Saturday, March 20, 2010

Paul's dilemma...Prosopagnosia

Yesterday as we were driving to Kessler for rehab, I was talking to Paul about this strange disorder. I asked him if he knew that there is a section of the brain that just deals with recognizing faces.
He started to gesture wildly and tried telling me something.
I told him that one of the other caregivers had mentioned that their family member had suffered this lose...not being able to recognize faces...not be able to identify family and friend's faces.
It's called prosopagnosia.
Paul pointed to himself....and said "ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!"
As if to say...."you finally got it....I can't recognize faces!!"
I just can't believe that we...I, the doctors, staff...etc hadn't figure this out in 17 months since his strokes.

One more point for the opposing team!


Anonymous said...

It's like you've been in winter hibernation and now that Spring is here you're writing again! So glad to hear another piece of the puzzle has been solved!

PS - I have so enjoyed reading the blogs you recommend on your site!


BaileyZimmerman said... feel as if I've been under a rock!

If this is the Cindy I think it is your husband coming along?

Anonymous said...

Bailey, wrong Cindy I think, I'm just a big fan of your husband's writing and a long time (30+ years) SI subscriber living in Columbus, OH that lives vicariously through the blogs of those lucky enough to live in beautiful places doing wonderful things!

BaileyZimmerman said...

Cindy...You sound like my kinda gal!!
What are your favorite places??
Have you had a chance to go to them??

Anonymous said...

Bailey, I did make it to France two years ago with my 14 year old daughter - 31 years between visits is too much though don't you think? As a matter of fact, Carol G who writes the parisbreakfasts blog is going to do a painting of the two of us when she gets back from Paris! Italy is definitely on my list for the next trip abroad!


Anonymous said...

Bailey, I don't know if this could help with Paul's prosopagnosia but Jerry Lucas (former bball star) has a website at where he has books about remembering names/faces with various techniques. You might want to check it out or contact them to see if it has ever been used successfully by stroke patients. Cindy

Claudio Piombetti said...

Dear Bailey,
Long time no speak.

> One more point for the opposing team!

This sounds like a score for the home team to me: Zimm (may I use this nickname?) knows about his situation, the problem is that he is unable to explain it to us. As is often said in analysis, it's not the patient who is somehow 'wrong': it's everybody else!

I will leave Singapore in a couple of weeks, and after three months of New Zealand, Taiwan and Malaysia, I will be back to my old home near London. If Mrs and Mr Zimmermann will have to opportunity to visit, they will be welcome, any time.

I just had a little glass of homemade Limoncello, so I will use this as a justification for a less than courteous hint: please, please step out of the main tourist route, in Italy. Venice, Florence, Rome are amazing places but they are - Venice head and shoulder above the rest - a fiction for tourists. I am not suggesting you to visit the Italian versions of Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati (the suburbia of Turin, Rome and Milan), but a lot of slightly less visited cities can offer a not-so-adulterated window on real life in a foreign country. Arezzo, Urbino, Torino/Turin (if you like mountains and, Baroque architecture and XVI-XIX century history), the amazing Palermo (where XVI century building are left to decay since there is a lot of older 'stuff' that needs to be restored), the surprising Pesaro, the magnificent Agrigento (where Greek temples are almost more Greek than in Greece); actually, any little town will do, since the experience of city-states is still vivid in our memory (hey, that was only about 800 years ago) and this led every town to develop its own history and to be proud of it.

On photography: I love your picture called "eyefix.jpg". If it is possible to look fierce AND mocking at the same time, you captured that look in your husband's face.

Side note: if I may suggest other places, try Sark and Jersey (the Channel Islands), the Verdon (France), Lake District (England), Orkney Island (Scotland). Sark, especially, with its no-vehicle policy and its alternate one-way main street (you can ride your horse or bicycle one way in the morning, the other way in the afternoon).

Good luck for everything.

BaileyZimmerman said...

Thanks for your note!
Paul and I have traveled through many nooks and cranies of Europe. We have had the opportunity to visit many wine producers in a dozen countries....many are located in tiny hamlets.
I agree you have to get off the beaten track.
I love Venice and won't go in the summer...I head over in the autumn. Over the years I've made several Venetian friends...I have to go back to see season is the only time. Then it is magical!!
We loved Urbino so much we returned a few times. Pulla, high up in the Dolomites was a place that we stayed on five different trips. Gorges of Verdon were breathtaking as are the Gorges of Tarn. We've traveled the tiny unmarked roads in the Lake District.
Paul was a fearless driver...he had no barriers we saw places that hadn't seen another person in years.
We spent months in New Zealand....thought about moving there after Bush was reelected.
Hope you enjoy your trip!!
Let me know what areas of NZ were/are your favorites!

Sarah said...

Hi Linda-
I am one of Dr. Z's faithful readers- my husband, Mike (a longtime admirer of Dr. Z), introduced me to his CNNSI columns long ago. Once, I was his emailer of the week, which made my husband go absolutely crazy with happiness. :) I just wanted to write to tell you that we miss Dr. Z's wisdom and passion so much. There just isn't anyone else like him, with his intelligence and sense of humor. We think of both of you all the time and send hopeful thoughts your way.
Sarah Dion