Frontal Lobe Functioning: Kevin Part Twelve
Not entirely due to Kevin’s fault, our interview wandered around a lot, with more focus on sports than brain injury symptomotology. That was partially due to technical problems we were having with the filming, but also because I wanted to explore Kevin’s cognitive strengths when we were talking about sports. However, such rambling, logorrheic conversation did make it difficult to cover our core list of topics. Before Kevin’s concentration completely collapsed, I turned to frontal lobe functioning.
I’m going to try to get us back on focus here. Do you have trouble focusing as a frontal lobe functioning?
I don’t think so.
Do you have a hard time staying on topic when you’re in a conversation with your frontal lobe functioning?
No, I don’t think so.
Are you absent minded with your frontal lobe functioning?
Can you give me an example.
Maybe I’m not absent minded.
Another way of describing absent minded would be saying you’re a bit scatter brained. Are you scatter brained?
Maybe sometimes. Not a lot though I don’t think.
Do you have problems making decisions with your frontal lobe functioning?
Oh yeah, that’s, yeah.
Like buying something like or a certain kinds or –
Do you go to the grocery store?
Yeah, sometimes. Or a department store too, you know and you want, you want to do, I don’t know, it’s, I have a hard time making a decision.
Do you have a problem when there are too many choices?
Yeah. But then I was looking in Consumer Reports. I got to rely on something like that to help make a decision.
Do you, do you need someone to help you decide what to do during the day, you know you should do this at this time and that at that time?
Do you need someone to help you organize your days?
I don’t think so.
Do you get frustrated or confused when plans change and things get out of order and things are done differently?
Let’s talk about mixing with people. Do you have problems with blurting things out that you shouldn’t, saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing with your frontal lobe functioning?
I think my problem is interrupting when people are talking. I get impatient I think. Or not impatient but anxious and I butt in, or an interruption. That’s what irritates me too, when people are talking and I kind of butt in you know. Not butt in but interrupt and then tell my, or what I’m going to say, that irritates me.
Do you think you do that because you’re bursting with something to say or the is the conversation’s easier for you to follow if you’re participating?
Probably follow, to participate in, or to get my point across. Or try to say something, try to get my point.
Insight is one of the most serious deficits in survivors of severe brain injury. Lack of insight is one of the reasons we prefer to conduct our interviews with collateral sources for corroboration. At times, Kevin seems to dismiss the significance of his injury:
Sometimes, I act like nothing happened. I’m still kind of in denial yet, like I think nothing really happened and all that, you know what I’m saying? And I get medical records you know from UW Madison Hospital and Lakeview and Mercy and I mean, obviously there are other people who are worse than me with their brain injuries.
You like to think of yourself has having a mild, small brain injury?
Right. Real small.
The reality is that it wasn’t.
No, I was in a coma for 12 or 14 days.
And were in inpatient treatment for a whole year.
Yeah. Like, like I think the traumatic brain injury was real minor compared to other people. I was only in a coma for 12 to 14 days, and you know and it changed my personality, but now I think I’m back to normal.