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May 31, 2012

Concussions and memory loss

I learned something new about concussions and memory loss from a site I read called momsteam. Below I just copied and pasted parts of the article. click on the momsteam link in the previous sentence for full article.
TJ had Anterograde amnesia . That would explain the much longer recovery period and seemingly a more severe injury.
In a previous blog I wrote about the boy that suffered 2 back to back blows just like TJ, only a few days after TJ's. He had Retrograde Amnesia. This boy also suffered seizures . It was always in the back of my mind that he was released from the rehab hospital before TJ. Just from my view, he seemed a little worse than TJ.

This sentence answered so many questions and calmed some of my fears

"Anterograde amnesia is considered an important indicator of more serious injury and may be associated with slower recovery."

TJ was given the 3 tests below and failed them all...that's when they pulled him out of life and stuck him in a dark room for 3 months

Testing for PTA (post traumatic amnesia)

When conducting a more thorough examination for anterograde amnesia deficits, the Zurich consensus statement recommends that the team physician or ATC conduct three cognitive assessment tests:

 three cognitive assessment tests:
  1. An orientation test: What month is it? What is the date today? What is the day of the week? What year is it? What time is it right now?
  2. An immediate memory test: using random, unrelated words, reading each word at a rate of one word per second, and asking the athlete to recall the words both immediately and after a delay (not informing the athlete of the delayed testing until after tests 2 and 3 below, and choosing a different set of words each time the test is performed at follow-up exams);
  3. concentration test in which the athlete is asked to recite backwards two sets of increasingly long strings of digits, and then recite the months of the year in reverse order starting with the last month.

Just parts of the article

Concussions: Post-Traumatic Amnesia May Indicate More Severe Injury, Longer Recovery

Two types of amnesia

An athlete can experience two types of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) after a concussion: anterograde (reduced ability to form new memories) and/or retrograde (partial or total loss of the ability to recall events before injury). Anterograde amnesia is considered an important indicator of more serious injury and may be associated with slower recovery.
Anterograde amnesia is characterized by a reduced ability to form new memories after a brain injury, which may lead to decreased attention and inaccurate perception. Anterograde memory is frequently the last function to return after the recovery from a loss of consciousness (LOC). Following the recovery of consciousness patients may be unable to recall little or anything that occurred for days, weeks, or even months after their injury.Boy scratching head trying to remember
Retrograde amnesia (RGA) is characterized by the partial or total loss of the ability to recall events that occurred during the period prior to brain injury. RGA may extend backwards for seconds, minutes, hours, days, months or even years depending on the severity of the injury. The symptoms of retrograde amnesia may improve over time.1

Anterograde amnesia: may predict slower recovery

Until the early 2000's, the most widely followed concussion management guidelines relied heavily on loss of consciousness (LOC) and PTA to determine the severity, or grade, of a concussion and return to play. Many considered the duration of PTA the best indicator of traumatic brain injury severity and the most dependable factor in predicting outcome, even in mild cases.
Beginning in 2001 with the Vienna international consensus statement on concussion in sport, and continuing with the Second Consensus Statement on Concussion In Sport of the 2nd International Conference on Concussion in Sport in Prague in 2004, the trend was away from using PTA in predicting a slower recovery:
  • Studies suggested that the nature, severity, and duration of clinical post-concussion symptoms such as headache, dizziness, confusion (mental fogginess), disorientation, and blurred vision are more common than amnesia, and may be more important than the presence or duration of amnesia alone:
    • A 2000 study of 1003 concussions sustained by high school and college football players reported that amnesia was present in only 27% of all cases.
    • 2011 study3 of concussions sustained by high school football players reported that RGA was present in 25% of all cases.
  • Studies have also shown that, because RGA varies with the time of measurement after injury, and because athlete often hears peers, family, and coaches discuss events surrounding the injury - making it more likely that they will subsequently falsely report remembering more about the injury - it is a poor measure of injury severity.4
By the time the Zurich consensus statement on concussion statementwas issued in May 2008, however, there was  "renewed interest" in the role of anterograde amnesia as a surrogate measure of injury severity.  The Zurich statement therefore includes anterograde amnesia as a "'modifying' factor" that may predict the potential for prolonged or persistent concussion symptoms and influence concussion investigation and management.  Noting that retrograde amnesia "varies with the time of measurement post-injury," the statement continues the expert  trend in the 2000s viewing it as "poorly reflective" of concussion severity.
The American Academy of Pediatrics' 2010 clinical report on concussions,5 concurs, stating that, "[a]long with LOC, [anterograde] amnesia may be an important indicator of more serious injury." 
A 2011 study3 by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found  that PTA and retrograde amnesia were not predictive of protracted recovery (21 days or more to return to play), which the authors said may be because they are part of the normal acute response to a concussion and resolve relatively quickly with little lasting effects. Their findings "should be interpreted cautiously", they said, "as previous research had supported retrograde amnesia and PTA as predictors of poor concussion outcomes(although not protracted recovery times per se). 
For the most comprehensive, up-to-date concussion information on the Internet, click here.

