Review of Post-Neurofeedback Tests

January 4, 2014

There were two more tests for me to complete today.  I don’t remember what the two tests were called, but I think they both determined  how well I can strategize.  In which case, I failed….quiet miserably.

The first test was done on the computer.  Four items were displayed on the screen.  Above each number was a different shape.  I was to determine which shape was different out of the four.  If I got the answer correct, a soft BING would ring. It kind of reminded me  of a doorbell  However, if I got the answer wrong, a sharp sound like a ERRRRRPP would shrill loudly.  I got more of the annoying ERRRRR sounds than the BING sounds.  Anyway, here is an example of one of the problems:

four shapes

It was easy at first.  In the problem above, I could tell that number four was the different item because the shape was bigger.  Yet as time went on, it became much harder because ALL the shapes looked different from one another.  My eyes started to twitch from the annoying ERRRRR sound.  It was almost like being a rat in a maze, trying to find the cheese but only running into a dead end.  I was so frustrated.

At the end of the test, Doc came in saying, “So I heard from the ERRRRR sound that you got quite a number of problems wrong.”

I turned from the computer and glared at him. As someone who fails quite often, I wasn’t happy to be reminded of something else I did poorly.  I felt like saying, “No shit, Doc.  Did you need your degree from Harvard to tell you that?” Instead I only muttered “Yeah…”

Some doctors have really big egos and can’t relate to their patients.  Thankfully, my Doc isn’t one of them.  He sat down beside me.  “Mary, the point of these tests is to see what else needs to be worked on.”  Doc then showed me a picture of my brain scan on the computer.  The picture from a few months ago showed a big clump of brain waves, almost like a huge knot.   When Doc showed me a more recent scan of my brain, the waves appeared straightened out.

While I was happy about the results, I felt my heart sank.  Why was I still troubled with certain visual things especially when I graded papers?  I told this to Doc, who wasn’t sure what I meant.

“You mean you confuse the operations systems?”

“Well I do sometimes mix up my addition with my multiplication sign.  But it is more than that,” I replied.

Doc frowned.  “Explain.”

“Sometimes I remember facts wrong.  Like the problem 8 +7.  I’ll say it is 13 instead of…of…” I don’t know why, but the brain blanked out.  Why couldn’t I remember 8+7?  I paused before I answered.  Doc waited patiently.

“Fifteen!”  I finally remembered the answer.  Thank God!  Although it was embarrassing, I’m glad Doc was able to see another issue I was having.  These “brain freezes” seem to happen often.  Sometimes I would lose my train of thought. For example, I was talking to a colleague about the teacher I work with. I was talking about her and I could not remember her name.  The conversation went like this:

“I just feel so bad for Mrs…..Mrs…ummm…..”   How embarrassing!

Doc said it could be a ‘contamination’ problems.  In other words, yes, my brain could be remembering the facts wrong.  This could indicate that something is wrong with the left temporal lobe.   He didn’t go into any details.  I’ll have to ask him more about it later.  The good news is there is a brand new brain mapping program that will help ‘fix’ my temporal lobe.  Doc wanted to try it out today but there wasn’t time.

Doc left the room and his assistant, Lilly, came in to give me the second test.  This test I took was so confusing that I can’t even really explain it, but I’ll try.

Each question had “A” and “B”.  Next to A and B were shapes.  I had to tell Lilly the connection between A and B.

A and B shaps

“What is the rule for the square to be in box B.”  Lilly asked.   I tried to say what was in box B, like ‘big, orange, square,” but Lilly said I had to give one answer…the right answer.  As the questions got harder, there were  many times that I had to say “I don’t know.”

I also don’t know how long it will take to resolve my visual issue.  I only hope it will not take long….because if the school recognizes that I am miss-grading papers…I’m in deep shit.

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Is my A.D.D Gone? Retesting to See My Progress With Neurofeedback Therapy

December 8, 2013

Taken from: http://vitamonicadotcom.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/brainmaps2.jpg

This is from vitamonicadotcom. Vita noted that the red of the ADHD brain represents the under active frontal lobe.

Dear Readers:

Back in August, Doc told me that my brain waves were moving so fast that they were causing a traffic jam.  Therefore, the brain wasn’t processing information as fast as it should.  I started Neurofeedback Therapy three times a week.

After having twenty seven sensors glued to my head, I was required to stare at the computer screen.  A green ball would appear, showing that my brain was listening to the computer.  Each round would last two minutes. The score at the end of each round indicated how many half-seconds my brain was able to pay attention.   At first, my score was only forty.  I was so frustrated that it would not go up!  It was not until almost November that my scores finally rose to sixty.  Now my score is a hundred and four!!

