Dec 102013

Twas a mini re-assessment day. My trainer took 3-minute readings at each of FZ, C4, and PZ. FZ is dead centre at the front of my head and is related to action, executive function. PZ is at the back of the top of my head, dead centre, and is the area we’re training. C4 is on the right side of my head in between FZ and PZ locations and is involved in problem solving. The brainwaves look very different from location to location. FZ was cool, the eye-blinks very obvious. C4 was busy brain and anxiety/stress wave happy. It had something I hadn't seen before too. In the assessment screen a red bar shows you the brainwave with the highest amplitude and moves back and forth a lot, usually across the lower part of the brainwave frequency spectrum. In C4 a couple of times it hiked all the way up to the gamma band. Interesting. Maybe I produce normal levels of gamma there. Ha! (I actually don't know where gamma waves are produced. Do only certain parts of the brain create them and then they’re propagated across neurons? Or do certain neurons all over the brain produce them, like neurons that use GABA to communicate in their synapses?)

My trainer has tried out gamma training on herself and discovered it’s hard. Heh. Yup, gamma won’t budge, so you try hard, and muscle tension increases. As muscle tension goes up, gamma goes up, but that’s not the way you want to increase it. You want to reduce the interfering effect of muscle tension. So up gamma while lowering muscle. Phew. But her gamma waves are higher than mine. Yeah, I know, I have a brain injury, she does not. Don't compare, blah, blah, blah. Sigh. Such a long way I’ve come, such a long way to go.

And that brings me to…

I wish all my health care people would talk to each other so that when the ADD Centre re-assesses me, they not only have the data they've collected on my brain and what I tell them about my symptoms, but they also have the considered observations and opinions of the others involved in my care as to what they see as needing work on. But for that to happen, I have to make a huge effort each and every time to get the communication going. I don't have that kind of energy. The injury that most needs a case manager — or at least the willingness of professionals to talk to each other regularly without me nudging them — is brain injury. I had more help in this regard when I had just a severe whiplash back in the 1990s. Sigh.

And that brings me to…

Shireen was a reader. I am not. I came to this realization at 10:25 am Tuesday morning. A reader devours books and ebooks, magazines and newspapers and e-letters, blogs and social media messages and emails and cereal box blurbs in both languages. I do none of those things. I only devour Tweets with any regularity, and I force myself to read some of the rest because that’s what I’m supposed to do: read. I have spent almost 14 years trying to become like Shireen again, trying to reclaim the reader that I was, trying to find behavioural, psychological, and physiological help. Only the latter has been given to me in some measure persistently. The first two have sometimes started but have quickly petered out, with people who at first soon expecting me to continue on my own. But I cannot do it on my own. So at 10:25am I gave up. I quit trying to be her, the voracious reader. I'm going to go be sick now.