Friday, April 22, 2016


Do some of you remember you or your children using pattern blocks in school? These are the beginnings of learning geometric shapes in patterns.  

is something that I wrote explaining why I played Mahjong and not Sudoku after sustaining a brain injury.

Mahjong would teach patterns, a basic concept. A math game would teach math-a higher skill. Think about what you had in kindergarten. That's where you want to start.

The old neuropsychologist whose blog I read would have been right. Pattern recognition is more basic of a skill. Learning that would come before math computation. That should come first in re-learning after a brain injury.

To illustrate (shape and pattern recognition is more pronounced in Savant Syndrome) I'll use a story where a head injury predominately uses visual information to reorganize a damaged brain. There is definite brain injury and then reorganization on this basic concept of pattern recognition.

Getting back to video will want to build on this 'visual pattern recognition' when there is injury. Mahjong is on most computer systems and versions are available as a free app. Instruction on how to play can be found on the internet. "Pattern recognition" is transferable to other games. Candy Crush Saga uses pattern recognition and matching. Other games will, too. Mahjong is a good beginner game, and then other games may be explored. You don't have to stick with just one.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

It Really Is Serious But You Won't Know It

Recently I had to see the doctor. I was given some prescriptions. One was for codeine. I didn't think anything of it, but someone pointed out that codeine is a narcotic. It occurred to me that people can see how serious my situation is by seeing how serious my medication is.

I've been given medication that is stronger than that codeine. I saw a picture describing one. I took the name out, but it's the graphic that got me.

Some people have woken up during surgery. I woke up in the middle of a coma. That's the best way I can think of describing this.

The medication I receive for pain is serious. After that would be to put me back in a coma.


I try to make my situation look typical. Medically fragile was the term I used with children. I worked with these kids. They grow up. Seldom does the problem go away. I guess the term can also apply to adults. From my browser, "A medically fragile condition is defined as a chronic physical condition which results in a prolonged dependency on medical care for which daily skilled nursing intervention is medically necessary." I would try to make the child's situation look typical. I continue to do that with myself.

No one, except fiction compares to the state of my body. I have never met someone who was dead cold. My cognitive skills are high, but my body is not. I still have a feeding tube, and I cannot be flat longer than to change a diaper. I have a hospital bed of which I keep the head of the bed elevated at 40 degrees. I should still be in a hospital but I managed to do a home care situation. It is very unique. Making my situation appear typical isn't easy.

My bedroom looks like a cross between a hospital room and a bedroom in a typical house. My family has learned how to administer my feeding. This is a nursing duty. My situation is far from typical. It even goes beyond the typical home-care situation. Many won't notice, though.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Think

"Cogito ergo sum." I think, therefore I am.

This message was brought to you by Descarte. Not only can you not doubt your own existence, you cannot doubt your consciousness.

Yes, I think. I cannot be unconscious.

I've been through way too much for a stupid letter to get in the way. Yes, I call that letter I got stupid. It must come from a moron. Anyone can  see I am not in something "sometimes referred to as coma." That beginning negates the whole letter. It starts by stating I am in a coma. How am I writing this? There is some good things following, but it got off on the wrong foot. That intro is seen and the letter is thrown out.

I hated it when that happened. The TV program would end, but I couldn't move to change it.

I move much like a toddler now. Speaking is there, too. I was an infant specialist for years. I knew how to do that. It just took a while. Now, I'm just winging it.

For someone to come along and tell me I am not conscious and I am in a coma makes me angry. They are essentially saying my progress has been in vain. Are you kidding me? Where did you go school, sir? I would expect your answer from a temp with a bad attitude. Don't take your frustrations out on me.
Yes, I think. I don't doubt my consciousness, and I don't doubt my existence.