Jul 112013
 

I broke the 190 barrier! Woot! Phew.

Every so often, my LORETA neurofeedback trainer mentions that when I reach 190 consistently for each five-minute screen, they'll drop the z-score from its current 2.1 to 1.9 or thereabouts. In other words, reaching 190 consistently means I am ready to train at a harder level.

At the moment, at level 2.1 standard deviations from normal, the LORETA software is picking up on only the working memory network — Brodmann areas 9, 30, 31, and 32 — the same as last week. It probably won't pick up on other issues until we drop the standard deviations to 1.9, for example. At that point, symptoms or networks that are not as bad but still out of whack, will be noticed by the computer and trained towards normal. It'll be harder work then both because I'll be training more networks and/or symptoms and because I'll be setting a harder level for the working memory network.

When she mentioned the above at the start of this week's session, I basically said, “yeah, yeah. I haven't reached 190 yet, I'm not holding my breath that today will be any different,” particularly since during the deep breathing (HRV) portion, I began to fall asleep in addition to being my usual tired self. That did not bode well for a good training session. We stopped the deep breathing, and I began talking while she finished hooking my brain up to the computer so that I could stay awake.

It's been a stormy week, literally and figuratively. Record rainfall. Phone down. Trees down. Internet down. And power outages slowing everything down from being fixed. Despite the challenges, I was able to react in real time. It's only now when life is returning to my usual routine that I realize that. I'm amazed! I didn't have my usual delayed reaction of 12 hours or so! Whoa. It did take me awhile to process and problem solve, but to do that when needed not hours later was extremely helpful in getting things fixed. I also didn't get overwhelmed to the same degree as I'm used to. In fact, I wasn't overwhelmed with the first couple of SNAFUs. It was the third one that did me in. Still, I didn't become a puddle on the floor. Awesome not to lose one's self-dignity, let me tell you. Although I did enter busy brain mode on steroids — round and round went the thoughts — I remained calm enough to be able to cope. This was even more surprising given that the storm kiboshed my regular gamma brainwave biofeedback. Even if I'd been able to go, my trainer said that I'd be too distracted with all that I had to do to be able to focus on the training.

It was a reminder that training is hard work, and you need to be fully present to be able to profit from it. Some people think: what work? You're just playing games or watching a movie. Well, the fact that it's normal to be staaarrvvvinnngggg after a LORETA session tells you that your brain has consumed a lot of fuel, which could only happen if you've been working it hard. Apparently, every client realizes this quickly and brings snack bars. I brought two for this week's session. Good thing, for making the effort to reach 192 on the very last screen, after starting the session at 178, made me very, very hungry. I ate both snack bars, a chocolate cupcake with vanilla icing, an iced coffee, and was still ready to eat more. This on top of the fact that I always, always attend a neurofeedback session well fed. If you're not fully fuelled up, you're wasting your time and money, IMHO. It would be like starting a marathon having eaten one pancake and drunk a small glass of orange juice then thinking you'll last the whole way.

I didn't send my feedback email in this week to the ADD Centre because of the storm. I could've after my Internet was restored, but I was in busy brain mode till Wednesday night when all the work was finally finished and I didn't remember and couldn't focus on one darn thing but the repair work. I've been duly reminded to send my feedback in for this week. Okey doke.

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