Saturday, December 10, 2011

The New Brain

I went for my first time to a weekly group about embracing life as getting older. The group is called Staying Engaged for a Lifetime. It's formation is to help people feel and learn ways to further be in touch and be mentally active in life. It was initially intended for for seniors, those who are not working anymore, but since with my disease I fit into not being able to work anymore and parts of my life are gone forever so I figured I would fit into this group and it might help with my daily dealings of learning how to still strive and find a way to grow and learn.
I went and was not the only person under retirement age. I walked in happily and was greeted kindly and walking to a chair. I accidentally bumped heavily into a chair where an 80 year old woman was sitting, she grinned sweetly, I apologized and then when taking off my shoulder bag it fell forward and hit me in the forehead. Ouch. I got into my chair and thought, good I made it this far and now I'm safe in a chair so no more bumping into other people or hurting me or possibly others.

We watched a film called The Brain Fitness Program. It was about brain neuroplasticity. It talked about how the brain can create other pathways to do things that we lost. It talked about people who have alzheimer's, stroke or brain injury. It talked about and showed graphic depictions of the myelin and how communications travel through those yet people can develop other pathways to still have those abilities if they are damaged.

I have been noticing my memory and concentration skills depleting. I have on my own been doing math for fun and practicing spelling because I am seeing that I forget words and my spelling has gotten worse. But I am still forgetful in so much. I often get to a room and realize I forgot what I wanted to take or bring in there. And I want my cognitive skills to get better, making decisions and figuring stuff out has been an increasing challenge.

The film was inspiring in that it gives me hope that the brain can reform itself.

They talked about learning a new language or learning new dance steps. They talked about how memory can increase when combined with another sensation like a sound or touch.

I will keep practicing and trying new things to see if I can get and keep my brain as strong as it can be. And it is a strong help to know that it can be c'mon brain, create new pathways.