Sunday, August 17, 2014

Amazing Order of Events




Deductive thinking in neuroscience, applied to me.... I am still unconscious, so this is all hypothetical.

The AVM bleed originally occurred in the cerebellum. This could have triggered savant syndrome. So this is first in this strange order of events, but it's not over. The bleed continued. The bleed wasn't stopped until I got to a third place. I first went to a clinic. I lost consciousness at the clinic and was put on an ambulance. There was a very long drive to a hospital. The hospital put me on a helicopter to a trauma center. The trauma center stopped the bleed.

Now I've been stuck on my blood. I thought there must be something about it. No. It's the blood flow. The bleed started in my cerebellum, or at the top of my spine. I was told "blood ran down your neck." The blood didn't pool. It ran down my spine. This would be second in this incredible order. The first is savant syndrome, and the second is the blood flow.

Third, the combination of savant syndrome and running blood triggers the adult stem cells in the spine. It's the order of events that makes the odds so incredible. (I have read that the spinal cord is thought not to have stem cells. I have also read bone marrow does have stem cells. Isn't there bone marrow in the spine? Mystery there is solved.)

Now the stem cells are responsible for my recovery. Intelligence and intense memory are due to savant syndrome. Neurogenesis happened. There have been people who have thought neurogenesis happened. Well, that's what stem cells do. NDE (Near Death Experience) happened? Yes, it did happen. Prior to my recovery I was VERY close to death. If it wasn't for the savant syndrome/stem cell combo I already would have been dead. Stem cells are known for their growth. They started the growing and healing process before I even had surgery. I should have already died, but these had kicked in and already started working.
 

The stem cells have further implications. I will continue to have neurogenesis until I die? They would have been triggered in the beginning, and I haven't stopped yet. Is there some sort of cycle created? I wonder now if the same stem cells activated in the beginning are now doing this, or does my body now produce stem cells? I'm not equipped to answer that one. Outward behavior suggests stem cells or a miracle.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Did I Find It?



" I've been in my mind,
It's such a fine line
That keeps me searching for a heart of gold."




"When you live with yourself, you become more self-reliant and self-aware. Also, you realize what is important in your life." http://www.quora.com/What-is-something-every-person-should-experience-at-least-once-in-a-lifetime

I've been trapped in my mind for years. Was I doing "mindfulness"? "Mindfulness is "the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one's attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_%28psychology%29

From the American Psychological Association...

Empirically supported benefits of mindfulness


The term "mindfulness" has been used to refer to a psychological state of awareness, the practices that promote this awareness, a mode of processing information and a character trait. To be consistent with most of the research reviewed in this article, we define mindfulness as a moment-to-moment awareness of one's experience without judgment. In this sense, mindfulness is a state and not a trait. While it might be promoted by certain practices or activities, such as meditation, it is not equivalent to or synonymous with them...

Reduced rumination. Several studies have shown that mindfulness reduces rumination...

Stress reduction. Many studies show that practicing mindfulness reduces stress...

Boosts to working memory. Improvements to working memory appear to be another benefit of mindfulness, research finds...

Focus. ...Mindfulness meditation practice and self-reported mindfulness were correlated directly with cognitive flexibility and attentional functioning (Moore and Malinowski, 2009).

Less emotional reactivity. Research also supports the notion that mindfulness meditation decreases emotional reactivity. In a study of people who had anywhere from one month to 29 years of mindfulness meditation practice...

More cognitive flexibility. Another line of research suggests that in addition to helping people become less reactive, mindfulness meditation may also give them greater cognitive flexibility...

Relationship satisfaction. Several studies find that a person's ability to be mindful can help predict relationship satisfaction...

