Week Six of NFT: SUCCESS IS HAPPENING!!!

Success!!!

PLEASE NOTE: I am skipping week five since I only had one session.  There was a mess up with scheduling and traffic issues (the kind that involve actual cars on the high way, not the traffic in my brain, got it? J).

RECAP: I am going through the process of Neurofeedback to treat my A.D.D.

  1.  Once I get to the Doctor’s office, the tech puts twenty-seven sensors (wires) on my head.  These wires are connected to the computer.
  2. I am to stare at the monitor for two minutes.  During this time, a green ball appears on the screen.  My brain must make the ball stay on the screen.  The computer is actually teaching the brainwaves to slow down.
  3. The  computer measures how many seconds my brain was able to keep the green ball on the screen.   The goal is to get at least sixty seconds.
  4. After two minutes, I get a forty-five second break.  Then the process starts again.  This goes on for twelve rounds.

September 26, 2013

Between my cats waking me at five am and my bad back, I I haven’t gotten the best sleep.  I think that is why I haven’t been doing too well with my feedback therapy.  After all, my scores were in the 60’s before school started.   They only started to slide after school started and I wasn’t able to sleep as late in the morning.

To recap, I have twenty-seven little sensors placed on my head.

In school, I noticed a common A.D.D problem:  grading.  Since I have visual problems, I also have trouble grading.  I miss the little things.  Ever hear the saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees?”  This saying really applies to someone with A.D.D.    I’m the one who will notice the weird tree that no one else notices and misses the rest of the forest.  Oh well. So, grading is a problem.  Let me show you an example:

 Image

Picture from: http://www.coolmath.com/prealgebra/02-decimals/images/decimals10-02.gif

I would check the student’s answer with the answer key….and completely miss the decimal.   On different problems other mistakes might include missing an omitted number or a repeated number. Not on purpose. Trust me; I try not to miss the little things. Yet I do.  No matter how carefully I am looking at the problem or how deliberately I look at the answer, I still miss little things.  Needless to say, this matters a lot when handing back a graded paper to a student.  If I mis-grade anything…it will look unprofessional. My visual issues are due to the ‘traffic jam’ I was talking about in the previous post.  I just hope to get rid of the traffic!

September 30, 2013

Finally.   My scores are going up!  YEAH!!  Of course there are reasons for it.  For one, I try to make sure I go to bed rather early at night.  Also I have been trying this new supplement for the last two weeks that doc recommended.  It is an over the counter supplement called Guarana.  It is used as a stimulant to reduce mental and physical fatigue.

Not sure I am recognizing any other type of changes at work.  Yet I am happy with how work is going.  I feel that I am reading the students rather well.  I help them when they truly need it and let them solve problems on their own when I know they can.

October 3rd, 2013

The scores continue to rise.  Things at work are going well.  I also feel blessed with the people I am working with.

Every staff member only has kind words to say about one another.  Those that have family or health issues are especially taken care of by the rest of the staff.  For instance, one teacher was recently diagnosed with cancer.  The staff pitched in to get her things to help her through the treatments, like certain tea or spa stuff.   Other staff members volunteered to cover her classes.

Perhaps the reason I am feeling so optimistic about work is because the neurofeedback therapy is re-wiring the brain to make me feel less anxious.  Hmm…

October 4th, 2013

I got the best news today!  Maria said that my scores are high enough to move up!  Hoorah!  This means that we are done working on the cortex of the brain.  Now we will move on to the executive parts of the brain. This is the front of the brain.  The time I have to watch the ‘green ball’ will be reduced from two minutes to 1.5.

Also, I now only have to go to Neurofeedback theraphy two times a week instead of thrice.  PRAISE THE LORD!!!  This means I save $50.00’s a week.  Excuse me while I jump up and down on the coach (leaves to jump on coach). 

 

 My results for the past week

My results for the past week

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