Friday was a big day for Leslie. She had a neurological exam that lasted several hours. The whole point of it was to test her in several areas, then the neurologist analyzes it, and helps both her and her family understand where she is at.
We got to Novi where the office was by 8AM. They called us back, and the psychologist wanted some history on her. There were easy questions, such as her birthday and her social security number. But then there were questions that never fail to make my heart sink. Her education. High school diploma? Of course. Bachelor degree from Wayne State? Yup, she has that, too. Masters degree? Mmmhmm. ARGH! It just frustrates me so, so much. She had SO MUCH going for her and it was taken away so brutally. I hate being reminded.
After we did the questions, my mom and I were asked to leave (and head to 12 Oaks...score!) while Leslie was tested. My mom and I are both quite protective of her, so we made sure the psychologist knew that my mom packed her some snacks, that she wouldn't think to eat them, so he needed to remind her, and that she does best when she is well rested, so towards the end, they may notice her struggle more. He just nodded and smiled at us, and shooed us out the door.
By noon, we were back in the waiting room, waiting for her to finish. The psychologist came out first, and said that her results would not be ready for several weeks. I asked him if he could give us even a tiny bit of an idea as to how she did. He said that her memory is clearly significantly impaired. With an anoxic brain injury (where the entire brain is hurt, which is what she has) a patient pretty much plateaus at around 6 months and this will be their baseline. Leslie is 7 months out. He also said that while driving may be something she could handle, because her memory is so poor, one day she might handle driving like a champ, and the next time she might become totally disoriented and be unsafe. This, naturally, was hard to hear. And again, naturally, I won't accept it and I have so much faith that regardless of this "6 month" rule, her healing is NOT done and there will be more progress.
As he was talking to us, I could feel myself start to fight back tears and the anxiety set in. But then something beautiful happened. My sister walked out. She was smiling and looked absolutely radiant. She told us about the test and how they would try to challenge her and trick her. She told us this with a lot of animation...something we don't see much of from her. All I could do was pull her arm down next to me so she was sitting right by my side and give her a big hug and let her know just how proud I am of her.
The rest of the day was awesome. We ate at Mongolian BBQ and shopped. By the time we were done, she was very tired, but she did so, so well.
Baby steps as been the motto all along. And baby steps we will continue to maintain.