Sunday, November 27, 2011

Man Uses His Schizophrenia to Gather Clues for Daily Living -

Doctors generally consider the delusional beliefs of schizophrenia to be just that — delusional — and any attempt to indulge them to be an exercise in reckless collusion that could make matters worse. There is no point, they say, in trying to explain the psychological significance of someone’s belief that the C.I.A. is spying through the TV; it has no basis, other than psychosis.

Image by alandberning via Flickr

Yet people who have had such experiences often disagree, arguing that delusions have their origin not solely in the illness, but also in fears, longings and psychological wounds that, once understood, can help people sustain recovery after they receive treatment.

I found this thought to be quite applicable to a multitude of disorders more than just schizophrenia--- that understanding the core of one's illness can actually help you find a sustaining principle that will make you more resilient.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Final Interactive Metronome Assessment and Next Steps

Image by Foxtongue via Flickr
Talked with my Occupational Therapist, Maude,  just before Thanksgiving, about the end of Interactive Metronome Training and our next steps.

She pointed out that there is some improvement from our second loop but not as much as she thought I could do.  A lot of it had to do with me just not feeling up for it.  I just didn't feel like I was really on my game.  Also, I think I might want to do more balance work as well. 

Maude didn't think that I would be getting many functional gains from another round of IM right now, so we won't repeat it.  We think overall I really improved a lot from the first IM session.  I feel a lot more focused and my motor planning is a lot better.  I am a lot more in touch with my body. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday or Cyber Monday Gifts for Various Learning Disabilities

Well, it's that time of year again that we hit the malls and go shopping.  For those of us who have a few little quirks, it's a good time to get gifts that help us in the upcoming year.

Helpful Gadgets

  1. Iphone  -- Can't recommend the iphone enough.  A vanilla iphone with no special apps can help with reminders for appointments, maps that keep you from getting lo
    Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
    Image via CrunchBase
    st, instant access to email.  When you start adding apps, you can go crazy helping yourself with ToDo lists, White Noise.   generators for tinnitus, relaxation apps, virtual helpers like Siri, vision games like Let's Tans, etc. Iphone Apps for Vision.  Iphone Apps for Organizing and Hearing
  2. Ipad -- ditto on iphone.  Plus it is bigger so it is much easier to manipulate.  Downside, it doesn't go with me everywhere; unlike the iphone.
  3. Behold the iPad in All Its Glory.
    Image via Wikipedia
  4. Sound Oasis -- Great for Tinnitus.  Generates a number of different sounds that mask tinnitus.  Nice soothing noises like rain, stream, summer night, white noise
Helpful Board Games
  1. Labyrinth -- Nice board game for visual planning skills.   Draw a treasure card, being sure not to show it to the other players. Use the extra maze card to shift the maze in any of the twelve directions allowed. Your goal is to create a path for your playing piece to reach the object on your treasure card. 
  2. Mastermind -- The game consists of multi-colored pegs and a board.  One person arranges several pegs(which are hidden from view) in any number of color schemes. The other player has several chances to guess the pattern by arranging the pegs in different orders until he guesses the correct scheme or runs out of chances .

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Things Organized Neatly

 But as for "Things Organized Neatly",  it will be a worthy goal, but I doubt that I will ever live completely like this:

or have my pomegranate seeds all in a row, like this:
is a new twist on having your ducks in a row!

Although the organizer may help out tremendously!
For more organization, see:
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Another Vision Assessment

Another assessment for vision... not much progress.

Image by Wavy1 via Flickr

I really wasn't feeling my absolute spunkiness.  In fact, I thought about calling yesterday's appointment off; but I thought, "Nah... I will just drag myself through it.  My therapist is expecting me and I should be responsible and just go."  But I really didn't want to go at all.

While wearing some strange glasses, I played a game of matching the sides of the many different triangles in order to create a pattern out of nine squares.  I could get eight to line up but I didn't all nine.   If I were feeling more up for things I would have studied the cards more.    Note to self:  start figuring out visual logic and dependencies.

I played a game with one of my little vision therapies about matching triangles while wearing flippers to work the accomodative system.  She explained it to me.  We were to match the numbers on the triangles.  We matched the numbers for a while and then I had my appointment with the doctor.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Organizing the Office

A desk in an office.
Image via Wikipedia
My husband and I are plugging onward with the organization of the office.  I can't believe that it is taking so long; but it is like pulling on a string.  The more you pull, the more you get.   Although we are at the point where we are starting to drag other stuff from other parts of the house into the office where it belongs. 

Hubby's desk is not taking to the new regimen and it still piles up with junk.  In fact, he started working at my clean desk!  He has also started dispersing stuff from his desk onto the bed.  The organizer is looking at him wondering what the problem is!  I am staying out of it.  I am not a micromanager and I am content to let the details and the nuts and bolts of organizing be a matter between the two of them.  After all, it is her job to come up with a scheme that works for him.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lions and Their Vision

As my Gentle Readers know, I have just gotten back from a safari in Africa.  I can't tell you in words about the impact that it has had on me as I am still digesting it.  I still am not totally on my sleep schedule yet and have been conking out at 8  pm or drinking lots of coffee so I fall asleep at 10 pm.

