Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!


This probably isn't how it went, but if people heard it, they believed it. We now know this not to be true.

Now we are hearing something else in the news, Brain death equals body death.  "I heard it, so it must be true."

So I think for myself and I question authority.  A while ago, it was said I was a vegetable. I questioned authority. I asked "What kind of vegetable am I?" in print years later when I could type it out. It was distributed around the country, http://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/aha/strokeconnection_20090708/index.php#/10/OnePage    It brings all this stuff into question. (I couldn't speak it then, and now it wouldn't be understood by all as my speech is not that great.)

Here is something many of you do not know, http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2013/04/getting-there.html  The brain takes a step back. The research is there, it's just not widely talked about. The link just takes the current research and makes it understandable. People with brain injuries could do something one day but not the next. Obviously they were  stepping back the day they couldn't do it.

So what is brain death if the brain is only stepping back? Well the brain may not be dead after all. It's not responding. "The nerve fibers from the cells were severed, but the cells themselves remained intact," http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-07-03-brain-rewired_x.htm We can't go by what we heard in the news. It's just hearsay.

If you ask my family, they will probably say they were told I was brain dead. What I say is secondhand. My parents should be interviewed while they still can answer. Medical records will not reflect what they were told.

I'm not going to tell you if brain death is the same as body death. That is for you to decide. Besides...I'm still trying to prove I am actually conscious.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Do Vegetative People Recognize Loved Ones?


 An article asks. http://neurosciencenews.com/vegetative-state-patients-recognition-682/

I can say yes because I am still "semi-vegetative." What ever that is! I guess it's a high-functioning vegetative person. There aren't any definitions. 

"Do Patients in a Vegetative State Recognize Loved Ones?"
If doctors could ask would they? That hasn't been my experience and I can answer that one. I've been treated like I am stupid and crazy. At the last hospital, I remember something like the doctor saying he couldn't understand what I was saying. It didn't matter though, my bleed was so terrible I was just speaking nonsense.

That is one reason I worked on getting this left arm to move. It doesn't look like nonsense when I type out what I am saying.

So yes, vegetative people recognize loved ones. Speech may not be there. All faculties may not be there. Whether or not a patient is treated with kindness, love, or indifference (and there have been many times) the patient notices. Indifference is okay. That's just someone doing their job matter-of-factually, but meanness and hatred are not!

"Don't listen to a word I say. The screams all sound the same"

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Facebook Comments Have Oxytocin

How can I make such a title? Easy. Watch the above video at 14 minutes. He reports a man had 150% increase in Oxytocin after using Facebook. Facebook is mostly comments. A single comment is a portion of the total.

I can then venture to say Facebook comments give Oxytocin. His study included Twitter, so Tweets do also. I'd venture to say the same goes for other social networks. G+ is much too new to have been included, but you add comments to a post.

A recent study found a single spray of Oxytocin improves brain function in children with Autism,  http://neurosciencenews.com/oxytocin-brain-function-autism-637/  I'm not surprised. It's just scientific evidence of old sayings about love healing all wounds. (Oxytocin has been called the love hormone.)

Now with the knowledge that comments give the same Oxytocin as the spray, wouldn't it be easy to say that social networks improve brain function if you make comments.

What is so important about Oxytocin?

I paraphrase. Oxytocin has been linked to more restful sleep, lower blood pressure, reduced stress, less pain, improved healing, and weight loss.

This gives all the on-line support groups even more meaning. They are boosting social skills when participants comment. The person who comments, their Oxytocin blood level, it rises. The more they comment, the higher it goes. It can reach therapeutic levels.  Participation in those groups is therapeutic. It may not look like much in the beginning, but  give it a while to act. After a year,  what is said may be different than after a week.

So comment, it's good for you. 




Friday, November 29, 2013

"What the Hell Happened?"

Original 11/29/2013
Updated 3/11/2015

Besides "What the Hell happened?" her injury is a brain injury.

So, what happened with me? This is just a guess.

