Monday, April 24, 2006

Cognitive Fatigue

Several months ago I wrote in this blog about a friend who had a terrible skiing accident in Denver. He suffered quite a few broken bones, lost sight in one of his eyes and took a pretty good blow to his head. As a result he has been through a long journey and still has a long way to go. He is out of the hospital now and into a rehabilitation situation. I spent some time today with his fiance who is back in Athens getting ready to graduate from UGA. I've been keeping up with his progress and realized early on that Brad was experiencing a lot of similar things that I experience as far as his brain injury is concerned. It will be a long time before they actually know the extent of Brad's brain injury but some of the problems he is experiencing now are all too familiar to me.

In talking with Lauren today we talked about how tired Brad gets and his doctor's have termed this as "cognitive fatigue" -- basically you brain gets tired. I have often told people that I get so tired and the only explanation I have for it is "it's like taking a final exam for eight hours and you are mentally exhausted". I guess now I can say it is "cognitive fatigue" --that sounds much better don't you think?

Some of Brad's other symptoms that are like mine are getting frustrated and agitated easily, not remembering the right words for things and dealing with emotion. I guess when the brain is "injured" however that might come about a lot of the same symptons occur. Lauren and I discussed how far the medical world has come on so many things but when it comes to the brain we seem to be miles behind.....or maybe it just seems that way. There are probably a lot of other people thinking the same thing about the diseases that they have.

Brad and his family are on a long road to me it is so much harder on the families and you all know how I feel about that. To me, that's the hardest part of having this disease, what it does to my family. My best to Brad, Lauren and the rest of his family -- they have certainly shown a great deal of love and support to him and he will need more as the days and months and years progress.

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