... a look back. I wrote the following lines in 2018. A lot has happened since then. The two years 2008 and 2009. Looking back, you can see the steps I have taken. In the beginning it took me hours to formulate things, which was very difficult, especially in English. But day after day, I've been making progress. Always only small steps, but it became better day by day and of course the chapter toook me less time.
... back to 2008 ...
My name is Hartwig Distler. I was born on the 27.04.1967. I had a "Aneurysm" (bleeding brain) and a stroke.
I am married with "Annett" (Distler-Bach) and we have a daughter "Maya Sophie". I love you very, very, very much!
I was getting sick on the 11.08.2005. On my illness, the consequences, but as well the good luck that I had and have, I would like to report in the next weeks and months.
We are now living at my parents on the country. To my parents "Heinrich" and "Lina" Distler, large thanks and love for the fact that they were always around and there for us.
That applies also to my parents-in-law "Bernd" and "Helga" Bach. You where always around for us. We love you very much.
Since my short-time memory suffers still much, I have do ask for your understanding for my language, since I often cannot say exactly, what I to actually would like to express. But each day it is becoming better and better and that is most important! Each day small steps, each day something new and each day the fascination how complex our brain is. To see, how complex our knowledge is, which we developed over many years. As bad as is is to suffer from such a disease, at the end I have survived the disease and I am very grateful for these. I have learned many new variants of my life!
15.01.2008 - History
I got sick on the 11.08.2005. Then I lay 5 weeks in an awake coma. I woke up again, when I was on the way to my therapy. In the following a short description of my disease history.
To the prehistory it is well-known that Mr. Distler suffered from an aneurysm of the Arteria communicans posterior. The aneurysm was switched off operationally by clipping. A cerebral control angiography showed however that still another small remainder of the aneurysm was found. A further small aneurysm of the left Arteria ophthalmica was the diagnosis:
Aneurysm of the A. ophtalmica on the left of
Aneurysmaclippung of aneurysm of the Arteria communicans posterior on the left
Osteosynthesis of the left lower leg
Osteosynthesis with Fixateur of the left lower leg
In September 2006 the aneurysm was clipped.
For the next 3/4 year ran everything problem-free. At the beginning of July 2007 I had an epilepitic attack.
First epelipectic attack at SAB at Communicans-posterior-Aneurysma, left site, with media partial infarct left site, ventrikulo-peritonealer shunt, condition after Clipping and Coiling of the ACP aneurysm left and Coiling of the Ophthalmica Aneurysma.
The following I recognize my self:
strong disturbances of concentration, still present but getting better. I still can´t read a sentence from the beginning to the end. Once I reached the end of a sentence I forgot the beginning.
I could´t read. I have to learn the ABC again. Thise was taking very, very long.
The same problem with writing
A large part of the math-module was defect, writing and thinking
I did´t dream any more
16.01.2008 - First Thoughts - Various
At the beginning I had thought the "whole" thing will be done in half a year and then everything will be done. After a 1/4 year I noticed then that the whole thing will take much longer. Today I know that the whole thing will take much longer last. How long it will take, I can't tell as well as I still can't tell whether I get fully ok again. But that is not a reason to give up, instead it is a reason for me to become ambitious. It is interesting of how many steps complex things are put together and how many individual steps are required to learn something. I noticed and learned from how many facets individual things are put together.
Most things were "hard to learn". It required every day, a certain continuity. I noticed there what children accomplish in there young years. The advantage I had was that I knew the goal where to go. Most important was to learn how long it takes "to learn" something. And the importance of the daily repetition. Over many years always the same thing again and again. The pleasure is that you get everyday a bit faster, slower than I expected, but improving everyday.
I never have thought about how complex it is to read a clock. Of how many steps are required to do it. The first precondition is to learn numbers. Then you have to conclude the time from the position of the number and your knowing of the numbers. At six a clock e.g. the pointer has do be directed to the bottom. But at "18 o'clock it has to go round one full time, but in a sense it remains in the same position. And which difficulties it makes still today what a "quarter of five" means. It took two and a half year to get there.
17.01.2008 - Cut hairs - Sport
This morning was very much strenuous. I have this web page list in Frontpage (program). I did only the resuming sides about the aneurysm. However to making the list took me 1 1/2 hours. More about this in the next couple of days.
Today I write about cutting hair and about sport.
By the aneurysm I had a "shunt", an injury at the head. By the injury at the head my head felt deaf and it was wounded. The cut was very unpleasant to cut my hairs. I bought therefore a cutter for the hairs. Cutting hairs with a hair cutter for the beard is making "fatigue". It lasts each time one, to 1 1/2 hours. The beauty is, that several different activities are linked together. The beauty about these is, that it is going faster every time. The whole handling becomes easier and goes somewhat more smoothly. Surely, that is with everyone the case, but with me it was particularly at the beginning very difficult to even adjust the beard cutter. It is also good, that you must make several steps after each other. That all may sound completely banal, but it is importantly that small actions are completed.
I have begun to make sports beginning of 2007. Each day up to two hours. Sometimes running, sometimes riding a bicycle and some times Inline Scating. Everything completely slowly and with leisurely. At the beginning I needed all my concentration for the sporty activity, i.e. for example, running was the only thing I could do this time. After a while I could do some thinking in combination with the sport. The sporty activity becomes more and more the "secondary matter". First the sporty thing was the main thing, and now I can do again more on more thinking. When thinking something I now can make two things at the same time, e.g. individual words which you can repeat after individual times. The intervals should be individual, changing every day. Then you can test how many words you can remember in a certain time. At the beginning I could not even keep a word for a half minute. In the meantime that became already better. Each day a little more!!!
A small setback was in July 2007 by a epilepitical accumulation. There I stopped sporting for a while. But after some time I started to make sport again. The medicine was adjusted and I begun again to make sport. And that was super!
By the way, it went today relatively well with writing. Still far away from "normality", however it went very well. If I however must think and write in a stressful situation I don´t have a chance.
Side remark: Translating this document was very difficult. It took me five hours to make the translation
18.01.2008 - Writing, Reading and Math
As you see, I do dodge around the most important chapters: Reading, writing, Math and concentration. The vocabulary is still missing there, to express what I really want to say.
The obligation to express yourself is very good. I have learned very much words in the last few days.
My brain is still like a filter. If I read a sentence to the end, I can't say the beginning any more. It became in the meantime much better, but it is far still from being normal. Again the bottleneck is also here with the "hardware" available. Again it is "exercise, exercise, exercise and again exercise". The sharp employment of everyday life situation is here very helpful for me. It is important for me that all things are repeated and repeated and repeated until it almost comes out of the ears. At the beginning I made the situations consciously simple. As time goes by things get more and more complex. As said, the Alpha and Omega when learning is the regular repetition.
In former times, before the illness everything fit in life together. I always made small step by step and always thought that everything fits well together. With the illness everything is then completely broken together. By now I know very well that most things I have learned before will be available again as soon as I get to know the "clue". But I have to learn letters before I can make use of these knowledge. But it is amazing to see how long it takes to build up these again. As said before, I could read and write without thinking about it. I learned it an it was always there. And from one day to the next I had to learn characters again. This was necessary to learn writing again. And only if I did these, I could manage to write full sentences again. I have recognized that many things will be there again as soon as I have learned the basics again.
Each day a piece more, first of all only a few characters, then more and more. At the moment I am still far away from normal writing, but it improves every day. At the beginning it took many hours to write only a few characters. But it took 2 1/2 years to get there.
As said I had used every situation to learn consciously. This attitude helped me much. Important was for me as well that I had much pleasure on many things. I have used everything to learn out of it.
A strong help was "Cogpack". After one year I begun with "Cogpack" to work. And it still makes a lot of fun!
As said, the Alpha and Omega is doing it again and again.
19.01.2008 - Colors - Living on a farm
Troubles with recognizing colors
Since the beginning, 2 1/2 years, I have difficulties with recognizing colors. Seeing the colors themselves is working perfectly. But saying the colors correct is still a problem. As I said, seeing the colors is not a problem, but then saying the correct name of the color is the problem. The connection between the color and the name is making troubles. This means, if I must name the color the trouble starts. If I must provide a link between "seen" red and the name "red". At the beginning it was more or less coincidental what I produced there. Now after 2 1/2 it still makes some trouble, it is yet not problem-free, but much better again. But it still costs me a still effort to create these link.
Living on a farm
We have lived until June 2007 in Berlin. Then we moved to the country, to my parents. As long as you live in a city you don't recognize it, but as soon as you are moving to the country site you will recognize it. The constant noise in a city makes you a bit jerky. If you can concentrate on a source it is not a problem, but during my sickness I had trouble when trying to concentrate on a source. It is getting better now, but it still creates some trouble.
My parents went in the meantime into pension. So in a sense we don't have a farm any more, in terms of working. But on the surface of the yard these is still many little things to do.
Most things are done by my parents, but every now and then I also can make a contribution. And each thing makes a lot of fun. Besides it helps a lot to learn again to do some manufacturing things.
A certain disadvantage of the life on the country is the fact, that due to my epilepsy I am not allowed to drive a car. Thus I am always a bit dependent or it takes more effort to get to a place. That was somewhat simpler in the city. The advantage is that you consider more carefully what you really want. If I really want something, then I can go with the bicycle to the next train station.
20.01.2008 - Left and Right
It was actually always difficult for me to correctly make a difference between left and right. But with my illness it became even worse. The difficult thing is not only having to make a difference between left and right. It is just one of the difficulties. It is the number of things I have to do. And is takes very long to learn such "simple things" as "left" and "right". After two years I still have some difficulties to decide weather left or right. My daily schedule is in the meantime completely filled. And still I have new ideas. Sometimes it is relatively difficult to reject new ideas simply because I don't have the time. Simply because I do not have the time, and must therefore cancel many new ideas.
On some days it is very hard to get motivated. To learn things again that I learned many, many years already. Now I have to learn them again. But fortunately these days are relatively rare with me. There fortunately my neurobiological training comes into the "play" (before I made myself independent in the simulator technology then). On many places a kind of curiosity arises in me. In the meantime I understood many things more correctly (better), but it is still difficult to make a mew calibration. But these is something I need to think about myself, to have a good idea of what is going on .... but everything has a good "site" :-) ...
It is really difficult to make a new calibration every day. Each day so many things happen to me, Each day they have do be newly calibrated.
I am each day always grateful for the fact that I survived. I enjoy each day, which I have the luck to live.
21.01.2008 - CV
Hartwig Kurt Distler
born on the 27.04.67 in Neustadt/Aisch
1973-1977 Basic school in Sugenheim
1977-1986 High school in Scheinfeld
1986 Final exam at school (1.9)
1987-1993 Study of Biology in Würzburg and Tübingen
1993 Diploma Exmination (Total note 1.0)
Main subject: Biological Cybernetics
Site subjects: Electronic and Microprozessors, Biological Psychology, Microbiology
1993-1994 Diplomarbeit am Max-Planck-Institut für Biologische Kybernetik in Tübingen. Thema: Die Rolle von Augenbewegungen bei der Wahrnehmung der Länge von Linien.
10.1994-1999 Doctor work on the Max-Planck-Institut for biological cybernetics in Tübingen. Topic: Perception in virtual worlds.
27.05.2003 Completion of the doctor work: Perception in virtual worlds
9.1998-2.1999 „Director of Virtual Reality “ at dataframe GmbH
3.1999-10.1999 „Technical Director“ at Müller Systemtechnik GmbH
4.2000-8.2000 „Technical Director“ at RNT GmbH
since 9.2000 independent as Hartwig Distler
Allmann-Ward, M., Venor, J., Williams, R., Cockrill, M., Distler, H.K., Crewe, A., Heinz, T. (2003). The Interactive Simulator as a Practical Engineering Tool. SAE-2003-01-1505
Crewe, A., Distler, H.K., Heinz, T. (2003). Simulator Sound Objects - A Proposal for an Open standard on Sound Components for Driving Simulators. SAE-2003-01-1440
Distler, H. K., Gegenfurtner, K. R., Hawken, M. J., Van Veen, H. A. H. C. (2000). Velocity constancy in a virtual reality environment. Perception, 2000, 29, 1423-1435
Distler, H. K., Van Veen, H. A. H. C., Braun, S. & Bülthoff, H. H. (1998). Untersuchung komplexer Wahrnehmungs- und Verhaltensleistungen des Menschen in virtuellen Welten. [Studying complex aspects of human perception and behaviour in virtual environments] In I. Rügge, B.Robben, E. Hornecker, F.W. Bruns (Ed.) Arbeiten und begreifen: Neue Mensch-Maschine-Schnittstellen, Lit-Verlag
van Veen, H. A. H. C., Distler, H. K., Braun, S. J. & Bülthoff, H. H. (1998). Navigating through a Virtual City: Using virtual reality technology to study human action and perception. Future Generation Computer Systems, 14, 231-242
Distler, H. K., Pelah, A., Bell, A. G. & Thurrell, A. E. I. (1998). The perception of absolute speed during self-motion. Perception, ECVP `98
Distler, H. K., Gegenfurtner, K. R.(1998). Einfluß der Größe bekannter Objekte auf Geschwindigkeitskonstanz. [The influence of object size on velocity constancy.] In Bülthoff, Fahle, Gegenfurtner & Mallot (eds.), Proceedings 1. Tübinger Wahrnehmungskonferenz, p. 48, Knirsch Verlag Kirchentellinsfurt, Germany.
Distler, H. K., Van Veen, H. A. H. C., Braun, S. J., Bülthoff, H. H., Heinz, W. & Franz, M. (1998). Navigation in real and virtual environments: Navigating a virtual landscape.
Distler, H. K., Van Veen, H. A. H. C., Braun, S. J., Bülthoff, H. H., Heinz, W. & Franz, M. (1998). Navigation in real and virtual environments: Navigating a virtual landscape. In M. Göbel, J. Landauer, U. Lang, M. Walper (Ed.) Virtual Environments `98 – Proceedings of the Eurographics Workshop, Springer Wien, New York.
Müller, K.R. & Distler, H.K. (1998). „Commercial off the Shelf“ – Can available products cover the demands of the armed forces? – Possibilities and Risks – Customer oriented product development. In DWT - Simulationstechnik: Ziele, Aufgaben- und Einsatzbereiche
Distler, H. K., Gegenfurtner, K. R., Van Veen, H. A. H. C. & Hawken, M. J. (1997). Velocity constancy in virtual reality environments. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Vol. 38, No. 4, #370.
Distler, H.K., Bülthoff, H.H. (1996). Velocity perception in 3D environments. Perception, 25 (Supplement), 58b.
Distler, H.K. (1996). Psychophysical Experiments in Virtual Environments. In: Virtual Reality World 96 Conference Documentation, München 1996: Computerwoche Verlag AG. 1996 Distler, H.K., Bülthoff, H.H. (1996). Velocity perception in 3D environments. Perception, 25 (Supplement), 58b.