I really don't think there ever was PVS, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8664760 I was probably MCS with low vision and labeled as PVS. As I have become more conscious it looks miraculous. I most likely had the central auditory agnosia described in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPq3Qtjwsi8 plus a severe vision problem. (My mother had to present a LARGE written letter?) I would have been deemed PVS just because of that initial brain scan. Rewiring hadn't happened yet. Of course it looked vegetative.

Some conditions are difficult to diagnose.

Most likely, my brain lobes weren't dead. The wiring was dead and the lobes couldn't do anything. "The nerve fibers from the cells were severed, but the cells themselves remained intact." Nerve cells that have not died can form new connections. What appeared dead wasn't. Rewiring was needed. http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2013/04/getting-there.html

I do credit Posit Science and their program InSight with seeing as well as I do, but it is still with primarily one eye. I am no longer blind in the other eye, but it is weak. When typing this, I still squint and I quite often close my right eye, the weak eye. It would have been blindness due to a lack of rewiring. Posit Science's program rewired my brain. It did not perform a miracle.

Progress has been slow. VERY slow. Imagine you have a 365 page book. You are only allowed one page a day. It will take a year to get through that book. Now you have a shelf of books. That's going to take a few years. A whole bookcase? That's the rest of your life. My weak side may be doing much more in ten years. I still have a lot of books.

His "injury" was an AVM bleed like I had. Mine was just worse.

The head trauma still happened. Acquired Savant Syndrome needs to be looked at. The 'lots of knowledge' has always been there. This statement gives rise to thoughts about Acquired Savant Syndrome. Knowledge is there but it is now processed differently. I'd also say there is more and it includes things I wouldn't know. There's also an amazing recovery. "Savant syndrome, both in the congenital and acquired types, provides compelling evidence of remarkable brain plasticity." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677584/ This is just more reason.

Why isn't this disorder recognized? It offers plasticity. That's needed. Why is plasticity here? How do we get it? Can't tell you. Since this disorder isn't recognized, no one will ever know either. Hey, I'm not conscious. So I didn't tell you that.


Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor unknowingly describes auditory agnosia in a stroke. At 12:55, "My colleague says to me 'Wo wo wo wo wo'."

Hers resolved, or rewired, quickly. I was in this state a while, maybe a few months. It's hard for me to tell, as I had no concept of time during that period, and no records were kept, because it's not known what to look for. It definitely was the entire coma (5 weeks) and for some time after I opened my eyes. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

I have stated I heard in coma, but it's not words that stand out in my mind. It's an alarm. The ventilator had an alarm and this going off is what I remember. Talking to a person would still be important. The sound of the voice, if not, the words, would be understood. Some may understand words. This is only my experience.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

My First Blog

I just got my blogs from MySpace. MySpace has changed ownership and is a music/entertainment site only. I started blogging over there. I moved to blogger.com looking for stability. 

When MySpace changed ownership, accounts were stopped. Blogs weren't exactly lost. A request for records had to be sent. I've waited a while.

Subject It's Possible
DateCreated 9/29/2006 11:43:00 AM
PostedDate 9/29/2006 11:38:00 AM

Recovery from the 'locked-in' syndrome

E. A. McCusker, R. A. Rudick, G. W. Honch and R. C. Griggs

Four patients made substantial recovery following the locked-in syndrome of vascular origin. Clinical and radiologic features supported the presence of ventral pontine 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.

You can see I did this years ago. It's also very short. I only did the title. The rest is an article of a study. I found the original. It's on PubMed. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7065931
Locked-In Syndrome was a big deal. I recovered and I knew many hadn't.

I had to blink for yes and no. This was a means of communication, warranting an MCS diagnosis, but it was too late. I had already been given PVS (this was the first error).

My mother learned I had to be presented with a written form of a letter to blink yes or no.  The letter had to be large due to poor vision. This sounds like what he describes in the video above, Central Auditory Agnosia. He might be one of the few in this country to recognize it. The blinking for a letter is Locked-In Syndrome.

