Neuropsych Results

I met with the neuropsych yesterday to get the results of my testing and figure out what to do next. My brain? It is fine. According to the neuropsych, I am academically intelligent and should have no trouble getting As and Bs. The results:

My processing speed (the rate at which I process information given to me) is in the 96th percentile.

My math, spelling, and reading skills are average to superior levels.

My verbal short term is also average to superior.

Immediate visual short term memory is in the 90th percentile, while delayed visual STM is average.

Higher level problem solving skills? Average to high average.

So I asked him “Why, then, do I feel so dumb and slow?” His response? The rest of my results:

Anxiety levels are high, even considering that I have “generalized anxiety disorder”.

I do not forgive myself easily.

My body is highly physically reactive.

The last part only sort of surprises me. My regular doc figured out a few months ago that my body is chemically reactive – when I start or stop a new med or anything, my blood sugars immediately get all wonky. He put me on chromium piclinate and things are so much better. However, should I miss a day, that night is usually a bitch. I spend the night tossing and turning because I’m hot/cold/hot/cold. It pretty much only happens when I miss a dose, even when I don’t realize I’ve forgotten to take my meds until the next day.

Now normally I would have gotten up and walked out of the office because I hate it when doctors blame stress for crap. Yes, I’m stressed. I’m ALWAYS stressed. It’s taking a toll and I know it. I would love to just be able to relax, to shut off my brain for a little while and be quiet. I cannot, it seems impossible. Meditation has been repeatedly suggested to me, but I always end up more frustrated than I started because I cannot keep my brain quiet and empty and having to fight it to be calm is just…no. I feel exhausted all the time, like I’m running full tilt 24/7. The only times my brain quiets and stops thinking are when I’m doing Tai Chi, when I’m reading or writing, and when I’m playing games. In other words, when I give it some other activity to pursue. As soon as I stop, however, my brain starts running again.

I asked for solutions because I am truly at a loss as to how to be quiet. I know I wasn’t always this way, I just seem to be stuck. His suggestions mostly sound like something my Tai Chi instructor would say, so I’ve started looking into how much Tai Chi will be over the summer. I’m hoping to take the summer and work on my stress levels a lot. Neuropsych told me to practice my breathing – things I will have to do at home, such as lay on a flat surface, spread eagled, and breathe with my whole body. I am also supposed to practice periodically putting my body into a neutral position – one where my muscles are relaxed, not tense. Not sure how I’m going to do with that, since my brain will not be engaged elsewhere and will thus run off and make me tense with its thoughts. Yes I realize I am talking about my brain as if it is a separate entity with its own will, but that’s pretty much how it feels.

His other suggest involved writing – journal, blog, etc. So it looks like I’m going to be trying to blog more often, like I used to. What that means is that my blog will probably become like it used to – whatever is on my mind or irking me at the moment. Now, instead of family, it’s probably going to be world issues because the stupidity of people angers me to no end. It’s going to be school, child, household, whining. You have been warned. :) Hopefully you’ll stick around and keep up with me, but if you don’t, I can understand that too. I’m aware that I’m an angry individual and that my anger can stress out other people and the LAST thing I want to do is put my stress on someone else. Thanks for sticking around thus far!

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2 Comments

  1. Yay for good brains!!

    But oh, you know I get you on the stress. I wish I had a suggestion for you. *hugs*

    Reply
  2. This sounds so much like what I’ve gone through.

    I cannot stand it when people (especially docs) try to put my physical problems down to stress because they can’t understand what else it could be. The pain, the cognitive issues… this stuff has ruined my life, and now you’re telling me I’m doing it to myself, that it’s my fault? There’s a phrase that comes to mind, but I don’t like to use it.

    Also, that thing where all the tests come back great and no one can understand why you feel like you’re missing a huge chunk of your mind? That’s the story of roughly a decade of my life.

    In the end… it turned out to be fibro fog. Which does not show up on any test I’ve found. I test well, but it exhausts me. They can see that I’m not doing as well as I did on neuropsych tests from a decade ago, but I’m still well above average. So they don’t think there’s anything wrong.

    Except… my brain is overwhelmed and trying to apply myself exhausts me frighteningly fast. And there are things I used to be able to do that I just simply can’t anymore. The neuropsych battery shows that I’m nearly as good as I used to be at arithmetic, but it can’t see what I know for myself: I used to teach calculus, and now I can’t get my brain to wrap around it. I used to mulittask as a matter of course – six or more thought processes going on at once… while I was relaxing. Now I can sometimes do two for a short while, but it’s not uncommon to have one going and still have it fall apart.

    Which is to say:

    1. You have my sympathies. You’re going through exactly what made my life feel like hell for years.

    2. You have fibro. It could be fibro fog. I know it’s not the way fibro fog is usually described, but what’s happening to you sounds a lot like what’s been happening to me, and that’s not stress, it’s fibro fog.

    3. It could still be stress. Or stress and fibro fog both. Stress can have that sort of effect. I’ve seen what it’s done to Mom. Meditation is what’s worked for me. It takes practice, but it can have a huge effect.

    4. Side effects from one or more of the medications could also be a factor, of course.

    Whatever it is, I hope you find something that works for you. Because this really sucks.

    And whinge as much as you want/need. I’ll be here, reading along.

    Reply

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