Distler, H.K. (1996). Psychophysical Experiments in Virtual Environments. In: Virtual Reality World 96 Conference Documentation, München 1996: Computerwoche Verlag AG. 1996 Distler, H.K., Bülthoff, H.H. (1996). Velocity perception in 3D environments. Perception, 25 (Supplement), 58b.
Distler, H.K. (1996). Psychophysical Experiments in Virtual Environments. In: Virtual Reality World 96 Conference Documentation, München 1996: Computerwoche Verlag AG.
Distler, H.K. (1994). Die Rolle von Augenbewegungen beim Vergleich der Länge von Linien. [The role of eye movements in the perception of line length] Diplomarbeit, Universität Tübingen. Diplomarbeit, Universität Tübingen. Diplomarbeit, Universität Tübingen. Diplomarbeit, Universität Tübingen. Diplomarbeit, Universität Tübingen. Diplomarbeit, Universität Tübingen.
22.01.2008 - images of myself
1967 - birth
1967 - half a year
1969 - two years
1970 - three years
1971 - four years
1976 - als clown
1978 - young teeny
1981 - confirmation
1987 - young guy aged 20 years old
1990 - young wild no 1
1992 - young wild no 2
1993 - young wild no 3
1995 - Cheery
1997 - Presents
1999 - Disney
2000 - in Egypt
2004 - in Berlin
2006 - on the farm
2012 - in Markt Nordheim
2013 - Winter 2013
2014 - Deutenheim
2014 - Brombachsee
2014 - Brombachsee
2014 - painting
23.01.2008 - My daily routine
In the meantime I have a very regular daily routine. I get up between 4:30 and 5 o'clock. Then I have 2 hours to read my emails, to do something "Cogpack" (a computer program) and like now, write over my illness.
My dear sunshine stands gets up at 6:15 and our little sunshine gets up 7:00. My wife goes working then and I take care of our little lady. It takes some time for her to get everything done. She always wants to do it on her own, but in many case can't do it at the moment. Then we have breakfast with granny and grandpa together. Then it goes into the kindergarten. Since my epilepsy I am not allowed to drive a car. Therefore the grandpa drive her with the car to the kindergarten. I am just joining them. From the kindergarten I go to making sports. I use the time when making sports to count numbers or to do some thinking.
Then I have 2 1/2 hours for me to learn, to write, to make Math or learn type writing or some other learning. Then Maya comes home and we have lunch at home. After the meal for Maya she goes to sleep for some time. I also join here for a quarter of an hour.
Then I learn again. In the afternoon Maya is with my wife. I spend most of the time to learn and to do some smaller things for me. And then it is already time for dinner. After that we play all together are then bring Maya to bed. One of us goes asleep with Maya (at least until she sleeps), the other one has some time to spend on her/his own. If I have "free", I normally do some learning or watch TV. I then go to bed between 21:30 - 22:00.
Due to my epilepsy I try to keep a regular life time. Always getting up at the same time and going to bed at the same time. On the weekend normally sleeping a bit longer. As I said, with the epilepsy it is most important to have a regular sleep. And not like in young years to go sleeping at different times.
24.01.2008 - "Search for the butter"
It is still difficulty to find determined things on the table. That generally depends very much of the daily form. If I am for example on the search for butter, that goes the following way: First of all I forgot what I was searching in a couple of seconds. Of course I know that it stands on the table, but I do not know exactly what I search. Then I must try to limit, to which category does it belong? Normally that happened within seconds, but for me it takes very lang. But with me it can partly take over one minute. Preselection is partly rather lengthy. If I know what I am searching for it normally goes quite ok. Sometimes it can take very long until I found what I was looking for.
Applies also here as well: It already become much, much became. But it is amazing out of how many single steps the searching is build up. In the "normal life" the first steps are relatively fast processed. It was not noticeable to me at all in the "normal life". Only as I got the disturbance by the illness, I noticed how importantly individual steps are really.
If certain information is no longer available, you will notice there something is lacking and then you recognize how long it take then.
25.01.2008 - In the Kitchen
If I sometimes cook - which happens extremely rarely in the meantime - I come relatively fast into problems, as soon as I use more than one stove plate. With one stove plate it is in the meantime problem-free. But as soon as I use 2, 3 or 4 stove plates I am fast getting to a chaos. It becomes particularly clear with four stove plates. Already alone the fact that I must take care of four stove plates the same same time is very demanding for me. If it goes into the final phase, I am often overtaxed. Alone the coordination there already makes excessive use of my demands. As said, with one stove plate there is no more topic. But as soon as I must make several things simultaneous, I am relatively fast overtaxed.
Cross word mystery
At the beginning I was already glad, if I had created a pair of letter in 10 minutes. There wasn't a chance to make something accurate. I always carried the solution of the cross word mystery with me. Simply in order to get again a feeling for the characters. After 2 1/2 years I am now ready to make some solutions. But is still mix up the characters sometimes. Still relatively little, but nevertheless I get already some of them correctly. For the remainder I must still look still into the solution of the cross word mystery. But that is also a good exercise, since I must note the words correctly in that exercise. And it is simply beautiful to see, how it becomes each day a bit better.
Again such a small exercise. Scanning of a page into the scanner on the computer. The first task was to bring the scanner back to running. That took already 2 days, in order to bring the scanner back to running. Then to get everything working again took 3-4 days. But it is so beautiful to sit again at the computer. At the beginning nothing worked at all, but with the time I developed something like a "feeling for the computer". I should add that I was programming driving simulators before my illness. And each day it becomes a bit more what I can do at the computer. By my abilities in former times I am still far, far, away, but a beginning is made.
I had already said it once, but I remark it again: It is amazing what I learned before my illness. One just does not notice it, how many thing you can do. Only by my illness I got aware of how many individual things my knowledge is made of.
26.01.2008 - Learning English
I started to learn English again relatively fast after getting sick. At the beginning nothing worked. No more letters, as said, nothing more at at. Then I concerned myself on learning the characters again in German. At that point I only was doing the little communication in German. After half a year I began again to learn English. I should perhaps mention that my English was relatively good before my sickness. As said, I have started again after half a year to make English again. At the beginning it were only words, then at some point simple sentences, and then more complex sentences.
In the end I hang in English nearly at the some problems as in German. Reading is still very slow. If I read, I only read, but I cannot understand. As said before, at many places I had the some types of problems in both languages. But in both languages it make a lot of fun to be able to read and write again. It will take some time, until I can read and write again problem free. But a beginning is made. And even more important, it make fun.
Writing about my sickness was also very important. Also in English. Still I am a bit ahead, when writing in German. There the writing is still more "fluent". In English I used "Babel Fish". These was a very good basis. But the linguistic tuning must be done by yourself. Here as well everything goes in good steps ahead. As well is the looking for words in both directions a good exercise.
Until I look up a word in the translation book, it still takes very long. But that is only a question of exercise.
27.01.2008 - Numbers
Counting with numbers was and is still very difficult. I still have difficulties with it. At the beginning even counting up to nine was difficult for me. I functioned at the beginning more or less like a random number generator. With the time it improved then. The next step was counting to 99. I here got difficulties with sorting the numbers. It is somehow easier to explain with there numbers up to 999. If I have the number of 127 for example, the speaking goes in such a way in German: First the "1", then the "7" and then the "2". Even today it is still very difficult to me. If one would make it "172", it would be ordered much more logically, but it is "127". It would be nice, if someone could explain to me why they made these? The numbers are always packed as a triple. Why is it like that?
A further characteristic lies in the mode, which I use. If I count only mental, that can be done in the meantime "to some extent well". As soon as I speak however loud, I start do disorder again the numbering? I would also be very grateful for solutions here!
If I count momentarily numbers to 9999, then it can be done at least in mental mode "ok", but with the number is getting larger I have these problems again. E.g. 432467981 still take very long do get this correct. It becomes a bit better when I use the "triple" strategy: 432 467 981 I get much faster to a result. The whole thing is already somewhat more structured. If I am allowed to make it on paper, it goes substantially better, as if I am only allowed to "speak".
Here applies as well: Each day it becomes a bit better. Each day a little more. And again I can only say, how complex the hole thing is! It would sometime of course be very nice if things would go a bit faster. But then one would not notice, from how many components everything is set up.
28.01.2008 - Reading and Writing, Part 1
At the beginning ever reading and writing was very difficult. In the meantime I am already much further. Reading and writing is depending a bit on the daily form, but as compared with 2 1/2 before it became much better.
If I read something, then it is still somewhat coming to a hold, however it became much, much better. At the moment I am at a stage at which reading is quite ok, but I cannot understand what I am reading. Thus reading some extent goes is ok, but all my concentration is occupied by reading, I do not understand what I am reading. In order to get to the understanding, I need some time after reading in order to put things together fully.
Sometimes I notice also, how I read somewhat completely different to what I am actually reading. Only at certain words it gets noticeable to me then, that I read something completely different. That is somewhat amusing, but since I that these will be managed at sometime I don't worry about it.
With some articles reading goes in the meantime nearly "automatically", with other articles it is still very, very slow and stocking. If I read a certain style already some times, it is fast improving. If I how every didn't read that style it is going very slow and stocking.
I guess that I am working in a simple "statistical machine". I just must read something often enough to learn the reading.
29.01.2008 - Reading and Writing, Part 2
At the beginning of my illness I could neither read nor write. There you recognize how difficult it is to setup a communication with someone else. At one time one has no more means and ways to make itself understandable. I wanted, but I didn't have any "tools". How do I communicate without reading and writing?
Reading and writing is not something that you can learn in a day or two. It takes very long and you have to learn to be patient. After 2 1/2 years is the character spell again to a certain extent there, but it still does not run "automatically". Still a certain effort stands behind it. But it is already much, much better.
I have learned verbally and in writing (letters). At the beginning I could say or write only a few letters. One hour passed and I only got a few letters finished. After some time I always wrote the characters pre site (every site), or I spelled a character for some time. At the beginning I adhered strictly the order ("ABC"). After some time I selected the letters purely coincidentally. Then I began with large and lower case. At the beginning I wrote each character for one page. Then with the time I began to write the characters randomly. At the beginning I wrote small and large letters separate, but after some time I mixed them all. The whole process lasted up to more than one year. I naturally made other little things in the meantime (learned).
Then I made very short sentences. I made "child sets". And then sometime more complex sentence. Always all piece for piece. Always a little more. Both reading and writing are still very far away from normality. You have to learn to get patient. And always learn, learn, learn and learn to get practice again. I repeat it very often that it is the "Alpha" and "Omega" of learning.
During the writing I often notice, that I don't get the correct letter. It takes there some moments until I identify the correct letter. I have already written that before, that during reading I sometimes recognize that I read something different completely different from what I actually read.
My daughter I now three. Fortunately I can already again to some extent read for her. Above all that is also a good exercise. Especially it is good that I have to read stories many times, reading it again and again. For example I read out the jungle book in this month already 20 times. And every time it gets better and better!
30.01.2008 - Name memory
I have still difficulties to notice names. The whole thing begins already with the discussion of name. I have always thought that the learning of names should be very fast. But that is not the case, instead it goes very difficult to recognize and remember names. I remember vaguely that the name memory is decreasing with the age, but that alone cannot be the reason for it. There must be more behind it. One of the problems is surely that reading and writing of the names is very difficult. I can note a person relatively fast, but not the name. Even with persons from the family circle it took a very long time to remember their names. I.e. to connect their faces with their names. It became somewhat better in the meantime, but it is still far away from being normal.
If you read foreign names, e.g. a Russian one, or a Japanese, or Chinese one it is very difficult to put the names together. With such names it can take very long to get it correct. This is including the pronouncement which is often very difficult. Reliably, there I had problems before my illness already often determine names to express be able. Of course, I had already those problems before I got ill, because it was always difficult to pronounce such syllable correct. But it went much more smooth before. One of the reasons my be that the appropriate syllables are not yet there available. I mean with that how syllables are pronounced.
31.01.2008 - I had giant luck
I had "giant luck" that I have survived all this. My wife Annett, my daughter Maya, my parents and my parents-in-law I want to think from the deep of my hard. Thanks that you were always where around. But also a large "thanks" on my will to survive. Each day which I am allowed to join you all, I enjoy two or three times more. It is simply beautiful that I still can be around.
01.02.2008 - Mathematics
Some things of math we have already discussed partly as we discussed the numbers. That is also my main problem with mathematics. Here applies as well: All my concentration goes for something which is normally easy to do. Counting of numbers. It is still very difficult to do simple calculation of numbers, like e.g. 212 + 121 or 391 - 236 or 19 * 11 or 70: 5. Most of the time goes there "lost" with finding the correct words. And I still have to consider the arithmetic rules, getting those correct. Especially the signs "+", "-", ":" and "*" takes a lot of time. As well as switching between numbers and signs. Above all switching numbers after the calculation method makes very large difficulties. Thus for example 132 "plus" 18. Switching numbers after the indication and then back again.
The same applies e.g. 1.8 + 0.9 to the "point" sign. That is still somewhat more difficult than before. Here you have two additional "." to the rules.
Here applies as well: Exercise makes faster. I became much faster, my whole thinking is getting faster and more "fluent". At present switching between number and operational sign still needs to much time. But like I said before, in the last 2 1/2 years it became much, much better.
02.02.2008 - Phobias (fear conditions)
I had some Phobias, i.e. fear conditions in some time of my life. However, in the last years it calmed down. When exactly it started to calm down I can tell. But I think that it happened five or six years ago.
Essentially there are two Phobias, moving in different direction. On the one site fear of free places, on the other site fear of e.g. elevators. I think that it is the fear of dying behind that. But this is only my "assumption".
The first time it appeared at the age of 15 to 16. Some days were completely relaxed, some days were very difficult. The whole thing took about two years, but the calmed down.
At the age of 21 I had masers. That is actually a childhood disease. The whole thing lasted for four weeks and some more time to recover from it.
Then the Phobias came back at the age of 22. I stopped studying for one year and stayed the time with my parents. Some of these days were very difficult. I got accumulations, got partly no more air and trembled over hours at the whole loaf. After one year I began to study again, then directly also changed places. It has taken over 10 years until I had it under full control. However the last years everything went relatively smooth. Over the time I had learned to arrange myself.
Important was to me, that I was always "busy". I always had something to do. During this time I learned many things. I developed a variety of interests. That is one of the things I will always be proud of.
03.02.2008 - Parallel Processing
It is still difficult or in most cases impossible to process things in parallel. In the meantime I can work things with several individual steps. Thus step 1, step 2, step 3... those are processed in successive steps. Depending upon the task the number of things I can do has become more. But still it is very, very difficult to process things in parallel or even impossible. It is like a bottleneck in the memory. I forget relatively "fast" what I was working on. It became much better in the 2 1/2 years, but it is still far away from being.
That is still a thing that concerns me a bit. As said, I am sure that reading, writing and mathematics will get ahead "relatively fast". But I an sure that I will be able to get it done. Also with the sequential working I am sure that I will be able to manage these. That is only a question of time and training. But I am still a bit worried about parallel processing. Doing things in parallel still worries me. There I did not find yet the correct handles. But time and advice will come. A solution will come there as well.
