Thursday, December 29, 2011

Best Christmas

"I haven't had a Christmas like that since I was 7!" My 17 year old was telling me about her Christmas. She went to a friend's house. I later went to the hospital.

Normally my kids are home for Christmas, but the oldest was using the break from school to move, a good reason. Besides, I wasn't this year. That just left my youngest to fend for herself. Thankfully she had my nephew. This was better than Christmas 2002. I don't know what they did that year. The week before Christmas, I had a stroke and a car accident. I was in a coma and they were probably miserable. They might not have even had one that year. The next year wasn't any better.  My ex-boyfriend had them and wouldn't let them see me. They probably celebrated with his slipper (hitting them). I had been (through an attorney paid for by my mother) fighting for custody to be given to my sister. She didn't get them until that January after Christmas. We had our Christmas then.

When they were with my sister, I got to see them every Christmas; school breaks, too. Then last year-our 1st Christmas together as a family. I was finally free of the hospital scene, and I had custody of my children. It had been years since we had a Christmas as a family. (Just in time for one to leave.) We weren't together like that since they were 6 and 7.

My daughter was telling me her friend woke her up, "Do you know what  day it is?" There were  stockings and  presents. She kept saying she wanted to cry. It was her best Christmas since she was 7. I was the one who wanted to cry. I had ruined her previous 9 Christmases (it's now 10 for my other daughter).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Interview on Neuroflocks

The whole thing can be found at

Hello Angela! What is your background?

I'm surprisingly highly educated for a patient. My education is also in the area of my injury.

I have a BA in Psychology and an MA in Special Education. When my accident happened, I had just started as a child behavior therapist for Sierra Co Mental Health in CA. Prior I had been the program manager of the Stockton, CA UCP Early Intervention program. At that place I worked with babies who had brain bleeds. I knew my prognosis, and it wasn't good.

Among your published papers, which one is your favorite?

About Me: Angela Ronson Part 1: Not a Vegetable at All, but a White Crow, by Dr Melvin Morse. This is the first in a series of articles he did on me. There are links to the others here:.

I did: What Kind of Vegetable Am I? in Stroke Connection Magazine, July/Aug 2009. This is the 1st part of 'What Kind of Vegetable Am I?' ... which is a published on-line support for rare neurological issues.

I also maintain 2 blogs: Know How which is for persons with and those helping persons with brain injury.

The Thoughtful Vegetable. These are thoughts, ideas, and any info not useful to a brain injured patient. Info useful to the doctor may be in here.

Actually, music plays a big part in all this. I participated in The Healing Arts Program (music) at El Camino Hospital. If you learn more about me you'll find that my grandmother was a piano teacher. I play piano, guitar, and trumpet. I took years of piano lessons. My current interest in music here.

What drives you in your day-to-day life?

What got me started was basically being told I can't do anything. I have an "I'll show them" attitude. Also, I saw the others who had no clue what was going on. Not only were they told they can't do anything, but they didn't know why.

What is the most exciting part of your life?

That would be the comments I get from others. The best comments from people are the ones that say I taught them something, or a brain injury isn't the end of the world.

The least exciting?

The least exciting would be my personal care.

Sci.Ple: Name a scientist whose research inspires you

This one I had to think about. It's not a particular scientist that inspires me. It's not a person, but the concept-to be inquisitive and learn. And then, it's never giving up. A scientist like this was Thomas Edison. There's a lot more, but he is the famous one and people would know about the scientific drive he had after a 100+ tries.

What are the next frontiers in neuroscience?

"The next frontier in neuroscience" is duplicating what happened in me in others who are not expected to live.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Grow A Brain

I may be getting ahead and already want to duplicate, when it's not understood all that's happened with me. First, watch the above if you don't know what Early Intervention (EI) is. Then read I was the equivalent of a Developmental Specialist. I was actually a program manager of an Early Intervention program, and that took a little more working knowledge. Jumping ahead without knowing why is intrinsic to Early Intervention. Early Intervention produced positive results, so that was the reason why it was done. So, like that, I can be the reason why until what happened in me is solved.
An SSRI, and then a few years of a Developmental Specialist can be done after a brain injury. The med seems to start the cells. The Developmetal Specialist nurtures the cells and helps develop them. What way better to grow a brain than to have a person who does this already? (These young children have young brains. The Developmental Specialist just nurtures and guides the cells.) They also deal with a-typical development and know about a lot of the problems encountered.
As I rehab my right hand (yes, "rehab" after 9 yrs) this makes more sense. First of all, with a brain injury there shouldn't have been any movement. There has though, I talk about re-gaining movement in I've nurtured those original cells into the next step. Going on to the next step so it is. I've nurtured this little bit of movement, and now it's on to bigger, functional movements. That's why I work on a peg board, Wait a minute! First that hand didn't move, then some movement, now pegs? This would be progress. It's not progress you would see daily in the hospital, but yearly on an annual visit.

This slow progress takes you to the brain. What infant has an adult brain and does everything an adult does? It takes time for a brain to grow. This type of therapy helps grow those cells into something functional, a brain. It's the same then if replacement cells are started in the brain. There isn't an "instant grow" for them, and nothing exists yet that puts full-grown cells there. Brain transplants don't exist.