Thursday, August 13, 2009

One Thing Leads To Another

Rick had some blood work done regarding his testosterone and cortisol levels. Lo and behold,they have tanked. Meaning,his testosterone and cortisol levels are almost non existant. This would explain his lack of strength,energy,etc. He has an appointment with the endocrinologist next week to test his pituitary gland. The pituitary controls testosterone and cortisol output,as well as the thyroid (which is shot as well-he has been taking medication for that for a few months now). If this is indeed the problem,he can take medication to bring these things back to normal. His Neuro/TBI doctor told us that this was probably caused by the brain injury,unless there is something else going on, like a tumor on the gland, which ,considering his history is less likely.
At least we now why he gets exhausted so easily,has lost some of his strength,libido,etc. We are anxious for this upcoming appointment to get some definite answers.
He also had his second memory therapy session. He had to decide on what type of mechanism he wanted to use to help him remember things-pen and paper,a PDA,or a mini recorder. It would have to be something he keeps on him at all times. He decided on a PDA,which the VA gave him. He is supposed to make daily lists of what he needs to do and keep referring to the lists,so he is self sufficient and not dependant on me to remind him.Work this week also focused on attention span. He has to meditate daily and try to get up to 10 minutes. Part of the problem is his brain in constantly going-assessing,evaluating,etc,so he has a hard time retaining information ( this stems from both the TBI and the PTSD). By sitting quietly,and focusing on the air he breathes,it gives him a focal point. He can let other thoughts enter,but he needs to just take note of them and just let them go. Then after he has done this exercise,he has some homework. The goal of the homework is to help keep his attention focused on one thing,which will be easier if he is relaxed and his mind is clear.
Next week is another busy week. We have 5 appts over 4 days.
Aug 17- Bone scan for his knees
Aug 18-Memory therapy and the endocrinologist (this was added this week)
Aug 19-sleep study for sleep apnea
Aug 21-Neuro optomology
Rick did recieve his handicap placard for the car. He had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, it is very helpful on his bad days,on the other, it is further confirmation that he has a handicap. He doesn't like that at all.
One of the projects that we have to do soon is rebuild our porch and steps. Rick has a heck of a time getting up the steps,so we are going to also build a ramp so it's not so difficult for him. We hope to get that done by the time the snow flies.

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