04.02.2008 - The Keyboard
We have already been talking about the characters. But I want to do it again. It is really amazing how long it takes to learn something airtight. I started to do my writing on paper and verbally. Then I started using the PC more of then. It took more than half a year to find the "right" keys on the keyboard. I did try many different strategies including typewriters teaching. It needed several thousand key strikes to learn striking keys again. And still I notice that I have a certain hesitation until I strike the correct key. That is still a sign for not being sure that I had taken the "right character". It happens especially at characters that I barely use. If I for example try to use "+" or the "#" it still lasts some time until I found the correct key.
I had nearly one and half a year no more conscious dreams. I do not think that this is something tragically. But it is one thing worth to mentioning it.
05.02.2008- Writing sentences
At the beginning I had to learn again characters. Then I began to copy sentences again. Since my memory is still very short-lived, I still have forgotten at the end of the sentence what I wanted to say at the beginning. Which some what more complicated words this was even at the beginning not possible. However it is a good possibility to learn new words. And especially at the beginning that is necessary. At the beginning these where just words like "I" or "you" where difficult, by now much things improved very much. In the meantime my vocabulary has grown very much. The exercise is now to remember some words - thus a set of words or parts of a sentence - and then to write them without looking at the template. In the meantime I, depending upon the organization of a sentence, am working with two to five words.
Text on two computers compare
I write a text on two computers. Into one version I insert some errors. Then I wait for one or several days to read the text again. I read then the original and the changed copy in parallel and try the to find the errors. Here it is primarily not the orthography that I am interested in. I am instead more interested to find the right positions in the text. I have problems whenever I read longer sentences at a piece. Then I have problems to find the correct place again, where I stopped to read. Whenever I read the original and the manipulated copy in parallel. This is something that I make e.g. by using Word. And then I have to search my errors. I do this by reading the text on the left side and then on the right side, trying to find the errors. Especially at longer chapters I have difficulties to find the right position. With this exercise it gives relative many variants which the length of the chapter.
07.02.2008- Pride on what I achieved
If I did not write that yet: I am very, very proud on what I did get done in the meantime. As I said, I was convinced at the beginning that everything would be done in half a year. With the time I learned that these estimate was false. But I am very proud of what I did in the last 2 1/2 years. Also the fact that it lasts very long until knowledge has solidified itself. That is probably one of the most important experiences, which I made during this time. For some people that may be trivial. But for me that was not trivial.
To notice that from one day to the next my "tools" where taken away. And how laborious to is to develop these tools again. After all that it was a much helpful experience. Now after I learned the characters again laboriously, many things re-established themselves "on their own". I notice now that many things were still there, just made a break during that period. Only at this point I did notice, how importantly the presence of fundamental things is. As said, I for my part noticed only then, why it lasts so long to build something from the scratch. Normally one learns piece by piece, everything goes in continuity. One does not notice at all, how difficulty actually learning is. That I was simply suppressing. And only by the blow-out of my aneurysm it became clear to me, how difficult and lengthy the process of learning is. But as well, how much behind all that is.
It was important that I had my beloved behind all this. Annett, my daughter Maya, my mother Line, my father Heinrich, my mother-in-law Helga and my father-in-law Bernd. Without their support I would have had no chance.
08.02.2008 - Car signs
Car sings can in Germany be used very well to learn the differences between numbers and characters. We take e.g. NEA - ZA -NEA. "NEA" is the region from which the vehicle comes. By this you know from where the vehicle comes from. Other examples are "M" for Munich, "B" for Berlin or "F" for Frankfurt. "ZA" are one or two characters in random order (at least to my knowledge). And then a number, in this case "123". I have and I learn thereby still letters and numbers together. It is still difficult to me to learn the difference between characters and numbers and reverse. The beautiful thereby is that the whole is not purely randomly. First the shortened name of the place where the car comes from, then purely coincidental characters and then a combination of up to four number digits.
That was a perfect thing as long as we lived in Berlin. At the beginning I had to remain standing before each car and then it took some time until I got all the information I needed. By now it goes already with normal foot speed. But now we life on the country and it is a bit difficult to "find enough cars". But as soon as I come to a city, I do it again.
Another good exercise is the indication of the date. Thus e.g. 27.04.1967. First you have a number of one or two digits, then a ".", which is relatively difficult to me. Then again one or two numbers, then again "." and then again four numbers. I is a quite good thing to check an encyclopedia, which gives a good variation of numbers. And you still can have some variations in e.g. doing the month written in full numbers, thus e.g. "April".
10.02.2008 - Images and Names
I almost forgot this. But I spent a year on this. I spent nearly one year on this to see pictures and to name them. First I say the picture and then I tried to find the correct name. Since I did not know how to write at the beginning, my wife wrote the names of the pictures on the rear side of the pictures. At the beginning it was really like I did see the picture, but I couldn't name it. That has taken again very long. After a certain time, I viewed each day 600 pictures. I can't remember how long it took, but at the end of doing that it took me about 30 minutes to see and correctly recognize all pictures.
11.02.2008 - Characters
I bought relatively early large letters (see illustration). For me the investment was worthwhile a lot. You get a much better feeling when touching the letters. I spent nearly half an hour each day with that. You get a much better feeling when touching the characters.
12.02.2008 - Letter and syllables
I started to write character in the computer in different sizes, different directions and small and large letters. At the beginning I had for example difficulties to remember characters in case they were not horizontally oriented.
Lately I have began to use syllables to create words. Syllables are the next semantic unit in the language. Here I started reading right now.
13.02.2008 - First Summary
What did I learn in the last 2 1/2 years, how am I ? I have learned the enjoy the live estimate. I enjoy each day on the new. I know now that the life is a gift. I forgot that in the daily hectic.
Important for me was that I never gave up. I was nearly always of good hope that I will make it. Naturally the whole took much longer than I thought. But afterwards I have learned much more to get an better estimate of what I achieved. It probably will last much more time, until I get to an acceptable level at reading, writing and math.
An important knowledge is confirmed: Without diligence, no price. Therapies are only a small stone of the entire mosaic. Therapies can give new ideas, of what to do. But daily practicing is the most important thing to learn new things.
One of the most important things is to enjoy your live and be happy. I was very importantly for me also that I always had my family around.
That was what I wanted to say for the moment. At some point I will at one or the other thing. If my wife finds the time, she will represent the whole thing from her view.
20.02.2008 - Writing of Numbers
One again the writing of numbers. In the first part it concerned more reading and expressing from numbers, and the problems which I thereby have. I have a similar problem with writing the numbers. If I write a number, then one writes in the ascending order. Thus if I write the number of 172, then I write last the "1", then to "7" and then the "2". If I however read the number in the thought, then first there is the "1", then the "2" and then at the end the "7". I first practiced the reading. That is now more or less to some extent what I can do. However if I must write a number, I must "reposition" the numbers on demand. However since I remembered very intensively the reading, there comes when writing the number in my thought it traverses "1", "2" and "7" into the game and it lasts some time to get it right again. But exercise makes the master. Thus continue to practice!
By the way, also during reading in English some things are a bit confusing, it is somewhat less than in German, but nevertheless there is some confusion. "zero", "one", "two", "three", "four", "five", "six", "seven", "eight", "nine" here is still all ok, but then it goes again somewhat crosswise: "ten", "eleven" , "twelve", "third-teen", "four-teen", "fifteen", "sex-teen", "seventeen", "eighteen", "nineteen", here again the reverse sequence. From that point on it goes again in order, "twenty", "twenty one", "twenty two" etc.. In contrast to German, however it is the "correct" order. Thus while in German the number of "23" starts with "3" and ends with the "2" (twenty-three"), it is reverse in English. Thus the is first the "2" and then there is the "3".
If you once one learned the numbering, then that is not problem at all, but until you can it there, it will last some time.
22.02.2008 - In the forest
I was some days ago with my father in the forest. We were afforesting. That is an activity, which I can make, since I must apply thereby no large concentration, and/or it is an activity for which my concentration is sufficient. It was a lot of fun. There was fresh air and it was pleasantly warm. My mind was kind of free. I thought about the forest and how beautiful it is there. Then, suddenly my brain got stuck. I wanted to remember what I normally did during day time. Normally I am learning and writing this story. I did not get a clue for one hour. I knew where I am at home, but for am hour I didn't have an idea, what I normally do each day. I have tried to set all levers in motion, but no chance. Only after one hour I came to the point what I normally did. And from then on it went again on it's own. Simply the correct memory aid was missing, between what I normally do, and what I did these day. On such days it becomes even more obvious to me, how holey my brain still is. But here as well is the important thing not to give up and try to solve the situation. Not desperately trying too, but also not giving up. For me it was an important experience to go through.
24.02.2008 - Syllable
IFor a long time I was dealing with characters. Reading and writing characters. As I said, afterwards it seemed as it was taking a decade of years. And still I have this hesitating, if I have to read or write a character. That all became much better, but as said, a certain hesitation is still there.
I have started to work with syllables some time ago. I could not imagine that it will take such a lot of effort. But now I know that it takes very long to get there to a certain point. It makes a difference whether after a "A" there is a "n" or a "l" or a "b". I mean here purely loud technical. Therefore I have begun to "learn syllables". As an example we take the Word "hy-phe-nat-ion". The word consists of 4 syllables. We seem to learn with the time, which letter combination makes sense, and which not. "Name" makes a sense, "Aenm" has also four letters, however makes no sense. In the course of time we learn thus which we use and which not. It also seems to be like some characters are more important than others. But here I have to read a little bit more.
26.02.2008 - The many things I did
When I begun to write my disease history, I thought I will be done in a week. However I soon recognized that this was an error. Only if I was intensively occupied with the thing, I noticed, how many individual components build up the live. And new components emerge again and again, which I did not consider at all. The things, which one uses several times a daily, go very fast into normality. "More interesting" is the thing with those things which are rarely used. Some things you only use once a year. I mean those things which you even don’t know that they are there. I try now to strengthen the examination of everything, whether everything is still there, and/or how much things were damaged. I try to test thus consciously whether it everything is still there. That is not topic at all if you know that something is still there, still available. It is more difficult for things which you have forgotten either or for things which are so heavily damaged that you can not even tell that they are there. It might for some of you sound amusing, but I am on a discovery journey with myself. And new things come to the daylight which do not function completely as they should do. But still overall many things do function well for me. That is one of the important things, which I learned: It is not natural that all that functions in such a way.
28.02.2008 - Remember names
I have already mentioned it that it is still very difficult for me to notice and express names for me. Since this time I have looked in the internet for names and tried to get the naming correctly. That is relatively helpful and makes, at least for me, a lot of fun. I should perhaps collect and note the names in the internet for me. Then I could go and practice regularly to it.
01.03.2008 - Small compact Riddles
Each day I make tasks in "Cogpack". A group which makes special difficulties for me are tasks of text which require me to make a link. An example: "A wholesaler buys 10000 screws for 400 Euro. He packs it in 50's packs and sells it for 4 Euro. Per pack he has packing costs of 1 Euro. How many Euro of profit makes that?". With this question five pieces of information are hidden behind that. However I can only manage two pieces of information at the same time. The rest has to be done serializing the information pieces. That makes the task so difficult for me. It takes a lot of time until I have gathered all the information. It becomes from day to day a little more. But it takes a lot of time until I get to the final goal.
03.03.2008 - Difficulties with writing
For most of the characters typewriting on the computer is quite ok. Only some of the characters are causing problems. I still got problems with the following characters: ",", ";", ".", ":", "-", "_", "#", "'", "+", "*" and "?". Some of these are barely being used in “normal” live. And that is the difficulty about that. How do I learn such characters? If I tap a "a" or a "b" it takes some time, but it “does enters the brain at some point”. It is just a matter of exercise. Behind the "a" and the "b" there is still a sense. But it is difficult for me to find such a sense behind a "_" or ":". “To get a sense” behind a character that would make life much easier. Of course I could tap a special character many times, but that would not fix the problem. Instead I did the following. I wrote some words. Every word starts a new line, e.g.
And now the exercise begins. I insert e.g. "_", and remove the “enter”. The text reads as follows: Abby_ Abelina_ Abigail_ Adelaide_ Adeline_ Adina _ Adrienne_. For most of you that is not a problem. But for me that is still difficult. I have a new character “_” and I remove the “enter”. I normally use many words in such an exercise. By that I get familiar to the characters and I also add a character each line. At least for me it is a good exercise and it has some sense.
05.03.2008 - Again characters
I made something new with characters, syllables and numbers. Thereby I got on the following problems. I had a selection of large or small characters. My task was so order that in alphabetical order. Thus the following was:
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ?
The characters are sorted in alphabetical order. For this purpose I got characters in random order which I should order alphabetically. Thus e.g. so:
l ß r i a h y k ä o z
w ö m g u n f j s x e
ü t c d b v p q
This exercise is very good. At the beginning I started with the characters in alphabetical order. Thus I looked for where is the "a", then the "b" and so on. After some time I learned where the letters should stand. I knew thus, the "d" stands in the fourth place, and the "g" in the second row in the second place. At some time I was able to sort the characters in the position were they stood. Thus I began with in this case with the “l” then I continued with the “ß” and so on. Of course the characters were ordered in random time every time I started the game a new. With the time I got used with the position of the characters. I knew that an “i” has to be the last character in the second row. If I could program now already again, I would insert some changes here, e.g. I would change the size in the original block. Not always fife characters like that
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ,
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
etc. then it would not be so easy to get it so easy in order. The user would then be confronted with a variety of variants and not just by one. But this will take some time until I can do C++ (programming language) again.
07.03.2008 - Lineare Gleichungen
II did some more mathematic in the past couple of month. The latest topic was linear equations. At the beginning it was relatively difficult do sort out naming of numbers and characters. The following calculation is a beautiful example of back and forth of numbers and characters.
"Such a disorder of numbers and characters" is still very difficult for me. That will surely be one of the exercises if I can program again. But now back to the linear equations. At the beginning I tried to get "the feeling" for linear equations again. How does a function look like which follows the following rules: f(0) = 2.5 and f(4) = -1. It was very important for me simply the get a connection between the numbers and the graphics repaired. Each day a little bit more. Today I am already again with equations like "0.6*(4 + 3x) = 5*(0.7+0.2x)+2.5". Not only reading, but also getting the solution of the equation. It still lasts very long to solve such an equation, but it is a large success. I am already curious on the next tasks.
09.03.2008 - Correct or not correct
An exercise with Cogpack was recognizing images. You were presented successively 20 or 40 images. Each image is presented for fife seconds. For each image you have to say weather you have seen it already or not. This exercise was relatively easy for me. Of course, it depends on the content of the image. Some image categories were relatively simple, other were somewhat more difficult. While city images, desert images, road signs and art images were relatively easy, it was more difficult for some characters, names and flags (banners). But altogether an exercise, which motivated me! Finally something that was quiet easy for me.
