Neurofeed Back Therapy Diary: Week One, Let the ‘Fixing’ Began!

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I feel the best way for others to benefit from my experience is if I start blogging about my Neurofeedback sessions each week.   I will also record what changes (if any) I have noticed.  The purpose of my blog is for others with learning disabilities learn about Neurofeedback therapy.  If it helps me, perhaps it will help others as well.

The cortex (the outside covering of the brain) is sluggish.   This indicates that I have the subtype of A.D.D. which is called Sluggish Cognitive Temperament.  Basically, my brain processes things much slower.  Hence, it takes me a while to finish certain tasks.

I hope to feature a page, displaying my brain mapping in more detail at a later date.   Enjoy the diary!

Monday, August 26th

Eight days until my job starts….

My first neurofeedback session was today!  I’m a bit flustered that I am just starting the treatment a week before my new job starts!  I started meeting with Doc in April in hopes of  finishing the treatment before my job started.   Yet between waiting for  approval from my insurance company and Doc’s schedule…it wasn’t meant to be.

Doc’s goal is to make my brain process things faster so I can work faster.  Therefore, the first step is to work on the cortex, the outside layer of the brain.  We want to make the brain from “sluggish” to “tightness”.  This will take about twenty sessions.   After that, Doc might work with me to re-map my brain to see how the rest of the brain is functioning.   This whole process is going to take longer than I expected!   There goes my afternoons baby-sitting.  Instead I will be driving forty-minutes to get my brain fixed.  Groan…………….

Tech One (whom I met from the initial brain mapping process) once again put the sticky paste on my scape.  Then she put twenty four  white circular wires (which I learned are sensors) on my head.  As a reminder, the picture below is just an example of what I looked like:

(picture from: http://www.intechopen.com/books/management-of-epilepsy-research-results-and-treatment/dense-array-eeg-epilepsy)

The wires were connected to a computer.  Tech Two told me to just stare at the computer.  A circular picture similar to the one below appeared:

(picture from https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&docid=UEy75kWu6pxFmM&tbnid=6nxiDQVMcdz94M:&ved=0CAUQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.appliedneuroscience.com%2FCollection.htm&ei=M3gsUsPuNMLD4AO3i4GwCw&psig=AFQjCNE3MEZdYdFPumErLzxjR9id6y2GJg&ust=1378732327399249)

Weird picture, isn’t it? The only difference between the picture above and the one I saw on the  computer screen is there was only one green circle in the center instead of four.   I was instructed to stare at the screen and concentrate on the green circle.

“What else should I be doing while I am sitting here?” I asked the second Tech.

“Nothing,” Tech Two replied.  “The brain and the computer are supposed to do the work.  Just sit and concentrate on the green ball on the screen.  When you see the green ball pop up, that means the brain waves are moving the way it is suppose to.”  It amazed me that I wasn’t doing the work; the brain and the computer were completing the task!

I would stare at the computer for two minutes (although it felt like ten)  and then have a ninety second break before the next two minute interval started.  At the end of each interval, the computer would show me the rewards I earned.  Each ‘reward’ represented the half of second my brain listened to the computer.  My reward for the first interval was 160, meaning my brain listened to the computer for 80 seconds during the first interval.

I couldn’t understand why the hell they are called ‘rewards’.   My brain was doing the work.  All I was doing was staring at the screen.  It would be really cool if I did get some reward, like a ten percent discount off my co-pay for my next session.

Tech Two said I would feel some ‘brain fatigue’ after the session.  I didn’t feel tired, but my head did feel weird; almost like it was getting stretched out.   Still, I am excited to see the changes during the next few weeks….if there are going to be changes at all……

August 28, 2013

Five days until my job starts….

Starting to feel nervous…….

My score is still 160.  YEAH!!!

Despite feeling wide awake this morning, my brain felt very strained and tired after my feedback session today.  Twice, I bumped into the wall on my way out of the room.

“Are you all right?” Tech One asked.

I rubbed my head, extremely embarrassed.  “Uh…I’m good, thanks.”  I sat in the waiting room and tried to read, only to get a headache.  It didn’t help that the other patients saw my clumsy act, which made me feel very self conscious.

So I went to my car and rested my eyes for twenty minutes.  Then I heard a knock on my window.

“Are you okay?”

Tech Two was outside on her break, and saw me sleeping in my car.  It was sweet of the staff to be concern of me.  Yet I felt (unjustly)  annoyed.   Could I get some privacy, please? Sheesh!

I insisted that I was all right, turned the car on, and left.   Even as I type this, I feel drained.  I better asked Doc if this is normal….

August 29th, 2013

Five  days until my job starts….

(Gulp)

I had scheduled to meet my date, Lance, at a pub around eight.  My session ended at 6:30.  The pub was forty minutes away.  Not a problem, right?  Oh wait,…..I need to clean the glue out of my hair.

                See, the glue stuff makes me look like something between Pipi Lonstocking and Edward Scissor Hand.  Here is what I mean:

Image

(picture from:www.coolest-homemade-costumes.com )

+

Image

      (picture from: http://www.fanpop.com)

=

ME!

(well, not me, but my hair looked similar)

Image

Picture from:

   http://cdn.stylisheve.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Crazy-halloween-hairstyles-for-women_11.jpg

Scary, isn’t?

Then I realized something: My aunt lives twenty  minutes away from the Neurofeedback Center.   I could run to her place, take a shower, and still meet Lance at eight.  So, called her up, and asked if I could use her shower (weird thing to ask, isn’t it?).

Thankfully, I had already informed her previously about getting involved with Neurofeedback so she understood why I had glue in my hair (it would have been an awkward conversation otherwise). Auntie said yes, I could come and use the shower.  Hooray!!

Anyway, back to my session.  Doc was concerned with how long the intervals were on the EEG today.  Once I told him how tired I was, he told Tech One to lower the intervals to one  minute with a 90 second break instead of two minutes with a 50 second break.  This means my brain should aim for a score of 60 instead of 160.  I’m not happy with Doc’s decision.  In my mind the longer the intervals the faster the brain will fix itself.  Of course, if my brain works too hard it would probably do more harm than good.   I have to admit; I am not as tired today after the session.

August 31, 2013

Three days until my new job starts…..

I’m going to be okay, I’m going to be okay….I’m..going to throw up…..

I’m pretty annoyed today for many reasons.  I didn’t score as high as I did in the past.   Even with the times of the intervals being cut into half, I only scored 49 instead of 60.  I hope it was because I was just tired.  Tech one said she would cut the break in half next week.

The other reason I am so agitated is because my new job starts Tuesday.  I am looking forward to my new job, but I am not expecting it to last long.  Because I can’t finish my work as fast as my peers, my past jobs have only lasted a year.  This is why I want this brain mapping to work.

Needless to say, I haven’t notice any changes and I doubt I will for a few more weeks.

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