Since I was already PVS, the Locked-In Syndrome was never recognized.


If you went to my MySpace page, I had the following video at one time,


That video is about Jean Bauby. He was a journalist, author, and editor of Elle magazine. He suffered a stroke and went on to write a book by blinking one eye yes or no for each letter. A movie was made. It had the same name, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. He had Locked-In Syndrome. My experience has been close to his for a long time. It's not now.
I chose this video because it shows Bauby getting Trache Care for the tube in his neck. That tube is the reason I have a hole in my neck. The hole is getting smaller, but not very fast.

In the top picture I was still on the ventilator at night. The bottom picture shows the hole left by the tube although surgery closed the airway 7 years earlier. The tube itself was even removed a year before that. The hole never closed, and I could breathe through a hole in my neck.



Now that I think about it, I've really increased in skill since then. I'm a head and an arm and I talk now. Since writing that first blog, I now push to a stand. I can type a lot faster, and my blogs are a lot longer.

My new MySpace profile

I use MySpace for music. I've started a few playlists in MIXES.

UPDATED 5/21/2017

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Intensive Brain Remaking.

I was fascinated with the story of Pedro when I read about it in Norman Doidge's book, The Brain That Changes Itself. Pedro was the father of a famous neuroscientist. I saw the same story in another blog. Somebody else found it fascinating.

From http://www.brainbequick.com/brain-plasticity-miracle.html

Pedro Rewired His Brain After a Massive Stroke

In his book, The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge, M.D. relates the brain plasticity miracle of Pedro.
At the age of sixty-five, Pedro Bach-y-Rita had suffered a massive stroke that paralyzed his face and half of his body.
He was unable to talk or walk, and his sons Paul and George were told there was no hope for recovery,” and that Pedro would have to go into an institution.
Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita was a neuroscientist and rehabilitation physician, and also a pioneer in promoting the understanding that the human brain has an amazing ability to adapt and change itself; what we now know as brain plasticity.     
At first George, then a medical student in Mexico, arranged rehabilitation for his father at a local hospital, which offered a typical four-week therapy.
Pedro showed very little progress, and George decided to have him come and live with him so he could provide additional therapy.
He knew nothing about rehabilitation, and his ignorance turned out to be a blessing. He succeeded by breaking all of the current rules.
“I decided that instead of teaching my father to walk, I was going to teach him first to crawl” George said. “I told my father, ‘You started off crawling. You are going to have to crawl again for a while.’ The only model I had was how babies learn.”
As soon as Pedro could support himself, George had him crawl with his weak shoulder and arm supported by a wall.
Pedro loved gardening, and Paul had him practicing outside, which led to problems with the neighbors who thought it was unseemly to make the professor crawl like a dog.
It took many hours each day, but gradually Pedro went from crawling to moving on his knees to standing and finally to walking.
Pedro struggled with speech on his own, and after three months it began coming back.
He learned to type normally and at the end of a year he was able to return to full-time teaching at City College in New York.
Pedro was active for seven more years until, while climbing in the Colombia Mountains, he suffered a heart attack.
Dr. Paul Bach-y-Rita later discovered that 97% of the nerves that ran from the brain’s cerebral cortex to the spine had been destroyed by the stroke.
Pedro's brain had totally reorganized itself as a result of the intensive “brain remaking.”

It would make sense that this is what I am doing, "intensive brain remaking". My  brain is just restructuring. It's just massive brain remaking. (There was SOME brain, even if it was so little I had "even less brain functioning [than] that would suffice to maintain the live functions of a quite primitive reptile." I like how that was said. Others have said it was so little I was a "vegetable.") Although it looks miraculous now,  there's nothing miraculous going on.  Everything right now can be explained.

A miracle could have happened long ago when I was unconscious. That's then. This is now.

During my recovery I compared the brain to Silly Putty, http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2011/03/wonders-of-silly-putty.html. I was once told the brain was like clay, but to me the brain is more special than that. Silly Putty is like special clay. Also, like clay, it could be missing some and still do the same things. "But it can still be molded, shaped, played with, and retain most, maybe all, of its properties." My Silly Putty is just changing.

