I had the neuropsych follow-up today.
She basically told me I have to use my cerebellum more and deal with the craziness in my limbic system so that I’m not relying totally on my frontal lobes. The cerebellum lets you establish routines you don’t have to consciously think about; the limbic system deals with a lot of emotional stuff and is important to memory; the frontal lobes are intellect and creativity. (Yes, I’m aware the brain is a lot more complicated than that. This is just the relevant bits.)
She said I’ve been running almost entirely off my frontal lobes my whole life. Yup, got me pegged. I’ve never had to rely on the routine-establishing powers of my cerebellum because I was easily able to hold all the information I needed in my frontal lobe.
But the AVM, gamma knife, and ECT were all frontal lobe. I probably won’t ever get back to where I was before all of that, but hey, neuroplasticity is cool! If I make my lazy cerebellum get around to routinizing (totally not a word, but whatevs) a lot of the boring everyday stuff, then my frontal lobe capacity will increase because I won’t have to spend mental energy consciously thinking about those routines.
And she thinks dealing with the trauma and dissociation will free up my limbic system to remember stuff better. She recommended EMDR, which coincidentally is one of the techniques this potential new therapist uses.
As far as reading, she basically told me I have to learn to do it like normal people do and stop waving my Smart Entitlement around. (She said it much more politely than that, of course.) I used to be able to pick up any book, breeze through it in a few days, and remember it. Hell, I could often quote bits without making any effort to memorize. Now I’ll read a page or two and think it’s getting through, only to realize a minute later I have no idea what it said. Her suggestion was read a page, summarize it in my head, and read it again.
“But that’ll be so SLOW!” I said before I could manage to bite my tongue.
Shut up, Sara, your Smart Privilege is showing. This just means you’ll have to actually study now instead of just glancing through stuff and acing tests. Now you’re the academic 98%. Quitcherbitchin.
Odd tidbit: my auditory comprehension and memory were off the chart high. Funny, considering I’m half deaf.
I see potential new therapist person tomorrow. I’m nervous as hell, and my stomach is doing all kinds of unhappy things. I know I need to tell her from the beginning about the severity of my dissociation, including the DID diagnosis. But what if that scares her off–then what? Spend 3 or 4 more months searching fruitlessly? Give up, knowing that then I’ll have NO support in a year?
Okay, Sara, stop. Don’t make this a disaster before it happens. There’s nothing you can do to change the therapist’s response, and you’re just making yourself crazy.
I feel like I’m going to puke, but I can’t because I’ve hardly eaten for the last two days.