.  After reviewing the results from Brain Fitness, Maxine thinks one of my big problems is working memory.  I was having a hard time with following complex multi-step instructions.  She thinks Cogmed will help with that and gave me a referral to a neuropsychologist who does this.  Cogmed is a software training program consisting of 25 computerized training sessions, each 30-45 minutes long, that exercise different facets of working memory.  Maxine is seeing if she can get the raw scores from Brain Fitness so she can look at different  errors and see if there is a pattern to them.  She is debating about whether I should do Fast Forward or simply review Brain Fitness again. 

Talked with Maxine about the emotional effects of Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) that she has seen with people in her practice.  She says that APD  can cause a lot of anxiety as people are on the alert thinking that they have missed something that was said or that people were talking about them behind their back -- which may or may not be true.  A lot of tension can build up in the head and neck muscles as people crane their heads as they strain to listen.  For some people, they can go quite over the edge and develop a hearing loss induced psychosis where they really aren't sure what is real and what isn't.  She even gets referrals from marriage counselors as one half of a battling couple is shouting, "I TOLD YOU" and the other half is swearing they never did!



Seeing Maxine again is great.  Maxine is Up on Me!  She thinks I am wonderful and amazing.  Maxine admires my determination and has told me that I am a totally different person now than when she first met me.  Apparently, my hearing was so bad that after her initial assessment, Maxine deliberately slowed down her speech.  She thinks I am also a lot more put together.  Some of that is I have had a lot of practice telling my story and am getting an eye for what a practitioner is interested in.    But, I do feel a lot better, clearer in my thinking and stronger for all this. 

Also, I am a "good candidate" in that I find practitioners that I believe will help me and, miracle of miracles, I do what they tell me to as best I can.   Sometimes, I can't give them exactly what they want on demand... but, I keep at it until I can do what a practioner asks.  All these therapies take an investment of time and money and I don't see the point in doing them at all if I do them in a half hearted way.  I do want to get on with my life and want to get out of "Therapy Land".  It's just that I will fall flat on my face if I don't get some things sorted out. 

Vision

I saw Dr. Herzberg for my yearly check up.  I need a new pair of glasses.  My farsightedness has gotten worse.  I have had a problem with the glasses I have now and definitely need new lenses.  Unfortunately, I have short progressive lenses which I never would have requested had I known there is a difference in progressive lenses.  There is short progressive and full progressive.  My previous pair of glasses was a full progressive and I had no problems with those glasses.  Short progressives don't have quite the gradation of lenses that full progressives do.  This has given me a lot of problems when I have been reading.

My reading has improved from 383 wpm (words per minute) with 70% accuracy to 463 wpm with 100% accuracy.   The average adult reads between 200-300 wpm.

We are going to do a couple more sessions of vision therapy to help me see three dimensions in space.  I am just on the verge of making this happen and it will be so cool when it does.  Dr. Herzberg has a new toy in her office that projects stereoscopic images on a screen.  We will also be doing some exercises in real space.  I am very excited about this.  

Back

Had an assessment from a spine doctor.   Not much there.  It's a bit of a shame as I was half hoping for a referral for a physical therapist.  I think I have a little more to go there and I need to sit and ponder my options.

Hand
  
Got an assessment from a doctor specializing in hands.  Complained to him about my lousy fine motor skills.  I am going to get an EMG in April to see if there is any nerve damage.  I don't think there is but not a bad idea.  If there isn't any nerve damage, he will give me a recommendation to a Physical or Occupational Therapist for some remediation on fine motor skills. 


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