“The improvements are happening as our brains rewire. It is (now) classic neuroplasticity. Never underestimate temporal duration and persistent practice. The combined positive effect of both outpaces the detriments of aging.”

Never dismiss the outliers. Learn from them. In this age, everyday people more easily connect with more “exceptions” at an earlier stage of experience in trajectories of changing states-of-being. This results in rapid and earlier correction of professional expert and scientific conventional wisdom (assuming truth reflects actual outcomes and not necessarily convenient data–see long trending observation of hypotheses and theories packaged and disseminated as substantiated experiential facts, statistics framed to advance particular paradigm*). Face validity discounted. Lifting veils

Do not set aside those outliers. Rather, identify intervening variables that generated them!

* Often done with honorable intention, but we shall not exercise inconsistent practices in judging standards and advancing management paradigms, with unintended consequence of doing more harm.

Time to measure.

*Energy* plus Flow equals synthesis of inputs and generation of life-enriching outputs.

A bit of everything is contributing.

Even the external portions of my ABI are officially a part of me: I washed my face, put in my eye ointment, turned off the lights, and got all situated in bed, almost asleep, without realizing the microphone, transmitting coil, and BTE processor were still on my head. Talk about “Freedom!” I think this was a first in the two years I have had it.

I’m at the mercy of others for rides for awhile. (It’s informal and self-imposed.) The role is one of capitulation when it comes to few and far-between local trips around town: I’m not all pushy about controlling the tunes. So, bye-bye to my preferred grooves, and hello, unknown/later-checked Sunny 101.5. The perfect laboratory setting, though: caught unaware, seconds after we had slowed for several deer to dart across the road at twilight, and this song sounds familiar. “I think I know this song…” Seconds later: You Can Call Me Al–for sure, based on the smiling driver, and courtesy each of my 4 programs. Program 3 allowed for initial recognition, with Program 2 yielding the best capture of range of sounds in the moving vehicle.

Overall, concern about limb weaknesses grew today. But I do hope to be documenting more settings and listening experiences soon–hopefully feeding back on overall strength building. I had the orientation to all this formulated and put into action so well as a late-teen and through early twenties. I recovered it a couple times, but don’t seem to complete what I need to get things to stick before another hit shifts it all again. When you can’t pin it down, you just try to do whatever you can, and keep at it, altering pieces here and there–aware of plenty that you’re missing. Interaction.
Just so there’s no bogging down in better or worse, rather than just different; the aspects and qualities we miss when we judge prematurely…

Good stuff so far. There’s so much tweaking I can do with four programs in my processor, plus sensitivity and volume adjustments over a good range. We’ll see how beneficial that is. With the BTE, I did have a moment when I felt FREEDOM in full-force. I’ll fill out details of the day, and throw in pictures, when I get back to desktop. I’ve already found a good combo/settings for a noisy restaurant environment and for listening to music over road noise. I’m a little overloaded for now, so choosing rest for the moment.

On our way to Indy. In the Mood (instrumental edition and GMB classic) is in my head. U2 ATYCLB is spinning in the CD deck. I can’t be on the cutting edge of everything in the world of electronic sound regeneration, afterall.

I’m getting my Cochlear Nucleus 22 ABI upgrade speech processor programmed in a few hours. And I’m blogging it.

It kind of figures. The day after I pop Liquid California in the tape deck, I receive confirmation on the first programming session for my Nucleus 22 ABI Freedom upgrade processor. The box came last week.

(pic insert; just see Flickr widget for now; also note marketing demographics: the hip youngsters on one side of box, and “mature” couple on the other side)

I haven’t had a chance to inspect the contents closely and play, er, learn about the components and accessories, but soon enough!

Other mechanical updates:

I’ve resumed my balance exercises. I’m amazed how much stability and flexibility have returned in my legs (as much as I’m nostalgic for my toned, muscular legs of youth). So, of course, I’m encouraging even more. (I couldn’t hold myself up, or get out of a chair or bed last March/May, and had to lean against the counter for teethbrushing.) That’s a rerun of prior recoveries, although at an extreme degree. That’s also after when I started being conscious of actions, I suppose. Weird, wild stuff…

My arms and hands were so weak. I wasn’t up to sitting at a computer, let alone typing. My left pinkie and ring fingers were limp, yet rigid. I could only reposition them with my other hand. Still, I kept up with this exercise where I touch the hand’s thumb to each fingertip, successively, concentrating on strength and accuracy. I’m guessing this builds dexterity. For both hands, improvements came slowly with time (perhaps aided with manual, deliberate teethbrushing). The left pinkie is still significantly weakened, but I’m now able to semi-straighten it (rather than it being in a perpetual claw form), as well as pull it into fist-form with the rest of the fingers. I did not expect that function to return. When I first started typing again, I had to use another finger to type zzzzs (a letter more commonly used by me than most people). I’m now happy to report my pinkie is handling the z beautifully.

All of this is icing on top of just living. I’m just mentioning it for others with various neurodegenerative diseases. My toes, feet, and lower legs are still fairly weak and lack the sensation and mobility of my younger days, but I don’t talk about the losses hardly ever. I do the exercises I can (the ones that don’t require any equipment, as I’ve mentioned before), and what happens is always icing. While I’m receptive to improvements, I’m always doing the best with what’s actually there now. I’m convinced of the effectiveness of momentum and inserting improvements to routine–making routine–for the purpose of body and behavior modification.

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