Read more: http://www.momsteam.com/health-safety/post-traumatic-amnesia-retrograde-anterograde-factor-concussion-recovery-severity#ixzz1wV9BlCmY

May 30, 2012

Fun weekend!

Saturday night was the release party for Corporate X's new album Project X. The party was held at The Continental Bar in Humboldt Park. Tim, myself,  my siblings, dad, cousins, Christine and Casper's friends and even my boss and his wife all came out to support Corporate X. They played an acoustic set for everyone which was beautiful.
I even got free drinks (i only drank diet coke)the entire night because the bartender thought I was Christine's mother...yeah...Wow! Made for a good story
Tim and I hit La Majada in Oak Park on the way home for late night taco's
We had a ball and it was a great way to kick off a long weekend of fun

One of the cutest couple's I know

Seriously, my dress looked good on me...I looked way thinner than this shot. The dress is actually an amazing  1960 retro black eyelet. The camera flash accentuated the white lining underneath...it was really more subtle than it appears. I will redeem myself with a daytime picture

May 28, 2012

no good deed goes unpunished...Callahanism

Thursday in Algebra , Callahan proved that 1 is equal to .9999... to his class. He said some kids understood it and some didn't

 "what about the teacher?" I asked 
"she just looked confused" he said

The next day during their final exam Callahan said something out loud to himself. The teacher went up to him and said

"talking during a final will lower your test score by 1 grade letter"

rules are rules I get that, but
Callahan had left me a voice mail which I didn't see. She made him cal me to tell me what had transpired.
I received another call from Cal 45 min later which I answered. He had to tell me what happened and the punishment...fine. As he is trying to tell me I can hear her in the background saying 
"tell her you left a voice mail earlier...did you leave a vm earlier?
She proceeds to badger him with questions and comments while I am on the other end...I didn't care for her tone or her implication that Cal was lying about leaving me a message the 1st time. How is the kid suppose to talk to me while she keeps butting in? I was pissed and I resisted the urge to email her.
With only 3 days left of school, Cal said just let it go.
Callahan learned 2 lessons that day:
1) don't talk at all during a final 
                                2) Never show up or be smarter than the teacher
The funny thing is, is that my boss has a degree in financial mathematics from Univ of Chicago which often looks like this 
What happened to numbers in math?
He taught that proof that got Cal into trouble a couple years ago..before Cal had ever had Algebra, and Cal never had pre-algebra. Callahan didn't understand it then, but with his idyllic memory he remembered  the equation and wha-la

Patrick was so over grown and with the heat, Tim and I shaved him...or attempted to. It was our 1st time with grooming tools. I usually just use scissors. Tim was getting the underside of Patrick as I held him down. Covered in fur I was worried about Tim lopping off Patricks "thing"
 So I said "watch out for his "weenis"
half penis/ half weenie or so I thought.
 From the kitchen I hear Cal say "a weenis is the skin that hangs from the elbow, so Patrick isn't in danger of losing his weenis"
Maybe the rest of the world knows that...but I didn't. I of course Googled it and Callahan was right.

He needs a second go around, but we needed to give him a break. He may not be pretty, but he is much cooler.
There was another Callahan-ism, but he won't let me share it.
Im guessing if it were me that he corrected...it would be okay to share :o
Callahan corrected someone that mispronounced an Islamic saying. 
How the "F" he knew that, is beyond me

I'm not exaggerating when I say "the kid knows everything....simple or complex"

May 25, 2012

night photography

The giant and the peanut

May 24, 2012


Callahan just read my post about himself and I need to amend a sentence. He isn't reading "The Hatchet" now as he read it in 3rd grade. He is reading "The soldier"  by Gary Paulsen 


A child genius just amazes me...I don't understand it at all. While it sounds like bragging...it is a little, but it just freaking fascinates me. It's one thing to get straight A's if you study non-stop...but to never bring home a book...to already know most everything before your taught it? creepy....just downright Creepy!

I often talk about Callahan...the human Google. No matter where we are or what is mentioned, somehow Callahan already knows all about it...random things, some simple and  some complex ...the kid just knows almost everything. I decided to start writing them down as I do on facebook with Karrick's funny sayings.

