This week is my 13th session of brain biofeedback at FP1-F3, left frontal, not too far above the hairline and near a side part. Two weeks ago, not long after my 11th session, my prefrontal cortex woke up, looked around, and said: let’s get busy!
At first, it was different but good. All of a sudden, I put thought to action with no self-talk or other external methods to push that Go button on. My initiation deficit was fixed! Well, temporarily, and I didn’t realize right away what had happened. I just thought the power of my emotion had moved me. But it was more than that.
I went to sleep all unsuspecting of what was to come.
I woke up and found myself under the control of my prefrontal cortex. If you have ever had a domineering and dominant mother who commanded you to clean your room, then stood and watched till you did, and then told you to organize her bills, and stood and watched till done, then directed you to write emails, and stood and watched while you did — well, that was what it was like for me.
As the day wore on — and I do mean wore on — I organized and tidied up and got things done that hadn’t been done in weeks or months; I became physically more and more tired. Emotionally, I became worn out. Mentally . . . I think I didn’t lose too much alertness. But it didn’t matter, for that part of me that brain biofeedback had woken up was IN CONTROL. And it decided I needed to GET THINGS DONE NOW.
I literally couldn’t stop. Luckily, for me, the effect wore off after about 24 hours.
After the 12th brain biofeedback session, I happened not to be at home much when the effect kicked in, and so there was no reason to organize or initiate much. I think I might have been more assertive though . . .
On top of all that, I had more difficulty than usual recalling what I read during my reading homework around about the 11th and 12th weeks. And I also had some weird-ass memory issues after my 12th session where I got things confused in my writing, things I just don’t get confused about. To my huge relief, my memory returned to normal by Saturday.
On top of all that, it’s the hellish trifecta of my birthday, Christmas, and upcoming crash anniversary. So emotionally, I’m like a lot of my brethren with brain injury: wanting to run away or just grit our teeth and get through the “festivities.” As my neurodoc said, people are much worse at this time of year and require more health care.
Emotional turmoil saps brain resources that the injury has already reduced substantially; so trying to improve skills, maintain and make new friendships, deal with holidays and family shit, and cope with changes becomes overwhelming. And of course that’s why CCAC thought discharging me was a good idea and Cota thought I didn’t need one-on-one case management (sarcastic much?).
I asked for a dial back in my biofeedback for the 13th session. This week we did only one screen of biofeedback after the usual 30-second assessment and 3-minute HRV (heart rate variability — deep breathing in sync with my heart rate) and then 5 minutes of timed reading and recall out loud and 10 minutes of SMIRB (stop my irritating ruminations book — writing). We also talked a lot about what was gouging out my mind.
Talking is incredibly good for heart health, both physical and emotional. My heart rate dropped to below 100 at one point! And ended at 103!! This is progress. For the moment.