Brain Aneurysm Support Community

Apprehensive about neuropsychological testing

#1

Hi all! My aneurysm clipping for a rupture was 11 months ago (March of 2015). In the recovery process, I have been challenged with memory, attention, distraction, and focus problems. Some of them are continuing and interfere with my work and in my home life. For example, today I put a load of laundry in the washer. I put the Tide in the washer but did not turn the washer to start because I was distracted in seeing some dish towels that were folded and laying on top of the dryer. As I brought the dish towels into the kitchen I saw the clean dishes needed to be put away in the dishwasher. A couple of hours later, I checked my TO-DO list (yes, I use that tool) and noted that I had that particular load to wash. Then I went back into the laundry room to turn the washer on! My neurologist referred me for neuropsych testing last September when I shared my problems and asked if anything could help me. He said these problems would keep improving. The tests are scheduled for next month. Do you think these tests would be warranted? Will they give answers to ways to help myself, or do I need take the tests and work with another provider? These tests are expensive and I have a high insurance deductible. They would hopefully let me make payments. What do you think about it? Anyone out there familiar with this? Thanks.

#2

Oops...it was my neurosurgeon that referred me for the tests....not the neurologist. Megger

#3

Had them, they are a tool to show where you are at in the time. I was administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). It shows cognitive ability.

I also took the MMPI, but it was not sent to Minnesota, so it can only be used by the Psychologist who administered it. To be official, the MMPI has to be sent to the university and they evaluate it. That’s extra money. It’s a personality inventory. Don’t try to lie, there are other statements to catch those. Just take each sentence as it is written and answer that one. The Psychologist should have a reference book that deals with brain trauma to base any decisions they make on your answers. I was also a psych student who studied the MMPI so not sure it wouldn’t be considered “confounded”.

For me, it was worth the hundreds of dollars because I was able to be told that testing showed my IQ at high average. So the psychological relief was there. And because this doctor knew my level of work prior to rupture, he could guesstimate how many points I had probably lost. We had never met before, just aware of each other.

WAIS also said I can multi task and problem solve, which I don’t find to be necessarily correct in my day to day life. Not sure if it measures being easily distracted which I am, but I can return to a task if prompted. And it took me three days to figure out the plumber had cut the shower drain pipe too short and wouldn’t stay put, which is why we could see the crawl space. I also become easily overwhelmed.

My psychologist would not give the results to Social Security because I scored too high. He said it wouldn’t help me. My neurologist gave me an Alzheimer’s test for short term memory and I just remember being mad and in so much pain from the lights and the computer (it had those rolling lines they couldn’t stop, I can’t remember being so angry or why, besides the pain). I don’t know how I did. That one said well it didn’t really take into account what has happened to you, but it’s the only one we have and because of your photophobia we won’t use it.

I would look into a Cognitive Therapist, they often have skill sets they can teach to help you and that sounds to me it’s more of what you’re wanting. Occupational Therapy can sometimes help with this but all the ones around me just focus on dressing and hygiene skills. Talk to your Neurologist about it, sounds like you have a good relationship there. It may be that the CT needs or wants the Neuro psych testing as a place to start. There should be a couple of appointments where the tester sits down and talks to you before administering the test and then the follow up appointments. Mine also broke the tests into several days which I don’t know how that effects it either way. But I was exhausted each day.

The best thing I got out of testing was now I can say in my unique accent “I’ma no stupid” lol

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#4

Megger...first, I have to share a smile...your description tracks w/those in senior humor...and, I experienced them all early on...as many of the rest of us do...

I "attempt" to continue learning and to clean up my accumulated squalor...I could not see/read-comprehend...to make decisions...and, then, the same size (mini-stuff) you mention...

And, making al ist was adding more paper...and, there was no guarantee I'd remember a list...or even at the store, (wherever) to check it again..

As for neuropsych testing...I have promoted those strongly...to be followed up w/recommended therapies... I have attempted to promote anyone 'waiting' for their procedure(s) to have the neuropsych testings to set their 'standards' for later comparison...for decisions on therapies...

Well...I hope this even makes sense to you / others...

I guess one easy addition here...if I commit a day to "cleaning out" the old...I do not remember what happened today...in a sense...I have the gain and the loss continuing..in a slightly diff direction..

#5

Mol....interesting...as I have also wondered about not being 'distracted' during the testing...and, how many times the initial one (90 days post-discharge) was always telling me to be quiet and "look at what she was telling me"... I may/may not snag your humor...When that was ended...I told my sis the nazi police woman released me... I remember this because of my sister's notes...