Doc said he wants me to get re brain mapped and cognitively tested like I did in August.  We will see how far I have progressed and how much further I have to go.

December 10th

Doctor said I should be able to notice some changes.  I have, but they aren’t positive.  My short term memory has decreased in the last few weeks.  A fellow teacher will say something and I will immediately forget it.  Or I will go upstairs to get something….and forget what I wanted to find.  Ironically, my short term memory had improved for three weeks in November.  Then, I could remember names and details of conversations, which was a positive change.  I fear my short term memory is worse than before I started Neurofeedback therapy.  Even as I type, the thought causes me to shiver.

When I told this to Doc, he hinted that the opposite could have happen……My brain waves could be moving TOO slow now.   I couldn’t believe it.  I am so pissed off!  Now I might have to get additional therapy to get the brain waves to move fast?  I should have asked Doc how that could have happened…but I didn’t think of it.  I blame it on my short term memory :).

Numbers are still an issue for me.  A few days ago, I took my parents out to dinner.  When adding up the bill on paper, my mind calculated 13 + 8 as 15.  Dad pointed out my mistakes which was embarrassing.

Yesterday, one of the teachers asked me to correct some math homework.  The students were to determine if the fractions were equal, greater or less than. There was no answer sheet so I solved the problems on another paper.  This was fifth grade math so there was no way I was going to ask the teacher to ‘double check’ my work.

The following problem got me confused:

Fractions

The “X” should be two because four goes into twenty eight .  My brain kept thinking it was seven.   That is because four goes into twenty eight seven times. I had to look at it twice before realizing my mistake.  Sadly the teacher didn’t have any white-out so I had to cross it out.  I felt so stupid and prayed that it would come back to bite me in the ass.  As of now, it has not.  Yet how much longer before this catches up with me?

Dec. 11th

Gumby and the Doc had me stare at the computer in order for it to measure my brain waves.  Such fun!  Doc could only get an accurate reading if I didn’t blink.  He might as well had asked me to lift a moving car.  This felt nearly impossible. I was already a tad stressed out from the day.  My eye lids were twitching.  This wasn’t good.  Poor Doc had to re do the test three times.

Dec. 21st.

Today I redid the tests from August.  One was something I call “the list”.  Lilly, Doc’s assistant, asked me to remember a list of twenty objects.  She read off the list and I found that I remembered half of them.  As we went on to other tests, Lily would ask me to repeat the things from the list.

Visual Pattern Test:  As before, I had to copy the following picture:

This time, I knew I needed to draw the large square and the triangles first.  Still, I had trouble with the rest of the picture.

I was also asked to list as many words that started with “F” as possible (names didn’t count).  I was given a minute to do so.  I don’t know how many words I listed.  I only know that I listed more than last time.  Furthermore, the words seemed to be more distinguished.  Last time the words were like fence or frog.  In other words, they were boring, one syllable words.  This time they were words such as fantastic or furcated.  I was so proud of myself!

Lilly did ask me the same questions as before, like “Why would a person decide to have a jury decide his fate instead of a judge?”  This time I was able to list more than one reason.  Sadly, I don’t recall what they were now.  That scares me.  How can I do so well recalling certain information sometimes and not other times?  Doc just told me not to worry and to wait until he looks at the tests.  Easy for him to say.  I have much more in stock my Neurofeedback Therapy then he does………..

Neurofeedback: Further Improvement

The way to hell pictureNovember 10th
The good news is Maria will be coming to the new center on Tuesdays. The bad news is Granny and Gumby still have no idea what the hell they are doing. Gumby takes twice as long as Maria to put the glue and sensors on my head. He isn’t nearly as gentle as Maria is. Gumby is so rough scrubbing my head, it often feels as though he is abrading my scalp with sandpaper. Having him take the glue off my head is even more painful! It makes my time at the dentist seem like heaven. Worse, Gumby doesn’t even get ALL the glue off. I can still feel the clumps of glue stuck in my hair long after I leave. It takes about three showers to finally get rid of the clumps of glue. Oh, the frustration!

While all this is going on, Granny is just watching Gumby instead of participating (Fantastic idea, Granny). After getting the stupid glue put on my head, the techs realize the computer isn’t working. I have gone through all the hell of Gumby putting glue on my head for nothing. Why the fuck did Doc hire these two morons? GRRRR……Actually, so many other clients are getting ticked off by Granny and Gumby that they also are going to Maria. What a shocker!

