Monday, August 10, 2015
The March of Times
So far, I've been pretty lucky for someone who doesn't believe in luck. My article, "Covert Cognition: My So-Called Near-Death Experience," was tentatively scheduled for the July/August issue of Skeptical Inquirer. It's out now.
I was advised by someone in the know not to say in my article bio that my essay, "Without a Prayer of a Chance," was tentatively scheduled for the October/November issue of Free Inquiry. But low and behold, earlier today I received my proof for the essay, which will appear--wait for it--in their October/November issue. And, no, I didn't pray for it to happen
Seeing as I believe in neither luck, nor fate, I'm not counting on "Sympathy for the Devil-Believers" appearing in the February/March issue of Free Inquiry. But if it does, my work will be in almost continual publication through the beginning of 2016. I've already started work on my next essay for the same readership.
Hopefully, my string of published work will outlast the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.
- 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.