I'm just changing my brain- neuroplasticity or rewiring.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

If I Only Had A Brain

My bleed started in the cerebellum. It would have been contained to this one area if it had been discovered soon enough...but it wasn't. Other problems happened along the way. By the time I got somewhere that could deal with me I had "blood extension into all ventricles," from a hospital summary. That was my whole brain.

My whole brain was soaked with blood so it was dead. Recovery was not expected. Death was.

Wait! I now talk and wrote this whole thing. Something must have happened.

"Neurogenesis may have happened. This is where a new brain scan would be handy. Then you could see what part of the brain is functioning. Remember I was in a coma and on a ventilator. Only my heart was beating. That indicates only part of my brain stem worked. (The brain stem also does breathing, and I could not do that.) So, I only had [part] brain stem as functional brain." http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-i-have-learned.html

The entire post discusses what may have happened. http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-i-have-learned.html

Take the word "neurogenesis" and break it down. "Neuro" would be the brain. "Genesis" is to generate or the beginning. Basically, my brain regenerated.

I used to think "dead brain" and left it at that. Then Dr. Morse made the following statement in a blog, "Think of all those miles and miles of myelin sheath Ms. Ronson had to laboriously re-knit to heal and reconnect her severely damaged brain." That's tissue. I don't know if what is there is dead or alive. 

What this means now is that it needs to be studied so doctors can do it again. Is there brain tissue in my head and is it alive? If doctors learn how to make a person react appropriately to their environment again, then the brain can be managed and maybe helped to fix itself. (It will be a management process to heal. It won't be instant, but take years. Also, developmental skills need to be present prior to brain injury, even if they are lost due to the injury.)

I slowly get better and it has been years.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Nobody Thought Of That

Savant Syndrome
Web definition
  • Savant syndrome, sometimes referred to as savantism, is a rare condition in which people with developmental disorders have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance that are in contrast with the individual's overall limitations. ...

I have PVS...but I'm conscious. I used to be on a ventilator. Now  I have a big scar on my neck where the trache tube used to be. I used to be completely paralyzed. What's "recovered quadriplegia"? A neurologist wrote that on a Physical Therapy referral. How do I move? To top it off, I wrote this.

Why do people ask me what happened? Maybe if my diagnosis was changed to something more appropriate like savant syndrome, then I wouldn't have to explain why.

Nobody thought of that-savant syndrome.

I'm not a musical savant. I can barely move, let alone play an instrument. Same goes for being any other kind of artist. The talent would be seen in my recovery. From Dr. Melvin Morse's blog, 
"Think of all those miles and miles of myelin sheath Ms. Ronson had to laboriously re-knit to heal and reconnect her severely damaged brain."

I do have other talents. You are reading one. There's also an affinity for computers. This blog account is one of the many I have. I also have a strange knowledge of neuroscience. Most often I have been mistaken for a doctor. I am not. I had a rather lengthy hospital stay. I've experienced many of the conditions asked about. (I even once had the serious MRSA.) I worked close to the medical field for years. It's not surprising that some of it rubbed off. I have an outstanding memory. It's like I did a 4-year internship in the hospital. It's only from the patient's point of view, though. I assume a lot of medical knowledge comes from that.

I'm one for putting all these talents to use. It's free. I'll use it. "Duh" to everyone else. Go ahead and stand there dumb-founded.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

I Need A Cape

When I was little, I remember playing superheroes with my cousins. A cape would be made for me from a small blanket and a large safety pin used for cloth diapers.
I've grown up and got my super powers.


I'm not conscious because somebody says so...but I am. Think about it, though....Is there a very rare disorder caused by a brain injury that causes a person to do amazing things?

"There are hundreds of thousands of head injuries every year, but only a small handful of acquired savants." So this is rare. A person with savant syndrome would be conscious. All the other extraordinary things in my recovery would also be here. 

