We had our follow visit to review the MRI with Ghosh yesterday. As we drove there I asked Phil about his emotional life. As you know, I've been trying to discern what goes on inside that head (and heart) of his. I asked him how he was feeling and commented that he didn't seem to "go deep" anymore. He agreed. I asked him why he thought that was. Silence. I thought about asking him again. More silence. I thought about rephrasing the question. More silence. Now it had been at least a minute. Maybe he hadn't heard me, maybe he'd spaced out. Right when I was about to say something because I was running low on perspective, he spoke. He said he was searching for the right word to express what he wanted to say.
Partly, to "go deep" was exhausting and honestly, he was tired all the time. But it was more than that. He just couldn't get there. And today, he couldn't find the word he wanted to use to explain why he couldn't go there. It was eluding him and it took too much energy to find it. Well I guess that really sort of says it all, doesn't it? When one can't find the words to say what one wants to say in one's thinking mind, how is one going to say it out loud? That has got to be a monumental challenge and frustration and given everything else he's got going on, not a priority. I'm beginning to understand. Duh Sally.
Dr. Ghosh was quick to pull up the MRI on his computer and show us his findings. (It's funny, I know Phil is feeling better because while we were waiting he tried to take a peek at his MRI on the computer. I mean they were right there and he could just double click on them to blow them up. He does after all know how to read an MRI. So what if they're usually knee and shoulder MRI's?). Anyway, we were shown the results and they were as we had been told. We could see the edema and the slight shift of the brain. But Dr. Ghosh barely mentioned it. He was all agog about how fantastic Phil looked and sounded. He again called him an outlier and was ecstatic to see him doing so well. He didn't want to do anything else with his treatment plan. Whatever Phil was doing he wanted him to keep doing because he was looking so mahvelous. In point of fact, he gave him a three week leash so to speak: no follow up until a repeat MRI in three weeks. Yeah baby! Less OV's (office visits)!!
Ghosh also commented that Phil's mentation (mental function, activity of the mind) looked good. When asked he said that the blunted affect we'd been experiencing was all due to the surgery and the bi-frontal process going on from the edema. He felt it would resolve once the edema and the hematoma from the surgery resolved and that it would be a temporary situation. What great news! Those of us in daily relationship have reason to hope that we will have our deep thoughts with Phil Conrad once again. In all seriousness, we can hope and pray for a rich interior life for Phil once again, something he has always loved and lived for. Praise God for the skilled hands of Dr. Ghosh and the serious grit and determination of Phil Conrad.