Monday, May 23, 2016

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I was one of these It makes sense to me now.

I was very much aware of my surroundings but I don't look like I am. My youngest daughter is at home. She says I have "bitchface." I looked at my face in the mirror. I show no affect. There's no emotion whatsoever. Happy, sad, angry, or surprised, I don't show it. Here's more on Resting Bitchface Syndrome,

Treatment has been given due to looks. I look like a vegetable so I am placed with vegetative patients.

A music therapist describing me at a hospital... "They put Angela in a wheelchair right in front of me and told me I could start playing. While I played Angela said to me, " I used to play that song on piano." I was shocked that she was able to speak and carry on a conversation - even though she was a little hard to understand in the beginning,"

I describe another situation, "I was at a new hospital (there were many in my long stay). I was fed up by then with new staff having to learn my qualities. So I had a bit of an attitude.

I could hear a nurse outside my room in the hall.  She was talking and laughing with her friends. She came into my room and she changed. She spoke to me very slow and simple, like I couldn't understand. I was getting angry, and she continued. I was just getting angrier. Finally she finished. Lucky for her I'm a smart-ass. I said, "You must be special."

She stopped right there. "What?"

I have been starting to smile. Hopefully that makes a difference. My bitchface can fade away, then.

This came out recently,

How Some Patients in a Vegetative State Can Retain Awareness, Despite Appearing Unresponsive

Neuroscience News

When I first opened my eyes I understood that two hospitals were competing for me while I was in a coma. Why? Probably this, or, me showing consciousness. Something while my eyes were closed must have indicated to doctors that I would regain consciousness. Sorry guys, it took longer than there was funding.
Not only am I writing, but the concepts require serious depth. The issue of savant syndrome gets pulled into this. I finished high school when 16, as well as other early stuff. Savant syndrome might get muddied in this. It might be the answer. Technically, though, I am unconscious on paper. So only I ask those questions.

Since I am writing, there is absolutely no question about my consciousness. Why the government continues to question whether I am conscious or not is a good question. Are they worried something bad will happen?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Great Shot of My Hands

Sometimes the unexpected shows up in a picture. I wasn't expecting to see this at all. This is initially why I was determined brain dead. I just had the posture and nothing else. Now in this picture, you see the posture, but I add something else. Not only do I add something. but it is the exact opposite. I add life.

Somebody once said to me, "Are yo u decerebrate?" I wanted to answer 'yes.' That's what this picture is minus the baby. If that picture was of just me laying in a hospital bed, most would say it's the end of life and time to pull the plug. "Are you decerebrate?" or "Are you brain dead?" It's a rhetorical question.

The photo above is impromptu. I didn't plan it at all. My daughter was caring for a friend's baby. He was fussy. I said hand him to me.

The baby got quiet and my daughter took a picture. I looked at it later. It was a great shot of my hands.

Look at my hands. My left hand (your right) is the one I use all the time. It is primarily closed. The palm and thumb are open, but the fingers still come down. My right hand (left side of photo) is no longer tightly fisted, but it is still in a fist.

I earlier had a picture showing the decebrate and decorticate positions. 

The terms mean no cerebrum or cortex of the brain. My hands are still bent. It is said I have no cerebrum or cortex to use. Umm... I am writing this. That picture above, at the top, was just taken and I still exhibit the posture. How am I functioning without most of my brain?

Sunday, May 8, 2016

My NDE(s)

Recently, I was reminded that I did not initially believe I had a Near Death Experience (NDE). I didn't see or hear anything.
When I got medical records, there it was in black and white. I had to be resuscitated.

Click to make bigger.

