I spose this is an appropriate place to discuss what happened today. I had a follow-up visit with a psychologist. This followed about
8 hours of neuro-psychiatric testing. It was done because I've had some memory problems and found myself doing some of the things my father did in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Things like repeating himself and telling the same story again and again. I don't think I'm quite at that stage, but I HAVE fouond that it's hard for me to keep track of what I've said to whom. Makes telling the truth real important. At least that way I don't have to try to keep track of any lies I might have told to someone. :)
The results I got were rather surprising. I thought that she'd tell me that there was some measurable memory disfunction...and I was really afraid that she'd recommend that I be treated with some sort of psycho-active medication. about
the last thing I wanna do is take more meds. But that's not what she told me. Her bottom line conclusion was that I have a lot more physical problems than I'm willing to admit to myself. And this is causing a permanent state of fatigue, which limits some of my cognitive skills, such as memory, problem solving, comprehension, etc. She told me that my scores on most of the tests were pretty high, but she could see that there were certain areas that seemed to be affected (like remembering faces) more than others.
Her suggestion to me was to spend 5 to 15 minutes each HOUR "watching grass grow." That is, doing nothing, either mental or physical. This is a very uncomfortable thing for me to do. I HATE doing nothing. I don't even like to sit and watch tv. I told her that I could meditate several times per day and she thought that was a good idea, but still wants me to watch the darned grass grow.
She also wants me to exercise for the sake of exercise. This is something else that I hate. I can work hard on productive things...and over the last month I've found that I can work until the SOB hits, then relax for a while. The cardiologist says that continuing to "push against that wall" can help promote spontaneous collateral revascularization. I'm all for that. But the psychologist suggested that I only exert myself until "just before" I run out of breath. I'm not sure I know how to do that. And it seems in conflict with what the cardiologist tells me.
So I'm confused. That seems to be more and more of a natural state for me. :) I'm gonna have to find a way to take these "time outs" that she's suggesting that won't make me crazy while trying to preserve my sanity. See, I toldja I was confused. :)
As a summation, it seems that the work stress, the CAD and the bypass surgery have been more of a trauma to my body than I ever thought...and that I'm still trying to heal (it's been almost 9 months since the surgery.) Also the trauma has affected me in ways that I wasn't even aware of.
One of the areas that was measured was depression, and that seemed to be "within acceptable parameters, given the situation." The conclusion there was that the Prozac that I've been taking for the last 7 or so years is still doing its job. Another area that showed up was resentment. Given the situation that's occurred over the past 2.5 years (mainly job and medical malfeasance issues), she seemed to think that the resentment was somewhat natural.
I'm still in the process of processing (if you will) this information that I received today. I'm not exactly sure where I'm gonna go with it. But I don't think that I can watch grass grow for very long before I start doing things like making paper dolls, climbing the walls and chewing on the carpet while foaming at the mouth.
Stay tuned. I think there's more to come on this subject.