Oct 222015

My reading recall has improved this past week. Is it a blip or for real?

I had a couple of days of feeling nauseated and dizzy on and off. As usual, because it happens irregularly, it took me awhile to go: oh yeah, this happens when my brain is improving. What will it be? I’ll find out in a week!

The thing is, my reading recall improved during the time of my nausea and dizzy episodes, not a week later. That was different! It also occurred during my timed reading at brain biofeedback and lasted for a bit after. That was different too. Maybe the nausea happened because I was reading faster than usual — according to my trainer. According to my internal clock, it was the same or maybe a titch faster than usual.

This is how brain improvement works: it doesn’t feel different at first. It feels like this is how you always have been. Only after reflection and oftentimes hearing the observations of others, you realize, yeah, it’s better, easier, faster, whatever “it” is.

I may have had a form of migraine last week and have had a low-grade headache since. It’s been leading to headaches after each reading session, but reading continues to calm me, make me feel better emotionally, even if only for a few minutes.

As part of my reading rehab, and to stimulate my intellectual capacity, I’m reading Dantes Inferno to my neurodoc and we discuss it as I read each stanza. I’ve spent at most 14 minutes of a session on that. It’s always challenging, but last week and this I could feel the cognitive challenge of it like my brain having a form of runner’s block. Having someone who is as vested in the process as you helps you to keep going and not quit prematurely. It’s a combination of feeding off their energy and enthusiasm, not having to always listen or read but can talk too, and of wanting to please them, like a student does a favourite teacher, that helps at times of fatigue like this.

I’m reading solely on the iPhone now. Apple devices use easy-to-read fonts in Safari’s reading mode, and their accessibility features let you tweak their settings if they don’t suit your eyes and/or brain.

I switched a few weeks ago because I found printed lines on 8.5×11″ paper too long (I had been printing out the articles my neurodoc assigned me). And, as well, I no longer have to read exclusively at my desk. I can read elsewhere in my place, or if I’m in a place filled with white noise or, preferably, is very quiet, I can read there too. But it’s easier to do that if the material is on my iPhone, for then it’s always with me.