On a happier note, my scores have continued to rise. On November 5th, my score reached 70 during the seventh round. This means my brain was able to stay on task for 35 seconds. YIPPIE!! Yet my brain has a long way to go to get rid of all the “traffic.” I still have trouble with certain facts. Case in point, I made a bad mistake today in math today I told a student, Ginny, that her division problem was right and it wasn’t. I didn’t notice that Ginny had brought the same number down twice, throwing off her answer. Of course I found my mistake…when I heard the teacher talking to Ginny.

Teacher: Ginny, this isn’t correct.
Ginny: But Miss Walsh said it was!!
Me: (looks at watch) Gee, look at the time! Gotta go help out with first grade. Later! I rushed quickly out of the room.

Okay, so that last line didn’t happen. Thankfully, the teacher never confronted me about it. Still, it was humiliating. Even now I beat myself up over it. Why do I keep making these mistakes? More importantly, when will I STOP making these mistakes? I sometimes feel as though my A.D.D is easily shown at work. It is as though I have an “A” on my chest the way Hester Prynne did in The Scarlet Letter. Although my “A” represents Attention Deficit Disorder rather than adultery, I still feel like an outcast.

Regardless of how well I am doing with the Neurofeedback therapy, I don’t think I could be a teacher. There is too much stress and politics involved. Now I have to figure out what the hell I want (and more importantly) can do with my life. I know what I don’t want to do…which is a nine to five job in a cubicle. Needless to say that limits me.

Perhaps I could be a basic skills teacher. I may have twenty students but only for a few subjects. Furthermore, I can teach them in smaller groups. Ironically enough, there just might be a basic skills position opening up in the spring. Hmm……

 

Don’t be Afraid of the Ball!!!

 

 

 ImageImage

    No, balls don’t really scare me…unless they are flying in the air towards me.   Flying objects appear closer than they really are to me.  This has nothing to do with my reading vision (which is 20-20) but with a different type of visual condition called Intermittent Exotropia.  The eyes drift outward, causing moving objects to appear closer than they really are.  Here is an example of what my eyes would look like up close:

Image 

Picture from http://www.siliconehydrogels.org/editorials/mar_06.asp

     A study by The University of Arkansas found that most people with Intermittent Exotropia also have  neurological issues, such as Attention Deficit Disorder.   If Thomas Hartman is correct that those with A.D.D/ADHD were nomadic hunters millions of years ago, perhaps having Intermittent Exotropia gave them the ability to see animals a little bit sooner.  For me, having Intermittent Exotropia got me picked last every single time during gym.  No one wants someone on their team who turns away from a flying ball instead of trying to catch it.  Gym sucked.

       This condition can not be cured by neurofeedback or through any other means.  Yet Neurofeedback can help with my other visual issue: Dysgraphia.

                Dysgraphia is a learning disability that makes handwriting sloppy, words hard to spell, difficult to process information, and nearly impossible to write words or numbers on a straight line.    Here is an example from http://www.edublox.com/dysgraphia.htm:

 

 Image

          Can you imagine being an elementary teacher and having this horrible handwriting?  As a substitute I would always type up my reports.  The principal was pretty impressed that I would take the time.  Really, I was just trying to hide my Dysgraphia.   Sadly I can’t hide it in my current position.

                For one student that I assist, I have the responsibility of writing how many times during the day I have to get him refocused in class or reteach him a certain subject.     This data is to prove to the student’s mother that he needs an aide.  The student’s mother wants him to be de-classified.   I think it is because she didn’t want her little angel (as she calls him) to feel different from everyone else by having an aide.  I’m more concern about what will happen to ‘Angel’ later on if he doesn’t get the accommodations he needs.

          Angel’s case manager, Debbie, said I wasn’t going to need to hand my notes until Monday.  I had planned to retype the notes over the weekend.  The notes would be neat, legible, and obtain perfect spelling and grammar.  You can imagine my agony when Debbie asked for my notes on Thursday.

     “Wha….what?”  I was sure (or hoping) that I had heard wrong.  I didn’t.

     Debbie explained that the IEP meeting with Angel’s mom was rescheduled for that afternoon.  Therefore Debbie needed to see the notes to talk to Angel’s teachers.  My heart raced faster than a locomotive.

      “You do have the notes, right?” 

      I gulped.  I had two choices.   I could lie.  I could say I forgot my notes.  The downside to that was I would look irresponsible.

     The second choice was to tell Debbie that, yes, I have the notes.  I could show her my sloppy, misspelled and misaligned notes and explain that they were my first draft.   Really, my choices were to portray myself as irresponsible or hasty.I decided to go with the latter choice. 

     “I have my notes, but they are kind of sloppy.  Really, they are more like a first draft .”