When the psychologist finished the 'story' report,...he did not note the varied (tho limited) test results...

My reading tests ranged from 2 years to 13.8 years...He did note on the report..."her sis is here taking notes"...(which suggests my ability???) to "she lives independently"...He never addressed w/family whether I should be independent...SS Disability would not rely on that initial test and put me thru same and far more...I was not granted any testing to allow me to say 'I'ma no stupid'...thanks for my smile..


Moltroub said:

Had them, they are a tool to show where you are at in the time. I was administered the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). It shows cognitive ability.

I also took the MMPI, but it was not sent to Minnesota, so it can only be used by the Psychologist who administered it. To be official, the MMPI has to be sent to the university and they evaluate it. That's extra money. It's a personality inventory. Don't try to lie, there are other statements to catch those. Just take each sentence as it is written and answer that one. The Psychologist should have a reference book that deals with brain trauma to base any decisions they make on your answers. I was also a psych student who studied the MMPI so not sure it wouldn't be considered "confounded".

For me, it was worth the hundreds of dollars because I was able to be told that testing showed my IQ at high average. So the psychological relief was there. And because this doctor knew my level of work prior to rupture, he could guesstimate how many points I had probably lost. We had never met before, just aware of each other.

WAIS also said I can multi task and problem solve, which I don't find to be necessarily correct in my day to day life. Not sure if it measures being easily distracted which I am, but I can return to a task if prompted. And it took me three days to figure out the plumber had cut the shower drain pipe too short and wouldn't stay put, which is why we could see the crawl space. I also become easily overwhelmed.

My psychologist would not give the results to Social Security because I scored too high. He said it wouldn't help me. My neurologist gave me an Alzheimer's test for short term memory and I just remember being mad and in so much pain from the lights and the computer (it had those rolling lines they couldn't stop, I can't remember being so angry or why, besides the pain). I don't know how I did. That one said well it didn't really take into account what has happened to you, but it's the only one we have and because of your photophobia we won't use it.

I would look into a Cognitive Therapist, they often have skill sets they can teach to help you and that sounds to me it's more of what you're wanting. Occupational Therapy can sometimes help with this but all the ones around me just focus on dressing and hygiene skills. Talk to your Neurologist about it, sounds like you have a good relationship there. It may be that the CT needs or wants the Neuro psych testing as a place to start. There should be a couple of appointments where the tester sits down and talks to you before administering the test and then the follow up appointments. Mine also broke the tests into several days which I don't know how that effects it either way. But I was exhausted each day.

The best thing I got out of testing was now I can say in my unique accent "I'ma no stupid" lol
#6

Megger...

RE: reading. reading-comprehension...you would know your indications now...whether at work or at home...I knew instantly on discharge / home...and began keeping a newspaper section or page...based on a "word" of attraction...but I could not read / comprehend the rest of the story...

You asked...if the tests would be warranted....and, I so believe they are ...particularly by the volume and variances of tests...

Over time, I have learned from others that some have two appointments for portions of the tests...meaning two trips etc...but, also that does not allow observance on fatigue impacts, etc....

RE: your payment questions...call and ask them about payments...see if they will lower it for you...especially if they know your delay in securing the tests was/is related to the costs... and, I would like to assume ...they would not reduce their levels of tests...

There are also the two (known - could be more) websites: Lumosity and PostScience 'BrainHQ'.. you may want to sample those at home...to help you decide how much you can/may benefit from neuropsych testing...but do try those online and sense your abilities...to help you with your decision...

Best wishes for each step in your decision... .

#7

What have you decided Megger?

#8

Hi, Moltroub, I went and was tested on the 5th this month. The results won’t be available for 3 weeks. Except for being initially overwhelmed in not getting to the right facility for the testing, it was actually kind of fun! Challenging in some parts, but fun! My tester was coughing and hacking saying he was getting over an upper respiratory infection. I had even considered getting re-scheduled for the tests because of the small space in the room and not knowing if he was contagious. Knowing it would be a few months to get back on the schedule, I stayed. Don’t you know, in about two or three days I was sick. I missed a couple days of work…finally decided to see my doctor and was diagnosed with none other than an upper respiratory infection. Just now feeling better about a week or so later! Argh!! Thanks for following up on me!