11.03.2008 - Windows XP
I have started to read a book concerning Windows XP. I made the whole thing in English. That is a good exercise. On the one hand it is reading in English and on the other hand it is something which I did in former times already. At some places I notice then: Oh, I already know that. Some things appear from one second to the next again. In other places, however, everything has disappeared. I must try to reconstruct this part. I must try to get access to those things again. If there was at least something there, it normally goes relatively fast to do the recover. However it is really difficult if everything is away. Sometimes a keyword is enough to activate the whole thing again. However sometimes everything is away and I don’t find a way to recover it. It is basically a good thing to read something which I have done before I got sick. I notice then like certain parts build up very fast again.
13.03.2008 - Where was the Aneurysma
I had already once mentioned parts of it, but for the sake of completeness I will do it again. It happened on the 11.08.2005.
15.03.2008 - Recognize colors (Interference)
A task at Cogpack is to recognize the colors in different variants. We play the tasks here for a certain colors combination. There are several color combinations possible.
At first you have to remember a set of six colors. In this example we have the following colors: Corn-yellow, orange, lemon-yellow, pink, purple and deer-brown. The remembering went as a color box together with the name of the color box written in the appropriate color. As said the colors were corn-yellow, orange, lemon yellow, pink, purple and deer-brown. Now the first task was to name the colors, the colors names were all displayed in a uniform color. In addition a color was displayed in a box. Your task was to find the name of that color correctly. Only one box was correct.
The next task consisted of designating a color. You had six colored boxes as a target of the selection. And you had to provide the name of one particular color. So for instance which color is “Corn-yellow”. For this question you had the selection of six boxes in the colors: Corn-yellow, orange, lemon-yellow, pink, purple and deer-brown. You had to decide which color e.g. is “corn-yellow”.
In the next part of the experiment the name of a color was search. You had six differently colored names. You had to search for a certain color name. You had to search for the name of a color e.g. “orange”. The name of the color could be written in any color. Important was that the name of the color was correct, in the case of this example “orange”.
In the next part of the experiment the name of a color was search. You had six differently colored names. You had to search for a certain color name. You had to search for the name of a color e.g. “orange”. The name of the color could be written in any color. Important was that the name of the color was correct, in the case of this example “orange”.
This game is very entertaining. Some variants are relatively simply and fast to settle, but some others - at least for me - where really difficult.
17.03.2008 - How are my feelings?
How do I feel? Is it difficult?
Of course it would have been much easier if nothing would have happened to me, if everything would have remained as it was before my illness. You only learn to estimate those things, if something terrible happens to you, as with my illness. Only that time you will notice how complex the brain is. I never spend a second on this. That was just being “natural”.
“A major advantage of my prehistory were my phobias”. During that time I was forced to deal with myself. I had to bring my phobias under control. It took almost 20 years. Only the last three or four years everything was ok. Only then everything was ok In the post-history I have to say that this was good for me. By my occupation with the phobias I was in a sense prepared in a certain sense for my aneurysm.
Immediately after I woke up again - after the coma - have immediately accepted which has happened to me. That was finally an important step in starting immediately again with the reconstruction. I am since then busy with reconstructing my senses and my ability to think. In a sense it became a sport for me. With some things I notice still that I am completely overstrained with that. In the meantime I have learned to be patient and that I have to wait for developments. In some places I had to learn that first you have to learn that first there is "a" and "b" alone, before I can make “ab”! As said, patience plays a large role. I had to learn to make one step after the other. But I am also a little proud on me on what I achieved in the last 2 ½ years.
I think it was very important that I accepted from the beginning what happened to me. It was very important that I was not busy to complain all the time, but instead was busy to start restructuring.
Finally it is also clear to me that I had a giant luck to survive all this. 50% of humans are dying, the remaining 50% are heavily damaged. I am very, very, grateful for the fact that everything ran so well. I have in the last 2 ½ years learned so much over my life. And again: I am very, very gratefully for this!!!
19.03.2008 - Progresse
At the beginning it is very difficult to judge the progress correctly. But in the last 2 ½ I learned much better to estimate myself correctly. As I said at the beginning this was very difficult for me. But with the time I got better in estimating the details. Of course I learned as well how long that all takes. The development does not go within a very days, but instead takes years. In some booklets I have read that something you cannot learn in 1½ years, you will never learn it. I don’t support this attitude. Instead right now more and more pieces of my puzzle start to fit again. As said the most important for me was that I never lose my courage. I still have serious lacks. The most important however is to never give up. There is always a solution, perhaps not the one you expected, but there is always something to do. Of that I am completely firmly convinced.
21.03.2008 - Brain-Aneurysm
Now I finally made it. I have spent a few days with reading the brochures over the aneurysm. This brochure comes from the "association for brain-aneurysm-sick - the branch of life - e.V. It lasted so long because it is among other things very difficult to read and understand the many foreign words from medicine. But as said it was a very good starting point to enter this topic. Now I will read some overview articles over this topic. I decided after some time of thinking that I will dig deeper into this topic. In the last weeks weeks my reading became much better. It is still very difficult, to read and understand at the same time, but from day to day it becomes a bit better.
23.03.2008 - "A color game"
I was occupied for some time with colors. At the moment it only concerned the basic colors "red", "blue", "green" and "yellow". At the beginning I had serious difficulties to differentiate between them. At the beginning it was more or less a random number generator when I had to differentiate between them. In the meantime that became much better.
The play went as follows: It was a game in which I had do put colors into the fields.
At the beginning I plugged simple figures together. That doesn’t have a special artistic value, but I have learned to do something in a systematic way. I had to consider, how large I made a figure, which colors to use.
The “actual game” was a bit different. I took a color, first looking at it carefully and then decided which color it was. Sometimes I did it loud, sometimes quiet. Only after I named the color, I was allowed to but it in.
It was relatively important to make the game in both variants so that different modules in the brain were used.
In the meantime the whole goes relatively well. But it still is not a “self runner”. It still costs me some effort to master the task.
27.03.2008 - Dentist
I had an emergency treatment with my tooth this weekend. I hoped that this “cup” would go past me, but the pain was so strong that their was now way around it.
During the night I almost didn’t sleep. I was a bit afraid that I might get another Epileptic accumulation. I also had a very strong pain. But in the end everything went well. I am very, very grateful for this. It is on such days that I notice how well I am. How good thing are. If I think that some people have each day such pain, then I recognize how lucky I am!
29.03.2008 - Collection of images
I lately began to collect images from the internet to different topics such as animal or things you can buy in the supermarket (see next chapter). By that learn I learn new words (again). For me it was amazing how long it takes to learn new words. For some words it is quite fast an “elegant”, but some words take a long time to learn and remember them correctly. A variant of the task is, to write down the words. You can do the writing either with a pen or with a computer. One can make that once with a pin or do another time with the computer. It requires to a certain extent different resources from my brain. But overall it is a good exercise, and at least for me it is a good exercise to learn words again.
07.04.2008 - Shopping
1 ½ ago I began shopping for the family again (just partly). That is a good exercise for many reasons. I began shopping in different markets. These was very important to me since I had to get familiar with different environments. Further more I not write on paper what I had to buy. These was a good exercise for my brain. I tried to keep that in my brain. On some days I then had to go shopping two or three times, until I had everything together. The whole thing was a bit more difficult when we moved to the country side. But in the last few weeks I started again shopping by taking my bicycle. And it is a lot of fun!!!
09.04.2008 - ABC
With the "ABC" I began relatively early again. I already reported on it. At the beginning it took relatively long until I finished one page. But then with the time naturally everything went better. I have to admit that that it took a lot of patience to get one step after the next. At the moment I make the "ABC" usually once per week in different variants. To say what I mean I have a few examples:
and many further.
Sometimes written by hand, sometimes with computer. As said for the moment only once per week. I still notice that if I get stuck that it take two or three seconds until everything is resolved.
11.04.2008 - Clock
It was really difficult to do the changing of the clock at the beginning. At the moment changing full hours is not a problem. But at the beginning even placing of full hours was connected with problems. In the meantime placing goes relatively problem free to a quarter hour, so 0:00, 0:15, 0:30, 0:45, 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, 1:45, 2:00. If I however have a non digital clock and I have to exactly adjust it on the minute the process takes very long.
13.04.2008 - Name images
Here is again an exercise from Cogpack. The task of the user is to give names to 14 pictures. The user is allowed to take characters and numbers. As said the first part of the exercise is to provide a name for each picture. You have to provide names for pictures that make sense, e.g. a mountain range is shown. Or another picture shows a desert which you then name as “desert". In the first moment you think that this is not difficult at all. But normally the 14 images of a series are very similar, thus e.g. 14 mountain ranges and to each you have to give a unique name. You must provide a connection between a picture and its names. Now all pre-work is done. In the actual exercise you get an image and 14 names to select the correct one. You then must select with image you have seen. At the beginning I thought that the thing is completely simple. But due to the fact that all images of a category are relatively similar, it became - at least for me - very, very difficult.
15.04.2008 - Counting both directions
The following is again an exercise which I try to make in parallel. If I e.g. go walking with the dog, then I let my thoughts to different things and at the same time I count in parallel. I count between -100 and 100 in both directions. I make sizes of different steps. A row I always make with a certain step size e.g. -100, -93, -86, -79, -72, -65, -58, -51, -44, -37, -30, -23, -16, -9, -2, 5, 12, 19, 26, 33, 40, 47, 54, 61, 68, 75, 82, 89, 96, 103. And then starting at 100 e.g. with a step size of “5”. Thus 100, 95, 90, 85, 80, 75, 70, 65, 60 etc.. At some point I will take bigger step sizes and larger ranges.
18.04.2008 - Parallel
At the moment I try to make more things in parallel. I began e.g. to write characters and at the same time to count. For a line I always do the some character and at the some time I count form zero to nine. Counting is done in both directions. That is a simple task doing two things at the some time.
20.04.2008 - Animals
A while ago I began to collect images in the Internet. I have a collection of images of animals, plants and fruits. I then make a slideshow and try to give the images the correct names. The assigning of images I either do at the computer or I write the names. My goal is to implement the thing in a C++ program. But that will take some time until I reach this goal.
22.04.2008 - The egg whip 1
At the moment I for some weeks observe the following phenomenon with me: I can express words problem-free. If I however take the time what that actually is what I am talking about, then I actually recognize that I do not understand the word. An example for this is the word egg whip. I don’t have any problems speaking the word. However if I start to think about what that actually means I recognize that I don’t understand the meaning. The word egg whip is not a single case, but instead this happens very often to me. I understand the word, but I do not understand its meaning. During the first part of my illness I didn’t recognize this because I was lacking many words. But now all of a sudden the words reappeared but I am still lacking the understanding of the words. It is a magnificent thing to see all that words in my vocabulary again.
24.04.2008 - The egg whip 2
But also the reversal is very frequently the case. I can describe a word in detail with my modest vocabulary but I do not get the actual word. No question, that happens to all of us, but since I got ill it happens very often to me. An example is the word "bucket". I can describe the word exactly, partly with many details, but the word it self is missing to me.
26.04.2008 - Operational signs
I still have difficulties if I have to switch my brain between different things. If I e.g. make an arithmetic problem, I still have problems to switch between the operational sign and the numbers. There I recognize like in my brain something makes "click" to switch between different modes. Then it takes some time until I get from one mode to another. License numbers of a car plate in Germany are another example which I mentioned already. Here as well the problem is to switch between characters and numbers. Take e.g. the following number: B - LM - 7249, first "B" for Berlin, then "LM" that is more or less random and finally the numbers "7249". Changing from characters to numbers takes here longest.
28.04.2008 - News from the world of numbers
In the last couple of weeks I have done very much with numbers. It took place in between “-100” and “100”. In most cases I do jogging, inline-skating or driving with the bike in parallel. I count in both directions and I am using numbers between “1” and “9”. Let’s use an example to illustrate my counting. I start at e.g. -50 and then I countinue with -41, then -32 and so one. Another time I start with „9“ and then I continue in steps of “7” (“16”, “23”, etc.). This means different start values and different size of steps. The reason I do this is to get a continuity of counting again.
30.04.2008 - Learning by heart
Frame my daughter I learned something as it came to reading and repeating a history story. My daughter loves it if I am reading everyday the same story to here: I am sure that I read the “Jungle Book” more than 100 times. The good thing about this is, I learned reading a new. At the beginning was reading very much stuttering and partly chopped off. But since I read the story so many times it became more and more fluent. I already new what will come next before I read it. In a sense the memory is trained. In some cases I only cross checked what I was reading. By now I have much more time to concentrate on the accentuation. Of course, as soon as I read something new I still have difficulties with that. But that also gets better every day.
02.05.2008 - Operations on hold
My main memory in the brain is still very fast occupied. If I e.g. format something in Microsoft Word and do some more things, then I recognize especially for some more complex thing that I get very fast to a limit. Operations on hold that are made of more than one step I only can manage if I do it in a series. So if I have a process which is accumulated from several steps in the manner “ABCDE”, then I have to start with “AB”, then continue with “BC”, then with “CD”, etc. In the last couple of month it became a bit better, but it surely is a bottleneck for me. The some problems as I have with parallel processing.
04.05.2008 - Bigger Numbers
In the meantime I got a bit further with adding numbers. Up to now I did the adding in the range between „-100“ and „100“. Now I have started to add values between „-1000“ and „1000”. The incremental is still between „1“ and „9“. The conditions are the same as before, just the range is a bit increased.
06.05.2008 - Switch between large and lower case
In the meantime I have very much improved my writing. What still is very difficult to me is switching between large and lower case writing. If I write a text only in large or only in lower cases it is much improved. But as soon as I have to take care of writing lower and upper cases it always takes some time to switch between the modes.
08.05.2008 - Home trainer for a bicycle
At home we have a bicycle trainer. That is a lot of fun on and at the same time it trains brain and body. Training the brain is done by switch between different modes of the bike trainer. The bike trainer has an automatic mode where every fife seconds the mode of the display of the operation changes. So at first the training time is displayed like the following: 25:35, 25:36, this means twenty fife minutes and thirty fife seconds, then twenty fife minutes and thirty six seconds and so on. Then the driven distance is displayed such as 22:18, 22:19, this means twenty two minutes and eighteen seconds, then twenty two minutes and nineteen seconds and so on. Next are the driven calories displayed. And finally there is the heart rate shown. The good thing about this is that the formats of the results are different. The brain needs to switch between different modes. In a senses that is an optimal way. On the one hand my body gets trained and on the other hand my brain gets some exercise. Of course that is most simple, but I need to do two things at the same time.
09.05.2008 - Naming things aloud
I started some time ago to name all things aloud. So I hear myself talking aloud terms like dog, cat, staircase, church and furnace pipe. Over several days I try to move to different places so that I can cover many different words with that method. By now it became quite good as it concerns the nouns. Some days I also write the name in letters as an exercise. However I am still searching for a method for verbs and adjectives.
12.05.2008 - Recipes
I was and I am still on the search for practicing my brain. In that process I came to the following method: learn recipes my heart. The good thing about this exercise is that you can do it in different levels of difficulties. At the beginning I did learn recipes that where only mode of a few words. By now things are getting more complicated. It requires much more capacity to store that all in the brain.
