Monday, October 27, 2008

Driving, Executive Functions, and Stuff

Yeah, I've been gone for awhile.

Now I am back.

I've been to Peter Kahrmann's workshop/peer support group in Albany where I found out that the part of my brain that caused my multi-tasking to "shit the bed" as the neuropsych at Sunnyview had so eloquently expressed it is my frontal lobe. Frontal lobe damage is the reason why I cannot carry laundry from the back porch to the bedroom and converse at the same time.

I took Dad to a driving evaluation at Sunnyview today. I learned a few things while there. I learned that many of Dad's vision problems (his visual acuity which is commonly expressed by numbers like 20/20 or 20/30 or 20/40 is acceptable) from his dementia are the same vision problems

that some of us with brain injuries struggle with. For those who like meaningless stats, 80% of folks with t.b.i.s have vision problems and 20% of us have auditory problems. 99% of us have memory problems. I don't have the memory or the auditory problems. I do have the vision problems.

During the driving eval at Sunnyview, the evaluator tested for visual acuity, visual scanning, visual discrimination, color discrimination, peripheral vision, impulsivity, and reaction time.

The difference between traumatic brain injury and dementia is that we can expect some improvement in some areas over time. Dementia does not improve. Dementia progresses and worsens over time. Brain damage is brain damage though, in spite of different prognoses. Consequently, some of the things we learn from places like B.I.A.-U.S.A. like "every brain injury is different" is also expressed in Alzheimers' circles as "every dementia looks different."