Monday, August 29, 2016
Miracle Girl: The Godless Meets the God-Fearing
Fundamentalists might as well have been bug-eyed monsters to me until my evangelical friends lent me their support during my recovery.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Miracle Girl: Happy Coma Day!
Today is the third anniversary of my awakening, an event Keith has dubbed Coma Day. It awoke from a weird coma-dream into an almost as strange reality.
My doctors told my loved ones to give up all hope for my recovery, that I was profoundly brain-damaged and would never be the same. They were wrong.
I spent the rest of the day proving it.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Miracle Girl: My Life Was but a Coma-Dream
As readers of Coma Chameleon know, I awoke from my bizarre and absurd coma-dream into a reality almost as unbelievable.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Miracle Girl: Tennis Anyone?--Communicating with the Vegetative
While the Owen Lab is still in the process of making covert cognition detection widely available, they have already produced tangible benefits for a few seemingly vegetative patients...and their families.
In the case of Jeff Tremblay, the results have been quite moving.
Monday, August 22, 2016
Miracle Girl: "Hello, I'm in Here!"--Giving Voice to the Voiceless
I was cold; Kate Bainbridge was thirsty. Our discomfort was ignored because our caregivers though we were vegetables, unable to feel pain. That may soon end if the Owen Lab's covert awareness detection research continues to pay off.
Not only would covert cognition be less covert if they succeed, patients who will never recover as well as Kate and I have may someday have a say in their own treatment.
Friday, August 19, 2016
|This is my brain on strokes.|
Finally, Miracle Girl and Coma Chameleon blogs come together, as I begin a series of posts about covert cognition in celebration of my awakening, otherwise known as Coma Day.
As one of the few among the one in five vegetative patients with covert awareness to experience a full recovery, I feel a special obligation to speak out for those who cannot.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Miracle Girl: Trump am Bizarro Candidate
Bizarro couldn't help himself. He was an imperfect duplicate of Superman forced by Bizarro logic to do everything opposite.
Good is bad in the Bizarro World. By Bizarro logic, then, Donald Trump is doing good.
- In July of 2013, I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died. When I awoke from the coma, I could barely lift my head. It has been a hard road to recovery. The doctors advised my loved ones to give up all hope for my full recovery, but while they were shining lights in my eyes to gauge my level of consciousness, I was telling them grumpily to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep...in my coma-dream. I was experiencing covert cognition, and the coma-dream was my version of a near-death experience. I'm a skeptic, so I saw surreal images instead of spirits or dead loved ones. According to my research, as many as one in five people with consciousness disorders have covert cognition.
Not a miracle recovery, but a miracle of modern medicine
In 2013 I fell into a six-week coma and nearly died after I contracted legionella. The Legionnaire's disease was in turn triggered by immunosuppression caused by the prednisone I was taking for my rare autoimmune disease, dermatomyositis.
I suffered a series of strokes on both sides of my brain when the sepsis caused my blood pressure to plummet. I fell into a deep coma. My kidneys and lungs began to fail, as my body was began dying one organ at a time. My doctors told my loved ones to give up hope for my full recovery. They expected me to die, and even if I somehow lived, I would remain a vegetable or at best left so hopelessly brain-damaged that I would never be same. But unbeknownst to them, while they were shining lights in my eyes and shaking their heads, I was telling them in my coma-dream--my secular version of a near-death experience--to leave me alone because I was trying to get back to sleep. I was experiencing what is known as covert cognition, the subject of my Skeptical Inquirer article "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," which appeared in their July/August issue.
But it wasn't a miracle--despite what so many continue to believe--that I recovered so fully. I owe my life not to God, but the miracles of modern medicine, as well as the nature of the watershed-area brain damage I suffered, as I detailed in my article and in this blog.