‘M’ is for Mop

I was reminded of something yesterday that I couldn’t do in the hospital.  Now, I couldn’t do a whole hell of a lot of stuff when I was in the hospital but for whatever reason it REALLY pissed me off that I was unable to do this test and it has stuck with me.  The test was…..pick a letter of the alphabet and say all the words that you can think of that begin with that letter.  I couldn’t do it.  I would come up with 1 or 2 words.  I forget what the goal is, I think 11 words in a minute.  I don’t know, I can’t remember.  11 words really?  That doesn’t seem like a lot.  You know, I bring up a good point.  🙂  Eleven words is so very, very abnormal for me but it would’ve been considered ‘normal’ had I gotten 11.  They taught us in PT school – you know what maybe they didn’t, maybe this is something I’ve learned since school – that you always need to ask the patient “is that normal FOR YOU?”  No one asked me that, ever.  With brain injuries it’s a little different because what’s normal for you is forever changed now but – I don’t know.

Ok I just did this with the letter ‘t.’  I got 19.  It would’ve been more if I could type with 2 hands, I should’ve given myself a little more time for pecking at the keyboard with one hand.

Tab, tap, tan, talk, tip, tint, taunt, tent, temperature, tell, Teflon, the, test, taste, tack, take, tame, tackle, time

Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Recovery, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , ,

29 replies

  1. Eleven words in a minute? I think I got 4. Now it might be 10. Still working on that. As far as typing one handed on a keyboard, read my posts on that. I think it will help you. Also in Stroke Tattler archives there are some useful links.

  2. No one gave me the assignment, but I thought of it: I tried to think of every town in MA that started w a particular letter. THEN I tried to alphabetize them. Doing M was my favorite. The town game was my favorite way of spending all my sleepless hours. And there were lots.

  3. Home run again Amy. My least favorite bulls–t test was serial 7’s. Considering that most Americans can’t do any mental math at all anymore, the idea that not being able to count back from 100 by 7’s would indicate anything about brain function is ridiculous. And they kept asking me to do this, over and over. So whenever they asked I would do serial 9’s, 8’s, and 6’s, but not the 7’s which really bothered them. I actually found a scientific paper that said that your average high school football player can’t do serial 7’s.

    • You’re right, 7s is harder. Why is that?

      • The pattern is harder to figure out at first. For 9’s, subtract 10 then add 1. For 8’s subtract 10 then add 2. For 6’s, subtract 5 then subtract 1. For 7’s you need to subtract 10 then add 3 which is a bit more complicated at first but not once you figure it out. Or you can just visualize a number line in your head. As you can tell, I’ve spent an absurd amount of time on this. Working on a collage based on serial 7’s. Will take a pic when it’s done.

  4. I got the cognitive test of listening to letters and numbers and having to order them low to high. After getting thru all of the exercises, which the doctor said no one had ever done before. He informed me that he couldn’t mark me as normal. Bullshit doctor, just because I’m smarter than you even after a stroke is no reason to dismiss my abilities. My next stroke will be entertaining for my doctors because I’ll be a complete asshole.

    • The bitchiness that they will encounter after my next stroke will be unprecedented.

    • The crazy thing, I thought, was that the same questions were repeated. “What’s today’s date?” and “Who’s the president?” were easy, especially since they were approved the first time I was asked – all I had to remember was what I said last time, not dredge the answer from my stored memory. But then I was totally stumped by the neurologist who asked “What’s today’s date?” and then “Who’s the vice president?” It took me about a minute, and I still wasn’t sure I had Biden’s name right. But the subtracting 7s wasn’t the hardest math question I got … One doc asked me to factor a quadratic equation. I knew my first answer was incorrect, as I said it, but I immediately corrected myself. Then I wondered if 70-year-old survivors get that question.

  5. I had the pleasant experience of knowing a piece of trivia my PT at inpatient rehab didn’t. I loved her, we got along really well because we were both sarcastic smartasses, but she did have some of that attitude that most therapists had, which was they were smart, and we patients were brain-addled. One of her favorite exercises was to have us march around the hallways of the facility holding on to gait poles while she asked me the state capitals. Now for whatever reason, I’m pretty good at state capitals, so when she asked me West Virginia, I said Charleston. She said that wasn’t right, but I knew it was. She couldn’t accept it, and said she was going to check on it. Knowing her, I’m sure she did, but she never mentioned it again, and she never asked me state capitals again. I miss her.

  6. OMG this soooo reminded me of that period in my life! My therapist would say an object name & I had to pick the picture card off the table in front of me. There were only 3 pictures! I remember “motorcycle” just stumped the hell out of me! To this day, “porcupine” & “caterpillar” sound the same to me when I say them!

  7. Amy, try doing it and just counting each word. for every word you think of mark a tally or press the ‘1’ key. I bet you’ll beat the crap out of that test.

    On a similar note, it takes thought coordination to be able to do that…I wonder if the cerebellum even coordinates our thoughts? Or, it could just be the “fog” that you guys talk about. Just another mystery of the brain.

  8. My last speech therapist was floored by my useless trivia, such as the capital of Vermont, or the length of a fortnight, she even went so far asto tell my dear Dad that I’m really “bright”. I’m a college educated female! You should expect no less!my mom teaches special ed HS students & she tells them that if they would just read more7n they would have a leg up.


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