So yesterday, I brought Callahan and Karrick to the doctor for their 13 and 8 year old well visits. When taking the elevator down Karrick and his buddy (that came with us) started jumping up and down....
to which I said "Oh, great you guys are going to break the elevator and we will go crashing to the bottom"

Before Karrick or Ryan could even blink Callahan lets out 

"Actually that wouldn't happen, there is a counter weight on the cable that is the exact weight as the maximum capacity of the elevator, so if the wire snapped the elevator would not plummet to the ground . The counter weight would level it out in the center, like a scale"

Today I picked Callahan up from his Italy trip group meeting and somehow the speed of light was mentioned...again without blinking this immediately came out of Cal's mouth

"in order for humans to achieve interstellar travel we would have to create a worm hole because even if we were to go the speed of light the nearest star is 4.2 light years away so it would take 4 years. plus travel at light speed isn't possible as far as we know.  If an ant were to crawl across a sheet of paper in a straight line, it would be the fastest way, right?

what you could do is fold the paper in half make a hole and go through the paper. This is the same idea behind creating a wormhole. If we were to create a worm hole we could bend space and travel immense distances in a short time. to create a wormhole all we would need to do is focus an extreme amount of energy on a specific spot. We would do this by placing huge lasers in space on asteroids or sate lights and aim them in the same spot. To create these lasers we would first have to find a faster cheaper and more efficient way to create anti-matter, which is the exact opposite of matter, exact nothingness. When anti matter and matter come into contact, a huge amount of energy is released. it would only take a teaspoon of it to destroy the earth. that energy could be used to create wormholes which allows us to achieve interstellar travel".

Callahan told me he has become friends with the 11 year old genius that is in his 7 th grade class.  When I asked him "why all of the sudden?" (Cal didn't care for him before...1st time Cal wasn't eon's above everyone else)
 He responded with 

"Well Parker is the only one that I can have a conversation with about Nuclear Physics that understands it"

This 11 year that just turned 11, skipped 2 grades...he actually scored 1 point higher than Callahan on the MAP test. Freaking crazy to be that smart at 11 

Yes, I am bragging...but more of the "unbelievable" bragging. I just don't get how such young kids can know so much and Callahan has never studied...ever!
Last tid-bit than I'll shut up

Callahan had his Civil War final today...I asked how it went

"It was ridiculously easy because I already knew everything BEFORE she taught IT"


May 23, 2012

catch up on the TJ-ster

photo taken with telephoto lens through the chain linked fence 100 feet away

 TJ started baseball this week, he is playing with his travel team of 5 years. They are playing in the Lombard League for 7 weeks (15 ish games) if you need help with the math that is 2 games a week... down from 11-13 a week last year (insert a big WOOHOO)

 After that I believe they will compete in 4 tournaments during the 4 weekends in July. I was pleasantly surprised how Tj just jumped back into baseball and looked like the player he has always been. I was afraid he wouldn't see the ball whizzing past him up at bat, but that boy was smacking it into the outfield each time. After sitting and I mean sitting, for 7 1/2 months he is somewhat out of shape. He put on a solid 20 lbs...I have no doubt his 6 pack abs will be back in no time. The boy/man is definitely filling out.

Kids are done with school next week, TJ has 3  finals on thur and 1 on Fri then he is done!. It turns out that TJ will only be short 2 credit hrs (Honors chemistry and German 2 he had to drop as it would be impossible to make up 20 consecutive missed weeks) He will take Chem either Jr or Senior year. He already has 2 science credits for Honors Biology and anatomy-He really should have no problem graduating on time unless there is a setback

Cal and Karrick have 1 hr on Jun 1st and they are done...which means I go down to 3 days a week in the office. Im really excited to have a summer, summer. Spending time at my brother's cabin in Michigan by St Joe's and a lot of time in Whitewater WI.
Tim and Cal leave for Italy in about 2 weeks  for 10 days .


May 19, 2012

I got my beach day!

After slepping downtown for the last 15 weeks walking around in frigid and sometimes rainy weather; I finally got my 90 degree day to go to Oak St beach while TJ was in class. 
Except for the fact that I let TJ play hooky to join us. The kid has been through so much and has been a champ throughout it all. He deserved to just have some fun.
I have been playing with my new camera all week. It's a powerful sucker and there is a slight learning curve. I have a shoot coming up and need to be 100%

The 4 of us parked at TJ's school and walked over to the beach. Karrick was just in heaven and didn't want to leave. Weather permitting we will bring his buddy next Saturday while TJ is in class


Karrick totally stepped up to the plate at soccer today..he seems to have gotten over his contact phobia. He was kicking that ball up and down the field. He almost scored the game winning goal...almost. We ended the game in a tie

May 16, 2012

Wow, what a great kid!

