Wednesday, August 16, 2017


This is the second installment Dr. Morse did on me.
"THINKING is healing the brain." Use it or lose it. That is common sense now if I say it this way. The stories he tells relate to me.
The 7-year coma will be 15 years in Dec 2017.      - Angela




Melvin L Morse MD (

There has a been a quiet brain revolution going on in neuroscience, in the past ten years, one that will change everything we know about spirituality and the brain.  While the general public still is mired in the “skeptic vrs believer debate” most prominently promoted by Michael Shermer (, most people are completely unaware that science has already embraced spirituality.  In my opinion, spirituality can no longer be understood unless practitioners and the general public are willing to understand the new spiritual neuroscience.  As physician Robert Lanza stated  ( in American Scientist in 2007, time, space, and this material reality are simply tools of the brain to allow our conscious self to interact with this reality.  He states that the current scientific evidence states that time “reboots” after our brains die (and we then get a new brain to begin a new life).   Obviously science and spirituality has moved far beyond the tired “skeptic v believer debate” that seems to still play out in the Wall Street Journal and the major television networks.

Angela Ronson
Angela Ronson suffered a major AVM bleed and stroke with massive injury to her entire brain.  She was in a coma, semi-coma, and ultimately the “locked in syndrome” for a total of 7 years.  Yet she has made a full neuro-psychiatric recovery, with her personality and memories basically the same as prior to her massive brain injury. She speaks, can use her arms and fingers, and  is even starting to walk.
How is this possible?  If we knew for sure, we would also know the answer to the great mystery of the near death experience, which is: how can patients with near death experiences have any memories or experiences at all! After all, their brains are dying or let’s face it, actually dead for a brief period of time.  If Robert Lanza is correct, then consciousness comes first, and somehow being brushed with the divine and the universal knowledge of cosmic consciousness (or the Mind of the All) permits the brain to rewire and heal itself.
When I went to medical school, I was taught that the brain creates consciousness.  Our personality and memories were thought to be entirely dependent on brain activity.  Furthermore, the brain was thought to not be able to regenerate new brain cells or heal itself in any ways.  We are ominously warned to never drink alcohol (which I don’t) as each glass of beer could kill off hundreds of brain cells that could never be replaced.
Then I took an elective with the great Dr. Montcastle who was removing half a patient’s brain in an operation that took a few hours.  He did this as a last resort to attempt to cure intractable seizures.  I asked him, “well, what about their personalities, their ability to walk, to talk?  Aren’t brain functions localized to specific areas of the brain?”  He laughed merrily and told me not to believe everything I learned in medical school.  Remember, he reminded me, “half of what you know isn’t true, but unfortunately we don’t know which half is wrong!”.  Dr. Montcastle was one of a now departed breed of Neurosurgeons who seemingly gleefully removed huge areas of the brain in an effort to cure it, in defiance of what Neurology textbooks claimed was true.  He would cheerfully laugh “hell, boy (that was me) what the F*&k do they (Neurologists) know?”.
Dr. Montcastle was correct.  As a medical student I took care of many patients who had an entire half of their brain removed.  They had the same personality, the same memories, and really lost very little function or skills from their pre-operative selves.  For the most part, you could only tell that they had half their brain removed by administering sophisticated neuro-psychiatric tests.  Anyone could spend a day with them and be unaware they had had half their brain removed.  Perhaps they walked with a slight limp.  Yet this operation took only a few hours, and astonishingly, somehow it had very little effect on them.
I later did an elective at the Solomon Snyder Department of Neuroscience, where much of modern functional neurogenesis was discovered.  Functional neurogenesis means that new brain cells grow deep within an area of the brain called the hippocampus, and then migrate to specific areas of the brain where they are needed.  These new brain cells then permit new functions or repair damaged functions in the brain.
I vividly remember one of the Professors telling us how disorienting and even scary this concept that the brain can change itself, was to him.  He said that under the old model, we had every reason to believe that our personality, beliefs, and memories would remain stable, as long as the brain remained stable.  But now, he said “we are discovering that thinking and experience can actually change the brain!  How unsettling.  It seems to invite chaos into our personalities, emotions, memories and our sense of self.”  As Jason Snyder PhD stated: “what would the general public think if they knew that all human experience is capable of changing the brain?”.  [This blog has been archived.]
Dead brains having complex near death experiences and perceptions of other realities?  Human experience and thoughts alone actually changing the brain?  New brain cells mysteriously growing deep within the brain and knowing where to migrate to heal the brain?  And what about Angela Ronson?  Her entire brain wiped out by a stroke, and seven years later she regains consciousness and has her same personality and memories?  And why does her hair grow so fast, and what could that have to do with it?  What about researcher Bradley Voytek  ( who titles papers “Cognitive Processes and their effect on Prefrontal Damage”.  He means THINKING is healing the brain.  But wait a doggone minute.  I thought the brain caused us to think, how can thinking heal the brain?  

