I am a skeptic, as you know, and this stuff all starts to sound a little ridiculous after a while, even to me. I mean, how is it possible that sitting in a room and staring at a computer screen can make my extremities fall asleep for days, or that this feeling can some how signal that I am accessing 23-year old traumatic memories?
<she stomps her feet and kicks a few things in defiance>
After neuro on Tuesday, I was having even more body pain-- this time, in the head and neck region. My neck was incredibly uncomfortable, and I was having a strange kind of headache-- not a migraine, and not an internal headache, but one that felt like the thin layer of skin and muscle around the outside of my skull was sore with tension.
Who knew that after all these years, even I could have a new kind of headache?!
So when I went back on Thursday, I told Dr. Q about all of this, and we tried a new protocol.
We'd been expected to try something new on Thursday anyway, because Dr. Q was consulting with a second person this week on my case: a woman with an RN background who has been in the field of neurofeedback for 21 years. She turned out to be a great teacher who passed along her rationale to Dr. Q, who passed it along to me.
And you know what that means...
You'll dig this, actually-- it makes perfect sense.
Remember the picture of all that beta and high beta in my Q results?
Basically, all that yellow, orange, and red = tension. And a lot of it is coming from the actual, internal brain activity, but there is also plenty of it being picked up from around the edges-- along the skull-- that is coming from the muscles themselves.
So the neurofeedback session works to relax those frequencies, but then afterward, sometimes, muscles and structures that aren't used to being relaxed will overcompensate by kicking into overdrive and clenching back up again even harder.
Or hiking those shoulders back up to their customary place under the earlobes.
Or slamming back down on that imaginary brake pedal.
See: me after a massage. For example.
So, that satisfies me that it's connected to the neuro. It certainly makes sense. It fits with every theory we've been working under. Every new development has coincided with a treatment session.
On to question number two: what makes me think it's related to the car accident?
I think we're revisiting the injury sites. The physical injury sites. Even the ones I've forgotten about.
It's like a ghost-walk down repressed-memory lane.
- First there was the shooting nerve pain in my arm and knee, which was ambiguous at first but is less so now.
- I don't think about my knees being injury sites from the accident so much, but they were: they were embedded 2-inches deep into the steel frame of the car. I've never regained feeling in either kneecap, but the right one is the worst. I suppose it was one of the worst injuries on my body, although I didn't experience it as such at the time.
- Arm: same thing. My right arm was my shifting arm, my steering arm. That night, I jerked the wheel hard, once to the right, and then a last-ditch effort back to the left.. My right shoulder would have taken the brunt of that effort. There was an injury there.
- Then there was the circulation problem in my arms and legs. That has always been related to my car accident. I still have that problem, although to a smaller degree now. The extreme to which is was happening after last week's neuro session was something I experienced in the months immediately following the accident and was an instant, visceral connection of body and emotional memory.
- Next was the terrible aching in my neck. It was so uncomfortable that it hurt to hold my head up.
- Grade 3 whiplash was one of the most major injuries from the accident. For months after the accident, I could not hold my head up with my neck muscles alone. It would just fall to the side, as if my neck were made of string.
So there's all of that. But here's the kicker:
As these pains calm down, they morph slowly into the more-familiar "cold fire," "off-gassing" feeling that I've been getting throughout the last few years of therapy with Dr. Oz-- the stuff that happens at moments of breakthrough, moments of release of the old trauma and embrace of the new order.
For the past few days, I'm not getting pain anymore, I'm getting cold fire, constantly. And it's concentrating at spots of injury:
... walking on icy feet up the back of my neck ...
... circling up my right arm from elbow to shoulder ...
... clustering at the inside edge of my right kneecap...
... shivering up my thighs to dance in a cool, shimmering, radiant band across the front of my hips, where there once sat a deep, black bruise, 18-inches long and 3-inches tall, from the seatbelt that saved my life.
And weirder than that... it's happening on demand. It calms down for a while, but starts back up again whenever I think, speak, or write about it.
Right now, it's fired up and radiating like crazy.
I believe it. My body certainly does.
Once again, I have to just trust that something is happening here, and just settle back and watch the show. This tactic hasn't steered me wrong yet.
The body knows, says Dr. Oz, and she is right. It does. It always has.
My brain has held these things, these memories, all this time, just waiting for the opportunity to finish the gesture; play them out for good and let them fade.
I think maybe this is what we're doing now. I hope it is.
I hope this is what it feels like: a body that is letting go of what it has held so tightly to, because holding on seemed like the only way to survive.
I have a sense, not of mining through old fears-- I really don't have any conscious fear associated with these old memories anymore-- but of slowly clearing out a backlog so that I can begin to deal with the life that is in front of me.
These old things have been keeping me from being where I am, and it's time for them to go.
The body knows.
Let's do this, then, body. I've got some living to do.
Right here, right now.