Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hubby Falls Through The Neuroscience Rabbit Hole

You know how sometimes when people find a great gap within themselves, they start to view the world through the lens of that deficiency.  You can often see this in alcoholics and drug addicts or their families--that they view the world entirely through an addictive denial/abuse lens or a codependency model or some other model of their particular dysfunction.

Well, given my troubles with my neurons,  I have pondered other folks through a neuroscience framework as well.  I can see it in many places with many people.  Sometimes I think that I am more aware of these types of problems and sometimes I wonder if I am projecting my fascination with myself on other people.

So, of course, who would be a favorite target of these ruminations, but my husband!   I had mentioned to him a while back that he might want to get a neuropsych assessment himself and he was agreeable in a sort of desire to do some self-exploration.  He was not really expecting to find anything but just wanting to know a little bit more about himself.  Let's just say that I had my suspicions.

So off we went to New York City to an eminent neuropsychologist for the assessment.  At the time, hubby really didn't think he had too many problems and kind of down played the significance of the ones he did have.  Also, hubby has diabetes, severe hypertension, and renal problems-- all of which can affect your mental abilities.  So, he took the tests for a few hours.  I went to the Museum of Art and
View of Columbus Circle, looking toward the ea...
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English: Central Park Bridges (view from Bridl...
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Design at Columbus Circle, found a nice bakery which had the most excellent macaroons and had a great lunch overlooking Central Park.

We came back a week later and the upshot was that hubby had a pretty normal profile.  He was bummed that his IQ was lower than what had been measured in the school system--but he still is an extremely bright person, just not gozonga brilliant.  The neuropsychologist pointed out that his auditory and visual attention, although in the normal range, were not as high as he would have liked them to be.  He wanted my husband to get an MRI to make sure that there isn't any damage from hypertension/renal issues and for my husband to do either the Lumosity or Brain Fitness programs.

The next day, hubby woke up and did not look too good.  His blood pressure was sky high.  So he took off from work and went to his family doctor who put him on medical leave for a month.  His work environment is none too pleasant--and I will leave it at that.

I packed hubby off to a medical conference about a plant based diet for heart disease.  I was just hoping that hubby would just come back and eat more fruits and vegetables; but he has gone whole hog-- I should say, whole plant--and has become a vegan.  He has always had rude comments about vegans being nasty, pleasure hating fiends so it is amusing to see that he has become one.  Hubby had a nice time at the conference which also involved doing some yoga and getting a massage which is a very good thing at this point.  Hubby is now doing daily yoga and meditation.  I would not be surprised to come home one day and find him wrapping a towel around his head so that he could have a turban!!! Honestly, marriage can take some strange turns and discoveries can't it! But, wait there is more to come...

However, both his family doctor and I thought that there was more to the neuropsych story.  A few weeks ago, I had taken my husband in to see the audiologist, Maxine,  because we were concerned with his hearing since my husband works in a very noisy office.  When office noise goes above 80 decibels it can impact blood pressure adversely.  Maxine had noted that there was a high frequency drop off in his hearing and wrote a note asking for accommodations for a quiet office.

Between the reports from these two specialists, his doctor and I thought that hubby might be suffering from Auditory Processing Disorder.  So back to Maxine.  This time she did a thorough screening for Auditory Processing Disorder and found that he suffers from deficits in hearing with  noise and dichotic listening.   This has led us to joke about shouting "Helllooo" or "Marco" "Polo" at each other.  Maxine concurs with the recommendation to do Brain Fitness.

Of course, knowing what I know about myself, I booked more appointments for hubby.  He has just had one physical/occupational therapy assessment and we are waiting to hear the formal results.  He definitely has some  intermittent suppression and eye teaming problems and balance issues and probably a bunch more things going on.  Hubby will see another Occupational Therapist to look at things from an another perspective.  I have also booked an appointment with a developmental optometrist for a more specific eye exam to get to the bottom of his eye problems.  We will have to get all the doctors to coordinate their paperwork together.

Hubby will be getting to know all my peeps!!! My peeps will become his peeps as well!  Oh well, the family that therapies together will stay together.   He will  take some more time off work to address these problems.  I think if he gets some of these issues under control, his blood pressure will ease up as well.

Alice in Wonderland (1933 film)
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Poor hubby.  He is generally accepting of what has happened to him although he does feel like he is a bit in free fall.  I sympathize.  I know what it is like to fall down the rabbit hole of neuroscience.

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