Further evidence can be seen in my body and behavior since I had a brain bleed. I exhibit many of the behaviors listed:
1. Death is joyous, safe, comfortable. a continuation, not to be feared.
2. Change in profession or job
3. Greater spiritual outlook on life
4. Increased risk taking
5.  Greater "zest for living". Life is for living, the "light" is for later.
6.  Greater appreciation of the daily struggles of ordinary life.
7.  Sense of meaning, even in the most mundane aspects of life.
8. Divorce is common.
9. Greater sensitivity to emotions, feelings, lessons of love.
10. Increased time spent with family, friends, social activities
11. Greater contributions to charity, volunteer service.
12. Decreased over the counter and illicit drug use.
13. More loving, caring for others.
14. More likely to be in a helping or service oriented profession.
15. Can be more resilient emotionally, take more emotional risks as transformation permits accelerated healing.
16. Become religious or spiritual leaders especially after Hellish experiences.
My NDE belongs with the other NDEs, but I had no recollection of one occurring. It does fit in there somewhere. I don't know how to get it recognized. I found the following video interesting. I can't confirm or deny any of it. It is not mine. 

I suppose my Near Death Experience would put me with the other miraculous healings in this video.

The first NDE had to have occurred while my eyes were closed. There could have been one or more. My eyes were closed for 5 weeks. I do have one recollection of seeing the pastor from my church. He was there at the hospital in the very beginning when the coma would have been full-on. My eyes were closed. I couldn't have seen him with my eyes.

Another "experience" happened later while I was still hospitalized,  Again, I did not see anything. Afterwards, I am filled with wonder and awe. I am not dead! Isn't anyone impressed by that? The people present weren't.

There may have been times in between those two. I wouldn't be surprised if it had been happening closer to when my eyes were closed. Memories are very few for me.

People seem to be more worried that I will sue them. That is not my intention. If I was going to sue, I would have done so already. Rather, I see this as a learning experience. Why did I wake up? What works better? (Obviously something is working if you can read this.) I've done traditional and non-traditional. I've done a medication for the eyes linked to restoring vision. My right eye is no longer blind. (That was luck.) Art Therapy - where's that? I took it as an elective in rehab. It was after hours. I once had Massage Therapy. Recreation Therapy is never mentioned and more places offer it now. There's just too much to list.

It hasn't been any one treatment or procedure to heal a brain injury. It's more like a positive attitude, a diligence for exercise, and something strange happened.

I contend there was more than one "experience." Records already show I was near death. If not, then, it could be said there has only been one experience lasting from 12/16/2002 until now. Everyone who reads this would have to have psychic powers, as I am in a coma. My lack of consciousness even affects this area.

Friday, April 22, 2016


Do some of you remember you or your children using pattern blocks in school? These are the beginnings of learning geometric shapes in patterns.  

is something that I wrote explaining why I played Mahjong and not Sudoku after sustaining a brain injury.

Mahjong would teach patterns, a basic concept. A math game would teach math-a higher skill. Think about what you had in kindergarten. That's where you want to start.

The old neuropsychologist whose blog I read would have been right. Pattern recognition is more basic of a skill. Learning that would come before math computation. That should come first in re-learning after a brain injury.

To illustrate (shape and pattern recognition is more pronounced in Savant Syndrome) I'll use a story where a head injury predominately uses visual information to reorganize a damaged brain. There is definite brain injury and then reorganization on this basic concept of pattern recognition.

Getting back to video will want to build on this 'visual pattern recognition' when there is injury. Mahjong is on most computer systems and versions are available as a free app. Instruction on how to play can be found on the internet. "Pattern recognition" is transferable to other games. Candy Crush Saga uses pattern recognition and matching. Other games will, too. Mahjong is a good beginner game, and then other games may be explored. You don't have to stick with just one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It Really Is Serious But You Won't Know It

Recently I had to see the doctor. I was given some prescriptions. One was for codeine. I didn't think anything of it, but someone pointed out that codeine is a narcotic. It occurred to me that people can see how serious my situation is by seeing how serious my medication is.

I've been given medication that is stronger than that codeine. I saw a picture describing one. I took the name out, but it's the graphic that got me.

Some people have woken up during surgery. I woke up in the middle of a coma. That's the best way I can think of describing this.

