57. I want to hear you say it.

a book at the doctor's office yesterday (there is no kissing in the VT exercise, but the peekaboo pose is relevant)

a book at the doctor’s office yesterday (there is no kissing in the VT exercise, but the peekaboo pose is relevant)

We tried this thing I’ve been working on for a couple of months yesterday at VT.  It involves a few more steps but essentially you’re supposed to put your index finger over one eye (not touching the eyeball, OD4 cautioned me) and look out of the other eye at something (usually a person).  Apparently normal-seeing people immediately see a fused image of the index finger and the person’s head, but that is hearsay for me since I am not a normal-seeing person.  I’ve made my parents do this and they say the see the fused image right away.  I’ve also confirmed that what’s supposed to happen really happens with OD4 and L.  When they say, Yes, of course they can see “it,” I’m thinking, really…well what about me?!?!  I just tried it again by looking at my desk lamp.  Still no dice.

I ask other people to verify that they can see what you’re supposed to see since I’ve never seen it so I want to hear other people say that it totally works because it encourages me to keep on trying.  Like yesterday I was doing an exercise with a little fiber optic light and a pen and paper.  I never got to the pen and paper part since I couldn’t see what I was supposed to see with the light, so I asked L to do it.  She good-naturedly complied, and I had proof that motivated me to keep trying for another five minutes.

I also applied this “asking other people to say things” principle to my illness.  Last night I heard Mommy explaining to “Aunty” A on the phone that part of my cerebellum was removed, so there’s a lot of heavy lifting attendant to my recovery.  I overheard this from a few feet away from my position on the sofa and I was mildly curious since I didn’t know whom Mom was talking to.  Mild curiosity is actually major progress for me since the last time I overheard a conversation like this I wept because it was another piece of evidence that this thing had really happened.

I was practicing with my rollator (the rolling walker) one day a few months after our homecoming and I passed by the room where my bed was and where Dad’s desk is.  Tanpo was on the phone with a colleague who was unaware of my illness and Dad was filling him in.  (Side note:  It’s naughty to listen to other people’s conversations.  I only did this since the subject matter was about me, and I was also in my reality-testing phase.)  The door was open just a crack so I parked my rollator in the hall and sat on it, listening to Tanpo recount the story I kind of thought might be true but hoped wasn’t.  I cried as he spoke and then I pulled it together enough to keep on practicing my walking.

Some time earlier I had called Ernie and Ai Ai and asked them to tell me the story of what happened to me.  They readily assented (thanks, guys!) but my sister had a conversation with Mommy later re. my “confusion.”  I also made my parents explain what happened to me as we met my new doctors in MD.  When we went to see the PDG (ENT) so I could get scoped, he asked, “So what brings you in today?”

“Daddy explain,” was all I said, waving my hand in the general direction of my father’s chair.  Mommy had done the job when we had gone to my PCP’s office, so in the spirit of equity I thought it was Tanpo’s turn.

So I guess it’s a good sign that I’ve progressed from making people verify that my injury actually occurred to verifying that the exercises that will make me better are actually humanly possible.  E.g. a few weeks ago I watched Tanpo come down the stairs without holding on to the railing (Gasp!  Why wouldn’t anyone hold on to the railing if it was an option?!)  I actually do remember what it feels like to do a lot of things like a cartwheel etc. but for more common activities, like walking down the stairs or running on the treadmill, I like to be reminded of what they look like.  So if you ever see me staring at you strangely you’ll know what I’m doing.

 p.s.  My brief Therapy Vacation is over.  I skipped VT yesterday (FYI the “yesterday” in the post above refers to Monday sine I wrote this on Tuesday) but am going to the pool and PT this morning.  I took medicine etc. but this illness is MUCH easier to handle than that thing that happened a couple of weeks ago.