This is topic aphasic in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
No, I haven't been aphasered, like in Star Trek (slash called it that).

It's this: aphasic

It's really disturbing and frustrating to me. I mean...skills I take for granted, like writing, speaking, comprehending, are noticeably sub-par.

I'm usually a step ahead mentally--now I'm two steps behind. Easily confused. Forgetting words and ideas as I'm speaking them. Losing track in conversations without any interruptions from others, when I can normally keep tabs on quite a few thoughts and conversations at once. Normally I'm a competent writer, but typing, I screw up sentence order. Handwriting, I switch letters or read one (am taking notes from research articles) letter and write down another.

Quite disturbing and frustrating.

Anyone else have experience with this type of stuff?
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
Holy freaking crap.

My psychiatrist wants to send me to Mass General for a neuropsych workup. [Eek!]
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
Wow, mack, that sucks! Did something precipitate this? How long do the bouts of it last for you?

What's involved in a neuropsych workup?
Posted by Dagonee (Member # 5818) on :
It happened to my sister a month or two ago - they never found out what was wrong, but now she gets migraines.

When I get run down over a long time (like a month of 5-6 hours sleep and no mental breaks), I start to have trouble remembering words. Not the extent of true aphasia, though.

Hope everything's OK!

Posted by Beren One Hand (Member # 3403) on :
I've been wondering why you keep giving me the index finger.

Have you been dealing with extreme stress, changes in medication, or extended periods of sleep deprivation?
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
Yes, yes, and yes.
Posted by celia60 (Member # 2039) on :
I second noem's questions.
Posted by Beren One Hand (Member # 3403) on :
In that case, you shouldn't be too worried. These are just short-term symptoms that will pass and probably not indicative of deeper problems.

*wishes Mack good luck* [Smile]
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
Not sure. They think it got triggered by an SSRI I was put on--and think I'm really medication sensitive and don't tolerate multiple meds very well (yay for genes from my grandmother, the only woman who gets raised BP from an antihypertensive).

They usually last a couple weeks...haven't been able to pin them down.

And I don't KNOW what's involved in a workup, am going to ask when I talk to the psychiatrist.

But I'm scared. What if they find something going totally wrong with my brain? [Eek!]
Posted by celia60 (Member # 2039) on :
[Group Hug]
Posted by Slash the Berzerker (Member # 556) on :
"She's been aphasered, Jim."

"Help her, Bones. Do whatever it takes."

"Dammit Jim! I'm just a country doctor, not a miracle worker!"
Posted by skillery (Member # 6209) on :
Easily confused. Forgetting words and ideas as I'm speaking them.
all the time. Fortunately, mine is caused by a genetic deficiency rather than by trauma. So I will never be plagued by memories of how it felt to be gifted.

Posted by UofUlawguy (Member # 5492) on :
The first place I ever came across that word was in Phillip K. Dick's novel A Scanner Darkly. In that case, the problem was caused by drug abuse. The effects were scary. I hope it was mostly fictionalized/sensationalized, but I know that Dick based a lot of it on his own experiences with his group of friends in Berkeley in the 1960's.
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :

I took a course in neuropsych assessment a lot of years ago. I've also had a couple of them done to me.

They vary - but they're combinations of standard IQ tests, percetual-motor tests, etc. - I'm not sure there's a standard battery of them. Can actually be fun if you're the type who likes taking tests.

With me, they're almost a waste of time, since they were developed on a model of acquired brain damage. They're not as useful with someone with lifelong, diffuse stuff neurological issues like me.

Basically, though, through evaluating your performance on various tests, they're going to try to get a better handle on what areas of your brain are being affected and in what ways.

I don't remember anything painful being involved.

Good luck - this has to be very discouraging and distressing.
Posted by Slash the Berzerker (Member # 556) on :
Has anyone else read Octavia Butler's fabulous short story 'Speech Sounds'?

It is about a disease that causes dramatic Aphasia. The disease sweeps through the world, and leaves behind it a population that can no longer understand speech or writing.

It's pretty dark, but it's a wonderful story.
Posted by UofUlawguy (Member # 5492) on :
That was a pretty great story. Didn't the main character have a somewhat less-severe case of the disorder, in that she could still understand speech, and thought in words, but couldn't actually speak or write? I remember she met a guy who could still speak, and she could understand him.
Posted by Slash the Berzerker (Member # 556) on :
Actually, she was one of the few that could speak and understand speech. But she lost her ability to read or write.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Yeah, that was a good story. I love Octavia Butler's ability to write scenarios which would seem to be very unhappy endings, yet the people take that new state of things and start building some sort of life out of it. They survive, and turn what seems like a catastrophic ending into something with some future and some hope. Maybe very different than life as we know it, but something that still has some good in it somewhere. I love that about her.
Posted by ak (Member # 90) on :
Mac, I hope they figure out what's causing this and how to fix it.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
Thanks for the recommend, Slash. Noemon and ak already had me interested in Butler.

mackillian, getting more information about how you tick is a good thing. You are not a straightforward, uncomplicated woman, and finding out the best way to make your life smoother won't be straightforward or uncomplicated, either.

Hang in there and see what happens. You are still in charge, you know -- and the information is just another tool to use.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
It is a good story, but it's always struck me as reading more like the first chapter to an incredibly good book.
Posted by jexx (Member # 3450) on :
You'll be okay, mack. I'm pretty sure a neuropsych work up is non-invasive. *grin*

I will refrain from telling you what to do, because I know you like to do the opposite. [Wink]

I will, however, give you a friendly *bite*.

Feel better?

I lub oo, jamie.

Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
The IQ scares me too. I had one in fourth grade and results were, I know IQ tests are basically crap, but what if it's dropped significantly?

I mean, throughout my life, the ONE thing I could count on were my mental abilities for piecing things out...
Posted by Slash the Berzerker (Member # 556) on :
CT, anything by Butler is worth checking out.

I personally love her short stuff, but her novels are all good too. And OSC uses her as his example of perfect writing. [Smile]
Posted by sndrake (Member # 4941) on :

When the Weschler is used in a neuropsych exam, the overall score isn't the most important aspect (unless there is a significant change from a previous exam, but that is still very general information).

The subtests tell more important stories. As an example, I go down the tube on the "coding" section, in which you have to transcribe numbers that correspond to symbols. OK - that's not too surprising for someone with mild dysgraphia and neurological damage that involves, among other things, cerebellar pathways. Attention-shifting is a bugger.

So when they look at the subtests, they'll be looking at stuff like short term memory, general recall, problem-solving, math skills - and adding that information along with other tests in the battery.

CT has the right of it (big surprise) - more knowledge is a good thing and you are the one in control.
Posted by celia60 (Member # 2039) on :
I've only read one of the Parable books. Silly me, it was the second one. I have the first and keep meaning to get to it.

Oh, so many books I keep meaning to read. Mack's is next (as soon as I finish Amber).
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
I'm with Slash--her short stuff is fantastic. Among her novel length works, I found Wild Seed and the entire Xenogenesis trilogy to be best.

The Parable books are pretty good too though. The first one of those wouldn't be a bad place to start one's exposure to Butler.

Has anybody heard anything about any projects she's currently working on? It's been quite awhile since I've seen anything new from her.
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
I certainly don't FEEL in control.
Posted by Noemon (Member # 1115) on :
But by having a test like this done, you'll be dealing with a known quantity rather than a fear of what that quantity might by. It'll be better to know what you're dealing with, and will enable you to *take* control.
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
But my mind running away from me like it is? Making me want to run away as well? *blink*

Posted by Theca (Member # 1629) on :
Your IQ has not dropped! I just read your last paper.

This can be a positive educational experience for you. And I agree with CT's post. And it's probably helpful data. But your intelligence hasn't changed. Nope.

(sorry this is choppy I'm kind of busy now)
Posted by BannaOj (Member # 3206) on :
IQ test can be improved by vocabulary and learning somewhat. (Even if they aren't supposed to) Even with your current problems I would expect you to be higher on an IQ test just due to life experience as long as you can focus on one question at a time. If it is lower it has everything to do I think with your focusing than it does to do with your acual intelligence. So I wouldn't worry about it too much. Can't you ask them *not* to tell you the results so you don't know, if you really don't want to?

Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
Not sure
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
Actually, IQ may test lower for her -- simply because she is older. You know, they use a formula that has age as a factor. So like "you're an 8 year old that knows as much as a 18 year old" equals a certain IQ. Usually as we get older, that "gap" isn't as easily identifiable (You're an 18 year old that thinks like a 30 year old doesn't seem as drastic).

The Weshler test, especially, was geared for younger kids.

But I agree- they are looking for the sub-test scores, not the overall, to see if there are discrepencies between ability and performance.

Posted by pooka (Member # 5003) on :
When I'm pregnant I have a marked decrease in mental abilities. Like when I go to change lanes, I never feel like I've checked between the mirror and the blind spot enough. My arithmetic and chess game suffer as well, though I've never tracked language processing abilities. I struggle finding a word and stuff like that. The theory I was given for this by my former dietary guru was chronic low blood sugar that comes with pregnancy.

I'm sure the sleep deprivation is also a factor. I remember finding out just after I had taken the LSAT that studies show a decrease in analytical reasoning with interrupted or inadequate sleep. (I took the LSAT when I had a six week old infant). D'oh! Sleep deprivation is also linked to Cortisol and blood sugar regulation. There was a study out of U of Chicago that actually linked sleep deprivation to Insulin resistance by that route. I guess I should have posted this in the "Tell Mack to go to sleep" thread.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
mackillian, I don't know what good advice for your situation would even look like. I wish I did, because if I could say something wise and helpful, I'd feel like a better friend. [Frown] But I am here to listen and watch, to bear witness.

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, sweetheart, and I hope it gets better soon. Life has been pretty chaotic for you in the last few years.
Posted by ClaudiaTherese (Member # 923) on :
(and you've been a real trooper -- hang in there, it'll get better. It has to.)
Posted by WanderingCat (Member # 3385) on :
Its a shot in the dark, but you haven't recently started taking the drug Topamax have you? or anything similar? My sister was on a fairly high dosage of it for awhile before they had to take her off of it due to aphasia.

She had all the symptoms you are discribing and more. She had trouble communicating with people and communicatin with herself. If you asked her to do something it would take her twice the amount of time it should normal take to begin. My father was helping her balance her check book and asked her to put some checks in order of date and it took her ten minutes just to begin. She just couldn't get her brain to understand what it was supposed to do. Everything went back to normal, however, when her doctor took her off the Topamax.

I hope you get this figured out! I know how frusterating it can be!

Posted by Dead_Horse (Member # 3027) on :
Yea, for te last severalmonths I've been feelin like Charley in Flowers for Algernon. My IQ was 149, too. Im having a little trouble with fine motor skills and tremors, too.

I hope youe docs can help you, an it's just meds and temporary. You are still much smarter and more creative than the average person.

Posted by MyrddinFyre (Member # 2576) on :
Get sleep [Smile]
Posted by Kayla (Member # 2403) on :
Has anyone recently fixed the food replicators?

(Good luck, mack)

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