Apr 082014
 

Holy — — my starting heart rate during neurofeedback was 95. Not ending rate, not achieved after writing in SMIRB, not after reading, but right at the very start in the 30-second assessment screen. It stayed in the 90s during HRV then crawled up into the 100s during the biofeedback screens then dropped back to 99 after SMIRB — the increase was not surprising really as the biofeedback screens were hard work plus I had that flashback moment during the first two similar to the one I had several weeks ago. I felt the edge of the flashback during the first biofeedback screen, but felt it full on during bowling and discussed it with my trainer before starting the third screen.

It’s normal or not surprising given the situation I’m in to have that kind of unpleasant experience. We talked also about how when trauma memories begin to surface and take over, you feel the therapy is not working or your shrink is a dork and isn’t doing his job. That’s when people leave treatment. I think that was a warning to me: it’s hell but keep going because treatment with them and with my neurodoc is working and this is the way to come out the other side. Sigh.

My trainer switched up the biofeedback screens, putting the biplane first and bowling second. Breaks the habituation effect, I think. And like last week, my boat lost the race in the last screen. Bugger. This time my 13-16 Hz boat lost to both the busy brain and delta-theta boats. Of course, this is happening because my trainer had toughened the thresholds. Easy training is not good, you know!

She also decided not to reassess me today. Not a good time after the bad week I had and my vision changes disorienting me. Plus she has to stare at my eyes during the assessment to mark off my eye-blinks, and that could collapse me into fits of giggling. That would totally mess up the brainwave collection! Next week, she said.

I’ll end this post with how I began: my heart. Like last week, I could be getting excited over nothing because we’ve seen my heart rate drop before only to leap back up. But I did see something new during this week’s HRV screen: while I exhaled, my heart rate dropped in concert with my breathing smooth-ishly down through the 90s, 80s, 70s to 77 before climbing back up gradually while I inhaled. Not once but a few times, it did that. Whoa nelly! I’ve seen that in the 100s but never below 100 or more than a few beats apart. I got to a magic 2.5 on the HRV scale that we’re monitoring (my goal is 10; I’m usually at 1 or 2),

That smoothish, downward drop was a far cry from the usual abrupt drop I’m used to seeing from 100+ to 80 or 50 or like last week 37 and then abrupt rise back to where it was. 110 to 50 to 110 is not normal; gradual drop like I saw this week is. This is what my heart is supposed to do. Let’s hope it continues!

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