14.05.2008 - And again some Math
As you notice, I am continuously searching for new exercises. Sometimes it doesn’t go with out new investment. Some of the exercise programs are very good and within some years got grown up. But if possible I try to pass around investment. I try to take situations from every day live and try do develop them further. That can be language exercises or exercises from math or many other things. On the one hand that does promote creativity and at the same time I also learn to make things completely. I have to think about how thing fit in and how everything fits together. So developing exercises it self is a good exercise.
16.05.2008 - Games
Some games you need do play together, but some other games you can also play alone. The advantage of games that you play together, is the communication you need in order to play. You are talking and you are having fun. But that also has to be learned. I still have difficulties when several people play a game and are talking all together. Then in a couple of minutes I get tired. About that more in the next chapter. I am doing many games on my own, so e.g. Memory of question and answer games. During that games a question is asked and you have to answer it. So e.g. “What serves in detergents as a foam absorber?”. Then you have to answer the question. The answer here is: soap. The advantage of playing that game alone is that you then have all the time of the world to answer the question.
20.05.2008 - Current status
How is he current status of things? In the last weeks or month many things have happened. I am very grateful for the fact that I am able to learn so many things. In all fields – math, writing and reading much things have happened. I am still being far away from normal, but I have made very good progress. As I said in math, writing and reading much things have happened. Two modules which I still have difficulties with are the parallel thinking and my limited capacity for saving data in the memory. I still haven’t found a way to fully restore that limitation. Of course it has improved a bit, but I am still waiting for some bigger steps. But again I have to say that I am very, very, very happy about everyday which I am allowed to experience.
01.06.2008 - Small problems with numbering
At some places I still have problems with numbering. As long as I am counting in my thought, everything is ok. Of course it is still very exerting, but overall everything is ok. But as soon I am counting the numbers aloud I run into trouble with some numbers. That is especially the case with the numbers “3”, “4” and “9”. In my mind I have the correct number e.g. the “4”. However if I say the number aloud I get in this case the “5”. In my brain everything goes ok with the number “4”, but as soon as I am numbering aloud I have this error. Strange thing here. At the moment I am trying to move my speech module to the right place. I have to look how long it takes!
03.06.2008 - I think I have it …
I think I understand what happened to me with the clearly pronounced numbers. As long as I am only thinking it is not a problem, but as soon as I have to pronounce numbers aloud then I am running into trouble. As I am saying this could be, it does not necessarily have to be the reason. I only did really practice numbers at the beginning. But really only at the beginning I did learn, write and understand numbers. Then after a while I only was speaking number aloud, but no longer writing. Ok, lets see what happens if I also do the writing again. Was it the reason?
05.06.2008 - Combinations of characters
Enumerating “ABC” becomes better and better. I have started to enumerate the “ABC” in different sequences. What do I mean with that? I do the “ABC“ in different sequences.
„abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz“, I start with “abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz“, that is the standard variant.
and many further variants. Omitting the characters is not coincidental, but made to a certain pattern. Sometimes I take only the third character (“ace…”), sometimes I take the fifth character (“a,e,i…”), and so on. Sometimes I do not start with “a” but e.g. use “b”. Sometimes I start in reverse sequence, sometimes I start with small or large characters or sometimes I use mixed characters. Thereby I have learned to write different sequences. Especially at the beginning it was very hard to me to write different sequences. Already doing a reverse sequence like “zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcba” was difficult. In the meantime everything improved very much.
07.06.2008 - Numbers, Numbers and Numbers
I already have mentioned counting several times. No question, it becomes better and better. Also the number ranges are in the meantime very far expanded. But it is still far away from being automated. I still must search until I found the correct number. I notice that it can be done much, much faster, but it still costs me a certain effort. I am sure that this will take some more time. But it is important that it becomes better from day to day.
09.06.2008 - Writing text
It is amazing of how much a text chances when the line space is changed. At the moment I have problems when I read and write text if I choose as font “times roman” and have a regular line spacing (line spacing 1). This is very prominent when I am reading. Especially if I am not concentrated when reading I have problems where I am right now in a line. If the line spacing is set to “2” everything goes quite well (this is twice the size of normal). Those are often only little things, but then reading goes without problems. At the moment I started to reduce to.
11.06.2008 - Complete words
If I write some text, I sometimes notice after a while that I read something completely different from what I actually should have read. Surprisingly this is especially the case with relative short words. If I read the text, I read the first syllable exactly, but then I try to complete the word with only a few characters very fast. At this point I only complete a few characters. It occurs then however more frequently that I did not correctly finalize the word. The selected characters are correct, but I finalized the word with the wrong characters. But here as well I recognize that everything is improving over time. Important is for me that I keep concentrated, learn different words to complete my language and try to avoid simple errors.
13.06.2008 - Several addends
The more addends I have in a calculation, the more the calculation gets difficult for me. Thus 15+32 still is relatively simple, 62+24+62 is already more difficult. If calculations are always made with the same operational sign, it is still ok for me. However, as soon as “point comes before line”, the hole thing is getting very confusing to me.
15.06.2008 - Status for reading and writing
In the last few months I have achieved very much in reading and writing. Especially the “memory area” which I can use has increased a bit. It is still far away from being normal, but did improve. Here, especially as what concerns writing, things have very much improved. While a few month ago I was busy a hole morning, to get a chapter of this section, I can now do it in 10 to 15 minutes. Also my vocabulary became larger in the meantime. While it was at the beginning almost an agony for me to write something, it is now a joy.
16.06.2008 - Small break
Now it is time to lock this book. I will write now and then a status report. I would like to thank you for your interest in reading this. I have enjoyed writing this book for you. Cordial thanks for your interest!!!
09.10.2008 - What happened?
Very much has happened in the last couple of month. Some parts of my brain seem to integrate itself again. My brain functions somewhat more smoothly.
What did happen?
I read very much in the last couple of months. My vocabulary extended in this time very much. It was important to me that I had read on different books each day. I also read completely different topics. It is still completely funny, as soon as I begin with a new book, I still have very large difficulties during reading (if it is around a new topic). In the last days I have also started to read in English again. That was very hard at the beginning, but then the "knot burst" at some time.
Also during writing happened very much. I am still the the moment copy texts. Sometimes from a book, sometimes of the screen. There I opened two windows in Word. One of the main differences is that in the meantime I very fast find the place at which I am. That was for long one of the major difficulties.
Mathematics continued to develop also, more about this next time. There are many stings still under construction.
I had perhaps already once mentioned it. My REM sleep has again dreams. At the beginning of my illness I had no conscious dreams over all for two years.
In my brain new resources seem to have opened itself. Thinking goes in the meantime more fluent. It is still far from in former times, but in the process of thinking very much happened. More to this in one of the next times.
In my brain new resources seem to have opened itself. Thinking goes in the meantime more fluent. It is still far from in former times, but in the process of thinking very much happened. More to this in one of the next times.
Very much has happed in the last couple of month. That tunes me still more positively!
11.10.2008 - Autumn 2008
Isn't that beautiful?
I have a digital mirror reflex camera. The operation of this camera clearly shows what is still going "wrong" in my brain. Before I became sick I did photograph relatively much with the camera. Partly for myself, an partly as part of my job. It is amazing how long it took me to get the basic functions operating correct again. It is really not many shortcut keys you need for operating the camera. But even with the basic functions I had severe difficulties to get them working again. It lasted very long until I found a key. If then I found it finally, I would expect that the next time it would go problem-free. But that's not the case. The next time I must search again until I find the key. We are now talking about simplest functions such as switching on or off. If it concerns then somewhat more complex functions, it takes minutes for me to find the keys. Of course it is clear that when you search new key combinations. But normally you should get control over new key combinations after a couple of times. But that is not the case with me. For me it takes a couple of weeks until I have a new function save in operation. But finally I get the whole thing working smoothly. With lots of patience and spit. And upon this I am very proud! If I finally successfully finished such a thing, I will not get the smile of my face (-:.
15.10.2008 - Numbers
I still have difficulties with numbers. One-digit numbers go problem-free, but with two and/or three-figure numbers I still have problems. In the meantime as long as I do not speak (verbally) it is almost problem-free. This was not so at the beginning. There I had serious trouble. By now I only have trouble if I speak the numbers verbally. I already partly described the whole thing some time before. I have made several attempts to improve when speaking. As I have said I still have difficulties speaking three-figure numbers in German. If I speak in my mind I have no troubles, but as soon as I speak verbally trouble begins. I try to explain it by means of an example. I will take the number “123” as an example. In German “123” is expressed as „one-hundred-and-three-twenty“. This is in linguistic terms, whereas it is in nominal terms “123”. To get the linguistic expression you need to turn around the numbers. First you have “one-hundred”, then there is what I call a placeholder, then there is the number “3” and I finally have to replace the placeholder with the number “2”. Thus expressed „one hundred “ -- three -- and twenty. This is all correct math-wise, but I have a lot of problems with getting the right number into the right position. I have for a long time experimented with different variants to find a solution. Now it seems like I found a solution for my self. This does not mean that everyone makes it the same way it just means that I found a solution. The one-hundred is still at the beginning, however then I no longer separate the numbers in my brain, but instead I use the number “23” to speak that word. I terms of the characters there is no change. But in the way you add the numbers and pronounce the words. With the small mental conversion now also the whole fits again mentally. I do not have any longer a break between my number world and my linguistic world. I still have not completed the conversion for my self. I still have some difficulties when speaking, but the whole seems to go more fluidly my mind. As we say I will remain at the ball and state whether I had success!
21.10.2008 - Read and write
In the last nine month very much happened. In the beginning of 2008 it took half a day until I finished writing a report. What I call a report has approximately 10-15 lines of text. Very much has happened there. At the moment I am still far away from writing in typewriter speed, but now I write such a report in ¼ or up to ½ hour. That is a great pleasure (-:.
By now - retroactively – it was worth to invest such a lot of time in writing. I never thought that it would require such long to learn the basics of reading and writing again. Basically I have learned again what children have to achieve.
I also read very much. I do that of course to learn reading and on the other hand to also understand what I read. Until a few weeks ago I could make both not simultaneously. Now I am a step further. I at least understand the basics when I read something. I mean here simultaneously reading and understanding. That is really great fun to simultaneously read and understand.
I would like to report of an exercise which I do frequently to improve reading. I say a sentence either in my mind of verbally aloud. Then I say the sentence in single characters. I mean the same sentence. That helps me to automate the process of characterizing again. Finally I repeat the whole sentence again. This exercise is very good. I work with characters in different modes: first the full sentence, then the sentence in characters and finally the full sentence again. At the some time the whole thing helped me to improve my memory. I need to memorize the sentence three times to get it into my brain. At the beginning I only had brief sentences but by now everything improved very much. It is at the same time a task and a pleasure.
23.10.2008 - What do I read?
I have already written that I read very much at the moment. I also said that this always follows the same pattern. If I begin to read a book the speed is always very slow, most of the time hawing. As time goes by it is normally getting more fluent. If I read several books of an author, then it becomes continuously better. Reading generally becomes better and better.
What do I read at the moment?
Knowledge and education (German): General book concerning history, natural sciences, technology, religion, philosophy, literature, art and music
Memory training with success (German): 30 - Day program for a good memory
Dante Alighieri: The divine comedy (old German): Poetry
David Scherfgen: 3D-Game Design (German): A manual to programming 3D-Games
Donald D. Hoffman: How How we create what we see (English): Visual illusions and processing
Joaquin M. Fuster: The Prefrontal Cortex (English): Newest book over processing in prefrontal cortex
Wolf Schneider: Words make people (German): Magic and power of the language
In the last couple of month I read very much about language as well about building concepts. I’ll do that to better understand what happens in my brain. I studied biology, more exactly biological cybernetics therefore I have some previous knowledge about this. This is very helpful. I understand a least the basics of what I read. That is a great success for me since up to now I couldn’t understand what I was reading. Still I understand only a small percentage of what I read, but it is a very important development!
28.10.2008 - Comprehension
If you think about writing and reading you recognize from how many components these procedures are build up. The accent, the letters, syllables and words, the rules that are behind all this as well as the understanding of the meaning. For me the individual language parts were all affected for producing the language. Some were more strongly affected some less. How much individual parts were really affected I cannot really say. Improving each step takes very long and very much effort. Nothing is improved in a day. It all takes very much effort. If I have a “bad day”, I still have difficulties when having to say characters. Together all of those parts which affect language are really huge. Now in my illness I recognize of how many components a language is build up. When I will think about language processing when I have finally finished it, it will look easy again. But at the moment still many things have to be done to get things finished.
01.11.2008 - Proud
... I did most probably mention it already, but I will do it another time. I am very, very proud of what I did achieve in the last 3 1/4 years!!!
03.11.2008 - Do I want to be someone else?
Sometimes people ask me whether I quarrel with my fate? I have a clear answer: I do not quarrel with my fate. I would not like to be anyone else. I would always like to be "Hartwig". I am happy "over my being". I would never like to be someone else. I am very grateful for the fact that I am still alive an so well. I am pleased about each day, where I am so well!
07.11.2008 - Range of numbers
I am working very much with numbers. This concerns reading and reading. During the reading I make a distinction between reading loud and in my mind. I had already recently described that I still have difficulties with reading and writing numbers (in the German language).
I make different exercises in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. As I said, it concerns all computing procedures. Depending upon computing method the enclosed number range is somewhat different.
In the following some examples:
I count in sequence, thus 1,2,3,4,5,6… or downward, thus 1000,999,998,997…
I count in certain step sizes, thus e.g. 7, 14, 21. Or in reverse order 1001,994,987… In the meantime I come on intervals up to 100. Moreover I do not necessarily begin always with the same number. First I start with 0,5,10,15… another time 2,7,12,17…
Multiplication and division: 1*7, 2*7, 3*7… 5:5, 10:5, 15:5… In another variant I add another value. I thus e.g. make 5+1*3, 5+2*3,5+3*3. The same accounts for the division.
Free computation I make with Cogpack
The goal of the whole action is it become again familiar with the range of numbers. And this is actually becoming better from day to day.
08.11.2008 - The watch
Life with a watch and my difficulties thereby!
When I became ill, I could also no longer read the watch. I still was able to read the clock, but I could not communicate that any longer. The process was still there, but I couldn’t communicate it. If I was asked: How late is it? Then I could not give an answer. At the beginning of my sickness I did a lot of exercises in that field. Once you can read you just forget how difficult it was to learn that.
At the beginning it was very difficult to make again the correct allocation. What is e.g. 9 o'clock and where does the pointer have to stand then? Or with a digital clock what is 11:15 and how do I get this communicated.
Moreover the watch is in the “12-hour mode”. I had to learn counting at the same time, and the numbers go in a “10 hour mode”. That always confused me a bit. By now I have no more difficulties to designate the full hours. But I still have – after three years - my difficulties if it concerns times such as 8:15 clock or times such as 8:45. The half hour is in the meantime also OK.
Since I do not use a watch in my life I lack a bit of exercise. I do not use a watch, since there are everywhere clocks. At the computer and in the house and also everywhere where I go there are clocks. But it still might be a good idea to have a watch for the reason of practicing. Then I could practice all day long (-:.
