Monday, February 10, 2014

Cognitive Health - (MedBoard: Joint Base Lewis-McChord) Day 248

Just a quick photo I snapped of Mt. Rainier from the front of the hospital

I sent a text to my squad leader “MOU Today”, then went down and made my wife and I a smoothie for breakfast consisting of banana, strawberry, blueberry, a little apple juice and some ice. It was pretty good! I then hung out and read the news for a while. Even though I sent the text, I never planned to go to the navy today. My plan is to work on some schoolwork (which is also my MOU). I have appointments at Ft. Lewis later on this afternoon, so I figured I’d hang out and have a leisurely morning at home before getting ready and heading in. After my smoothie and some coffee, I continued to do my 2013 taxes. I had to pause after a while because some of the paperwork I need is in my wife’s car…and she left a while ago. I hunkered down and started my schoolwork, I’m currently in week 6 of this 8 week class.

After homework I got ready for the day…showered and shaved, then drove to Ft. Lewis. I think I like this schedule where I can get up and get ready slowly, get my homework done, and then head to Ft. Lewis in the afternoon. I don’t have to deal with any formation or pretty much anything army related except for my appointments. My first appointment today was at 1300 for my cognitive health class. This is the group class where the navy captain discusses a lot about how powerful the brain is. She went through a number of PowerPoint slides, then had us each talk about how we felt the last week while in pain. My story is the tale of two extremes, it seems when my pain is low I start to think everything’s going to be OK and perhaps I’m getting better and not going to have to deal with pain anymore. When my pain is bad I think my life sucks and this is how I’m going to feel the rest of my life…I will never be able to do simple things such as play with my kids. She then had us all try and relax with our eyes closed, then she guided us into some deep relaxing therapy. During the entire process trying to imagine or focus was hard for me, the entire time it seemed like the vent in the ceiling just kept getting louder and louder. The captain said that is actually a good thing…I guess when a person relaxes a lot their mind may focus and pick up on other things going on around them…OK.

After the cognitive health class, I had a chiropractor appointment. The appointment was quick and good. The chiropractor does the manipulation on my neck and spine, then also pulls my head and does some stretches, pulling my head and pushing my shoulder. I felt better after the appointment and went to schedule my future appointments for both acupuncture and chiropractic. What should have been a 5 to 10 minute process turned into an hour and a half process. Evidently someone at some point in the last couple weeks was scheduling my appointments under a different person in the army that has my same name. They should be checking the last four of the social security number or the DoD number, but didn’t. I just happened to notice none of my previously scheduled appointments were not on the slip I was given. When the appointment desk checked it out they found out their mistake…so I had to stand there waiting for them to get everything corrected. It doesn’t help when the guy behind the desk hates his job and was constantly letting everyone know. Once he finally did finish, I headed home for the day and hung out with my wife.

We did make it to the YMCA and I had a good cardio workout on the elliptical. I spoke earlier to my chiropractor about working out and how if I try and push myself, I always end up in a lot of pain. He said to try and push really hard for only 30 seconds, then go at a slower pace for 5 minutes. I used his method for the entire 45 minute workout and surprisingly I still felt like I had a great workout and more importantly I wasn’t in any severe pain. I’ll stick with this and see if it continues to work out for me from now on.

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