Yesterday I had my last speech therapy appointment in K-town. It was my last one and I am quite pleased with it. I learned that I remember better by association. When she gave me a list of words, if I could associate them with me I could remember them. Although yesterday I missed three, I am chalking that up to the heat and Benadryl. Last week I got 10 out of 10.
The other activities for remembering, I sucked at. One was just looking at the picture and trying to remember details. Then she would ask me about things in the picture. It went something like this:
JM: What was the picture about?
ME: A kitchen.
ME: *Smiling all proud*
JM: What shelf were the canisters on?
ME: Oh, the top shelf! (Because my brother has similar shelves and it reminded me of his kitchen.)
JM: What was in the canisters on the shelf.
ME: *thinks* Coffee. I remember that one. Uh, I am not sure what the other ones were. I just really want some coffee LOL.
JM: *giggles* Flour and sugar. That’s okay. Next question, where was the clock?
ME: Wait. There was a clock? Seriously? Where?
JM: Yes, it was on the stove.
ME: Oooooh. *feeling dumb or unobservant*
JM: That’s okay a lot of people miss that one.
Oh sure… thanks for lying to make me feel better. LOL just kidding, they probably do. She showed me the picture afterwards so I could see the things I missed. I did okay on it. The next one was a bakery. I did meh on that one (because how often do I go to a bakery?) The pool picture I did pretty awesome but I grew up around pools and man did that bring back memories. After that, she switched to association because I do so much better with that. Last week I remembered 10 out of 10 words.
She said I am actually at the higher functioning stuff which made me feel better about myself. I did one sheet where if there was a box around the word, you read the color of the word. If there was no box then just read the word. Man, that was hard!
[red] Green <— These would both be “red”. They had green and blue also.
So, I may be forgetful, but now I have some tools for me to practice to help me remember stuff. Some stuff I remember with no problem. If they are number related, then I remember it easily. What time did Dr N add that diagnosis? 0532 on 24 March 2015. What did I have for lunch that day? I have no idea.
At least with this and the grouping exercise, I can work on remembering things and I don’t feel like a complete failure.
As a side note: yes, I realize that some of you will be able to figure out where these places are. I am not writing them out as K-town, L-town, etc to hide anything from you. I am just doing that because I like the sound of it. Also, I am writing a book where I am basing the layout of the camps on the real towns of Kalispell and Libby. (See, not trying to hide). Since I write here and in the book about the same times each day, it’s easier for me to write K-town instead of Kalispell or the name of the town for the book (which starts with K for now). I found myself writing Kalispell in the book and vice versa when I tried to write on here and in the book. Besides, K-town and L-town just sound nice to me.
And the pain was totally worth it!
So, yesterday, I did have a ride (THANK YOU, R*!) from L-town to K-town at 3:30 in the morning. Then I slept a little on and off. When I got up, I found out that the vehicle was unavailable for dropping off at the appointment. I had looked up the bus system down there the night before so I had a mini-backup plan. V* ended up dropping me off for my appointment (THANK YOU V*!) and I decided to use that time to hunt down that diagnosis on my medical record.
Went to my appointment, walked to the hospital’s medical records, walked over to the HIT department, and then back to medical records with HIT. I have to say, those two ladies were so nice! Everyone was so nice yesterday, but the HIT ladies were so super nice and helpful. Everyone should be like that! Back to the story, so I explained what I was looking for and they found it, had a print out (which I now have) that links the diagnosis to Dr N.
I found it interesting that we had such an issue finding it in my chart that we could only link it back to MB (from 04/06); but he put it in my chart from “old records”. How did he see it and we had to have someone spend an entire day searching for it because it wasn’t obviously in the chart? It almost feels like it was hidden in the chart (doubt that was purposely). Which begs the question… how did MB find it? Or did he actually talk to Dr N about it? Because I have to records he would have seen and it is NOT in there. I had two other people helping me search for it.
Anyway, now I have that. I went to the bus shelter and waited for the bus to Whitefish (sorry, no cute name for that one, it’s not in the book yet… YET). It was so hot outside I was feeling sick and itching like crazy. I had my sleeves on though and I stayed in shade when possible… so it’s not like I was in the sun on purpose. But ugh, I feeling miserable for a bit. I did take Benadryl, which made it really difficult to function but made my day better. Note to self: next time take your umbrella!
