Right Frontal Lobe Shenanigans

There are some days that my Emma just knocks me over with her insight, wittiness and her humor.  

Today is one of those days when her random thoughts knock me over with laughter.  

Today, her classroom went on a field trip to a police station.  I cringed.  Not because of her visiting a police station but because of the things she will most likely say.  See, she doesn't have a right frontal lobe of her brain.  I have no idea how much the left frontal lobe even works.  Why does this matter? The frontal lobe is the heart of your personality and emotions.  This also controls your executive functions.  When the frontal lobe is damaged, it can affect many areas of the person's life.  When you hear of a person's personality changing after a brain injury, it's most likely because their frontal lobe has been injured.  Per the Center for Neuroskills"The frontal lobes are involved in motor function, problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior".  

Emma's personality is quite loving, happy, and fun.  However, she has a difficult time controlling her emotions. Her mood swings can be very extreme.  She is extremely impulsive.  She can not use her left arm.  She has a weak left leg.  She can be extremely inappropriate and lacks good judgment.  She has issues with obsessive compulsiveness.  Her behaviors have caused interruptions with her education.  She is in a behavioral program classroom at school.   She CAN learn and she LOVES to learn new skills but she is so easily distracted and upset.  Keep in mind, that it's not just her right frontal lobe that is gone.  Her entire brain is extremely damaged.  I don't know how long she was without oxygen, then she had a stroke during her emergency brain surgery (that's when her right frontal and part of her right parietal lobes had to be removed to save what was left of her brain).  
Pre-Brain Injury

Many people have asked me if she had a change in personality from her brain injury.  The answer is: I don't know.  She was so young when it happened.  She was exactly 30 days away from her first birthday when she was critically injured.  Prior to the brain injury, she was a very calm baby.  This is not an exaggeration when I say she RARELY cried.  When she was four months old, she still had the mewing cry that a newborn has.  She could entertain herself easily and wasn't very needy.  Just very relaxed and easy going.  NOW.  She's very outgoing, social, happy, chatty and very emotional.  She cried and screamed so much the first few years after the brain injury.  Her senses were overloaded and she would become overwhelmed and cry.  Oh and she's very random.  
Post Brain Injury.  Age 3

So back to the topic at hand and WHY today is one of those days that she makes me laugh and the police station field trip. 

I had her IEP meeting today and her teacher said that she did great until the officer showed them the shooting range.  None of the other kids had any questions except Emma.  I braced myself to hear of her silly shenanigans.  She said "You don't shoot kids, right?".  The officer answered her and moved on and she asked him again "You don't shoot kids, right?".  He told her no and tried to move on.  She looked at him and said "You don't shoot kids, right?" They tried to redirect her and then she said "My mom watches murders everrrrry day".  (Damn it.  I used to watch ID channel all the time.  LOL.  Whoops.  Oh and of course, you know I am obsessed with Murder, She Wrote).  Then she said "Do you go to Dunkin Donuts?".  (Every morning we stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee and treats before her 7 am therapy and we see police officers there and she always talks to them).   I guess you had to be there to hear it told.  Haha.  I was laughing until I had tears.  

Then she comes home.  She looks at me and asks "Why do we have butts?".  Um.  Um.  Um... Well... before I could answer she says "I don't want us to have butts anymore.  I want to cut them off." She became obsessed over butts and I said Wait.  If you cut off your butt, you will look like a frog and then you won't have cushiony seat when you sit down".  She takes a drink of her water and then tells me I need to come to her party at program (forgetting all about butts now). I said "I can't.  I have to work. I'm sorry and I would love to come."  She walks away to her room and then comes back in with a very excited face and her eyes super happy and exclaims "Mom!!! I have a GREAT idea! You can sneak out of work and come to my party!"  

Have to give her credit.  It really was a great idea.  Alas, I can not.  So, I tell her it's a kids only party (it's a little boy's birthday party at her program).  She is okay with that.  

The she says "Hey mom, check this out!".  She shakes her butt at me.  

I guess she wants to keep her butt.

These are the days of our brain injured lives. 

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