The Relativity Theory

I suppose everything is relative. The first thing I noticed upon returning to the Castle was the guy in the apt above me screaming at Alexa for hours and instead of annoying me it felt like home.

Weird. It’s 7:30 am and he’s already been at it for two hours. He began while it was dark outside. Good to be home. 5 weeks in the hospital where all freedoms are taken away is enough to break the most freedom loving soul.

It’s the little things. For example, here I can get out of be anytime I want to without asking permission. Same goes for getting into bed.

I scheduled my PT for Tues and Fri. That will fit in with the infusion schedule I’m trying to setup for the IVIG.

I don’t have a roommate throwing up all night.

I don’t have a devout Muslim praying 5x a day and always asking me which way is east and telling me not to worry about anything because it is all in God’s hands. Imagine telling a Jew not to worry about anything! What else would we do?

Imagine having a Professor of Quantum Physics in the bed besides you. Speaks 5 languages. Widely published.

At night when he has to take a piss he starts calling for his wife. Then I hold up the nurse bell for him and try for the tenth time to explain: press the picture of the nurse. He can’t understand the concept and I end up calling for him.

By then it is usually too late.

The next day he sits on my bed and I make him happy by mentioning the few things I know about the Quantum world (and it brings a smile to his face.) Then I play some Wagner from my phone and he taps along with the beat.

Then the speech therapist comes by, an he goes back to his bed and she asks the basic questions: do you know where you are? What day is it etc.

He doesn’t know his wife’s name in the beginning.

I am, after all in the Neurology / Rehab wing at that point.

They call them ST (speech therapists) but the are really CTs (cognitive therapists).

Their main test is to give you three unrelated words and ask you to remember them. Then, after about 20 minutes of things like recite the months backwards, the days of the week backwards, go into the bathroom and do these 7 things in this order, and doing everything they can to make you forget those three unrelated words, they ask if you remember the three words.


Just keep repeating the three words silently in your head before responding to anything else.

(silent) Yellow Texas Water

(Out loud) December

(silent) Yellow Texas Water

(Out Loud) November

If you really do have excellent short term memory you can skip this section. Most people with or without brain injuries will get tripped up.

Another trick I found is an easier way to say the months backwards.

Instead of thinking of them alphabetically think of the number of the month (silently) and then map it to the alpha month.

Example: (12 = December, 11=November, 10=October etc)

I asked a few neurologists whether this sort of cheating was allowed, and they said to a man (actually most were women) that if you had figured out a way to cheat the tests, you had shown you could pass them and maybe you should write a Neurology Test Book for Dummies (though something about that sounds a bit un-PC.)

Published by Dave

My name is David Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City. Or I was before I had two strokes. I now write from a Nursing Home.

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