Sunday, December 18, 2016

Is my body still in a coma and my mind awake?

Is my body still in a coma and my mind awake?

Where would I get such an idea? Take a look at the beginning of my last story.
It deserves to be front page news.  Medicare withholds food of a comatose patient to await a swallowing evaluation. They screwed up and made me comatose. I'm not worried about food but how to get it in. Rinse and re-use supplies risks infection.
I am experiencing problems where some say I am awake and aware, while others say I'm in a coma/vegetative. (FYI Medicare, swallowing is not it. You cannot determine a person is out of a coma if they can all of a sudden swallow. On the contrary, your actions could be detrimental to someone not as lucky as I have been. What if the person aspirates and dies? That makes your job easy.)

I tell an entire story of how a nurse talks to me like I am vegetative and I answer back like I am not.

This happens quite a bit.

A music therapist relays this:
The below story is about my friend Angela; an amazing woman. I first played guitar for her when she was in the Sub-Acute area of El Camino Hospital. A nurse one day begged me to come and play for the people there that had no hope. They were what are referred to as "vegetables" and when I first saw them pushed into the room I was getting ready to play (in beds and wheelchairs)….I wondered will these people even be able to hear music… A sadness came over me as I looked at them. They put Angela in a wheelchair right in front of me and told me I could start playing. While I played Angela said to me, " I used to play that song on piano." I was shocked that she was able to speak and carry on a conversation - even though she was a little hard to understand in the beginning,

It now makes me wonder "where" I am. I am not talking about my body's physical location. I am talking about "locality and non-locality of consciousness" that philosophers and other professions (such as physicians) think about. Sometimes they think about it in their spare time. I think about in a lot of my time. Where is mine and how do I get it back?
I am asked what is "non-local."
This is.


I must be one of these,

How Some Patients in a Vegetative State Can Retain Awareness, Despite Appearing Unresponsive 
I somehow have come back from a vegetative state that wasn't recoverable.

I go back to my original question:
Is my body still in a coma and my mind awake?

The answer is no.

Instead of swallowing, look at these blog posts. You can probably tell I've gone from semi-vegetative to full consciousness. I started going through them a while back. Many of the first ones sound the same. I already had to be conscious to write in the first place. This is why I don't like the term "semi-vegetative." It implies part consciousness. There already is a term, Minimally Conscious State, or MCS. So when you read these, it would be "yes, she is fully conscious."

My body is disabled not in a coma. I would not magically instantly swallow. Medicare should be providing speech therapy. This doesn't happen. Instead I am left on my own to figure it out. Sorry, but I am not there yet. I am conscious, though.

Now how can I make such a statement? I am a psychologist that is currently unemployed. I last worked for the Sierra County Department of Mental Health as a Behavior Intervention Specialist, a behavior therapist.

Savant syndrome? That's a good possibility, but I will leave that  to others. This already looks like a manifesto. Where's the neuropsych? I've yet to see one.

Medicare has neuropsychological services.

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