Wanted: Your Brain

Ok people, we’re getting to the part where I need your help, where I need YOUR brain.  You know now from my letter to Dr. H that I’ve already gotten my cognition under control, but there’s still more that I can do.  I just got my piano tuned so that I can re-learn and surpass all five of the grades that I completed as a child and plans are in the works for me to learn chess.  Sudoku is also on the list, along with a serious attempt to learn Tagalog (I can understand, but I can’t speak) and sprucing up on my Francais.  Memory research is on deck for next week.  Basically we are on a mission to change my brain.  Change it, improve it, strengthen it.  I can’t work right now for obvious reasons, so from Monday to Friday from 9 – 430, I read about the brain, search for articles and case studies about Lupus Cerebritis and bipolar mania and just lupus in general, I record and rate the severity of my symptoms, my hours of sleep, etc.,  I’ve even put them into graphs.  It’s the weekend, so I put those things away and try to relax.  Even during the fight of you life, you gotta take a break.  So starting next week, I’m going to start posting questions and asking you to think about strategies in doing things like increasing memory function.  And don’t worry, you won’t have to get your hands dirty, I’ll take your war strategies to the front lines and test them out.  I’m the lab rat of your dreams, remember?

My dear father came into my room this morning and handed me a portion of the Sunday newspaper, “You might be interested in this.”  Squinting, I brought the paper up to my nose (literally up to my nose because my glasses were still on my night table) and the first words I saw were “Frontiers in Neuroscience.”  Now, most people would sit up in bed and think, oh, that’s an interesting coincidence.  I, on the other hand, put the paper right back down onto the bed and started laughing.  That’s what usually happens when you don’t know what else to do… you just laugh.  It’s usually a combination kind of laugh, like a laugh/cry or a nervous/scared kind of laugh or a holy crap (!) kind of laugh.  I think mine was somewhere in between all those.  I eventually picked the paper back up and read that the University of Winnipeg, my alma mater, is holding a new lecture series on neuroscience with topics that include brain fitness, dealing with pain, memory and emotionality, mysteries of disease, positive psychology and “more.”  You understand why I started laughing.  What you don’t know is that a few days out of the hospital Time magazine had a special issue out called “The Brain: A User’s Guide” or that the University of Manitoba’s student newspaper currently has a huge cartoon on the front of a face and it’s huge, exposed brain in order to highlight a story on right brains vs. left.  Nor do you know that I ended up on the wrong floor the morning of my chemo treatment, a floor that ended up being the Neuropsychology Unit of the hospital.  I will say no more… frankly because the whole thing creeps me out.  Just looking at the picture attached with this post freaks me out. I have the Time magazine and that newspaper in my room right now, covered up somewhere because the sight of it gives me a queasy feeling in my stomach.  I will read them eventually and I’ve actually cracked open the Time magazine finally (it’s been almost a month since I bought it), but every time I try to make a serious attempt at it, I usually stop before I even open the pages because I end up just hiding it from sight again.  Yah, I know.  It makes me feel ridiculous.

So ANYWAY, I, of course, plan to go and explore this “frontier” called neuroscience and if there are any Winnipeggers out there who want to join me, I would encourage you to do so… I have a feeling that it’s going to be very interesting.

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