Other benefits. Mindfulness has been shown to enhance self-insight, morality, intuition and fear modulation, all functions associated with the brain's middle prefrontal lobe area. Evidence also suggests that mindfulness meditation has numerous health benefits, including increased immune functioning (Davidson et al., 2003; see Grossman, Niemann, Schmidt, & Walach, 2004 for a review of physical health benefits), improvement to well-being (Carmody & Baer, 2008) and reduction in psychological distress (Coffey & Hartman, 2008; Ostafin et al., 2006). In addition, mindfulness meditation practice appears to increase information processing speed (Moore & Malinowski, 2009), as well as decrease task effort and having thoughts that are unrelated to the task at hand (Lutz et al., 2009).

http://www.apa.org/monitor/2012/07-08/ce-corner.aspx



The person singing above suffered a serious brain injury, http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Music/04/01/neil.young/ 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Not My Game



I still don't know how to play soduko / sudoku or however you spell it. When I got on the internet I found a retired neuropsych's blog. He suggested mahjong. so that's what I played.

su·do·ku

[soo-doh-koo] 


noun
a puzzle printed on a square grid of nine large squares each subdivided into nine smaller squares, the object of which is to fill in each of the 81 squares so that each column, row, and large square contains every number from 1 to 9. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sudoku


Mahjong must build memory, something like visual pattern recognition. (That term just popped in my head.)

Things like that just are. "Visual Pattern Recognition" is not a term I've seen before. There will be terms and concepts I have no clue how I know. I've even surprised myself with knowing medication names. Previous exposure can't be used as an excuse. Some of those concepts did not even exist when I was in school. The whole concept of "neurogenesis" occurring in people did not exist until years after receiving my BA.

"I woke up and just knew what had to be done." http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2013/03/give-me-beat-boys.html  Just like I "know" terms and concepts. I don't question it. It just is...and I use it. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Haven't Enjoyed It




Enjoy it? Not even. It hasn't been enjoyable. I've been making it liveable, just a bit bearable.

I describe it, http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2011/08/description.html and record a lot of my ideas. I write other stuff as well. "Enjoy the show," though? That hasn't been the case. It has been a learning and teaching experience, though.

Hopefully, all this writing it down will help someone else.

It's been more like the following song, The Scientist by Coldplay.


I was just guessing at numbers and figures
Pulling your puzzles apart
Questions of science, science and progress
Do not speak as loud as my heart

My BA is in psychology, but it's a "soft science." I've had the introductory courses in math and biology, but psychology is rich in philosophy. Instead of explaining the neuroscience behind what's happening, I'll ask "why" is it happening. I'm big on statistics. I'll work on figuring it out...through all the obstacles.... (Did I tell you I'm listed as unconscious?)  

Monday, July 14, 2014

Service Coordination Isn't Lame


I got a new feeding tube.  It went so fast this time because I brought my own feeding tube. I once coordinated the care of people with developmental disabilities.  Put me in charge of my own medical care. If I could do other people, I'm sure I can do my own. I'm tired of going to the ER, waiting hours, running expensive tests, given antibiotics and sent home. All that when I just needed a new tube. 
 
So "lame-ass" treatment...
 

They did the best they could with what they knew. Now I know more. Do you keep a spare tire in your car? I'll be keeping a spare feeding tube. I'll be keeping one for the same reason.
 
All of that could have been prevented with case management (service coordination). There are usually no trips to the ER for the particular condition planned for. (I say usually as something unexpected can happen.) A case manager would have their consumers keep spares.


I once did case management. The job description is under Service Coordinator, http://www.vmrc.net/job-opportunities/  That feeding tube of mine would be the first duty listed. Key Responsibilities – Essential Functions 1. Assess, monitor, coordinate and implement IPP/IFSP through the ID Team process. Schedule and facilitate annual reviews, quarterly reviews, wellness review examinations, clinical consultations, and ID/IFSP Team meetings as required

An IPP is an Individual Person Plan. Aside from a document name, it's your life's plan. In my case it was get a new feeding tube. With a little planning, I have a proper feeding tube.

The VA has a case management component. The concept can be applied to other programs. It cuts costs over-all.

The medical field already has this.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Me Feisty?

  "Have you always been this feisty?"

 

The word "feisty" stuck-out to me. I had never used it. I'd always say I'm different. I never fit in. 

When I was in high school, and people were getting black trench coats, I went and got a trench coat...but it was blue. I didn't exactly fit in. (My hair didn't fit either. My head was shaved on one side.) That blue trench coat didn't fit in to the wildest fad.

"I fight authority"...authority says I'm unconscious. What would you do?
________________________________

All the ideas and everything I want to say...

"I have so many things in me that you can't even guess them all."


At least I can do this now and get most of it out...
________________________________

I have scientific ideas. Sometimes I write them down...