Nobody thought I'd come out of a coma. I opened my eyes. How about being able to move? That's been slow but I'm doing it. I don't fly, yet.

I talk. I started making sounds...eventually words. Those words would become sentences. It has been slow. Hey, though, you don't get super powers over night.

I write. It seems understandable. It's so understandable I can take most complex ideas and break them down. I write everyday, so this keeps increasing in showing my potential.

My knowledge is there...and some.  I don't hide it. I give it away. Those who need it take it. My super powers are coming. Like most super heroes, I choose to use my powers for good, not evil.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm Not a Neuro

I'm pretty close to a neurologist, but I really don't have the education or experience in the biology area. I'm not a doctor. My MA is in Special Education and my BA is in Psychology.

I did end up at a county mental health, but focus was psychological, not physical. I didn't deal with medications. I had taken the general coursework on the physiology, but that was not my specialty. There  was a course I took and I was grateful. 

PSYC 3100 - Introduction to Physiological Psychology

(3 Units) Relationship between behavior and physiological processes, particularly neurophysiological processes.Prerequisites: BIOL 1010 or ZOOL 1050.(Lecture, 3 hours)

It was the one I least suspected. I remember the different parts of the brain were covered and what each part was for. This has come in handy. 

I was a behavior therapist at the Mental Health in my county. My job title was Behavior Specialist. I worked with children that had mental health issues, but what I did prior was more applicable to my situation. I was the program manager of an early intervention program for disabilities, http://www.ucpsj.org/programs/children-services/early-intervention

These children had some sort of problem with their brain, but it was never stated that way. All were "at-risk" of developing  a disability. A lot were premature. Some were prenatally exposed to drugs. There was a great deal of foster-care, adoptive families, and extended family members as parents. From genetics to environment, all disabilities were represented.

I ended up knowing all aspects of providing services to families, even how to provide general OT, PT, and speech. You learn how to do those things when you are a special education teacher. Only one of your students receives therapy, but all your students need it. So you go to a session, learn it, and give it to everyone else.

My job was to make any possibility of a disability not noticeable. I had to make it less before school age. 

I now had to give what I learned to myself.  This has been hard when there is difficulty moving. I couldn't move at all in the beginning and had to depend on the system to give therapy. Now it gives me nothing. At least I can move.

My education and experience helped. Maybe this is what is needed in Brain Injury when the medical profession is done. Maybe this is needed with all adult services...SPECIAL EDUCATION. I come from education, not medicine. I'm not a neuro.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

An Exact Copy

In order for neurogenesis to have occurred, the brain cell had to make an exact copy of itself. I've never had stem cell therapy, so it would have to be something available to the general public.  Everybody has brains. Cells copying themselves is familiar to cloning and can happen. Twin babies happen without intervention.

A person will need a basic understanding of biology.

A cell can make an exact copy of itself through a process called DNA replication. I looked at videos and pictures of this. Unless you are into biological science, they don't make much sense. So there isn't much need to put them here.

Through DNA replication, cells make exact copies of themselves.

Mother Nature has a form of replication that we know.


Technically, I did not make a new brain, http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2012/03/new-brain.html. I made a copy of an old one.

The copy only contains the instructions. The cells still need to be shaped and shown how to act. The new material will continue to show deficiencies, but these deficiencies can be improved upon.

This is where exercise (therapy exercise, not cardiovascular) and different therapies come in. The same action is done repeatedly and ingrains HOW TO. The same thing is done with rewiring. I talk about repeatedly doing an action, http://braininjuryknow.blogspot.com/2013/02/do-it-again-and-againand-again.html

So...do it again and again and again. Especially do it while smelling, http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2012/10/breathe-deep_11.html The whole "Breathe Deep" post focuses on starting neurogenesis.




Tuesday, August 13, 2013

No Pain

"A Canadian man who was believed to have been in a vegetative state for more than a decade, has been able to tell scientists that he is not in any pain. It's the first time an uncommunicative, severely brain-injured patient has been able to give answers clinically relevant to their care."