13.11.2008 - Change money
If I went for buying at the beginning of my sickness then I always paid with 50 Euros. Even if it were only e.g. 3.15 which I had to pay. I did this to make sure that nobody recognized that I had difficulties with numbers. I also could not pay with EC or credit card since I could not write at the beginning. Now after three years it is finally getting to the point that I pay exactly the amount which I have to pay (if it is possible). But as soon as I get to a queue where there are many people behind me I still prefer to pay with 10, 20 or 50 in cash. Again Cogpack helped me here a lot. It provides some tasks to change money.
14.11.2008 - Switch!
I recognize the following: It takes me a relatively long time to switch between reading a sentence and reading numbers and vice versa. This statement is only valid if I do not write just have the thoughts in my mind. As long I do only read a text or I only count numbers I don’t have a problem. But if I try do switch between the two modes rapidly then I am in trouble. The following example should illustrate this: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine. That makes so far no difficulties. Also the other way round 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 also hardly makes any difficulties. But if I make the following then I have difficulties: one, 2, three, 4, five, 6, seven, 8. If I got accustomed to this after several times then the conversion almost goes trouble free. However if I do the same game again on the next day, the trouble starts again. I am quite curious how long it will take until things will go trouble-free.
19.11.2008 - Handcraft
How does it look like with my handcraft abilities? I mean here such things like screwdrivers, drills and wrenches. Before I became ill I was relatively talented. Here it accounts as well: When I got ill almost nothing did work any more. At the beginning I even had problems with a screw driver. It took some time to get this working again. But as a conclusion I basically had to learn all things a new. In earlier days I was helping very often on the farm of my parents. But after my sickness I had to lean almost all things a new. From one moment to the next everything was away. By now many things have improved again. By now I can already manage to do more complex things again. But I still have difficulties when things are more complex and have many options as well. Then it is difficult for me to get the right thing in place. There I have difficulties to make the right choice from the many options I have. In that case I am always happy if I find one solution that works. Still I have deficit when trying to get more options to work. But here as well accounts: everything is improving every day. Of course not as fast as I want it to have (-:.
20.11.2008 - Characters & Numbers
I have already reported several times about numbers and characters. I have as well reported once or twice about license plates and the difficulty to switch between characters and numbers. If I have e.g. the following license plate: “NEA-AZ-123 “. „NEA “is the district, “AZ“ is any combination of characters, and “123“ is a number. I have been playing the license plate game very intensive when I became sick in Berlin three and a quarter years ago. “NEA” is the semantic identification. I can assign the license number almost without a problem. So e.g. “NEA“ is our district or “B“ is Berlin or “M“ is Munich. “AZ“ is a combination of characters. You cannot assign anything. You just can read it.“123“ makes some problems with reading it. But this is as well becoming better.
It is important here that everything is becoming better on the whole, that it sounds more logical to you. On the other hand it is nevertheless amazing for me how long it took me to learn to read license numbers smoothly again. Is it because of me that I need so long to get this done or does it show how complicated is reading numbers and characters?
27.11.2008 - Problems with the number "6"
Whenever I must write the number “6“, then I am running into problems. If I imagine the number “6” then it happens mirror inversion, thus in such a way “”. I have in the meantime almost no more problems with the numbers from “0” to “5” and from “7” to “9“. But with the number “6” I am always running into problems. The whole is independent of the position. Whenever I am running into a “6” I am running into problems. Some examples: “126” or “63“ or “9696“. I have a very hard time to get rid of the mirror inversion. Whenever I mentally think about a “6” it seems to happen. In the meantime I tried to mentally change the recognition of a “6”. My brain makes a “klick” whenever it comes to recognize a “6” in my consciousness in the aware mode. The whole thing is very tiring when I switch into that mode. At this point it seems like my brain goes into a different mode. As soon as I speak unconsciously the brain goes back into the inversion mode. Of course I tried to find out what happens, but I don’t have a chance to solve the question. To I change to another brain module? perhaps even the other brain half?
28.11.2008 - Duration of break
Whenever I make a short break when exercising then the probability rises fast that I forget what I was dealing about. An example: I count numbers in intervals, 10, 20, 30, 40 etc. If I do it without a break then it goes without any difficulties. However if I make short breaks (just a couple of seconds) then I forget relatively fast with what I am dealing. Thus I name “10“, then some seconds of break, then “20“ etc. If I then simultaneous add another second task e.g. such as 10, a, b, c, d, 20, e, f, g, h, 30, i, j, k, l etc then I get very fast in disorder. Before my illness such tasks where easy going. Today such tasks cause me greatest difficulties.
29.11.2008 - „Math genius“
I bought myself six months after the beginning of my illness “Cogpack”. At the beginning of my illness it took me about two to three day to finish the math tasks. Some tasks I couldn’t solve at all. After 3 ¼ years I am now at a point that it takes me about two to three hours to solve the tasks in math. I am very proud on this.
30.11.2008 - Oblivion
At the beginning of my illness largest parts of my central and long-term memory were disappeared. Parts of the short term memory recovered relatively fast again. Of course I still have problems with short term memory, but it is getting better each day. Parts of the medium-term memory recovered as well, however I still have many deficiencies within this range. The most difficult was the long term memory I couldn’t get access to it. Until three month ago I couldn’t access it (three years after the beginning of my sickness). And then all of a sudden it was back. From one day to the next I could access it again. It was just the right key was missing. Finally my past is back again. It is just a matter of patience and trying again and again to find the right key!
01.12.2008 - Disorder with numbers
MIt is again about numbers. I take “123” as an example. If I read that in German then I must say “onehundred-and-twentythree”. Thus “1”, “3” and finally the “2”. Or in other words “onehundred and twentythree”. But if I write the number “123” it is like this: “one”, then “two” and finally the “three”. Therefore “123 “. That at the beginning is rather confusing to get it work correctly at the beginning.
03.12.2008 - Disorder with numbers
It is again about numbers. I take “123” as an example. If I read that in German then I must say “onehundred-and-twentythree”. Thus “1”, “3” and finally the “2”. Or in other words “onehundred and twentythree”. But if I write the number “123” it is like this: “one”, then “two” and finally the “three”. Therefore “123 “. That at the beginning is rather confusing to get it work correctly at the beginning.
04.12.2008 - And again numbers
I recently had mentioned that I have some problems with the number “6”. That is still there. If I however write the number six then it goes without problems. Thus e.g. the number “63” is without any problems if I write it. But as soon as I do it only do this in my mind I have this trouble.
06.12.2008 - Did it twice!
Something that happens relatively frequently to me is that I learn things twice. I am learning something. That is in most cases connected with some difficulties. Some of the things I even know that I hat learned that earlier, but then my brain was dammed. Then I try to learn this again. Of course with the natural difficulties. And of course it takes to long (-:. Then I sometimes recognize that I learned things a new which I wouldn’t have needed. There were only some parts of my brain corrupt, but the rest was still in order. But I did not recognize that for a long time because the right keyword was missing. Most beautiful is then the moment where everything opens up again and is then like it was before.
07.12.2008 - Reading and writing errors
I have done some Math examples in Cogpack. An thereby I always wondered why I got different results. The reason for this was that I read frowzy and misinterpreted some important detail. Here is some example. What is the answer to the question what is “8 of 160 in %”. And the second task was what is “5% of 80”. In the first case the answer is “5” and in the second case the answer is “4”. But in the second case I always understood what is “5 of 80 in %”. As an answer I always provided “6”, which is wrong. And I always wondered why this answer is wrong. I have missed or misinterpreted some important details. The question was what is “5% of 80”. This does not only happen in Math. It happens everywhere where I do have to give answers to questions. Since I read blowzy I only get a standard template answer as a solution. In some cases this answer is correct (because of statistics), but in some cases the answer is wrong. This is only a matter of time until I learn that correctly. And it is improving everyday!
09.12.2008 - Making
I have a digital reflex camera. And I have some difficulties with the handling of the camera. The nice thing about this is that I have a lot of fun to shoot pictures. The bad news is that after one year I still have difficulties in handling the camera. And this is not only about handling the camera with difficult settings. No it is about simple things like turn on or off the camera. It takes a couple of seconds until I find the correct position. It seems like it is to complex to turn on and off the camera. And whenever I try to turn on or off the camera, I have the same difficulties again. My most beloved thing is a switch to activate the USB-communication to the computer. Whenever I have to connect this port, I again have to search for that port. And then I think that I will remember that port next time correctly. But already after a day I forgot it again. The switch is shown in the figure.
10.12.2008 - English
I have written the document about my sickness in English and German. Of course it went easier in German. But I was surprised how well it went in English. And I had tools like https://babelfish.yahoo.com which helped me a lot. This translation engine helped me a lot. And now I have managed to do it on my own. No tools, no help, instead it did the hole translation on my own. This was a great felling!
11.12.2008 - Memory of names
My memory of names has very much improved with the last couple of month. Especially if I have to remember names of people whom I knew before my sickness then I almost have no more problems. It is a bit more difficult if I have to remember names of people whom I got to know during my sickness. A lot has happened with my long term memory!
17.12.2008 - Toys
I recently encountered an interesting thing. Whenever I play with the toys of my daughter everything goes well as long as I only have one thing to deal with. If I however have two or more toys at the same time, then I have difficulties to make a difference between them. That especially happens when I have toys of different categories. Thus e.g. a material duck, a bear and a doll. Then I even have difficulties to name them correctly. Then it takes some time to sort things out correctly.
18.12.2008 - Image Processing
I always have difficulties whenever an activity is setup from multiple individual parts. I always can do only a certain amount of things at a time. This is as well true for steps in image processing. Whenever a process is setup from many individual steps, I first have to keep the general goal in mind, but also the individual steps. But this two things at the same time is already very difficult for me. A small example:
Just to keep everything in mind is already very difficult for me. If I now write it everything is ok and I can remember it. But normally if you only keep everything in mind it is giving me a hard time. I have to split everything into small individual steps, but also have to remember the final goal.
Now, three years after I became ill many things have improved especially in the last half year. That motivates and is the basis of new steps.
04.01.2009 - Making coffee
In the meantime many things have improved substantially. For many things the improvement process takes very long. Sometimes you don’t even recognize that. For some processes it takes years until you recognize an improvement. A nice example for this is making coffee with a coffee machine. At the beginning of my sickness it was already very difficult to remember the individual steps. Getting disturbed by something usually meant that I had to start again. Today this improved very much. I can now plan things that happen in advance. It is still very difficult since my memory is limited but I have improved very much over the last couple of years. It is amazing of how many things a process is integrated when this memory is lost. And it is also amazing of how long it take to get this working properly again.
06.01.2009 - The PC
In the last year I tried very much do get used again with working on my computer. I have to say that I spent very much time on computers before my sickness. That time I also used different operating systems. For the moment I have reduced it to windows. First I used Windows XP and a couple of weeks ago also Windows Vista. Getting Windows Vista to work was a very good exercise. I have to say that before my sickness I spent 10 or more hours per day on my computer. In the first half year of my sickness I didn’t use a computer at all. At that time I was very busy to get my live sorted again. Of course I had the restriction that my brain memory was very small. After a small period I started to use the computer again. At the beginning I mainly used Cogpack as a tool. The aim was not getting used to the computer again it was instead a tool to my therapy. My main memory is still very limited so I still have problems working with the computer. This makes it still very difficult to work with a computer. But I have finally reached a state where I at least can do a couple of things with my computer. A beginning is made and I have a lot of fun working with the computer.
07.01.2009 - Frontpage
Yesterday I have reported about my first experiences with my computer after my sickness. Today I would like to report my first experiences with the professional development software. After my disease I tried many times to start again with developing a software. But as far as it concerns C++ my development is not far enough to get this done. Instead I tried to start with HTML applications. Before my sickness I did a lot of HTML applications. I at least had some re-memberance for HTML, only a little but at least a good starting point. After some learning period I started with that web-pages about my sickness. The whole thing is still in HTML and not XML. But a beginning is made. Amongst other things my limited amount of my brain memory is a very critical factor. I can only understand small parts of the text at one time. At each moment I can only understand a small part of the text. Then I need to flush my memory to get an new part into my brain. But the important thing is that I recognize each day that everything is improving a little bit. Very slow improvements but continuously.
I also do a lot at the VRtainment web-sites. In most cases this are only small changes. The good thing for me is that I am required to make repetitive changes. By doing this the whole thing gets into my brain. An example is e.g. making a change of a background image. I have to do this change about 50 times. After a while I get used to making that change. At the beginning the process is still very difficult, but after a while it gets an automatism. It is a good exercise.
Each couple of weeks I then check weather I can program again in C++. So far I did not have any success. But I will manage that one day.
08.01.2009 - Programming
I mentioned a couple of days ago that I am still not able to program in C++. I believe that it has something to do with the structure of thinking as well with my problems with reading and writing. Reading and writing still makes complete use of my available resources. At the moment all my resources go into these processes and I don’t have any more resources left for programming. I think that it will take some more time until my reading and writing goes without any conscious effort. Only then I will also be able to program again. That’s at least my believe.
09.01.2009 - Learning from my daughter
In the meantime our daughter is four years old. For me it is amazing what and how fast a child learns. To some sense it is a small competition. Can I do it at the same speed? How do her learning strategies change? That is very useful that I can learn from her. I can learn from her what are useful strategies. I don’t need to do everything per trial and error. That helps me a lot.
10.01.2009 - Text and songs
If I together with my daughter read or sing songs I am some times my self amazed of how good singing songs is working. All of a sudden texts and songs appear in my brain that I would have never managed to formulate on my own. All of a sudden I can remember whole text parts of songs. Normally my memory so still so week that I forget a sentence if I reach the end when saying it. But as soon as I sing a song with my daughter it goes like an automatism and everything is there again.
11.01.2009 - Knowledge
Quite often I know that I know something but can’t remember what it was. Actually a large part of my daily routine consists of this. I know that I knew something but can’t determine exactly what it was. But only the fact that I am trying to remember something is very important. Then I try to move heaven and earth to get to a success full result. As I said already the fact that I remember something is very important. It is worse if you don’t even know that you forgot something. Then the whole knowledge is lost.
12.01.2009 - No pain
If I cut myself I almost have no more pain. That property of my perception is nothing special for me, but it is at least worth to mention it. I often recognize only minutes later that I have been bleeding. Then I check weather something more urgent happened to me. That is especially with manual work the case. For example I sometimes knock my finger very hard, but won’t recognize it.
13.01.2009 - Very much luck
It was a connection of several things when I became my aneurysm. At this time I was alone in my company. The days before that I had been working very long. On this day I had a professional meeting. I was going to the meeting on my bike. That was luck the first time. A few minutes earlier and I still would have been alone in the office. Then the whole thing happened in Berlin, thus the best emergency there. As I said, I had a huge, huge luck!
14.01.2009 - Cooking recipe
Presently I do occasionally read cooking prescriptions. I read the prescription several times and then try to repeat it from my mind. A small example:
Butter and sugars are creamy agitated. Then add the eggs. Gradually you give the flour mixed with baking powder under the mass and agitate everything well. From time to time again liquefy everything with some warm water, but caution, at the end you must develop a paste. Then you add salt, cinnamon and honey and you agitate everything well.
