"Neuropsychological assessment before epilepsy surgery"

by Placerville Newswire / Sep 13, 2018 / comments

Sounds benign. Ha Ha!

I like tests, especially test of my abilities. I score well and that is always satisfying. I got the 99 percentile on ASVAB and SOI-LA, my IQ has always been rated at a satisfying level.

I did not give this test its dues! Over an 8 hour period I was tested in over 25 areas of thought, memory, logic, and various stages of memory from working to long-term.

I was told before to come well rested and to try my best. That was fine, I like the challenge. What I did not think about is that the test were designed to push beyond reasonable ability and were not made to be completed. They were designed to see when you failed to make a benchmark of your ability. Most were timed so you had that pressure. I believe that some were not solvable to test your reaction to facing an unsolvable task. Well, that was my own interpretation, maybe because I don't like failure...

Only one test was I able to complete! I did learn that many skills that I used to know, like solving quadratic equations, I could no longer do without much trial and error. The proper method of solving was no longer available to me without many failed attempts to get to the solution. And it was timed limited. That was disconcerting to me as I am naturally gifted in mathematics.

My spelling is as bad as always making me grateful for today's "spell check" programs.

My ability to see small anomalies in a series of likewise images is still excellent and my recall of historic facts and peoples is still good but I did surprise myself and laughed out loud when I began answering the question of who was Shahrazad by saying she was a "Prostitute"... I was think of Salome. My regular phycologist thinks I am "preachy." LOL.

Most of the testing was objective and a good challenge helping get my mind off why I was taking the tests. But now and then they would interrupt a part of the test and ask me "quality of life" questions about this month/week and then continue on with the test. I take this as a part of the test itself to see how interjecting subjective highly emotionally charged issues affected the objective answers. It certainly did as I had to mop my face to continue and could see that I was visibly shaking as I restarted the objective part of the test.

As I already knew, highly charged emotions lead to small seizures that cause what is called an "amygdala hijacking" but to see it play out in an objective and clinical setting was very disturbing. A chink in my armor without a doubt.

I also learned my chief neurophycologist would be a great Poker player as a side job! She administered part of the test that was not actually part of the assessment but a part of the tools she will use as they do the upcoming WADA test. She showed me a series of about ten objects. Then asked me to describe parts of some objects [like an old wristwatch] that were on a series of pictures. She then went back to the objects she had shown me earlier, but mixed with about 20 new objects. She mixed them and asked me one by one if she had shown me this object earlier. It was very easy and I could tell nearly instantly in my peripheral vision, so I added a more interesting element, searching for her own facial "tells." It took several minutes to complete this part and I watched her face carefully. I did see that she sometimes had a muscle tick on the right side of her chin and that she pursed her lips differently after she asked some questions, but they never correlated to the answer of if I had seen her show me that item earlier.

Good to know your doc is a pro.

All in all, I got my $5,840 worth in this test.

I was sure ready to go to bed when I got home.

Cris Alarcon

September 13 at 7:56 AM


Part 1 "Provoked Seizures and what I learned from a week in an EMU"

Part 2 "Brain Surgery - It Just Got Real"

Part 3 "Major Illness is Life's Best Roller Coaster"

Part 4 "My tiny part in a far reaching medical breakthrough"

Part 5 "Rounding Third and Headed Home with my Neurological Team"

Part 6 "Neuropsychological assessment before epilepsy surgery"

Part 7 “WADA for Epilepsy, Cerebral Angioplasty, EEG”