Friday, June 08, 2007


cog•ni•tion (k g-n sh n)
n. The mental faculty of knowing, which includes perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, judging, reasoning, and imagining
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary

This is one of those words that can be hard to grasp. Cognitive difficulties is at the head of the list for issues with traumatic brain injuries so what really does that mean in day to day life? I can’t answer that for anyone but me for the word covers as wide an area as the word “everything”. When Eric and I were talking the other day we touched on this when I think I made the statement that if I was a drooling vegetable people would recognize I had a brain injury. Eric said “you seem normal to me” I think to support what I was saying. Fact is I do seem normal and that throws some people off.

What brought this up was a problem I just had while watering the corn. It is great to have the hose now be able to reach beyond the corn patch as a result of the extra hose Jib and Jab brought to put in the air conditioner. So as I water I pull weeds, being careful with where the water is spraying as I kneel to do so. I was careful to thread the hose down the path because I have accidentally mowed over plants with it in the past. Not once but several times. Then as I water I see more weeds and, forgetting, I pulled the hose across six or eight young corn plants as I head for the new weeds. OH Was I Pissed at myself. I cussed myself out in no uncertain terms for repeating this mistake I have made before. This mistake I was conscious of making and determined not to do again. So I carefully threaded the hose again so as to reach this spot and get the weeds in addition to watering a different area. And I did it again. This is the part of cognition where you are aware of what is going on around you. I repeatedly step on young plants because, as I focus on something, I am unaware of where my foot is going. With the hose all it takes is for my mind to see some weeds for it to forget about the hose in my hand.

One of the things Eric and I talked about is how everyone does stuff like this. We all have gone into a room and forgot what we came in for. The difference is I go through it steadily all day long and despite being aware of needing to be careful still repeat the same mistake. So this is an illustration of one aspect of cognitive difficulties.

My computer just hiccupped. I had to restore it to June 4 in order to get it to go online as somehow half of the programming to use my PC card disappeared. It should work now. I lost much of what I wrote previously on cognitive difficulties. Don’t feel up to trying to do it all again.


Phelan said...

yep, we all do those things. I did it just yesterday, and boy was I pissed at myself. Sometimes that hose is just too long for it's own good and doesn't want to move in the way I want it to when I am dragging it across the garden.

My brother-in-law fell from a 20 foot scaffolding onto a sidewalk. He lost a lot of his cognitive skills, and had to relearn many things. Unfortunatley the permeant damage that was done caused him to be...I will be polite...uncoth in his mannerisims and language. No one likes to spend too much time with him because of this.

As for myself I am losing them slowly, and it is driving me mad. Maybe I will explain later, as it is a long one.

Bob said...

You know Phelan, before I had this brain injury I don''t recall meeting anyone else with one but since I find them all over. They were always there but I never saw them. What you say of your BIL (Brother in Law, Hey, I'm getting techy and using those initial things I see all over) is not unusual at all. In fact it was a similar personality change after a fall that resulted in my divorce from Cherie back in 1985. There are many causes of brain injuries, getting old seems to be one of them.