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Stroke Diary

A Day at the Oliver Zangwill Centre

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You may remember the saga of getting at appointment at OZC. In the end the date we got was 14th July. They were an interesting lot. Very un-NHS. They started the morning with a group meeting to which staff and patients were invited and during which duties such as collecting the milk were allocated and one person highlighted a news item. All a bit strange. We were then given a timetable of what would happen. I like this idea. It had one fundamental failing: things didn't happen as per the timetable. Oh well.

Anyway the morning was spent doing tests. They were mainly what I'd categorise as IQ tests testing verbal and logical skills. I did query how this could tell them much if they didn't know what I was like before (the only time I ever did a formal IQ test the test I used had a maximum score of 146 ... which I got). They say that some tests act as calibration: in that your skill in them tends to be unaffected by the stroke.

So Giles (a trainee clinical psychologist) and I did the tests. The one which really messed with my head, leaving my brain feel fried was one where they had a tape on which a chap read out groups of letters and numbers of the form XX999. If the last two digits of 999 was 55 I had to write down the XX letters. They were sparce in the population. Thankfully this was the last test they did as I would have needed a substantial break before doing any more.

In the afternoon we had a long chat with Andrew Bateman, the Clinical Manager. He told us that I have problems in the areas of "attention" and "arousal". This is pretty typical for people who've had the sort of brain injury I've had.

He would now like to put me through a two week programme of testing to more precisely map the problem areas and to help suggest solutions.

Written 17/07/03

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