Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Hypnotherapy, Pink Floyd and Corpus Callosum

Pink Floyd is one of my favorite bands.  When I was in college, I used to study and listen to Pink Floyd. One of my favorite songs was “Brain Damage.”

“The lunatic is in the hall.
The lunatics are in my hall.
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

That song resonated even before I had two strokes. Now, “Brain Damage” is very ironic considering I do have brain damage!  The lyrics are fitting because my head exploded with dark forebodings that scared me so much because I thought I would die.

It is hard for me to realize that I do have brain damage.  In some obscure way, even now, I do not think this is me. But it is.  About 20% of my brain is gone.

I am so grateful that I have the tenacity to try anything that will help me recover. In the hospital, a therapist told me that I would never drive again because of double vision and limited vision on my right side.  A doctor told me that I could never work again because of the damage.  “Just realize this is your life and basically take it easy.” One doctor told my wife and I that I “had to have memory loss” because they scanned my brain (a lot!), and they knew I must have memory loss. My right arm was paralyzed for a while, and some thought I would have some limited mobility issues.

They were wrong. I recovered all of those things that they said were impossible.  They just do not know me and my support systems! I have been beating the odds so far, and I will never quit. Ever.

One hurdle that I will want and need to conquer is reading and hand writing.  I was a speed reader. I love to read, and I would read several books at a time.  The fact that my hobby was reading and my profession required a lot of reading makes this challenge even more important.

I cannot take notes like a Power Point. I just cannot hand write anything. I cannot read aloud. I can comprehend everything, but I cannot express it…reading, hand writing, math, etc. There is a disconnect in my brain. I'll see you on the dark side of the moon.

I was researching strokes and vision because I have vision loss.  (It takes me a long time to read anything!) I happened to read several studies about strokes, vision, and hypnotherapy.  I have no qualms trying unusual therapies. Right arm is weak because of the stroke? The key is acupuncture! So why not try hypnotherapy to see if I can read fluidly again.

One website said “This stroke program is an amazing process to teach the brain how to repair damage from stroke or brain injury. This program asks the brain to electrically reconnect the wiring, find new areas of the brain to perform certain functions, and heal the spirit. After a part of the brain is damaged, another part can begin to take over the function. As the brain practices, during hypnosis, it uses a new area to produce speech or movement; it strengthens the electrical signals to that new part of the brain, and then grows new connections from that part of the brain to the function that is needed.”

have had two appointments with my hypnotherapist, and today we concentrated on reading and bridging the gaps in my corpus callosum. It is a wide, flat bundle of neural fibers beneath the cortex  and it connects the left and right cerebral hemispheres and facilitates interhemispheric communication.

During this session, we worked on my capacity to make new pathways in my brain. I will focus a lot of my energy trying to bridge the damage in my brain.

I really believe that this is possible. Just like many people told me I cannot recover fully, I cannot accept that possibility. 

My life is about possibilities. 

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