CCN in Focus

Saw Dr D yesterday. At our last session she scored a test. This test indicates I have moderate Asperger’s. Don’t know enough about Asperger’s to have any feelings one way, or another. I think it likely that if I had answered the test battery in “pre-accident mode” the results might have been different. I do know I may have pulled my punches on this instrument. One question stands out.

This question asked if I felt others take advantage of me. My immediate inclination was to answer with a strong “yes,” “absolutely,” “No doubt about it at all.” My second thought was to dial this response back a bit to ensure I would appear “normal.”

The reason for the strong response had two triggers. The first concerns an “investment” made in a lawyer in Montreal. I borrowed against the house to pay his big fees and out of that I received nada. Zip. For that major “investment” I have no return at all. Some investment. That is one reason I feel taken advantage of.

The second reason derives from shopping at the Farmer’s Market. I paid for my purchase and was in the process of leaving when the stall keeper came after me. I was confused as to what she wanted, then realized she was attempting to give me my change of one dollar. If she had not chased after me, if she had been less than honest, I would have walked away completely unknowing. If I consider all the other commercial transactions I engage in, it becomes obvious the possibilities for me as a mark are almost unlimited.

During today’s slow ramble (the Dentist has warned me off exercise), I attempted to puzzle out why I messed up on the change. I made a point of calculating purchases equal to the cash I had on hand. I was completely focused on the transaction as I have done other silly things such as walk away leaving my wallet, or my debit card, or, even better, I manage to hang on to both the wallet and debit card, but walk away from my new purchases. Cannot beat that for the trifecta.

For the past few weeks I have been working to obtain a better understanding of the role of the CCN. I was aware of my past problems with transactions. I know I was intent on performing correctly. Why then the slip up?

My hunch is that my error was precisely due to activation of the CCN. I suspect this gives me a sort of tunnel vision. I “knew” the elements that I must concentrate on (wallet, debit card, purchases) and I made sure that I had all three. What I had not counted on was a fourth variable, the change.

I realize that I do the same thing when driving. My total focus is on the road and the surrounding traffic and situational circumstance. There is little awareness of anything outside of the operational conditions.

I am fairly certain that I do something similar when seeing my doctors. I know of at least one session when the doctor sought to introduce a new, parallel topic. I bulldozed right past this alternate area of discussion and maintained full focus on the topics that I felt I needed to address in that meeting. I think this too was an aspect of CCN function. It is similar to using a flashlight. You only see what is directly within the beam. Everything else is eliminated.

When I return home, I am “safe.” The CCN flashlight is turned off and my task performance also falls off. The exception to this is in those performance areas in which I have a long established history and enjoy access to a significant body of prior tacit knowledge (photography, cooking, writing), These are the task performance areas in which I have been most active since the accident.

In fact, my hunch is that I first applied the CCN in these areas without the conscious awareness of doing so. I know that I struggled with job application letters until I finally arrived at a basic form letter I could tweak as required. Since starting the blog I have discovered an ability with the written word that I did not experience before (I was a heavy reader which may explain some of this ability). With photography, I accepted changes in the process steps, lowered the technical requirements, and established a simplified routine that delivers acceptable results. With cooking I have given up all pretense at anything gourmet, or any sort of exotic food adventurism, and made simple, cheap, nutritious meals the core of my diet.

My interpretation of past events is that my first significant activation of the CCN came when writing the initial insurance claim appeal. This was an unconscious application. I was unaware of the CCN, or the fact that I was utilizing it. The further unconscious application of the CCN began with the start of work on this blog. This led to improved results in the areas of blog posts, and blog photography. In January of this year, I became cognizant of the role of the CCN in TBI rehabilitation and I am now attempting to extend the application of the CCN to all other areas of my life.

CCN in Focus Update:

The lawyer did provide one tangible benefit for which I am very grateful. I had been on a government wait list for a GP for well over two years. Within a month of contracting an expensive Montreal lawyer, I was provided with access to a Gatineau GP. This speaks volumes about the operation of the health care system in Québec.

I cannot remember my diet in the period following the accident. My memory is of peanut butter sandwiches and porridge. I am sure that I ate more than that but that is all I remember. I do know that I ceased all exotic food adventurism.