Testing… Testing… Testing

At the beginning of the week, I completed a day of neuropsychological testing.  No, nothing as classic as ink blots nor as racy as electrodes.  Instead, the tests were about memory, language, and similar functions.  A quick look at Wikipedia revealed that I completed these tests:

Wisconsin Card Sorting Test

WisconsinCardSort

Trail Making Test,

Trails

Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test,

RayTest

Boston Naming Test,

bostonnaming

and many more.

The tests were for information gathering, to measure my abilities now.  They will not allow a doctor to narrow down why my PCS lingers, to press a button or give me a drug and ~viola~ I am fixed.  No, that is not possible.  I said yes to the tests because the opportunity was offered, and because I love tests designed to measure mental functioning and ability, and so I can learn where I am in relation to others, now.  I won’t learn the test results until the end of January – apparently they need to be filtered through my concussion doctor instead of being sent to me directly.

At this point in my recovery, I “pass” regularly.  People who do not know that I have a brain injury generally do not realize I am not at 100%.  They take my longer response times, my general forgetfulness and any fumbling for words as within normal human behavior parameters.  Once upon a time, I was not average. I was never average.  And now I am grateful to pass as average, as just another person in the stratosphere.

The books I have read about mTBI warn of the Golden Halo Effect.  Humans tend to cast a golden halo over their pre-injury life, remembering the time before as perfect and their performance as always top notch.  So, now, post-injury, I remind myself that my brain did not perform perfectly before.  It is easy to get in the habit of thinking something is broken if it is not 100%.  I was human.  I am human. Some information is lost, naturally.

I have no data to compare pre- and post-injury performance.   Regardless of the final test results, a chunk of me will always believe that I would have done better before my injury.  Even for those skills that have already healed and are functioning normally, deep in my gut I will believe that I would have done better a year ago.  I suppose the golden halo of perfection has settled around my vision of my past.  I will never know when, or if, I heal completely.

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