Yesterday was my day long cognitive testing. I felt like crap but went anyway because, really, I frequently feel like crap and I wanted to get this over with.
Everyone was super, super nice and while I was exhausted, sore, and had a splitting headache by the end of the day it wasn't all that terrible.
The morning test battery was composed of things like naming drawing of things (a pyramid and a sphinx were among the drawings, which made me laugh), facial recognition with photographs, a bit of memory stuff, some drawing, and some problem solving. I also had to name words (no proper nouns) starting with various letters. The first letter was "f." Guess what the first word that popped into my brain was? I didn't say it. Probably should have.
Another one was the letter "a" - I confused the proctor with that one a bit with the words arroyo and auroch. I have no idea why those popped into my head. Completely understandable - if you haven't spend time in the West/Southwest and aren't a total archaeology nerd those words are a little on the weird side.
We got through the morning tests really, really quickly.
We had a break for lunch and Tom kindly brought me the sandwich and milk I had asked him to stash in the fridge at work and he and another dear friend hung around to keep me company in one of the hospital lounge areas while I ate.
The tests after lunch were not so fast or easy. I had to do math in my head. That was a disaster once we got past very basic addition/subtraction/short division type stuff. And then there were the spatial tests. Wow were those bad. Some were 3-d with cubes to manipulate. Others were drawings that I had to manipulate in my head. I was reduced to more or less random guessing by the end.
There were word definitions - challenging for both me and the proctor since that can be fairly subjective. Also challenging given my deep, deep desire to be a total smartass.
A random set of trivia questions, one of which was "Who was Cleopatra?" Um, which one? :P
More memory stuff including random strings of words, numbers, and numbers and letters. Ow. Pattern following. Ow.
More facial recognition. And I have to say, for both sets of the facial recognition photos, there were some homely-ass people. The first set was black-and-white photos. Most of the women looked like ordinary people you would see every day. The men though - dude, based on the brow ridges and the ears I think they found still living Neanderthals and possible illegitimate members of the British royal family.
The second set was color photos. A large proportion of them seemed to have been culled from dermatological photos. Others were slightly dirty, vacant-eyed children who were a bit disturbing in the sense of giving off the "I've been abused" vibe. And there were some random Asian people tossed in, all of whom seem to have been instructed to look either totally vacant or sullen. It was very odd. I'm now deeply curious to know where and how they obtain the photos for these things.
They're trying to get the analysis done as quickly as they can for me, though it usually takes 2-3 weeks for the full report. The doctor in charge of the testing is going to give it a quick look this weekend so he can at least give my neurologist a brief first impression (how awesome is that!?!) and I go back on the 17th to get my full, in-person results.