This is what TJ's girlfriend put on facebook. I 

couldn't be more proud of my son

i have the best boyfriend in the whole wide world:) i woke up and threw up for the second time. i was half asleep and tj told me he had to go. i go back to my room after a while and see my computer is opened up i look to see this writen on it:"""""Hey babe you fell asleep so if im gone i love you sososososososososososo much! i hope you feel better:).I cleaned your kitchen up a bit. I also got you ALEAVE and WATER which is on your nightstand by your alarm clock! i love you feel better and call me if you need me!!!:D"""" SO CUTE!!!!:) — with Tj Mcginty and Mary Moran McGinty.

this is how I feel

May 12, 2012

Then and Now

In Karrick's open house folder labeled Then and Now was a writing sample from the beginning of the 2 grade and one written now. "Holy Shit" is what comes to mind. I think it's safe to say he has improved 10 fold. I have always been very open about Karrick's struggles from early on through 1st grade. It still doesn't really make sense how someone can transform that drastically in one school year. 
If Karrick wrote 3 words on his Journal page it was a good day. Now he is writing a series of short stories titled "Two Fat Men". Get this..he writes during his free time after he finishes his assignments in class...he zips through the work with ease. Damn near every assignment that comes home has a perfect score on it...we don't even check his homework...he does it all in 3 seconds flat. I think we may have another smarty on our hands. Karrick spends 90% of his time with Callahan and if you know Callahan, you know he speaks in facts, a talking human encyclopedia. Karrick is absorbing all that information. Callahan can't help himself it all just comes out...all the time.
 Honestly, it makes for a long car ride....just sayin
3 short sentences to two full pages!
I asked Karrick if he copied the info from a book . His reply
"No, I got it from my head"

May 11, 2012


Last week was Karrick's open house at school. A laminated placard hung from each desk with the students name and they had to write down adjectives that describe themselves. Karrick described himself perfectly and I love that he called himself "cute"

His list is:


May 10, 2012

Go Big or Go Home

With my Rebel T1i without an auto-focus..I thought I scratched the CMOS...not good
Tim thinks it may be the light sensor. Whatever it is...it is an expensive fix. Tim is going to try to repair it himself. He is quite handy that way. The warranty expired long ago as I've had it for 3 years. I needed a second camera for my business anyway. Tim bought me the new Canon Rebel T3i I am just ecstatic. I have 3 Canon lens..2 of them quite pricey so I had to buy a compatible body. I was 100% in love with my T1i, I just can't image my shots with the T3i.

 18 megapixels up from 15
 ISO 100-6400, up from 3000

I hope to have it in hand within a week...

I can't stop myself from shooting...even if it's only in manual focus. Kinda tricky with a moving target, but they have a cool blur to them.
It was so nice to just hang with Karrick after school. The weather was top notch and we were free. We rode to Karrick's school where Karrick went wild on the scooter in the teachers parking lot. Then while the 2 of us we swinging Karrick looks at me and goes "isn't this awesome, it is like the best day ever"
Melted my heart dammit!
It's so easy to overlook simplicity when kids are in sports 24/7...a little gift after the 7 month struggle with TJ's TBI. I am just thrilled to spend the majority of the summer at out place in Wisconsin. TJ is going to play Lombard Baseball-in-house league. No pressure, just going back to basics and starting with playing for fun. Maybe 3 games a week tops? Not a super competitive league unlike high school and travel. At this age in this league the level of play will be a lot less competitive. Even before the TBI, TJ was so burnt from baseball. He went from HS baseball, to HS Summer league that coincided with full time travel . He averaged 11 games a week. Lets be honest baseball games are long, about 2 hours on the field. I must admit going to Karrick soccer games is nothing...hour tops, a freakin walk in the park

Cal and his buddies were all at the park/school, so I got a great shot of them
they meet there after school everyday to play whatever. Karrick's school in on 5 acres which houses the school, 2 baseball fields, soccer field, basketball court, 2 tennis courts and 2 playgrounds....not a bad school to live across the street from

May 4, 2012


Why Arrgh!?
I broke my camera. Yes, I believe I blew the digital sensor.
The digital sensor costs almost as much as the camera
I can manual focus, but as seen by the picture at the bottom...you get a lot of fuzzy

I shot my cute Geese-lings from 100 plus feet away... Mama and papa were right there as were 4 more siblings. Lombard parks are amazing always something to shoot

just a few more of my favorite subject

 After Karrick and Nico's soccer game we headed straight to their open house/book fair/ice cream social
Pleasant Lane has iPad's in the classroom for the kids...amazing. Our middle school is giving each one of the 900 kids their own personal laptop ...hmmm
I suppose it's our real estate taxes at work. Anyway the kids love the iPad's, as you can see all the other students left...I had to drag Karrick off  "Rocket Math"

So, the day I broke my camera, Tim flew to New York for 5 days to rebuild E*Trades computer system . Im going to let him figure out what to do about it, since he is the electronic genius. Totally sucks! I have carried that camera around daily for 3 years...it's a part of me

It will either be fixed or replaced...much worse things in life then a broken camera

On a positive note it is Lilac time in Lombard our village is draped in lilac

Many wonderful events are scheduled for the next 2 weeks