"A better term [for PVS or sometimes vegetative]  is "unresponsive wakefulness syndrome", Gary Williams. This is a better term than vegetative. It describes what's happening. Someone like me can't come along and stick a picture of a tomato butt with it.

This really got me thinking, "Moreover, if this person is typing full fledged sentences with complex thoughts they have moved beyond the minimally conscious state and into something akin to "locked-in syndrome" or what might just be called severe paralysis," Gary Williams. "Something akin to "locked-in syndrome" or what might just be called severe paralysis" makes sense to me. Years ago,  friends and family thought I had Locked-In Syndrome. I'd go through a process of blinking yes or no for every letter in  the alphabet in order to spell a word. That's how I communicated with my mother and close family. As I gained movement, I'd point to letters on a board. That's the paralysis. All this is now, is that I point to and press a letter on an electric letter board, the computer keyboard.

Thanks to the internet I can get everything I press out, out to the world. I talked about communication and technology a long time ago,
http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2012/03/dualism-mind-and-brain.html  As technology advances, the  mind/brain issue will become clearer.

The vegetative man in Canada who communicates he's not in pain http://scitechdaily.com/canadian-man-in-vegetative-state-communicates-that-hes-not-in-pain/  screams of this "something akin to "locked-in syndrome" or what might just be called severe paralysis." In  my case and this case we're trapped in unresponsive bodies. I have just been lucky in that I got one finger to move faster.  He communicated because of the technology. I communicate because I use technology. (Try this, use a pencil without an eraser and type a sentence. You have to spell all words correctly and make capitol letters. If the computer freezes, you must hit CTRL, ALT, DELETE. It's not easy. The pencil has no eraser and doesn't stay. Also..."how do you hit three keys? Two is bad, but now there's three?") If you can do that, you either used technology, another person, or your fingers. I guess you could have used your tongue, but I'd hate to see your computer.

Am I really fighting authority? Or am I just telling you how it really is? Is this feisty? 


  



Monday, June 30, 2014

Pay My Billls (revised)



A vegetative state is absence of responsiveness and awareness due to overwhelming dysfunction of the cerebral hemispheres, with sufficient sparing of the diencephalon and brain stem to preserve autonomic and motor reflexes and sleep-wake cycles. Patients may have complex reflexes, including eye movements, yawning, and involuntary movements to noxious stimuli, but show no awareness of self or environment. A minimally conscious state, unlike a vegetative state, is characterized by some evidence of awareness of self and/or the environment, and patients tend to improve. Diagnosis is clinical. Treatment is mainly supportive. Prognosis for patients with persistent deficits is typically bleak.

Well the situation is not too "bleak" if I'm writing this. I'm diagnosed "semi-vegetative" because that is what I was when I left the hospital. Obviously I'm not any vegetative any more. The problem with the above statement is a person can't recover from the first situation, persistent vegetative state. So you get what's happening to me. I'm still in a "coma" and I'm told so by e-mail. (Here's the e-mail, http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2014/05/dear-vegetable.html )

Is that punishment for being conscious? I've been through much worse.

I don't fit with this definition. Is the problem with me...or is there something wrong with the theory? It's the "neurological nihilism" and I explain this in http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2014/05/im-still-in-coma.html The problem is with the whole theory. It ends negatively. That's all that is expected as an outcome, so that is all that is given. In this case it's not much. It becomes a viscous cycle. No recovery is expected, so no therapy is given. (It is good I could do some. Imagine how I'd be if I got full therapy.)

I'm not in a care situation. I don't operate on this notion of neurological nihilism. Problems with this concept have been noticed by others: 
"Far too often, patients ... are given up for gone, left to languish in nursing homes where no one bothers with physical therapy or even to check for glimmers of regained consciousness." http://www.wired.com/2013/02/searching-for-consciousness/ Families who immediately take a loved one home, avoiding a care situation have noticed it. Unfortunately the medical facilities don't reside at home. Those still needing medical care soon expire. If medical care is remained in, the other part expires.

How did I happen? Mostly luck. (It was statistically bound to happen.) There are factors (and I do some therapy!), but what matters is that it did happen. What are you going to do now?

(Politicians, I do vote. I'm unconscious and I vote! I use the absentee ballot. I make my choices, but I have someone else fill out the form. I can't hand-write with one finger. What does this do to your constituency? One of your voters is unconscious.)