This is part of a post I made on a social network. I was like this a long time ago. Interest wasn't taken in me. I could blink for yes and no. Eventually my mother figured out that if she spoke and showed me a letter, I could blink yes or no for the letter and a word could be spelled.

When I came home from the hospital 4 years later, there was a white board that had been written on with the wrong kind of pen I found in a box. It  was like a permanent marker and the word wasn't coming off. It said TYLENOL.

I was in pain...in a hospital. Days went by before my mother got there. She was the only one who would take the time to go through the entire alphabet, a few times, so I could blink yes or no to each letter, eventually spelling a word. Hospital staff tried it once, I failed, and that was it. They didn't do one thing my mother did-present it visually.

This is strange, but he says it here (3:48), "central auditory agnosia..."

So this was going on. 

To top it off, "Savant syndrome, both in the congenital and acquired types, provides compelling evidence of remarkable brain plasticity." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677584/ I've been able to progress (rapidly in the eyes of brain injury) because of this. Now I am able to write this...even if it is with one finger.

There is an important thing to remember with that man. He may not have been in pain at that time he communicated, but what about tomorrow? We don't know.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

You Better Notice Me Now

"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."

It goes on, "That’s at odds with a growing body of research showing that many patients with no outward signs of awareness retain some degree of consciousness." http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/searching-for-consciousness/

This article points out a problem I addressed in http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2013/02/get-rid-of-word-semi-vegetative.html "Many patients with no outward signs of awareness retain some degree of consciousness." http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/02/searching-for-consciousness/ The author of the article could see that people in this state were regaining some consciousness. I wrote, "Wait a minute! I was in a whole ward of people who were "semi-vegetative." Were all those people misdiagnosed?" http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2013/02/get-rid-of-word-semi-vegetative.html

There isn't a misdiagnosis. The problem is with the definition of the diagnosis itself. It's defined as permanent and it shouldn't be. "BOTH PVS AND MCS WOULD BE ON THIS LINE. They are not separate states of consciousness." http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2013/06/its-on-line.html

That's the problem. It's permanent, and therefor I am permanently not conscious. It should flow from PVS to MCS, and it doesn't. I slowly got better. I was becoming more and more conscious. Instead of moving up the scale of consciousness,  I was belittled. I was the one with a problem and could not get better. I should have gone to MCS not semi-vegetative. From there I could have moved to where I am now.

The following comment to the article is how it was in the many hospitals I went:

"I hate to pop your bubble, but there isn't time for that except in certain research hospitals. In the real world the patient lies comatose until he gets a staph infection and dies $100K later. Meanwhile he is occupying much needed space for no real return to society. 

In theory this is great for government funded research, but a better example is in cardiac care. We need that bed for someone we can make whole again! If you are gorked and are unlikely to recover, we can let you die peacefully by not torturing you with false hope. How many times do you want to wake up in excruciating pain or a drug induced fog when death is inevitable? Hell, we can go all day and night until you can't. 

Obamacare is on the money in the sense that "we all die someday", and that most of the money is spent in the last six months of life. We need to consider the heath of the population rather than the individual who becomes a patient, to make the whole thing work as well as in Europe. 

Your name is written on the patient board in erasable marker for a reason. The sooner you understand this, the sooner you can move on."

It was because of attitudes like this that I left. I got my not conscious self out of the hospital. I wasn't going to use "much needed space." I was "gorked out" and I couldn't get anyone to notice I was slowly getting better. I'd go home.... If anyone noticed there then someone will be sorry.

 (As slow as it has been, I am actually on the fast track. It's been 10 years for me (almost 11). The man in that article was nearly 20.This most likely has to do with a second condition that also allows me to write this. I'm not conscious, though. That can't be explored.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Butt Icon

Am I the only one who has taken Savant Syndrome, put Acquired in front, and abbreviated? Of course I want to be an ASS. Who cares what it stands for. I just want to be a certified ASS.

