Monday, May 18, 2015

NFB #8

Between #6-#8, my son had a unexpected less than ideal day as I mentioned  and the next day was wonderful.  A pool play date and almost completely recovered....that has never happened over night!  It is usually a gradual daily improvement.  Then today started off less than ideal with overnight activity but besides being a little sleepy he is out swimming as I speak.

I explained what had happened to the therapist today and she reiterated that this was all a good sign that the brain is trying to find a new "normal" and that it is going to be a little crazy the next couple of weeks.  She advised I find a way (meditation, yoga, whatever) to find a way to be at peace and trust the process and not get anxious because my son will pick up on it.  

I told the family to prepare for some very unpredictable days ahead...we are up for the challenge!

I also asked my therapist to try and explain a little more about what happens during the game and this is what she said.  "When client watches the screen and produces desired brainwave activity the game moves forward and the music plays-brain gets rewarded (increase dopamine). When the brain is not producing desired brainwave activity game and music stop indicating to brain a lack of reward.  Brain is reward driven and can be taught to produce desired brain activity through this process."

We will have brain mapping at session #10...stay tuned!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

#7 Neurofeedback

Okay, we have had seven treatments, and my son loves to go and "play the game".  He wears a shower cap with battery like things sewn into it for 10 minutes to stimulate...I think...I will clarify what that is for.  The techs have been wonderful providing a lot of supplemental information.  I think I am going to ask the lead therapist (master's level education) to provide a little description of what is happening...stay tuned for that.

After the shower cap thing  then he is connected to a 19 lead eeg where certain areas have been identified and programmed into the software to be targeted.  He gets to pick from about six different avatar's (spaceship, race car, robot, dolphin, and a few other things) then they get to pick a musical instrument (such as a piano, guitar, maybe others) to accompany the avatar. They get visual and auditory feedback while staring at the screen and getting the avatar to move.  It is a 20 minute session where they are actively engaged with this video game.

Now, for my observations...I am trying my best to objective.  I want so bad to see amazing things and report off the chart improvements but I was told I would not see them until around treatment 10 to start.  When he has had seizures since we started his "down" time or "bad" time has not been as intense.  That is the only thing I can say for sure.  Now as I write this, we are having an unexpected "bad time" that is not following his normal routine.  My son has somewhat of a predictable schedule since we weaned the medications and I can actually see all of him :-)  I sent the Doc Bill an email when I woke up, even though I know  he is out of town at his daughter's graduation and he responded within 30 minutes with this response...As I run off to my daughter’s graduation, may I take 30 seconds to tell you that, indeed, this is (an admittedly paradoxical) favorable prognostic sign.

Nothing to worry about - if it’s as I expect, we are breaking his cycle!

Every one of my questions are answered, emails answered promptly, phone calls have returned almost instantly by staff.  I am so happy with this provider.  It is too soon to say how successful we will be but I expect wonderful things in the future.  They are located in Tampa, Florida and if you can get there.  I highly recommend the services at ABF behavioral health