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,

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, 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, it again and again and again. Especially do it while smelling, 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 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." 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."

This article points out a problem I addressed in "Many patients with no outward signs of awareness retain some degree of 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?"

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."

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.)