Brain scan really went to my head |

Brain scan really went to my head

April in Glenwood
April E. Clark
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark

Typically it’s a columnist no-no to write about not being able to write.

But at the exact moment I attempt to write this column – about a brain scan I received during research for a news story – I can’t concentrate to save my life.

This is going somewhere, I promise.

I simultaneously have four computer windows open. One is this column. The second is the news story I’m writing about neurofeedback training. I’m also nosing around on Facebook and checking football scores on the Internet. And I just put in a load of laundry while thinking about what I could eat for dinner.

An F-word comes to mind.

Focus, April. Focus.

Of course I’m not the only one in the world who has more thoughts running through her head than there are bulls in Pamplona. Technology seems to have the world in a sprint-from-a-pissed-off-bull pace. Everyone’s connected to each other in some form or fashion, whether it’s through social networking, cell phones or Internet telephony.

And I thought phone sex was racy.

I’m as guilty as the next girl for calling or texting from the top of the mountain while skiing. If I forget to take my phone with me when I leave the house, it’s as if I’ve lost all ability to communicate. About the only way to be out of pocket is to disappear on a week- or month-long raft trip through Utah or Arizona.

My brain scan reveals I might need to make that happen in 2010.

Last week, I visited Jan Harr and Jaclyn Gisburne, PhD, at their Rocky Mtn. NeuroAdvantage office in downtown Glenwood Springs to learn more about their services. They offer electroencephalography (EEG) neurofeedback and emotional freedom techniques (EFT) training for a variety of purposes. Children and adults have benefited from their expertise. Even golfers and runners have seen them for focus training.

Tiger could use a visit.

I’m always up for trying something new, so I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my first EEG. And as often as I crack my head on stuff, it probably won’t be my last.

This is one of those stories that makes my mother cringe.

In the fifth grade, I was playing croquet with some neighbor kids. One girl decided to use her mallet as a baseball bat. I just happened to be standing behind her in the ideal location for lawn-sport disaster.

Croquet mallet, meet April’s temple.

I ended up going to the hospital, having an EEG and being diagnosed with a concussion. My more recent brain scan revealed some trauma on the top of my noggin, so it’s a toss-up if it was the croquet injury – possibly more prevalent than one would imagine. Or it could have been the time I was walking to a party in college, slipped and fell on the ice and hit the noodle hard. I ended up finding a closet to sleep in, which I know isn’t very funny. Except I was in college and that’s the kind of story 20-year-old co-eds find humor in, and never forget. Luckily I haven’t missed too many steps from being accident prone in my younger years.

I still get uneasy around croquet mallets, though.

Thursday’s brain scan revealed I have a high intelligence factor. If he’s out there somewhere, my high school algebra teacher just shot milk from his nose. I also laugh a lot, talk a lot and possess an expansive social arena for fun. That’s the good news.

I think.

The bad news is my brain energy runs hot. That means my brain is almost always working hard. High-octane action. Especially when I should be tucking myself into bed, with sugar plums dancing me into a dream state. Hence the writing, wasting time on the Web, laundry folding and food fantasizing – all in one sitting.

There’s that F-word again.

“Your intelligence is one of your assets as a coping skill,” Jan said. “In terms of sequencing and organizing, you can go into overload before you’ve even started. Meditation should keep your brain acquainted with quiet.”

I like the sound of that.

Especially on the river. Doctor’s orders.

April E. Clark likes the idea of training her brain to chill. She’d like to start with a trip to a sandy beach with an amazing sunset, and welcomes relaxing vacation idea suggestions. She can be reached at

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