I'll have to change my icon. I found a tomato that looks like a butt. Instead of a brain, I can have a tomato butt.


no more



Thursday, July 25, 2013

What I Have Learned

[This goes  with http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2011/08/description.html. "Developmental stability" is a doozy.]

I have learned I am not conscious. I don't say "unconscious." There is conscious and unconscious. Then there is this third state. A vegetative person has their eyes open, has sleep and wake states,  and a lot of brain damage. They are not conscious. After a  year in this state it becomes permanent. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistent_vegetative_state  So I am permanently not conscious.

I'm going to contradict this. I have always been conscious. I was unable to move to respond to my environment. This even includes blinking. I have recovered somewhat, but I am still unable to move in some aspects.

Not being conscious is the main problem. It prevents further study because I am permanently not conscious and will have no improvement. So no time, energy, or money should be spent on me for recovery (and somehow this is also translating to research).

Lucky for me this is what I used to do. I am with myself 24/7. I'm just not as mobile. I can sort of provide therapy, at least the early therapy. (I did  ages 0-5.) I used to think I just needed to get myself to a toddler, developmentally. Well I mostly talk and push to a stand. Sounds like the development of a toddler. I do this all non-consciously, though. No therapy can make you conscious.

I'm either savant or very smart. The savant has incredible neuroplasticity. "Savant syndrome, both in the congenital and acquired types, provides compelling evidence of remarkable brain plasticity." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2677584/  I continually have made progress. I have never "plateaued" as the therapists say, or my condition never reached no improvement.

At some point, I should have gone from PVS to  MCS.     

"...some of them might recover...and not get adequate therapy." Not getting adequate therapy is what I am experiencing now.

This also happened...  "The minimally conscious state (MCS) denotes a specific level of functional recovery of severely brain-injured patient." http://www.jci.org/articles/view/27021 "The nerve fibers from the cells were severed, but the cells themselves remained intact." http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/2006-07-03-brain-rewired_x.htm What appeared to be dead wasn't. The wiring was just gone. It has just taken this long to rewire (and maybe other things.)

I do know this is slow. I'm on a glacially slow track. If it has taken me 10 years to get this far, then where will I be in 10 more years? I do know  that this "savant syndrome" or whatever you want to call it is not fully formed yet. If it's like the other, then I have a  few more years. That's okay. I can use the  extra neuroplasticity.

(Extra neuroplasticity is a therapist's dream. There are no plateaus. Just keep doing the exercises until the next developmental level is reached. No exercises is no progress.)

Then there's this medication that was given to me.... It's suspected of causing brain growth. It's also suspected of causing increased cognition. I was in a controlled environment. My diet is controlled as I receive  a prepared formula via a feeding tube. That sounds like a human trial. Someone just needs to put it together from my medical records. The hard work is already done.


Neurogenesis may have happened. This is where a new brain scan would be handy. Then you could see what part of the brain is functioning. Remember I was in a coma and on a ventilator. Only my heart was beating. That indicates only part of my brain stem worked. (The brain stem also does breathing, and I could not do that.) So, I only had brain stem as functional brain.

If all of this that I am doing comes from my brain stem, then that re-wired to do everything...including speaking and standing. That would be a first, but I doubt that.  More likely it was neurogenesis, or my brain regenerated and is doing this. That would also be a first. Both situations have never happened before and this is why people who know me are in awe.

Pushing to a stand and slowly learning to speak indicate brain growth. It is something we see with children. The brain stem does not do this. This is what I see happening in me. It is different from childhood growth in that it is much slower and the sequence is a bit different. This would be neurogenesis at a low level and then the brain growing slowly as it does.

What a long strange trip it's been. I can only document it.


Instead, I am going from PVS straight to consciousness. That's like going from 1 to 5 and leaving out 2, 3, and 4. MCS, Minimally Conscious State was in between. It completely gets left out now. I did go through it, however.