The waffle are baken in an iron.
At the end the waffles are covered with powered sugar and with cream and are then eaten.
Preparation time: approx. 30 min Degree of difficulty: normally
What do I expect to reach by this exercise? It is a good exercise to read. Moreover I must try to remember as much a possible. It is an exercise that makes sense, because the things all belong together. Thus it is harmonious. I normally have problems with exercises since I must invent something in order to practice. It is still very, very difficult for my too make such an exercise. But I also notice already after a few days that it is very helpful.
01.02.2009 - VRtainment Web-Site
I was very busy in the last couple of weeks. I did restructure the VRtainment web-site in order to get it translated to German. It took me quite long to get to a good structure for the web-site in two languages. It was also very good to work with a lot of files at the same time. First I began to work with simple things. Only one working process at a time, but the some process over many files. After a while I started to increase the complexity of the working processes required to do the changes. Every day it is improving a bit. Small steps, but overall the work process is getting more fluent. The development is small, but clearly visible.
06.02.2009 - Starting a tractor
I often have difficulties with activities which I made in former times in the “FF“. I still know that it must work, but I don’t know how it went. It concerns activities, which I could do before my illness from the “FF“, now however these parts of my brain was damaged. A good example is here, starting a tractor. I stand in front of the tractor and don’t know how to start it. Before my illness these knowledge was there. In the course of my illness these parts of my brain were destroyed. Only then you notice how difficult it is to learn thing again. The whole thing doesn’t solve itself in a couple of seconds, instead it take months or years to learn it again.
20.03.2009 - Web-Pages
The last couple of weeks were filled with work. I have change the web-pages, and also changes form an colour. The following web-pages were changed :
It is still very difficult to concentrate onto the different items. But it is every day getting a bit better. Only small improvements, but they are there.
21.03.2009 - Summary
The last couple of day I have written of a period of thime. Some of the web-pages im am doing very thime the same style. For otheres I see them form a different view. Of is course all too human, but I still find it very interesting. It is precisely in view of my very bad memory. On the other hand, it is still subject to very strong changes. Throug my forgetfulness it is even more obvious.
23.03.2009 - Schema Theorie
One thing where I have difficulties is the understanding of things. To get the correct view of things. At the beginning, knowledge is divided into a few broad categories. In our example it would be the clothes. Then we continue to the next step. There are the shoes. Here I can distinguish between different shoes. In this case, shoes for me, a certain size. Now it goes one step further, in our example to sports shoes. There, another distinguishing feature would be the type of shoes, in my case, the sports shoes. Now we would be able to distinguish the color. This scheme can be refined as desired. In some cases I have problems with the different Schemen. For example, if I'm looking for sports shoes, a certain kind of shoe. I'll just look for a certain type of shoe. When I look for these shoes, the only thing that comes to my mind is the picture of these shoes. I often don't even see other shoes visually. If I can find the shoes, then it is not an issue. But if not, then I am not easily able to switch to a higher level, so in this case sports shoes. Then I lack the ability to make the mental association. But a lot has happened here too, but I am currently noticing that I still have very big difficulties.
25.03.2009 - Writing at the PC
One year ago I started to write very intensively at the PC. I did a lot of courses on the PC. That all happened in the first half year of 2008. By the time I improved very much. Of course the speed was still very slow, but overall I thought that it was “ok”. At my best times I had a speed of 45 hits per minute.
26.03.2009 - Automated Processes
It seems like I lost a lot of automated processes in my brain. I am not sure whether these are really automated processes or just well learned processes. If I e.g. have to cook coffee it now becomes every time coupled with a lot of mental work. When I had to cook coffee before I became ill, it all went automated and I had enough time to do something else at the same time. Now after becoming ill, I really have to concentrate on something and I can only do one thing at the same time. I have to go through every single step and not trying to get disturbed from my rhythm. As soon as I get disturbed it is very hard to get back into my rhythm. In the last three and a half years everything was becoming much better (the time when I become ill), but it is still far away from becoming an automated processes. In general the planning and the execution of processes became much better.
28.03.2009 - Left or Right
I still have difficulties to make a difference between left and right. For some things everything goes very well. But as soon as I have to read something at the same time my system breaks down. Today e.g. I tried to put the loudspeakers on my PC together. It is a set of five loudspeakers. The “task” was to connect the five speakers correctly. There was one main loudspeaker and the others were attached. The main loudspeaker had names assigned for each loudspeaker, so Left Front, Left Rear, and so on. I can read correctly. Not the fastest and best reading, but overall I can read correctly. But as soon as I had to read on one spot and then assign the correct loudspeaker on the correct place, my system broke down and I ran into problems. I think it took about ten minutes until I had ever loudspeaker at the correct place. It is a crazy world. I can name everything correctly, but as soon as I have to put things together correctly everything breaks down. That step was lost in my brain.
29.03.2009 - Numbers and Characters
I already mentioned the following a while ago. I still have difficulties if I have to write something that consists of numbers and characters. If I have written characters for some time then I recognize that it is very difficult for me to switch to writing a number. The some accounts for the other way round. Sometimes it is like not being able to switch between numbers and characters. If I e.g. speak for a long time using characters and then I would like to say “4”, I can’t do it. There I can’t remember the correct word. Instead I use the word “four” to get this done.
30.03.2009 - And again numbers
I already thought that I did manage that. But that was a mistake. I still have difficulties with the speaking of German numbers. If I e.g. have to say „239“ then it is still very difficult to do this. If it is written then it is really “239”, but if I have to speak it in German then it is pronounced as follows: “2”, then you have to input a gap then there follows the number “9” and the number “3”. This already has taken very long to manage that. Now I do a little trick. At first I write the number “2” and then I write the number “39” as one word. Thus it is then “two hundred” and finally “ninety and three”. Important for me was the step to “39”. Important form me was the step to the „39“. I started with „two hundred“, then virtually to „ninety and“ and finally the step to “thirty”. At the beginning I used three numbers in the correct order: “2”, then “9” and finally the “3”. Then it took me very long until I did a change in the emphasis to “ninety three”. It is b bit difficult to explain this, since German is very much different from English. The numbers in German are sorted in a different way. If you have a three digit number it is written as e.g. “239”, but is spoken as “2” then “9” and finally “3”. And the difference between spoken and written language makes it so difficult. Once you have learned that, i.e. you have automated that in your brain, this step goes by itself, but till then it is very difficult to get it done!.
31.03.2009 - Negative numbers and decimal numbers
It is still very difficult for me to write or read a negative number. Most probably this has to do with the switch between numbers and the “-” sign. The same accounts for decimal numbers as e.g. “123.25”. There is a dot sign in the numbers. Additionally there are the “problems” with numbering in German. It reads like this: „1“ and then „3“, then „2“, then the dot, then the „5“ and then the “2”.
01.04.2009 - And more numbers
If I increase the counter by a value of “1“ that is working much better than decrease it. Thus if I count “100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105 …” that is much easier than “100, 99, 98, 97, 96 …”.
02.04.2009 - Work on different computers
I started again to work on different computers in „parallel“. The good and important thing for me is that I have to do different things on the computers. As I said, the important thing is that I have to switch between different contexts. Of course I could do both things on the same computer. But amazingly it takes very long for me to stitch between computers. It is just a couple of things which are different between the computers, but that is enough to get me into confusion.
08.04.2009 - And another step ...
I have managed another step. For the first time after my illness I drove on my own by train. During my illness I was always joined by my family. Now for the first time after my illness I went on my own by train, i.e. I went alone doing that journey. The journey was about 500 km distance. I have managed to do everything on my own. That is a really important step in my development!!!
09.04.2009 - Typing on the PC
Due to a change in our household I now write more on my computer again. It is amazing how rapidly things change in a short amount of time. Of course these are only lessons, but it is still amazing how things change in a short period of time.
10.04.2009 - Write with the PC
When I now have to write on my PC my lessons it is quite good. Of course only the exercises but not normal writing. As soon as I am also responsible for the content of the text, I am running into difficulties. I now can write a prewritten text, but as soon as I have to do both, I am running into difficulties. I can either write or read, but both at the same time, I can’t manage. I am working to improve this!
11.04.2009 - Reading
At the moment I am reading more again. I already had described a while ago that I still have difficulties when reading a book. When reading a book I have very many difficulties at the beginning. After a while when reading a book, I get used to the style and the words the author uses. And then it is getting better and better again. Overall it is a sign for the fact that the number of words that are available to me is still very limited. As soon as I “get used to a book” the reading becomes much better. At the moment I read a book about “The Wonder World of Oceans”. This book is very, very interesting, but at the some time it contains a lot of words that I don’t know. Therefore at the beginning it is really hard to read for me. But with the time everything is becoming better again. The reading is getting more fluid now again.
12.04.2009 - Weakness in reading and writing
At some days when I can concentrate myself very well, everything goes quite well with reading and writing. But at some times I also have a hard time. I am desperately looking for words. I know that they are already in my brain, but I can’t access them. The same accounts for parts of sentences. I know they are in my brain, but I can’t access them. At those moments I recognize how fragile the whole thing is still. But here also accounts: I am getting better every day!
15.04.2009 - The columns of the pharmacy
I found the following about the house pharmacy. It was less the thing about the house pharmacy, instead it was the difference between numbers and letters which is very important for me.
The typing was very arduous, but as well it was very helpful.
16.04.2009 - Reading while jogging
While I was jogging in Berlin, I also read at the same time license plates of cars. That is of course only possible if there is no traffic. I was surprised how good that all went. Of course I had with some cars problems with reading the license plates, but overall the reading of numbers and characters went very well. Another step back into my normal life. When I did this the last time, I was only able to walk, but not to jog.
17.04.2009 - Toys of kids
Some time ago I borrowed from my daughter some of her kids toys. I is a very simple thing, but it is very efficient for me. Please look at the images about the task:
On the one hand is the naming of those things very efficient and on the other hand it is very efficient to learn the forms. For some of you all off this might appear very simple to solve this task, but for me it is very important to learn these basic things again.
18.04.2009 - Control Panel
I is still very difficult for me to get information in one glance. We take as an example the control panel from windows
Until I find there what I was looking for a lot of time goes by. If I e.g. read “Display“ I read it, but I don’t understand what I read. Only after reading it several times I get to understand what I read. If I then let the time go by for some minutes, then my understanding and the knowledge of the word “Display” is lost again. It is like it wasn’t there. In the meantime that all got better a bit, but it is still far away from what I was used to before my sickness.
19.04.2009 - Colors
I am amazed by the fact that I still have trouble with defining colors. If I am concentrated I don’t have problems. But as soon as I get distracted I am running into trouble. We are at the moment talking about the basic colors black, white, red, green, blue and yellow. I am amazed a bit that such a simple task still makes such a lot of difficulties.
20.04.2009 - Silverware
A thing which is still very difficult to me is the correct naming of knife, fork and spoon. I can use it correctly, but I run into problems with the naming. I e.g. have a fork. I do use it correctly, but I am running into trouble with the naming. I see a fork, but when someone asks me what that is, I say this is an "spoon". That is really a bit strange. I have to make a difference between three words and after 3 1/2 years I am still not able to do so.
21.04.2009 - Concentration while using a knife
If I use the knife to cut something then I have to fully concentrate on that process. As soon as I do something on the site, the probability that I cut myself is rapidly increasing. If I e.g. think about something nearby it is getting dangerous for me (-:. In the meantime things became a bit better, but it is still far away from what I was used to before I became ill.
23.04.2009 - Soccer
Yesterday I was looking soccer (football) on TV. There I again recognized that I hat serious difficulties to put things of different meaning together. I don’t have a problem to make a difference between the teams. At the same time I don’t have problems to remember the name of players. But as soon as I need to draw the conclusion that is team “A” and that is placer “XYZ”, then I am running into problems. I can’t put the things together in my brain.
26.04.2009 - Soccer
It is about numbers ort he other way round, it is still about numbers. I thought about half a year ago that I had managed that. That is however still not the case. It is still a topic for me. It continues to improve slightly, but it is still for away from getting automatic. If I have to name a three digit number e.g. “237” then it goes the following way. The number “2” almost goes without problems. Then there comes the trouble with German. After the “2“, follows the “7“ and then finally the “3“. Thus it goes “2“, “7“, and the „3“. As I said the “2“ doesn’t cause any major problems. But I very often exchange “7” and “3”. So basically I get the “273”. Now I think I found a solution for the problem for myself. I speak the second and third number as one number “37”. So I don’t have three individual numbers, instead I have numbers that form a kind of syllable. As a change I now have to learn 100 numbers to get this done, e.g. from “00” to “99”. That somehow seems to work for myself. I don’t know how other people do it.
28.04.2009 - Next continuation ...
If I now try to make something in parallel with counting numbers, then I run into trouble. Counting with numbers is so exhausting to me that I cannot do anything else at the same time. But it is getting each day a bit better. Of course the development is going much slower than I thought, but it is continuously.
30.04.2009 - Birthday ...
Some days ago I had birthday. I was very happy and grateful about the many presents I received! … at that day the following happened to me: My mother said to me: Please open the birthday card. I fully understood the term, but I couldn’t remember what a birthday card is. I was trying to understand the term, but I couldn’t get the meaning. I had to ask my mother what a birthday card is. Then this connection was established again. Let’s see whether I remember it the next time (-:?
02.05.2009 - Learning numbers from “00“ to “99“
In the last couple of days I started to learn numbers from “00” to “99” by heart. This will take a couple of days, but it should allow me to learn the numbers for automatic usage. Through that I would like to accomplish that my automatic understanding of numbers goes up to “999”. I hat already described that I had many difficulties with numbers. Let’s see whether this is going to work ….
03.05.2009 - “Reset Button”
Many things have improved in the last couple of weeks. Under certain circumstances I can do things in parallel. Of course this is all very limited, but alone the fact that it is possible makes me very happy. After some minutes I recognize that my working memory is completely crowded. Then I in a sense I have to press the reset button and I can’t to anything for half a minute. After that I can begin again. That is a great success!
05.05.2009 - Icons and their analysis
It still requires a lot of effort to remember Icons and their position for me. An example: I am looking for an Icon. After some search I find it. Then I do something else in the software. After one minute I need the Icon again. If I did this before my sickness I found the Icon in a glimpse of a minute. Now I have to search again. In some sense it is like I lost my positional memory. I have to start the search process again. And again. It takes weeks until I quickly can find the Icon in the software. But until then always the some game again and again. I have to look for the Icon, and look and look and can’t remember where it was. I still haven’t found a strategy how to improve this, make this faster. I am still searching for a new strategy to improve this.
06.05.2009 - Small child’s play
I did a game together with my daughter. The task is to recognize things from the sound the make. The things are hidden in a box from the view. I didn’t think that it would be so difficult to recognize things by the sound they make. After some days things improve slightly. But still it was very interesting to me to learn how important sound is to manage the task. Once you have managed a set of boxes you can create new boxes with new sounds.
