Good evening everybody. Today has been a very long and exhausting day. I was at Mentis this morning. All my Thursdays at Mentis have the same schedule. It starts with Speech Therapy at 9am, followed by Physical and Occupational Therapy at 10am and 11am, respectively.
Let me start with Speech Therapy. Normally I get individual therapy but today because one of the speech pathologist had a last minute meeting I had to join a group of 2 other Soldiers, Billy and Brandon. It started out kind of rough because Claudia began asking questions of memory strategies that we had to try to answer out of the top of my head. I would hear Billy and Brandon giving out the answer with no problem. I knew from the start that I wouldn't remember so I was trying to listen closely to them to refresh my memory. I was the las one to answer and I got to tell you inside my head I was thinking "damn, I don't remember this". So anyway I could give some answers with no problem but I needed cues for others. Following this was an activity that required us to maintain a conversation for 5 minutes with Classic Rock music on the background. This is extremely overwhelming. At times I felt confused because I had to filter out the music so I could pay attention to the conversation. This is what we call Selective attention. After the conversation we had to read a newspaper article with the same backgound music. Needless to say, it was overwhelming. I lost count of how many times I had to go back and read the same things again because I couldn't focus. So in the end I chose key words that helped me recall the information. At the end of the session we had to write down on a piece of paper what were the types of attention, the memory strategies, what we had talked about in the conversation, and what the newpaper article said. I got a 100% on this part. YEAHHH!!!!
For your information I will list the attentions and strategies:
1. Types of attention
2. Memory Strategies
b. Repetition and Rehearsal
d. Compensatory (which would be like writing things down)
At the end of the Speech Therapy Session, Dr. Spier, the medical director for Mentis walked in the room. He told me something that was uplifting for me. He said that there has been recent research about how neurogenic stuttering has been found on blast injuries. He explained to me about a part of the brain that gets affected in some cases that in turns affects the speech. I can't complaint about today's Speech Therapy because we didn't do the fluency part, which you all know I don't like.
After Speech Therapy I had the Physical Therapy with Jimmy. We confirmed that next Tuesday we are going to run at 8am. Tessa, which is another therapist will join us that morning. As I walked in the PT area I noticed they were playing 70's disco music (BeeGees and music of that sort), oh my God!!!, I thought I had to bring the leg warmers today for therapy. LOL. Well shortly after I walked in we started the therapy session. Today we worked on balance and dizziness. We did the regular excercises for balance, which I call "YESs and NOs". The YESs I can do for quite a few minutes, which it has been a big improvement because I think when I started I was able to do for about 30 some seconds. The NOs are more dificult for me. I was able to do them for almost 30 seconds, which anyway is an improvement because when I started at Mentis I could do them for less than 20 seconds. After the YESs and NOs we did some walking excercises that improve balance. Once that was done, Jimmy took me to the basketball area to play a little bit. Me basketball player!!! Yeah right!!! It was a fun way to end the therapy session.
Finally at 11am I had Occupational Therapy. Today Stephen had one of the guys give me auditory instructions that I had to follow to put a small electrical circuit together. I did it. I was able to follow the instructions the proper way. I lacked on feedback communication. Stephen will start making this task more challenging in the next sessions, we'll see how that goes.
At the end of the day, Mentis provided transportation for me because my wife was at meetings all afternoon and could not pick me up. I can't wait to start driving again.
Tomorrow I have 4 appointments. My day will be as follows: 1. Physical Medicine, Vascular, Chiropractor, and Neurology. Full day. I will let you know how it goes.