…not for any medical issues, but as a check point for my cognitive rehabilitation. Previously I wrote about how immediately after I was discharged from the rehab hospital, I was given a full neuropsychiatric evaluation to serve as a benchmark for future testing. Future testing, as it turns out, is tomorrow.
I recall the initial neuropsych test with some trepidation. Although some areas were pretty easy and manageable, there were other sections, especially problem solving and pattern recognition, that made me feel like Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson in the classic 2001 Space Odyssey spoof from Zoolander. My brain was a bit swollen after the surgery (you can see that on the middle MRI image here), which I think accounts for the deficits in attention and executive function the psychiatrists identified. It also accounts for why these deficits resolved fairly quickly in the weeks after surgery; i.e., no permanent damage was done, which makes me extremely grateful. Whatever the bit of my brain they cut out was doing, it doesn’t seem to have been mission-critical.
So, although the key battle is still about keeping the tumor cells from re-growing, like Richard Feynman, I believe that the greatest pleasure to be had in life is figuring stuff out. Which makes my cognitive rehabilitation efforts — such as music, books, and Lumosity brain puzzles — absolutely essential. Tomorrow we’ll see how much progress I’ve made. Fingers crossed.