Yaaaaaaaaaaah.  This is not the Neuroscience that I was taught at Johns Hopkins. 
(To be continued)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Angela Ronson Part 1: Not a Vegetable at All, but a White Crow

In the following, Dr. Morse introduces me. He does three more of these in his blog. The man is excited and surprised. After Dr. Morse wrote this, I still remained in a coma (vegetative). I am in a coma to this day, and I feel that diagnosis should have been changed years earlier. -Angela

Angela Ronson Part 1: Not a Vegetable at All, but a White Crow

Melvin L Morse MD (
William James, the great psychologist and spiritual researcher said his investigations were often the search for the “white crow” that proves that spiritual realities are real.  He meant that although conventional wisdom was that all crows are black, all it takes is one white crow to prove that other realities exist.  In spiritual research, the search for the “white crow” has come to mean the search for that one case that proves beyond a doubt that consciousness can exist beyond the brain and body.  The late great Ian Stevenson told me when I started as a young near death researcher, “Melvin, find that white crow that proves NDEs are real, and you will prove that consciousness survives the death of the body.

I have found my white crow.  She is a 40 year old woman named Angela Ronson.  She suffered a massive brain bleed from an AVM, in 2002.  She writes about her experience in the Journal Stroke Connection with the headline “What Kind of Vegetable Am I?”.  (Stroke Connection: American Heart Association Affiliated Journal July/August 2009: For link to Stroke Connection Website  Click here [page 9] For link to article Click here For seven years, Angela was in a coma, waxing and waning, often in a “semi-vegetative state”.

THE WALLED IN ALIVE DISEASE! (French term for locked-in syndrome)
Angela Ronson is living proof of functional neurogenesis

Angela Ronson
For two years, Angela suffered the “locked in syndrome”!  This is a horrifying condition in which the patient is conscious and yet has lost virtually all motor function.  Very few of these patients recover any motor function, much less walk, talk and basically function normally, as Angela does.  Some patients with locked-in syndrome have to communicate with the outside world by sniffing or blinking their eyes.  Angela is a regular and avid participant in Twitter! (angela70).  Yet she has bitter memories of hearing her family and physicians talking about her while she was in coma, describing her as likely to be a vegetable for the rest of her life.

Angela’s miraculous recovery and return to full health has been nothing less than heart breaking.  Prior to her stroke, she was a highly educated woman with a Master’s in Special Education and a Program Manager for Early Intervention  projects. Since she was not expected to survive, after she returned to complete consciousness, she discovered she had lost everything.  As in everything she owned, her personal possessions, her pictures, clothes, her home, her savings, every scrap of anything having to do with her former life.  She lost her children to Foster Care with the State, and her own sister had to fight for a year just to get custody of them, while Angela was in coma. 
After her coma, she had to start her entire life over again.  Her children, who are teenagers, could hardly remember her as a Mother as she was in coma for so long.  She currently lives independently and supports herself as a Professional Writer.  Yet she still only sees her children part-time, and feels she has lost them as well as everything else she lost.
There are only a hand-full of patients who have recovered from such prolonged comas.  Most of those, after awakening, oddly enough died soon afterwards.  Most of the rest were left with profound handicaps, unable to walk or even move their limbs.  They suffered the horrible consequences of not moving, being fed by a tube, and complete inactivity for years.  The great majority of these patients often wish that they had simply died and never recovered, as their life after years of coma is so limited and painful.
Yet Angela is an alert lively woman with a great sense of humor and determined positive outlook on life.  She is actively blogging and tweeting.  She primarily is helping others to have a positive outlook on brain injury and stroke.  Most of her blogs give  practical advice on rehabilitation and dealing with the government.  She has developed an impressive network of cutting edge brain researchers, and is particular well versed in functional neurogenesis.
Her extraordinary recovery and what she has done with her life after seven years of coma (and semi-coma) is one of the most inspirational stories I know. 
(To be continued)

Monday, August 7, 2017

Tube Out, Then What?

In Dec 2016 and Jan 2017, the govt cut off my food until I had a swallow study done. There was probably no thinking at all. It would have been done as a paperwork issue. In reality, it was reminiscent of Terri Schiavo days. How long can she go without food?

Fortunately, my daughter had been stock-piling food in case we had a Zombie Apocalypse. Who knew the govt was going to be a zombie?

I had made some YouTube videos where I was speaking. If you look though, I do not speak a majority of the time. Maybe this got them thinking that I was back as I used to be.

Well, I didn't swallow for that test. It recently hit me that this was a good thing. What would they have done if I had swallowed? Would they have just cut my food off altogether and just left this tube in my stomach?

I am assuming that the tube just can't be left. As it is now, I have to see the GI Specialist every 6 months or sooner to have the tube replaced. It is held in place by a balloon filled with saline that can burst. It has. This is why I say sooner.

The tube can be taken out, but surgery has to close the hole. I just can't be left with a hole in my stomach.

When I did early intervention, there was a boy about 3 years old who still used a bottle to get his nutrition he was developmentally delayed. (I remembered the foster mother being told to use lollipops. This is where I get lollipops from.)

Years earlier while doing my MA, I worked in a group home for developmentally disabled children. There was a boy, around 15, who was learning to scoop and eat his own breakfast cereal. He could have easily been that 3-year-old boy. There's quite a few years from age 3 to age 15. I don't think eating comes so fast after swallowing.

