Friday, July 27, 2012

Finna Levels

Trying to describe the different levels of intensity/insanity/out-of-controlness that is Finna I came up with the description that I want to install a rheostat on her. 


noun Electricity .
an adjustable resistor so constructed that its resistance may be changed without opening the circuit in which it is connected,thereby controlling the current in the circuit.

Finna came to us with her rheostat stuck between hyper-vigilant and frenzied. There really didn't seem to be any setting lower than that for a long time. Today her settings have a range beginning with relaxed/happy and continuing all the way up to frenzied. Sadly we do still see the frenzied setting from time to time but there are quite a few more settings than just watching for things to fly into a frenzy about (hyper-vigilant) and has completely lost it and cannot think at all (frenzied). 

We don't see relaxed/happy as often as I'd like but Finna is spending more time in calm/alert than ever before. My goal is to get her rheostat stuck between those two settings. At those settings she can think and make good choices. At calm/alert she hears the scary garbage truck on the street but chooses to stay focused on playing ball. I love that she can do that sometimes. 

As she escalates past the calm/alert setting Finna goes through 
concerned where she's thinking about whether something is scary to 
worried where she thinks that it is scary but can still think about whether she needs to react to 
upset where she's reacting to the frightening thing but can often re-engage her brains and dial it back down to 
freaked out where thinking goes completely out the window and she reacts with fear and aggression to 
hyper-vigilant and then 

Actually we don't see hyper-vigilant all that much any more; she seems to blast right through from freaked out to frenzied. When she gets to frenzied we have no control at all, at that level I'm not even sure she knows us. She does seem to know us at freaked out and I can sometimes see her trying to respond to us and our efforts to help her by removing her from the problem but the pathways just aren't well enough marked in her brain for her to be able to find her way back to sense once she's freaked out. At that point all we can do is remove her and give her time to settle down. 

Still, on the upside we don't spend nearly as much time at the high end of her settings as we once did and there are additional settings so we are making progress. Just very very slow progress. 

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