Train Station and Pictures
I sat at the Whitefish train station from 4:30 pm until the train got there. It was so neat listening to everyone talk about their travels. One couple has a rail pass and is hoping the trains and stopping every now and then for a day or two. I so want to do that! Another guy was going to see his girlfriend, who is pregnant. He was in K-town for a day. Another couple were going to visit Spokane for a fun weekend. There was a lady who was visiting her kids and was now leaving. Another guy works in one state but comes home every couple months. Then there was me. Had a doctor’s appointment. Needed a ride back home. I did walk to a health food store and grabbed some yogurt at one point.
The only thing I regret is that I forgot my camera! I snapped a few pictures on my phone though. They aren’t as great… but I will get to that later. Here are some pictures! Before you look at them, let me just say that I didn’t realize how bad my camera on my phone is until I actually took pictures with it. So sorry in advance.
Here is the train station outside area where we waited for the train.
Here is a BEAUTIFUL piano. I will have to get better pictures of it.
And this is the scales in the station. They don’t use these anymore, they are just there for museum awesomeness. Although, one lady did stand on them and let her boyfriend weigh her. She said she gained 20 pounds on this trip. LOL
Back to the train, It was running behind because of two medical emergencies and a drunken disorderly. We left about 11:23 and made it back to L-town at 1:16 in the morning. I was on the upper level (I asked for lower but it wasn’t on the ticket).
Between all the walking in K-town around the hospital, the bus ride, sleeping on a bench (the Benadryl kicked in), and riding a train… all while carrying my backpack… today my back is killing me! I probably won’t do much the rest of the day. I am resting so I don’t seriously hurt myself. That is where I got the post title from. It was a LONG day! It was tiring. The Benadryl kicked my ass. I am having horrible abdominal cramps and diarrhea from the heat (I know… TMI). I cried this morning from the pain… but I have marijuana! I can get through this!
And now… the worth it part…
Because of this nice reminder that I have a way to not be in agonizing pain, I realized I can do more than I could before. So, next week I have an appointment for a gastric emptying study on Wednesday. I am going to get a ride to the hospital, get the test done, throw up (because I will have to eat food), and then wait for the bus again. This time, I am going to Whitefish with umbrella and Benadryl, and I am taking my camera with me too and a folding chair too.
I am totally going to make a day out of taking pictures and chilling in the shade (assuming it isn’t too hot). If it gets too hot, I can always go wander through a store or museum. Then I can ride the train back to L-town again. Only this time I am bringing a rolling thingy to put my backpack on. That is too much for me to carry! Lesson learned. And I am bringing a folding chair because there were a few times I really needed to sit down but there wasn’t a good place to sit, or there wasn’t a place with a back rest … which I am sure didn’t help with the back pain.
And hopefully a folding chair will make it to where I don’t have to bring a rolling walker. I hate that thing and love it all at the same time. I haven’t needed to use it except when they had me stop marijuana for 10 days (and I lasted four). Before that, I stopped using it about two weeks into using marijuana. the swelling in my back had gone down and I could actually feel my legs better (which was good and bad LOL) and they stopped giving out on me. If I can avoid using it again, I totally will! I hated using it. It was embarrassing and I felt like less of a person.
Mentally, I feel so much better for being out yesterday and seeing people and getting to see places and I feel like I traveled (which I ABSOLUTELY miss the most!) If I had money, I would totally hop a train to somewhere and go explore and come back since I can’t drive anymore. But this makes getting out a lot more realistic and makes me feel less trapped. Trapped? No… stranded? no… there is a word. I can’t find it.
Update: HOMEBOUND! Thank you, Lakewolf! That is the word I was looking for!
One thing I will change though, I want a lower level seat! climbing stairs up is okay but slow. Going down them about kills my knees, especially after a day of walking around for any reason. I will still need a day (or two) to recover but this is so worth it. Just to get out and do something fun is what I needed.
I know this was long, but I feel so rejuvenated. I won’t be able to do this often but at least it is something to look forward to.