I don't think my feeding tube can be instantly stopped. The plan of action should go something like the following and it can take years if need be:

1. Establish The Swallow (I do periodically swallow throughout the day, but it is not controlled.)
2. Slowly Switch To Drinking the Formula (A flavored formula is used.)
3. Remove the G-tube

It's been some years, but I attended only one feeding clinic session at a hospital as a social worker. I do remember something like this required coordination between professional, medical, and daily programming staff. A single entity could not make the decision.

I don't need any zombies. This can be a planned, coordinated thing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


Before going all government, I had private insurance. I remember the rehabilitation hospital saying my AVM bleed was in my cerebellum "next to my pons." Now that's a clue that this may be Locked-In Syndrome (LIS), but no one ls looking for that. The pons is associated with the disorder.

Persons with the disorder usually use blinking to communicate. If there is no eye movement for yes/no, then LIS and Vegetative look the same.

There are subtitles in this movie.


I look just like this now:


Four patients made substantial recovery following the locked-in syndrome of vascular origin. Clinical and radiologic features supported the presence of ventral pontine [Here's the pons.] infarction secondary to basilar artery occlusion. quadriplegia and mutism persisted for one to 12 weeks before recovery of motor function began. Improvement continued over several years. All patients regained functional though dysarthric speech. Three of the four patients are ambulatory, one without assistance. As a few patients make a notable recovery from the locked-in syndrome resulting from ventral pontine infarction, aggressive supportive therapy should be considered in the early months of the syndrome.


She is asked how people will look,  

This is one recovery. I'd say one of the best.

Here's another, 

I'd say I'm somewhere between those two developmental outcomes. I talk some, but I still rely on typing.

Progress is extremely slow, so I may not developmentally look the same in a few years.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Start With The Semi-Vegetative

Thousands of unresponsive patients might actually be conscious

so start with the "semi-vegetative." That's what I am. I'm not sure if this classification exists outside of the United States.

What I have experienced this class to be was initially being vegetative, and later starting to talk. I believe other patients with this diagnosis also started to show emerging signs of consciousness. Some may have then stopped. Others may have expired.

"Semi-vegetative" may have started after this, the reawakening of Donald Herbert:

I did not expire like this man.


I've thought this before and now it crosses my mind again... the advances of medical science are inadvertently causing what we call 'a return to consciousness.'

There is a tree in the forest that falls. No one sees it or hears it. No one cares that it happened. Now there is one person in the forest. The tree falls and is witnessed. Still no one else sees or hears this. The person goes home to family and relates what happened in the forest. Now the tree falling becomes a fact and the story spreads. No one would have known without communication.

I'm now wondering that what we call 'a return to consciousness' is really 'a return to communication.' I was conscious years before I started writing. Medicine and therapy afford me the ability to write.

I now consistently and appropriately communicate thoughts and observations. I regained communication not consciousness.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Consciousness is Complicated

Contrary to  popular belief, I have always been conscious. I was conscious when I couldn't talk or move. I could only stare at you. How could I remember where I was if I was unconscious? Recalled Itinerary 
I was sent  an article on consciousness, It was saying science doesn't even know about it. So, if science doesn't know what it is, then how can anyone take it away?

The government took something it had no business taking. How can the government give back consciousness if they don't even know what they took? I don't know how much will be affected by what they did.

What they did:  they removed my payee when I couldn't talk, but left me PVS. This meant I could pay a bill, but I was unconscious. THEY TOOK MY CONSCIOUSNESS!

It affects my Medicaid (Medi-Cal). I only get the bare minimum because my diagnosis says I'm dying... like tomorrow. (Hopefully I'm not going to die soon.) Nothing can be added now because I am unconscious and dying.

That was almost 15 years ago. If I had died, no problem.

For those of my readers who are doctors, have any of you ever had a patient who was going to die, it reached government paperwork (so days have passed), and then the patient turned around and got better?

I'm trying to figure out now what can be done. I guess I will "push" the system. As Americans have faith in the Declaration of Independence and all amendments. One thing I have found is that I don't have problems with absentee ballots. This was an amendment and voting was written very well.

Next is income. I don't fit the "Back To Work" criteria, but I write. When I generate income, the IRS can figure it out.

Medical is screwed up. That may take a lawsuit, but I prefer not to push one.

Who knows where my "consciousness" is. Actually, I know I am conscious, but this other thing sounds like a piece of paper you get from the Wizard of Oz.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Crowd-Sourcing Ideas

Recovery from LIS, Locked-In Syndrome, can be a long process. Not much is known about it. I got to thinking... I only can speak a few sentences. Maybe it's not a mystery that I talk without swallowing. It's just time I learn how to swallow. I know a long time has passed. Maybe these lollipops I use are just the right thing.
I'd like to get the thoughts of #speech therapists.


It's been a few months since I started using lollipops to learn how to swallow. I notice I'll swallow throughout the day but it is not controlled. I just can't make myself swallow. It just comes.

I'm using the computer for therapy. In this case, speech.
I'm crowd-sourcing ideas. With this issue, speech therapists from around the world can have input.