Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Beanagawea to Epinephrine!

First official post of the "new" Blog.

Hey all. I am migrating the Carinbridge Blog that Jacob created for me back in February over to the Google Empire; hence, the very [clever] "" is born. Fortunately I was able to Select All > Copy > Paste all of the CaringBridge entries into this blog, and I don't seem to have lost much of anything! So those should be at the bottom, should you care to read up on what happened in the past 9 months. 9 months, nearly. Wow.
"It's been minutes, it's been days, it's been all I will remember"
This will be stream-of-consciousness, which unfortunately is not as elegant as some of my friend's prose-like writing (I'm looking at you, Kitzi!). I have certainly come a long ways from December 24, 2010. I have continued to make daily strides and thus progress down the road of grief, and am now back doing cognitive therapy! This time, I opted to go to the Sister Kinney Rehabilitation Institute for cognitive therapy. I am seeing an Occupational Therapist, a Speech/Language Pathologist, and a psychologist to deal with "emotional response to increasing cognitive stimulation" - their words, not mine.

By the way, the background image is of Bostwick Park, looking toward the San Juan Mountains from Warner Point on the south rim of the northwestern-most section of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. I took that photo last summer, and it's not from the Sound of Music :P.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy deals with rehabilitation of any and all skill sets which may be used in one's occupation, whatever that may be (I was only trying to be a medium smartass with that sentence). In my case, my occupation is school, and more specifically, graduate school, which has it's own set of cognitive, physical, and other challenges.

We are currently focusing on assessing a plethora of cognitive skills, to identify what may be potential roadblocks when returning to school next spring. This includes visual memory, spatial memory, verbal memory, and other fancier-sounding skills. My greatest deficiencies, according to a neuropsychology evaluation that I received in March (?) were spatial and verbal memory. However, much healing has occurred since then, and it is unclear how large those deficits, if any, remain. I will keep you all posted as we continue to evaluate.

At the moment, I am playing "brain games" on, a website which is unique in that it's games are designed to adjust depending on one's performance - the games get harder when you do well, and get easier if you start to struggle. I'd recommend the website for anyone to check out. I believe they offer a ~week long free trial. Games I struggle with a bit include "Monster Garden" on the "extreme" level, and "Word Bubbles". Keep in mind that when I say I struggle, I mean that I don't think I am performing as well as I would have prior to the TBI. Not knowing what deficits are caused by the TBI and which are intrinsic to being a spazzy Donnie is one of the frustrating things of therapy (life?).

Good news! My left hand dexterity has apparently been restored. I mentioned in a previous CaringBridge post that the initial neuropsychology evaluation had identified a large deficiency in my left hand's dexterity using the Grooved Pegboard test. This was not something I had noticed in my day-to-day life, but was still concerning to me. I took the test again and scored within normal limits of people my age, which made me happy. Still no smell in the left nostril, but that won't ever get fixed! I actually get a kick out of making "unilateral anosmia" jokes, so I am okay with not being able to smell in one nostril :).

Speech Therapy

I haven't had a lot of Speech Therapy yet, but my understanding of Speech is that it also works on cognition. We are currently working on assessing my writing skills. 


Right on! That is all I can write for now, so it will have to suffice. Will keep you updated as therapy progresses throughout the fall.

Upcoming Events for me

  1. Twin Cities Marathon - October 2
    1. Apparently you can "track me" by going to, and they will somehow update you on where I am via text messaging. Otherwise, check out the Spectator Guide to the TCM, and on Page 8 there is a "Pace Guide." The race starts at 8am, and you can use the "3 hours 30 minutes" as an approximate pace to calculate where I will be and when. The ultimate goal, before having IT Band issues, was a 3 hour pace, but I am thinking running with 11,200 other people will slow me down a lot.
  2. Buzz Run - October 6-9
    1. This will be the first Buzz Run I've been to in years!
  3. GSA - October 9-12
    1. Excited to see some of my UT friends, my forever friends Erik/Jacob/Jamey/etc., and all the others.
  4. Wild Duluth 50k - October 15
    1. Really excited for this race, and looking forward to it a lot more than the TCM!

October is busy, which is good. I will keep ya posted, probs :).


  1. Good man, gonna be a solid visit! Gonna tear up the town!

  2. Wow! I had no idea you were such a runner! I'll have to be a spectator at TCM this year. I'll be the one along the south side of Calhoun screaming my fool head off!!! (Yes, I realize others will be doing the same, but I'll be loudest!!!)