Life with Jody--former Soldier (medically retired), writer (in training), and lots more
Well, I'm tired today--too much excitement and too little sleep. lol I got some of the results of my Quantitative EEG back today. There was a LOT of info. I'm a little annoyed that I was told there's no need to take notes since everything he said was in the paperwork he gave me. First, no it wasn't. Second, his paperwork was a bit more complex than how he described it. Anyway...
Turns out that whole, "not really there" and "my brain is totally unaware" and kind of the lights are on but no body's home kind of thing (quotes for actual ways I've described this to friends or doctors before) that I say sometimes happens is NOT all in my imagination. I'll also sometimes say things like, "Oh. I forgot I was supposed to be listening." Really. I did. I'll also lose track of what I'm talking about easily. I'm forgetful...more than normal.
This can all probably be traced to the rocket attack in Iraq where they tried to kill me. I'm still waiting for the head of the neurology department at UCLA (yes, I'm in North Carolina, on the other side of the country) to read the rest of my EEG. But the guy who told me the results today said it was not PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that was causing this. (There's other brain evidence of the PTSD, though. Still have that for sure.) He thinks it's the minor traumatic brain injury (mTBI) causing that lack of awareness I have sometimes.
He also said that's probably what's going on with my driving when sometimes I'll "get lost" even though I'm in familiar surroundings. I'll also not be able to recognize what a sign means...or even THAT I'm not able to recognize what a sign means. There's no emotion attached, I'm not scared, because I'm not really aware. My brain, because that's a different part, is still able to drive, but interpreting the road conditions is turned off. He said this is happening about 7 times every 3 minutes for at least a second or two. I can't recognize that (he said and I agree), but when I have the big episodes, that's what the problem probably is when I'm driving.
The good news is that when I do the upcoming neurofeedback (which requires different placement of electrodes since my brain isn't functioning right), he'll be able to monitor for those lapses in awareness and be better able to predict if/when I'm safe to drive. The Army, assuming it was an anxiety related thing (though I assured them it wasn't), told me to just start practicing driving in a parking lot to get my confidence back up. Not a good idea and it wouldn't have fixed the problem.
There was a lot of other stuff he said. My PTSD has hijacked my executive (higher) functioning and I'm literally not able to really plan much for the future at this time. It's not just that I don't want to see a future after the Army, I really can't. Also, my reward part of my brain is underactive, which is why I have to set weird goals and have to have bigger things to make me feel "rewarded." (Sorry, folks.)
He also said I'm constantly thinking. I can't do things just on auto-pilot like a lot of folks do. He said he doesn't really engage his brain until he gets to work. He can get up, go to the bathroom, shower, shave, etc. all without really thinking about it. I no longer can. I have to think about everything to the smallest detail, even how to get the top of the toothpaste, so by the end of the day, I'm exhausted. (I'm not sure if that's the PTSD or the mTBI part.)
Anyway, there was a lot more, but that's some of what he said. I feel better knowing there's actual proof for what I've been experiencing since I've actually had doctors tell me I was lying! Pretty much almost every complaint I have was explained in my Quantitative EEG. If you know someone suffering from PTSD or a possible mTBI, I strongly suggest one! Insurance didn't pay and it cost me almost $1000, but it was worth it! The best part was hearing he expects I'll probably be able to drive again one day!!!
Alrighty folks. That lasted longer than expected, so that will be all for today. Sorry if you were hoping for something more interesting...or at least lighter.. Well, I can give you a joke. (Let me Google really fast...)
An old Native American wanted a loan for $500.
The banker pulled out the loan application.
“What are you going to do with the money?” he asks the Indian.
“Buy Silver, make jewelry, and sell it,” was the response.
“What have you got for collateral?”
“Don’t know collateral,” replied the Indian
“Well that’s something of value that would cover the cost of the loan.
“Have you got any vehicles?”
“Yes. 1949 Chevy pickup,” replied the Indian
The banker shook his head, “How about livestock?”
“Yes, I have a horse,” replied the Indian
“How old is it?” the banker asks.
“Don’t know, has no teeth,” replies the Indian
Finally the banker decided to make the $500 loan.
Several weeks later the old man was back in the bank.
He pulled out a roll of bills, “Here to pay.” he said.
He then handed the banker the money to pay his loan off.
“What are you going to do with the rest of that money?” the banker asks.
“Put in hogan”, replied the Indian
“Why don’t you deposit it in my bank,” the banker asked.
“Don’t know deposit,” replied the Indian
“You put the money in our bank and we take care of it for you.
Whenever you want to use it, you can withdraw it.”
The old Indian leaned across the desk and asks the banker…
“What you got for collateral?”
TTFN! (Ta-ta for Now!)