#9

I’m glad you had fun! Sorry about the upper respiratory infection. A lot of folks are getting it around here, perhaps it’s the pollen that’s starting and the crazy weather. Three weeks turnover seems to be the norm, what with all their clients and the analyzing of your tests. I bet you did really well!

#10

I'm sorry, Megger that I didn't answer your question earlier. I haven't been on here much for some time. I had the tests last year and I was diagnosed with Neuro-Cognitive Disorder - the new word for dementia. The doctor does think that it was from the annie being coiled/stented (it did not rupture) and he recommended OT/Speech Therapy along with a mental health specialist who specializes in that. I was in PT for 7 months so I waited until December to start OT/Speech therapy - it is the best thing I have done since the surgery. I am still in OT/Speech - we had thought last week might be the last one, but she really wanted me to keep going for another 6 weeks. I have learned a lot in regards to handling my memory probs and love working the myriad of puzzles, etc. that I do. One thing that my OT therapist states - don't do only 1 type of puzzle. It won't help if you focus on only one thing. She also does not believe in paying for memory sites - there are too many that are free. I also have bought some very good brain game books that I enjoy.

Good luck - I hope you find answers and can find a good therapist like I have.

Sherri

#11

Hi. Let me begin by telling you that if the test will do anything, it will put you at ease: Ease that you're not crazy( as you may feel) that you really are experiencing these issues, or that you are better off than you feel. I've taken the testing twice, before aneurysm clipping and now 6 yrs later. Both tests showed impairment.

You are not alone in your cognitive issues. I suffer from similar symptoms. Its frustrating, and sometimes you feel stupid. If these are any of your feelings, I can understand.

I suggest writing post-it notes. This is something I've begun to do myself. I kept getting lost in my kitchen just trying to make coffee. So here's an example of something that might help you. In my kitchen I have a post-it note with first listing everything I'll need to make coffee. I then wrote out the steps to make it. It's helped tremendously. Now I just automatically take everything out and do the steps. I sure hope this suggestion helps. Maybe you can apply it to your to-do list as well. When you write your to-do list prioritize the list.

I hope what I've said helps you. :)

#12

Just wondering the results of your test. I was just retested from OT/speech therapist and my scores are improving, some significantly and some just slightly (this was not the same test I had from the neuro, this is the Boston Naming Test and the Cognitive Linguistic Quick test). I am still in therapy - it has been 4 months since I started and I really enjoy going. I will miss it when it ends, but I will continue to do my "homework". Take care, Sherri

Megger said:

Hi, Moltroub, I went and was tested on the 5th this month. The results won't be available for 3 weeks. Except for being initially overwhelmed in not getting to the right facility for the testing, it was actually kind of fun! Challenging in some parts, but fun! My tester was coughing and hacking saying he was getting over an upper respiratory infection. I had even considered getting re-scheduled for the tests because of the small space in the room and not knowing if he was contagious. Knowing it would be a few months to get back on the schedule, I stayed. Don't you know, in about two or three days I was sick. I missed a couple days of work...finally decided to see my doctor and was diagnosed with none other than an upper respiratory infection. Just now feeling better about a week or so later! Argh!! Thanks for following up on me!
#13

I exprenince the same thing but only at the age of 36 years after a 12 mm MCA brain aneurysm rupture which caused a SAH hemorrhage stroke on 7-7-17. My cognitive area has complete brain damage. Its been a very hard and frustrating journey. I have heard so many people talk about welcome to being old and I’m like if you knew me before it would scare you of how different I am now. I did the 4 hour testing which does cause saddness and frustrating. My mind shuts down on alot of the questions. And sadly my memory has gotten worse so they are doing another test in June. I have to write down everything . Even if I went to the bathroom. I can’t multi task anymore when I was super good at it before. And I also had an amazing baby boy in Aug 2018. And I have had some trails there but since he is my fifth it was like riding a bike. They said anything I knew before the rupture and stroke (SAH) I will remember easy but anything new will be very hard for my mind to grasp. Lol it took me over an hour to text this. And thank goodness for spell correct. It’s weird words I’ve known my whole life to know how to spell but know I have to really think about it and still most of time I need help figuring it out. I’m sorry not sure if this was helpful or if it was just rambling on. But yes I know they say everyone different but from my research I’ve done is that we all somehow have the same things happen before and same thing after . Some just are more worse then others that’s it. Oh and yes lights and sounds bother me so. And I have panic attacks being around large groups of people. and I never use to .

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