A Vacation for My Brain
Imagine this: You walk into a Doctor's office and are greeted warmly by a receptionist who offers you a cup of water, of which she boasts contains no alkaline. She tells you to have a seat and be comfortable while the Dr. prepares for your appointment. You don't know why you're at this appointment, or what it is meant to accomplish. All you know is that your mother sent you here to be a guinea pig in some form of a new age, homeopathic science experiment. You take a deep breath, sip some water, note its alkalinity with keen awareness, and wait...
From the books on the shelf you begin to make judgments of what kind of medical facility this seems to be. There is a Christian author you recognize, and there are Buddhist authors you've heard about through Oprah's world famous book club. Thumbing through the pages, picking up every other word, the book speaks your mind for you. As each page turns a word POPS into life before you and as its flipping and flapping hastens a message from your not-so-subconscious is revealed; "WHAT....AM ....I...DOING............HERE!........?"
The Dr. calls your name, so you hurriedly put the book back in its place and turn the corner to meet your doom. "Oh oh hey there buddy! I'm Dr. Manness" He seems nice enough, but there are others around, so he has to act this way. What will happen with you and your new "buddy" behind the closed doors of his office? You begin to wish your mommy was with you.
"Follow me back here and we'll get started right away." Start what? Crap he's a neuroscientist! What's he going to do with my brain? Is he going to shock my brain? Cut slices in my pre-frontal lobes? Zombify me?
"Have a seat right here in this chair, and make yourself nice and comfortable." Much easier said than done. There are wires laying over the back of the chair; red, yellow, white. Follow their source and find that they're connected to a computer whose screen rests directly in front of your face. Casual Dr.-to-patient banter ensues for an inestimable amount of time.
"Alrighty bud, we're just going to put these electrodes on your forehead. Don't you worry we're gonna use the shorter screws." Ha ha, wait, what? Was that a joke? Should you laugh? A muffled chuckle falls from your mouth.
Dr. Manness places these electrodes against your skin, and you brace for the piercing sting of screw in flesh...instead all you feel is a "squoosh". You question reality; was that what death feels like? You open your eyes to find the Dr. looking down at you with an amused grin. "Ok, we're wired! Now let's have a look." No blood, no pain! You feel relief and take a deep breath.
"So what we have here on this screen is your brain's activity." You nod, half-interested, but completely relieved that the worst seems to be over. "On this screen we see the left hemisphere, and on this one we have the right." All you see are colorful oranges, reds, and yellows splashed dominantly over a black backdrop. Was this supposed to make sense? "Hmm...you got a lotta mind chatter going on in there don'tcha?" You nod politely, but scream inwardly, "you would too if you were getting your brain scanned for reasons unknown to you!"
Dr. Manness scrolls through the colorful screen, poking at patterns only his trained eye could recognize mumbling and grumbling to himself. "Ok."
The electrodes are plucked off and the adhesive gently removed from your forehead with an alcohol rub. Now what? You wonder. "Alright buddy, we're going to run you through some frequency protocol."
You are led into a dark back room filled with computer screens, wires, and humming machines. There is a small room to your left and to your right. Both rooms contain one single reclining chair, and sound-proof foam on the walls; were these to muffle the screams? You wonder, and try to shake the paranoia. "Have a seat here. We're going to play you a series of frequencies through these headphones." Dr. Manness hands you the headphones, and you slip them over your ears. He comments on their value and rarity. You act interested, but your mind is elsewhere. "Now go ahead and recline there, just relax and enjoy your time." He leans you back in a plush leather chair and closes the door to this small room. The lights go dim, music begins to chime through the headphones, and you begin to drift...into a....very.... very deep sleep. Soon you are so out of consciousness that you don't even dream, it's as if you've fallen into a black hole so deep that you've forgotten that light exists. There are no shadows in your mind, there is no mind at all; this is delta sleep and you're along for the ride.
Minutes pass, maybe hours, maybe years. Time has become irrelevant...
You begin to open your eyes, but you're not sure if they're actually open. You see the wall in front of you, or is that the floor? Your depth perception is shot, and leaning forward feels like it could be your last move before free-falling off of a cliff. So you close your eyes again and wait until your mind decides to come back into reality.
Dr. Manness slides through the door. You've forgotten where you were, why you were here, and only the sight of his face brings you a little closer to reality. Oh yes, you're in a lab of some kind, mapping your brain, and sending frequencies through your neuro-pathways. What else is there to do on a Tuesday morning?
"How was it?" Dr. asks. You don't have words yet. You stand up and feel like you're walking in a new body. You don't trust it quite yet, so you walk slow and methodically, trying not to look unbalanced.
"These frequencies have run through your most developed neuro-pathways and have brought your brain back into homeostasis." Dr. Manness explains what you've just experienced. You don't really care what just happened, all you know is that you feel different, better, clearer. "You should notice soon that the mind-chatter will be less, and you should be able to get some good sleep tonight."
You thank him, shake his hand, and walk towards the waiting room. The receptionist smiles and offers you another cup of water, which you accept gladly. You think about your mom and realize that she is usually right just about everything. You sip the water, note its alkalinity, then stroll out of the office feeling entirely new.
Based on true events.
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