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Brain Therapy #1

Friday, October 23, 2020

Wednesday, I had my first session at the Brain Fitness Center. It was very interesting. The psychologist took in my information, with hubby’s input because he remembers more than I. She asked lots of questions, some of which I could actually answer - especially the long term memory ones. She expressed concern about me not taking enough time to let my brain rest during the day. We had a big discussion about fatigue and my tendency to ignore it until I just crash from my fatigue. Then we discussed my educational background. She was surprised at the number of graduate credits (And grade point average 4.0) that I have without actually having a masters or doctorate degree. (I have 53) At one point in time, I was getting my masters in special education but I had to drop out to take care of my mother when she was dying. I just kept right on taking the classes without being in a set program. She was also surprised when I told her that I mainly taught math but in the summer I also taught reading and English. (Middle School level.). I was full of surprises that day. She asked about my under grad degree - elementary education with minors in mathematics and social sciences. Most elementary school teachers have a BA degree. I was one of about 20 in a class of about 450 who had a BS with several minors. I’m glad she didn’t ask about the number of credits I had in my under grad curriculum because I had over 160. The requirement was 132 at the time. LOL. I think it was clear that I like to learn about new things. I found the whole thing amusing.

The psychologist then explained what we were going to do during our session. Hubby could hear the explanation but he had to leave because of my distraction issues. She gave me a three part test. Every part had several subsets. The first one was reaction time. The second part was following a specific path through a maze and the third part was balance. I got to wear 3-D glasses and followed a lesson presentation that was on a big projection screen. One part was sitting down and the other two parts were given while standing up. For the stand up tests, I wore a motion detector headband. At the end of the testing, the computer tallied up the information and scored the three sections of the test. Every score was on a ten point scale. I did better than I thought on the maze (6.3) and worse than I thought on the other two (7,3 and 7.5).

The doctor will take a look at my scores this week and adjust my test selection for the sessions yet to come. The psychologist told me that for the next round of testing, I need to have clean hair. She will put some sort of contraption on my head with electrodes on it. They may do an EEG first but I think they want to look at brain activity when I work on specific tasks. I’m excited about it! The science behind the tests intrigues me.

After the first round of tests was over and her explanation of my scores was completed, I got up quickly to leave. That was a huge mistake. The room started spinning around and a wave of nausea hit. The psychologist took one look at my greenish completion and told me to sit down. This is only a guess but my last test was a balance test. During that test, the picture on the projection screen tilts and dips as you stare at it and you have to try to stand perfectly still. It sounds easy, right? Not so much....I felt fine when I sat down but my brain was off balance, so when I stood up, my brain was still tilting and dipping. It was weird. I didn’t sit back down but I did stand very still for a minute or two. Then thought I felt fine so I left.

Hubby and I got into the car to drive home. My brain started to relax during the drive. When we were about fifteen minutes from our house, the brain fatigue hit. I am so glad that the Brain Center told me to have someone drive me home! The fatigue feels like someone has given you a shot of novocaine In the brain. I could do reflex and rote things but all I felt like doing was just dragging myself to the bed to lay down. It is the strangest feeling I’ve ever had. I was tapped out for the rest of the day and into the following day. The kicker is that the test seemed simple and straightforward. It really was not horrible at all.

I will come back later to edit this because of brain fatigue.

I rested and then I went to work at the food bank to sort fruits and vegetables. People will come to the food bank next Tuesday and Thursday. The people who come may either take a small bag of fruits and veggies or they have the option of picking out one or two items at a time from a basket. I enjoyed it because it makes me feel like I'm giving back something to the community. I know I overdid it today and didn't allow enough rest time between activities. Tomorrow is a new day and I will do a much better job.
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