Several times a year the International Brain Research Foundation (IBRF) team visits Ryan at our home. We use the IBRF protocol (among others) as part of Ryan’s treatment and recovery. On Monday, October 15, the team is doing a complete assessment. The doctors and technicians will come right to our home with all their equipment.
One of the most important evaluations they do is a qEEG, which stands for “Quantitative Electroencephalography”. In everyday terms, this is capturing, measuring, and analyzing brain waves against the norm. For Ryan, it primarily lets us know if his brain is still healing. It also gives us information to decide where he needs the most attention.
For example, we learned in the last qEEG (in May) that the hemispheres of his brain are not cross-communicating effectively. At the most fundamental level, one hemisphere could be “sleeping” while the other is relatively active. They are not in synch. This is a huge problem. Since then we modified his neuro-feedback session (twice a week) to encourage his brain to rewire — or ideally, create — cross-hemisphere connections. We need to both quiet the “noise” (random and/or excessive electrical neuron firing) and promote reorganizing what he has.
One thing we know about Ryan, and have since his first qEEG just months after the beating (by Austin Vantrease and Jonathan May) is he senses light and sound. We know, for fact, that these reach his brain’s cerebral cortex. What we don’t know is if his brain is then able to process this information. In other words, it might get there but he simply can’t make sense of it (by invoking higher brain activity). As a practical matter, we go on the assumption that Ryan is (at least somewhat) capable and bombard him with visual and audio stimulation.
Ryan is fortunate to have some of the best minds working on his behalf. All humility aside, I consider myself in this elite club. I am the expert. Perhaps more than anyone — ever — on this planet, I have the most comprehensive understanding of brain injury. I live it every second, yes, but I also learned the medical and therapeutic aspects. I am the theoretical and practical, personified. It defines me. How I wish people still thought of me as the beer drinking, boob loving, sports fanatical slob of yore. Ah, the good ole’ days. I’d take them back in the blink of an eye, despite my obvious repulsiveness (with women, that is. Men just thought of me as one of the guy).
I’m telling you, I could put on a clinic on reading, analyzing, and interpreting an EEG. I can outpace most neurologists in assessing all the various brain wave frequencies. CAT scans of the brain… no problem. Yes, I might be bragging a
bit lot but I really wish it I didn’t know all this stuff. I hate that I do! It is true that ignorance is bliss. I know too much… too much to know that it scares me.
The human brain is the most complex organ (or anything ever, for that matter) in the universe. It’s not only unique, but uniquely unique to each person. We understand more about the universe itself!
The qEEG results, in report format, won’t be available to us for several weeks or months. This is always a stressful time for us; waiting to see if Ryan’s healing has stopped.
Kristen Brown says
Ryan and your entire family continues to be in my prayers!
Hoping for good results and for Ryan’s brain to keep on healing!!
love & many prayers sent up,
It is amazing that you know more about brain injury than many (most?) doctors — it’s at once awesome and yet — frustrating — just the fact you have to know all this information since often (most) times you have to make major decisions on your own…sigh. I’ve always felt you should be provided with much more in the way of medical advice and support.
Ryan’s progress has happened largely (dare I say almost entirely?) due to your’s and Sue’s relentlessness in seeking out new treatments, opinions, theories, clinical trials, medical professionals, state of the art equipment and other avenues to enhance Ryan’s care.
The care you provide for Ryan is, in my opinion, the gold standard of care for traumatic brain injury. Ryan is healthy and strong because of the excellent care you give him each and every day.
I believe the qEEG will show continued improvement because of everything you’ve done for your wonderful son.
I didn’t know the “Ken of yore,” but he sounds like a fun guy. I gotta say, though, I really like the Ken of today because he’s so darn smart — and you know what they say the sexiest organ of the body is, right? 😉
Someday I hope you will package the huge knowledge base you’ve accumulated regarding brain injury so that others may benefit from it. I know it’s knowledge you never wanted or expected to have — but there’s a lot of people out there desperate for it. And you’re one of the few who can give them what they really need. You’re already doing it on this blog — but a book would be awesome. Someday.
Love & prayers, always hope and still believing
Carla Liberty says
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am so glad Ryan has you and Sue for parents. You exude strength and fortitude that many of us cannot comprehend. I have a good feeling about this IBRF visit.
Gail Doyle says
Ken, Hoping and praying results with IBRF will show some improvement.You are anazing ,the knowledge you have had to unfortunately learned ,But Ryan couldn’t be in better hands then with you ,Sue and Kari
A calm day to all
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
Oh hell yeah, you’re such a hunk, right, Sue? Right, Gals?
Well ha! I still like to think of you as a beer drinking, boob loving, sports fanatical slob of yore!! So there! Also serious but fun-loving; handsome but scruffy; brilliant but humble — shall I go on? I could — all day.
Your photographic memory serves you well, Kenneth — lucky you. I don’t know what we would do without your knowledge of Ryan’s brain and your care of him. He wouldn’t be where he is today if not for you; that’s for sure!
We will be praying that the IBRF determines that Ryan’s brain continues to heal. And, hey, see what you can pick from their brains, too (I know you will)! 😉
Always here with love and prayers, and that’s the truth!
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
Hoping, praying and believing that Ryan never stops healing, and that you will receive scientific proof of that following the IBRF’s visit. You will have many with you in spirit during their home visit on Monday!
Evelyn Boxley says
Good Luck, Best wishes, and you ARE the brain injury Rockstar. Love it, embrace it, Ryan is so very lucky to have all of you and we are better off knowing you and your family!!
Hoping for a good visit with the IBRF…..looking forward to reading what they find. Have a good weekend.