     “Oh please!  It can’t be as bad as mine!” Debbie showed me her notes.  Of course her handwriting was legible and written in a nice line.               “Bring them to the meeting at noon.”  Before I could protest any further she left.  I had never felt so nervous!

     At noon I went to the meeting.  My hands were shaking and my stomach was flip-flopping as I opened to the door to the conference room.  Debbie and three teachers were sitting at the table.  Debbie waved to me.  “Good to see you, Mary.  Please put your notes in the center of the table and sit down.”

      My face must have been red as a tomato as I placed my notes in the center of the table.  Four educators were looking at my terrible handwriting and spelling.  The room was silent and I wanted to die.  After what seemed like an eternity, one teacher cleared her throat and made a comment about Angel’s skills.  I don’t recall the exact conversation because I was busy asking God if a bolt of lighting could  come and strike me dead immediately.  Needless to say, God’s answer was no.  

                Yet, none of the adults made a comment about my sloppy handwriting or spelling.  A week later, Debbie told me to keep my sloppy notes separated from my neat notes in the future.  What a relief!  It felt like the weight had been lifted from my shoulders!   So, I always make sure my notes are typed by the end of the week and ready to hand in.

                Doc said that my handwriting will always be sloppy.  Neurofeedback or  Occupational therapy will not help.    However, I can now write in a straight line as shown below.

 Image

     This shows that my visual skills are improving as well as parts of my Dysgraphia.   Will it be enough to obtain a teaching position in the near future?  I doubt it. Yes, I will be able to correct work without missing mistakes and be able to write in a straight line but there is still a lot of ‘traffic’ going on in my brain.  In other words, my brain isn’t processing information quickly.  Still my visual results are very positive.   Perhaps I will be able to obtain a real teaching job in the future.  What do you think? 

 

 

Neurofeedback: Gumby, Granny and the Executive Brain (Glup!).

 

Gumby: So how do we turn this thing on? Granny:  Oh I don't know dearie...Mary do you know? Me; (Thinking) Oh boy...

Gumby: So how do we turn this thing on?
Granny: Oh I don’t know dearie…Mary do you know?
Me; (Thinking) Oh boy…

Monday, October 21st

So many changes are happening.  Now that I am done working with the Cortex (or the outside layer of the brain) we are going to work on the Executive Function part of the brain.  This is located in the Prefrontal Cortex or the front of the brain.   The Prefrontal cortex  is just above the eyebrow, behind the fore head .

Picture from http://www.whatayear.org/images/prefrontal_cortex.jpg

So what is the Executive Functioning system of the brain? According to CHADD (Children and Adults with A.D.D/ADHD), here is a graph that explains the following:

More colorful picture of executive function

Picture from: http://richardgpettymd.blogs.com/.shared/image.html?/photos/uncategorized/brownexecutive_1.jpg

For someone that has A.D.D, our Executive System works differently.  How so?  According to Dr. Edward M. Hallowell (Author of  Driven to Distraction) the Executive System of a person with A.D.D/ADHD is under active.

Here is how the Executive Functioning part of a  Non-A.D.D brain works vs. the Executive Function of an A.D.D brain:

  • Activation
    • Non-A.D.D: Helps organize and gets the body ready to work
    • A.D.D:  It is time for me to get my math homework done!  But it is such a pretty day outside.  Plus, I have outside cores to do…What should I do first?
  • Sustain Focus
    • Non-A.D.D: Being able listen to a lecture without fading out.
    • A.D.D: As a child, I would fade out after listening to my teacher for ten minutes.
  • Effort
    • Non-A.D.D: Adjusting process speed
    • A.D.D: For me I feel very sluggish when I do my work
  • Emotions
    • Non-A.D.D: Able to manage frustration
    • A.D.D:  As I mentioned previously, I have been very emotional.  I get frustrated and very sensitive. Even as an adult, I have always wondered what other think of me.
  • Memory
    • Non-A.D.D: Able to hold on and remembering information.
    • A.D.D: Ever hear the term “In one ear and out the other?”  That is me.
  • Actions
    • Non-A.D.D: Monitoring one’s actions.
    • A.D.D:  We don’t think before we speak.

Instead of the Surface program, I will start using the Loretta during my Neurofeedback sessions.  Doc said that there is a new part of the Loretta software that works primary with the Executive Function of the brain. Since my brain is adapting well with the treatment, I will now only be getting treatment twice a week instead of thrice times a week.  Lastly, Doc has a new office opening closer to my house so I will be going there for my sessions.    Sadly my current tech, Maria, will remain in the current office.   Maria was always very gentle and has a friendly personality.  I will miss her.