One of the things I have noticed is the difference in which animals see things.  On safari I saw lots of lions.  Lions are big in Tanzania.  In fact, the Broadway hit, "Lion King"  went over big here.  All the Tanzanians know Accoona Mattata -- No problem. 
I learned some interesting things about lions and vision.

Apparently, lions have some of the best binocular vision of all the species.  In fact, they have practically perfect binocular vision.   Biologists have noted that predators overall have the best binocular vision of all the animals.  Unlike prey animals, like zebra, a lion has its eyes square in the middle of its head.    Although there are tradeoffs in gaining great binocular vision.  A lion's visual field is compromised in favor of better depth perception and binocular vision in lions that comes with relatively narrowly placed eyes, that aid them in judging distance from prey for pouncing upon it.   This means that a lion can't see as much of the world around it as a zebra can but it is better able to judge distance so that it can pounce better.

The visual axes in a lion's eye are roughly parallel.  With parallel visual axes, the maculae of the retina can align on the same object.  The macula is oval-shaped highly pigmented yellow spot near the center of the retina that contain special light-sensitive cells. In the macula these light-sensitive cells help lions and other mammals including man see details clearly in the center of a visual field.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hearing: Pyramids, Feedback and Work

Maybe I am weird but I do enjoy visiting my audiologist!

Saw my audiologist, Maxine Young again and had a pleasant chat.  Caught her up on all the goings on with my vacations and therapies.  

My hearing has improved with my vacation and Interactive Metronome. Also, my tinnitus is way down.   She is not surprised about the tinnitus as there is a direct link between the limbic system (the seat of emotions in the brain) and tinnitus.  Since I was very relaxed, the tinnitus is way down.

We talked about my problems hearing on vacation.  I had a stopover in Egypt for 7 hours so I decided to get an airport tour and see the pyramids.  I was very tired from a long overnight flight from Tanzania.  My guide was very good and had a lot of interesting things to say about the pyramids.  Unfortunately, he spoke English with a bit of an accent!  Also, the pyramids were a little crowded with noisy groups of tourists.

Retouched versions of this picture from the ge...
Image via Wikipedia
And, I was feeling a bit overwhelmed in a new environment.  Just going from the airport to the pyramids and seeing the new buildings, the historic mosques, the Nile and the city of Cairo was just a lot for me to process.  It was exciting but a bit draining.

Of course, the pyramids themselves were spectacular.  But the more spectacular something is, the more overwhelming it can be to my poor system.

All this, impacted my hearing and I started to feel like I really wasn't understanding my guide completely. So, I told him that I had a slight hearing problem and would he mind stepping aside from the crowds and continuing his lecture.  He was agreeable and having a quieter environment, really helped me hear better and feel more relaxed.

Maxine understood this problem and congratulated me on making the necessary accommodation for my hearing problems.  I am starting to see that too much audio and visual stimulation can really decrease my ability to hear things.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For Better Vision, Try a Trip Overseas!

The original David of Michelangelo; the statue...Image via WikipediaI have noticed that my vision has improved since my vacation.  And I am wondering if this should be a new therapeutic modality for vision therapists.  You know, if your patients have that "stuck" feeling kind of like mid-semester blues that you had in college, maybe they need a vacation overseas.

I had been feeling this sense of ennui -- a feeling that you have in the middle of a voyage of "Are We There Yet?"  You look at your route, your clock or your odometer, and realize that you still have a long way to go yet.  You are flogging along and everything seems to be coming slowly if it is improving at all.  Kind of like the part of my flight to Europe when I was crossing the Atlantic Ocean.  No real markers and the plane seems to be just stuck out in the middle of the ocean.

Frankly, I was feeling like I just wanted to throw in the towel,  get eye surgery and be done with the whole bloody business.

However, I know it is not so simple.  In fact, my family doctor said to be VERY CAREFUL if you go down that route.  My audiologist was even more emphatic:  "DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO AVOID EYE SURGERY!!   If you start messing around with the eyes, you can have a lot of unintended consequences."

Friday, November 11, 2011


IMG_1385aImage by Alaskan Dude via FlickrI'm BAAACK!!!  

Yes, I'm Back Alright!

Back in the good old US of A.

I arrived the day before yesterday and have been gradually getting over jet lag.  I feel that I can actually start blogging a bit.  Nothing profound.

Just a Hey, Howdy to my Gentle Readers to let them know that I will be pecking at the keyboard anon.

So much to say.  Where do I start?

I don't know exactly, but I do know I need to catch people up on the final therapy sessions that I had completed before I left and then some thoughts on the relationship between my trip and different sensory problems that I suffer from.

I can share some amusing thoughts on Gluten and Italy (give you a hint, I wasn't gluten free!).

Also, some thoughts about evolution, social relations, emotions, neuroscience, non-Western alternative medicines and consciousness.  Well, that's a bit of a mouthful.  But, stay tuned and you will know what I am talking about!

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