I did get classified as something that can fit, but it's not official, "semi-vegetative." If one is only part vegetative, then they have to also be part conscious. If you ask me, it sounds the same as MCS. It's easy for someone to say I went from part consciousness to being fully conscious.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I Want To Be A Rock

Since when has consciousness been associated with memory or movement? There is even a philosophy that gives a rock a soul.


So a rock is conscious, but I'm not. Go figure.

updated  11/1/2015

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I Was Crowd-Sourcing


Crowd-sourcing is, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing

Did you  know that when you type a captcha you are helping to digitize a book? You are just one of many people who are doing this. When some of the older texts are scanned it looks like a photocopy of a photocopy. Computers can't read them...but humans can. So that's where those words in some captchas come from. When you type what you see you just digitized a word for someone like me. Many people have a different captcha. Now a whole text is done. The problem of digitizing all those words was solved with crowd-sourcing.    
A little bit for an individual...BUT, put all the people together you have "communal value."

Here's the same idea only with money...

He channeled all those half-cents to his paycheck. He was one happy employee!

So, every little bit adds up. Look at his paycheck!

My diagnosis didn't seem right. I didn't expect any one person to get it. I needed many.

I've pretty much have done the same with my diagnosis. I knew it was wrong, but no one could tell me  what was going on. By putting everything on the internet, it became a communal problem. I got "communal value."

All the ideas came in.... People knew of all sorts of stuff, but no one person knew everything. I had to take all that stuff and make sense. Now I have something. Crowd-sourcing helped me solve a problem.

To everybody:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Proof of Limbo

UPDATED   9/13/2016
People don't understand when I say I'm not conscious. There is conscious and unconscious. Then there is a third category- vegetative. I had a brain injury, then surgery, and then a coma. When I opened my eyes, I was classified PVS, persistent vegetative state. I did not talk and stared off into space.  At the last hospital I was in I was put with all the "semi-vegetative" patients. This mental state is eyes open but not conscious. (Sounds like a zombie.) Obviously you are reading this, and can see I have gained back mental function.

A person usually dies before they can get better in this state. This happened to me so long ago, and I eventually did get better (very slow and I did not die). Problem now is this condition was made permanent. So I am permanently not conscious.

Acquired savant syndrome is caused by a brain injury and is very rare. This can't be confirmed in me as I am not conscious. Savants are in such great need, yet politics interferes with this, too. I can't be studied until I am conscious. This "story" is #123. Yes, there is a massive amount already. I manage to type all of this with one finger. Again, this would be like a savant. Not studying sounds like "cutting off one's nose to spite the face." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cutting_off_the_nose_to_spite_the_face

Recently an experience was "debunked," http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/07/proof-heaven-author-debunked/66772/ To each his own and the freedom of speech. Experiences are experienced by a single person. I wouldn't want to be the one who comes along and says there is something wrong with what you experienced. You are basically saying there is something wrong with the person.  I can only attest to my own experience. I don't want to ruin a person's understanding of their self. That could be detrimental.

I would say I am conscious. I have been all along, even when I couldn't move. I would also say I am doing extraordinary things. That is not the case, though. A letter was even sent to Social Security back in 2003 by a doctor, http://thoughtfulveg.blogspot.com/2012/11/competent.html They deemed me still to be vegetative, but I could handle my own money. I couldn't talk then. I talk now. I'm still vegetative. I live on my own. I'm still vegetative. I write these. I'm still vegetative.  I somehow managed to get custody of my children and not be conscious. It's funny a not conscious person can follow those rules. I'm still vegetative.

I invite "debunkers" to look at my case. Problems will be found with it...but not with me. Problems shouldn't be found with my experience. Oh, I may have spelling or grammar errors on stories. I may have some of the  biology/neurology or law wrong. If it's real bad I can be a weenie and say, "What do you expect from a not conscious person?" That is the problem. I am not responsible for what I do or say. I am vegetative.

"Limbo" is a place between Heaven and Hell in Catholicism. It might be a reference to the book Proof of Heaven. "Limbo" is also a game.