07.05.2009 - And another game ...
And another game ...
I took soft toys of my daughter. It is no problem for me to recognize then all by sight. But as soon as I have to give names to the puppet I am running into problems. I mean names like this: this is a frog, this is a seal …. In a sense it is already on my tongue, but I don’t have access to it. I know that I have named it earlier, but as I say I don’t have access to it. This in not a topic if you forget one or two words. But for me that is an enormous amount of words is missing or I don’t have access to it. For some of the words I can’t get access to them, but for many word I can finally get access to them. Of course after some seconds of minutes of thinking.
09.05.2009 - Numbering with "."
This time numbering with another variant. Numbering with a decimal number. If I count while I am in my thought or when I read then I run into trouble. To be able to illustrate this the following example: I count 3.54, 3.55 and so on. In German I then run into trouble. Let's take the number 3.54. We have to begin with the "3", then we have the "." and now the difficult part. Now in speech or when thinking there comes the "4" and then the "5". If we put that together we have "45". I have already written about the difficulties when reading numbers. Putting now a "." into the line is just going a step further.
If I now have the money at the table and have to handle the numbers, then it is going quite ok. At the beginning of my sickness I always ran into serious trouble. To avoid this I was always paying with a 50 Euro note. So I avoided to get blamed. Now in the meantime everything is going quite ok. On the one site I recognize how long it takes to learn something an again, but on the other site I also see the progress I make.
10.05.2009 - Comparing characters and sentences
In Cogpack I have been comparing sentences and characters. This is done the following way: The two sentences are presented side by side. They can be the same or they can be different. In this example the two sentences are different.
Overall the comparison, its speed and reliability improve. In some of the cases the comparison is for me very difficult. I can’t see it on a glimpse. It take relatively long to compare this:
11.05.2009 - Jogging, Counting Numbers and Thinking
In the meantime jogging is performed automatically. At the beginning of my sickness even this was coupled with a certain effort. The coordination of the steps and the adaptation to the environment by now almost goes automatically. I also mentioned several times that I am jogging almost every morning and there I am counting my numbers of steps. For me this means a lot of effort. I mean to do two things at the same time. But also by now I can recognize a lot of improvements in the parallel processing of things. Now it became much simpler than at the beginning. By now I “need much less effort” to do this at the same time. Of course it is still far away for being automated, but as I said it takes now much less effort doing two things at the same time. Now I am beginning to add a third process to the line. At the moment it seems almost impossible to do this, but I am sure that as time goes by this will improve (at least I hope).
12.05.2009 - Erasing text
If I write with my PC I recognized the following thing. If I mistyped or I put a character in the wrong place then I is difficult for me to get this error and to correct it. In most cases I prefer to delete the word and then to write it a new.
13.05.2009 - Automated processes
It is another thing which has improved in the last couple of month. If I work on my web-site and I have to do the same change on every page, it is going much faster than before. Before I had to learn the steps every time a new, because I couldn’t remember what I did before. My short term memory was very limited. I did “step1, step 2, step 4”, but as soon as I was trying to repeat it, I couldn’t do it. This process has now very much improved. I have to learn the new process for some time, but then it goes over into an automated process. Of course the number of steps I can perform is still very limited, but it is a really great success!
17.05.2009 - Build a Frame
About two years ago I build a frame. It took several hours and without help I wouldn’t have managed it. Of course with the blueprints you often get, I even hat difficulties before my sickness. But before my sickness, I just changed strategies and I quickly managed it. After the beginning of my sickness it took me hours to get a new plan. It took me such long to handle this, since I had do order thing a new. Now four years after the beginning of my sickness have very much improved. But still, if I have to make new steps, I still recognize how difficult it is for me to invent new steps. But as I said, thing very much improved over the time. Still I lack the easiness to solve new things. Before my sickness, I just played around a bit and solved things quickly and in an easy manner. That is still lacking. But I am sure that this will also improve.
19.05.2009 - Shoes
I always have reported if something doesn’t work or function properly. Then one day I have consciously recognized how difficult it is for my daughter to put on her shoes. There I recognized how many things we always take for granted. I never had any difficulties putting on shoes. I always took that for granted. But now after recognizing how difficult that process is for my daughter, I recognized of how many sub-processes such a process is made. And all that was not damaged in my case.
21.05.2009 - And another great event …
And another great event has happened to me. I can now again access parts of my memory that I thought that they were lost for ever. Within a couple of days things now became accessible that I thought that they were lost for ever. I often tried to access that knowledge but until now I did not find any mean to find a way to access that knowledge. What did happen? I had do delete files from my FTP-account. I gave the name “vrtainment-||||” to this files. Creating and working with the files was no problem. But after a couple of days I had decided to delete the files on my FTP server. But that I couldn’t. The FTP server always said that it can’t find the files. Normally that would have been the end of my knowledge. But all of a sudden the command “del” came into my mind. I didn’t have success with that. Then there is the next “sudden”. I found the command “rm”. At the beginning this didn’t work, because I had to delete a set of directories. Then the next “sudden” event. It came into my mind that I have to use a flag that allows me to remove all directories. The flag is “rm –r vrtainment-||||“. And it was working!!! Before my sickness that was every day business for me. But after my sickness I couldn’t find a way to access that part of my brain. I tried almost every day to get there. But there was no way. Nothing that I tried did work. I thought that this part of my knowledge was lost forever. But now finally parts of them are there again!!! Of course these are only parts of my knowledge, but it is there again. It took me four years to get there again. It seems like I had to learn reading and writing again before I could access that part of my brain.
22.05.2009 - Condition at the moment
The last half year many things improved very much. It is still far away from what I was able to do before I got sick. But now I am almost sure that I will manage that all. As I say, there was a time when I had my doubts that I manage all that. Of course, the most important thing is that I am relatively healthy (as far as I can say). But as well I have always been competitive with my current situation. I wanted to get to a point at which I am happy with the working of my brain. Of course, it wouldn’t have been a tragic if I wouldn’t have managed that. I am sure that I would have found another solution to manage my life in a different way. There are still many things to do. But now I am confident that I will manage many of those things. I was good to be patient and always try to work on improvements and never give up. As I said before, the most import things is / was that I got my live as a present for my self.
23.05.2009 - Colors
I still have difficulties to name colors. Of course humans give different names to colors. But at least for the basic colors this is normally consistent. I mean here “red”, “green”, “blue” and “yellow”. In terms of physiology I correctly see the colors. But naming the colors correctly is still a problem. Especially when I do something else on the side or if I am not concentrated very many errors happen to me. As soon as I fully concentrate on the task this improves very much.
26.05.2009 - Seven days
I still have difficulties with the days of a week. So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I can speak it without any problem, but I still have difficulties with assigning the correct day. So e.g. I know that something happened on Friday, but I assign Wednesday. The current status is that if I am concentrated, everything goes almost well. But as soon as I am not concentrated or I do something else at the same time I run into those difficulties. It is like I lost the semantic meaning of a day. It is really strange. A week has only seven days, but that is enough to run me into trouble.
29.05.2009 - Games with math
Currently I am doing a lot of games with math in my brain. For instance I take a number “23” and then I have to consider with number I have to take to reach “100”. In this case the solution is “77”. The whole thing is very good for me, since apart from math also my memory is improved, since I am doing everything in my head. You can take every number that you want the task is just to do the addition. So e.g. I take the number “137“ and then I have to add something to get to “339“. The result in that case is “202”. That is a lot of fun and it also means a good exercise for my brain.
30.05.2009 - Shopping in the supermarket
At the beginning of my sickness I barely went shopping. I would have got stuck by the many things you have to do in a supermarket. Especially my memory was very, very weak. But by the time it all became much better. At the beginning I always went to the same supermarket. By the time more and more things went into my brain. I barely took a list with me of what I should shop. I tried to keep everything in the brain. Usually I take a basic set of things every time, i.e. I always shop the same. But at the same time I get a couple of things a new. So I always have a mix, i.e. things which I always shop the same and things which are a new. After some time I also began shopping in different supermarkets. After some time I recognized that this is a good training for my brain. It is kind of exhausting, but very helpful. And every time I go things are getting better a bit. Sometimes I go shopping by bicycle, sometimes alone, sometimes with other people and sometimes now with my daughter. This is very exhausting for me on the one hand, but on the other hand me helps me to make many things at the same time. And very day I get a bit further with my progress …
31.05.2009 - Writing
I have bought my daughter a blackboard for writing and painting. This is for drawing and painting with chalk and on the other side for drawing with magnetic characters. Of course this is not only for my daughter, but as well for me. Writing on a blackboard is something completely different from writing on a PC. When drawing with the magnetic characters I made the following observation. When I am not allowed to see the characters, only to feel them, it is very difficult for me.
02.06.2009 -Thoughts and Speech
It is still very difficult for me to make my world of thoughts coincide with my world of what I do. The Following example might help:
If I read the following lines, then I recognize very often that my world of thoughts and my doing are two different things. In my thoughts I count “105.htm“, but my doing is saying “106.htm“. Who wins, is a mixture of 50 % 50. It depends a bit on what I concentrate. But the fact is that the two things don’t fit together.
07.06.2009 - Headword
If I read a text and I note some headwords on the side, then already after a couple of minutes I and not able to recover the text form that few keywords. I see the keywords, but I can’t remember what I was trying to express. That happens to everyone, but for most people it is the case that they can recover the text for a few keywords. But for me that is impossible. Once I have lost the text in my mind, I am not able to recover that from the keywords. Only if I learn by hart for a couple of minutes (repeating several times), then I finally have a chance.
08.06.2009 - Writing with chalk
With some time I will again try again with chalk. That fits quite well since my daughter also starts with doing characters and numbers. During my sickness I always did writing with the computer. But I think it will be quite helpful to do it with chalk for a period. Writing with the PC is very nice, but I think that the motor aspects of my writing need some more practice. I hope that my understanding of language gets improved by that. Of course it is more exhausting than writing with my PC, but as I say it might improve my language understanding. You not only press a key but I have to deal with the whole character.
09.06.2009 - Trouser
When I dress a trouser it very often happens that I put it on in the wrong direction, so the back is on the front side. This is not only the case for short trousers, but there I get it very often. I seems like I have a general tendency to change the sites. The some accounts also for shorts and t-shirts.
10.06.2009 - Math in my head
I already have mentioned several times that I count up- and downward on my mind. The same also accounts also for simple math. In the meantime that already is quite good. But two things got my attention in the last couple of weeks. One thing is that if I change the type of calculation, say I start with adding numbers and then I do some division then I am running into difficulties. So for instance I start with 13 + 17 = ? and then I go for a division like 36 / 4, then it take very long for my brain to switch to division. If I then do for a time only division it goes very well. The second thing which I recognized is the following: If I do arithmetic operation like 30 + 9 that goes quite well. But as soon as I have to exchange numbers to 9 + 30 I am running into trouble until I get the result.
27.06.2009 - Baltic Sea
We were for some days at the Baltic Sea. For the first time since I became sick I was able to live without trouble in such a mass of people. Normally I am within a couple of minutes I am completely overwhelmed. Normally if I see many people and if I am at a new place my information processing gets into a bottleneck. By the lots of information my information processing is completely overwhelmed. This became better now. I now can move under a crowed of people. Of course there are still many bottlenecks in information processing, but at least it is now possible again!
01.07.2009 - New Web-Design
New Web-Design of this pages.
28.08.2009 - News
30.08.2009 - Numbers, Numbers and more Numbers
A couple of month ago I thought that I am done with numbers. But there I was wrong. Easy numbers in the range from zero to nine is no problem. But as soon as I need numbers larger than this I am running into troubles. Especially with numbers with more than two digits. I guess it had to do with the lack of memory of my brain. Due to the lack of memory I was always forced to enumerate the numbers digit by digit. It make it clearer here is the following example: we have the digit 123. So far I had do name digit by digit. So we have "1" then "3" and then "2". Please remember that the order of numbers is different in German. Now I am able to pronounce the numbers in a different way. I now take the one and then "twenty-three". In German it is pronounced "eins" and then "drei-und-zwanzig". But that also means that I need to have "99" numbers in my memory. This was so far not possible, but now it is. It is quite crazy, I do that now for 3 1/2 years and I couldn't get it working. But now it is possible!!!!
As soon as I do something else on the site (apart from the numbers), I am still running into trouble. It can then happen that I am thinking a different number in my brain from the one I name. In a sense it is not synchronized.
I have achieved another step. I now can correctly name numbers!!!
31.08.2009 - Math
As I described yesterday I still have difficulties dealing with speaking and writing numbers. As soon as I switch to a non speaking mode, it is now getting quite ok. Every day, if I am going for a walk with our dog, I do some math exercises. Sometimes I only count up and down and sometimes I am doing basic math. So for example: 234 + 141= 375. These are five things I have to remember. The three digits, equal sign and the arithmetic operator. And it is getting better and better. I am getting used to numbers in my environment. I am doing all four arithmetic operators: plus, minus, multiply and dividing.
02.09.2009 - Web-Pages
05.09.2009 - Field of View
My field of view is still relatively small. At the beginning of my disease I had to concentrate on single letters / characters to be able to read something. To do something else at the same time or to concentrate on a larger field of view was not possible. This became much better. It is still far away from what I have in my mind from the time before my disease, but it became much better. Now I can read the following text:
At the beginning of my disease this was impossible. There it was a hard job to read the single characters. In the meantime I can switch between different sized field of views relatively fast. This was something I couldn't do at the beginning. My understanding of the text and the speed of reading became much better.
06.09.2009 - Programming in C++
Finally I have managed it to code in C++ again. This was one of my biggest wishes. Once a month I have tried to do it, but I always failed. Now I can do it again. That was one of my biggest wishes. Much of my previous knowledge was lost or I cannot access it. But the feeling is still there. And that is worth a lot. At the moment I can only write simplest programs and I have to search the Internet for example programs on how to solve things. But it is an new beginning! I started to write about my programming attempts in "http://www.vrtainment.de/vrtainment/html/software/software.htm".
16.09.2009 - Memory
In the meantime the short-term memory is quite ok again. As well the long-term memory seems quite ok. At the beginning of my sickness I couldn't access it at all, but now it is "normal". However I still have difficulties with the mid-term memory. The mid-term memory became also much better, but it is still the most affected part of my brain. If I for example have to botch my bicycle the following things need to be done: I have to demount the bike, botch the leakage and then I have to remount the bike again. Every step in that work process consists of many small steps. At the moment it is not possible for me to see this as a whole process. I have to divide it into many small steps. As well I can't see that all the steps belong together. In a sense I am living in a short term world. In general my memory is improving every day. Of course these are only small steps, but it is continuous.
20.11.2009 - Memory
In the follow up of my aneurysm I had an epileptic seizure. Starting from this point in time I had to take medicaments. I took the medicaments for about three years. Now, finally after nine month of time in reducing the medicaments, I managed to stop the medicaments.
Very much happened in the last couple of month. Hopefully I will find the time in the near future to write that all down.
01.06.2010 - ... starting to work agin ...
I am working again!