Now that we are dealing with the Executive Function, I will have to work even harder during the sessions.  This means that the brain will only be given one minute and thirty seconds  to keep the ball on the screen instead of two minutes.

 

 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Oh.  My.  God.  Thank God I went to yoga this morning because my patience was running low.  Today was my first session at the new center….and  the two techs there have absolutely no idea what the Sam’s Hell they are doing.

I’ll will call the male tech Gumby (because of his tall and skinny figure) and the female Granny (since she is a grandmother).  Both are very nice but not familiar with the software.  Granny isn’t even familiar with computers.  I had to show her how to open up a folder on the computer.  Got to love the Baby-Boomers!

After waiting thirty minutes  (they thought my appointment was at 5pm when it really was for 4:30), Gumby had to measure my head ( in case anyone is interested, my head is 32 inches wide and 5 centimeters long) because he had no idea where to glue the sensors.   Then it then took 30 additional minutes for Gumby to show Granny how to put the sensors on.  Next Doc came to show both techs how to use the software.  I have a bad feeling about this. Should I trust two techs who have no experience what so ever, or should I give them the benefit of the doubt?

 

 

 

(To Be Continued…….)

Getting my brain a tune up: Week 3 of Neurofeedback Therapy

September 9, 2013

                Oh happy day!  I have actually noticed a few changes in my daily life since I started the brain mapping.  Horary!  For one, I have been doing a great job remembering names.  Normally  it would take twice as (if not longer) as others to remember their correct names.  

                It is a complete relief to now remember the student’s names.  I always hated when the following conversation would take place at school:

Kid: “Hi Miss Regina!”

Me “Hi…….Cory!”

Kid looking very displayed. 

Me:  “Umm….Tony?”

Kid shakes his head

Me:  “Jack?”

Kid shakes his head

Me:  “Sam?”

Kid: Miss Regina, I just saw you yesterday!!

Bell rings.

Me:  Thank God!  I mean…I’ll see you later…Billy!

Kid shakes his head and mumbles while walking to class. 

 

                For money and time reasons, I have decided to cut my neurofeedback session to once a week. Today, I felt tired before starting the brain session, but energized during and after.  Hmm …

 

September12th,

                What is more fun than driving twenty miles to get glue and sensors put one my head?  Doing it in a rain storm!  Oh, and on a Saturday, no less.  Ugh. 

I saw Tech 2 today.  Tech One had already left to go home and….  okay, I really need to  give the techs real names.  Let’s call Tech One Maria and Tech Two Steph.  Although both Tech One and Tech Two are females and in their late 30’s, there are differences between the two. 

                For one, Tech One (Maria) is from Europe and is a Single Mother.  Tech Two (Steph) is a Pennsylvania native, married but no children.  Both techs are very caring and good at their job.   

                Anyway, there has not been much change in my score which has been extremely frustrating.  There isn’t much I’m good at, including rising my scores.  The score is above 50 in the first few sessions, raises to 60, drops back down, and the last session is 60 or higher. 

                “So how long before Doc increases the frequencies?”  I asked Steph. 

                “Well, you have to get consist rewards of 60 or higher,”  Steph responded.  “When you get constantly 70, we will change it.”  That wasn’t the answer I was hoping for. 

                “Is it normal for it to take so long?”

                “Yes.”  Now tech should have stopped after ‘yes’ but she added: “ especially with someone of your protocol.”   Ummm…what? 

“My…protocall?”  I could tell that Steph was sorry she had mentioned it.  She paused before answering. 

“Umm….you know…what you want out of (she stopped and motioned to the computer)  this treatment.”  Her face turned red as she turned back to the computer. 

I have to admit, Steph did the best she could to say it, but I knew the underline words:  My brain was messed up. 

 

Friday, September 14, 2013

                As you can tell from the graph below I didn’t do as well today.  “Well, you at it this way,” Steph said, “It’s not like you woke up (the brain damage) this way.”  Thanks, Steph.   Can you understand why I prefer Maria?

 

              Image

                                                                                

My ‘messed up’ brain

Getting the brain ‘fried’ with Neurofeedback therapy

Results from the week’s sessions

Each session or round is 2 minutes long.  The breaks in-between each round is 30 seconds. There are 10 rounds.

                                                      Monday                                        Thursday                                Saturday

Round

Result

Result

Result

  1

57

58

58

2

60

60

59

3

63

63

59

 4

56

62

58

5

58

64

60

6

61

56

61

7

64

60

58

8

60

62

60

9

64

61

60

10

63

65

61

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

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….

Oh boy……

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.

 

Choa, Readers!

 

-Mary Regina Shine