7.29.2007

Blogathon 2:00am #37

Trudi mentioned hearing things from my POV (when asking about my bio, specifically.) But, this made me start to think about how so much of my brain experience was something that would be hard to understand unless you were looking from my point of view. Let me explain one experience from all this. This is just one of several glitches I (we all as a family) had to deal from the brain tumor.

This might help explain some of our zealousness towards fighting this cancer stuff.

What I consider one of the most disturbing experiences, a strong sense of not recognizing people. Okay, we’re not talking not recognizing the guy who works in the mailroom, or, even not recognizing your great aunt Sally you met 5 years ago. I AM talking, feeling positive that I did not recognizing my daughter. My brain told me I didn’t recognize my wife, even when I knew it was my wife. I didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror. This was an intense experience, to say the least. I knew what was happening, fortunately. The doctor even explained the mechanics. But, I still couldn’t recognize myself. I would take calm breaths and brace myself. I would slowly look in the mirror. Nope. A total stranger would look back at me. I knew, logically, it was me, just as I knew logically that the people who lived with me were my wife and daughter. And, the little black furry thing that ran around the house was my dog. But, would I feel I recognize any of them? No! My logic knew it. But, my memory didn’t allow for the feeling of recognition.

I remember seeing a doctor’s note in my chart. Patient shows lack of recognition consistent with temporal lobe injury. The patient does not recognize his family. His wife seems to take this pretty well.

I can’t begin to imagine how well anyone COULD take that.

But, now, here I sit. Next to me is my wife. I recognize her completely, not even the slightest sense of “who is this?” I even recognize my boss and co-worker and other people it helps to recognize on sight. It took awhile. They say the left part of my brain has taken over this task. I was warned the left was doing a good job, but wouldn’t be perfect. So, I can’t recognize 100% of the people 100% of the time. (BTW, this comes in a nifty excuse for avoiding the obnoxious people as they pass by. “OOOOH. Hi Bert! I didn’t RECOGNIZE you!” Hee.
But, my left brain is doing a better than expected job. I’m darn appreciative of that. I’m so appreciative that I’m going to make my left brain stay up all night and come up with coherent things to say.
“Hey, who’s that guy in the mirror saying I have to stay up all night! Don’t listen to him! I’ve never met him!” :o)
Zzzzzzzz

3 comments:

Keli said...

In all honesty, this was the part of our brain tumor experience that scared me and frightened me the most. I may not have seemed as effected by it as I really was, but it was in actuality a very scary experience for me.
I'm glad that you have found a way to work around it. Or at least that your brain has. : )
Love you papa.
Keli.

ps yes i'm still awake too.

HalfBrainBoy said...

Keli, I hope you're sleeping now! :)
Definitely a frightening experience. I'm also REALLY happy that me and my brain worked these things out. It's really nice to recognize you and the wonderful person you've become. Love you, too.

Trudi (again!) said...

that's a really powerful story. I'm sorry you've had to endure all of this. Someday, when you're ready, it would be great to share your experience with a bigger audience.