The medication I receive for pain is serious. After that would be to put me back in a coma.


I try to make my situation look typical. Medically fragile was the term I used with children. I worked with these kids. They grow up. Seldom does the problem go away. I guess the term can also apply to adults. From my browser, "A medically fragile condition is defined as a chronic physical condition which results in a prolonged dependency on medical care for which daily skilled nursing intervention is medically necessary." I would try to make the child's situation look typical. I continue to do that with myself.

No one, except fiction compares to the state of my body. I have never met someone who was dead cold. My cognitive skills are high, but my body is not. I still have a feeding tube, and I cannot be flat longer than to change a diaper. I have a hospital bed of which I keep the head of the bed elevated at 40 degrees. I should still be in a hospital but I managed to do a home care situation. It is very unique. Making my situation appear typical isn't easy.

My bedroom looks like a cross between a hospital room and a bedroom in a typical house. My family has learned how to administer my feeding. This is a nursing duty. My situation is far from typical. It even goes beyond the typical home-care situation. Many won't notice, though.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Think

"Cogito ergo sum." I think, therefore I am.

This message was brought to you by Descarte. Not only can you not doubt your own existence, you cannot doubt your consciousness.

Yes, I think. I cannot be unconscious.

I've been through way too much for a stupid letter to get in the way. Yes, I call that letter I got stupid. It must come from a moron. Anyone can  see I am not in something "sometimes referred to as coma." That beginning negates the whole letter. It starts by stating I am in a coma. How am I writing this? There is some good things following, but it got off on the wrong foot. That intro is seen and the letter is thrown out.

I hated it when that happened. The TV program would end, but I couldn't move to change it.

I move much like a toddler now. Speaking is there, too. I was an infant specialist for years. I knew how to do that. It just took a while. Now, I'm just winging it.

For someone to come along and tell me I am not conscious and I am in a coma makes me angry. They are essentially saying my progress has been in vain. Are you kidding me? Where did you go school, sir? I would expect your answer from a temp with a bad attitude. Don't take your frustrations out on me.
Yes, I think. I don't doubt my consciousness, and I don't doubt my existence.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Making It Fit

*This is about me, mainly. It's a little different.

Knowing HOW to access information is more important than memorization. The computer can hold the facts, but you hold the computer.

When it comes down to it, you will find I know processes. I didn't memorize a bunch of random facts. I have learned how to perform something. I'd be interested in it, so I would learn about it. This could involve history and use in other cultures. If something was mechanical, sometimes I would take it apart and put it back together. I did that a lot when I was younger, especially as a child. With ideas, sometimes I will put them to use. You are reading one. I learned the process of writing long ago.

I may or may not fit in the category of savant syndrome. I may have some things but not other qualities. (Maybe a subset will start. It might take care of that medical mystery thing.) This is why I don't like diagnosis and have always avoided it. (My background is psychology.) I turned and went towards special education. The children usually had a diagnosis or were close.

I communicate a lot, but not by speaking. I write it down. I usually use the 'non-fiction short story' as my format. This allows me to give information, but allows you, the reader to make inferences and come up with new ideas. The not speaking is going to fit in real well with savant syndrome. The style of writing, maybe, will not fit. Any style of writing used as a means of communication may not fit. I never did like these things- trying to fit in a box.

I type this all with one finger. That definitely fits in savant syndrome. I didn't always just use my left arm after a brain injury, though. Initially, I didn't have any arm to use. I knew I would move, but that was many years away.

I would have to remember everything. Again, strong memory is associated with the condition. I have that.

So, knowing HOW to access information is more important than memorization. I never learned all the diagnoses. I could look one up if I needed it. Instead I learned underlying principles of human behavior. That's my BA in Psychology. I could apply that to anybody. Not everyone will fit in a square box of a diagnosis.

This brain injury could probably be covered by a sub-category of savant syndrome that addresses creativity and is made non-specific, or NOS.