Friday Jan.8, 2021
Wow — what a morning! This morning I met with Dr Corey for a results consult re: the brain map and testing I did on Wednesday Jan 6. Obvious first impressions of him were young, super smart, and definitely following his passion. He said he was glad to meet me because I have a “very interesting” brain. In a good way, he reassured me!
But first, a pic of me from Wednesday in my snazzy brain map cap:
Steve and I met with Dr Corey in his office. He had two monitors pointed toward us so we could easily see the images. He went into great detail yet made it simple to understand. He answered every question and gave us all the time we needed. I learned so much.
I learned that my forgetfulness doesn’t make me stupid. My brain is just wired that way.
I learned my default for seeing everything negatively isn’t a character flaw. I’m not a critical person. This is what traumatic events did to my brain. I can’t not see the negative first. It takes intentional effort for my brain to find the positives. I learned that this default can be reset.
I learned that my mother’s anxiety and emotional distress during my gestation affected my developing brain. I was born hard-wired for hyper awareness. As a result, since day 1, I have been scanning my environment for threats of any kind. Add molestation, bullying, and physical/emotional abuse, and my child brain really didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of normally processing any of those things.
Let’s talk about forgiveness and how my faith in God plays into all of this. Yes, I believe in God. Yes, I believe I am His intentional creation with a divine purpose in this world. Yes, I absolutely believe in forgiveness. Forgiveness unlocks the door to healing.
And, I believe the path to complete healing takes more than forgiveness.
I forgave my molester. I forgave my bully. I forgave my mom for the yelling and the slapping. I forgave her for grabbing my arm so hard her fingernails drew blood. I wore sleeves long enough to cover the bruised scratches the next day at church to protect her. I don’t ask why she behaved that way, I ask how could there be any other scenario for her, given her early childhood trauma, daily battles with fear and anxiety, not to mention 8 pregnancies in 10 years before she got pregnant with me. She was a good mom. She taught me so much. She was a victim of her flawed brain just as I am mine.
Resentment? Not even a little bit.
Understanding and compassion? 100% every single day for the rest of my life.
And here I am with a still broken brain. Can’t pray it away. Can’t hide it anymore. Can’t live with it. But I need my brain to live so… What’s next, God?
I believe God is the Father of Science. God gave me good doctors. He gave me good pharmacists and pharmaceuticals. He gave me Dr C, who is crazy smart and deals with leading edge neuroscience every single day. God made a way for me to find Dr C who can give me a plan for healing my brain.
Why doesn’t God just heal me without all the struggle and drama? Good question! I’ve yelled at Him more than a couple times about that exact expectation. He absolutely can do this. But for reasons above my spiritual pay grade, He has chosen this path for me instead.
Here comes the fun stuff! Following is irrefutable diagnostic proof that I do, in fact, have a brain. These are pictures I took of the screen during my consult today. I will explain them to the best of my ability. Dr C, my sincerest apologies if I mess it up, and you have an open invitation to correct me in the comments!
This image shows the activity in my brain. In the top left image you can see I have circled a particular section. This is the actual damage done by my early childhood trauma. The red shows my meds taking effect. Blue indicates problem pathways.
These images give you a closer look at the affected areas. You can see the arrow I drew in the image on the left, pointing to a golden coloured spot. This is the trauma damage. On the bottom row you can see I circled one graph that is heavily marked by blue lines. Remember, blue means bad. This is my brain, in hyper awareness, while I was at rest. These are my hamsters that can’t get off their wheels, even if I’m relaxing. That’s a problem.
On the right you see a close up view of my cerebellum, at the bottom of my brain. The arrow is indicating the blue area which is not functioning properly, possibly due to whiplash and concussion I sustained in a vehicle accident in 1994. This is exactly where I now have constant pain and muscle tension. Neurofeedback has the potential to offer significant improvement in pain levels, muscle tension release, and range of motion. Dr C has ordered an MRI to confirm.
These images are very telling. The one on the left shows the different levels of social engagement. Over a period of several years, without even realizing it, I have defaulted more and more to the Dorsal Vagal. Checking out completely has become almost automatic.
The image on the right shows activity in my amygdala. The orange shows my brain in a hyper aware state. WAY too much orange happening here. Remember, these images were recorded while I was AT REST. Sitting completely still. Five minutes with eyes open, five minutes with eyes closed. My brain cannot rest. This explains why I don’t sleep. I basically nap in 3–4 hour chunks throughout the night, unless I take a prescription sleep aid.
It is so cool to be able to look at my brain and see where it is functioning and where it needs healing. It is so encouraging to know there is actual help for me. I don’t have to stay stuck in dysfunction. Nothing gives Hope a boost like a good Plan. I’m in great hands at Neurvana Health.
My next appointment is January 15. Look out brain — Dr C’s comin’ for you!
Please share this with anyone who may find it interesting or helpful to their personal journey. If my mess can be a ray of hope for someone else, it is all worth it.
Until next time, be good to your brain. It’s doing the best it can.