Researching consciousness – Part 3

So I started to get better, and language and meaning were coming back to me. While I was at the hospital, and meaning and after were coming back to me, especially after surgery, I was needing to go potty every night at about 2~4 a.m. I would push the call button for the nurse so that I didn’t trip and fall on the my say, and then when I would go, I would be able to do it without someone watching over me. I.e., safe to the bath room, safe and private going potty, and safe back to bed.

I was certainly seeing twists in my vision, and I wouldn’t walk around without my wife being next to me as a guide.

(Continued below…)

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April Fools Day, Atheist Fools Day

Either way, I like this day!

-Rusty frankenSteil

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Recovering consciousness – Part 2

So the next test, I don’t know if it was hours later or the next day, I made some progress:


The concept of ‘Stop’ started coming through, and the fact that there were simple words on the sign. So definitely not quite as bad as the previous test!

I still didn’t have much in the way of language, either internally or externally, though apparently I had some when being asked questions, but I clearly was very sub-par!

And in the afternoons, it developed a bit more than in the mornings. Each day was better than the previous. It had been suggested somehow that I get some information to my family, so I then started to try to use Facebook, Youtube, e-mail, etc. But I could hardly make out the pages on my cellphone, let alone what buttons to push, now to “send”, and all that. It was a bit of work getting that stuff understood.

But it came along. Again, every day was a bit better.

More info on my next installment.



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Recovering consciousness – Part 1

Well, this will be a several part description of what I went through when recovering and recuperating  consciousness. I don’t know how many parts I’ll have, but it will definitely be more than 1!

I will tell it from my perspective. “I” and “my” being a focus on my conscious observation. Heh!

So the first observation I make (or specifically remember) is that I’m being rolled down a hall on a cart, and I see a very blurry ceiling and a blurry face/head/upper body of a … ¿paramedic? Certainly a quite-human health professional.

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Questions/comments from HD

1) & 2) How interesting about the depth perception and especially how quickly it developed.

Well, the depth perception neural network is generally a genetic network, so it tends to develop on its own. It’s a matter of getting it to fire, which because of my eyesight, didn’t ‘turn on’/develop normally when I was a child, so it was basically ignored throughout my first 50 years. Then I go and get this cancer thingy, and ………………..

3) Losing language sounds terrifying. Were you able to still think in words in your head even though you couldn’t name or fully recognize things you saw around you?

Nope. I could do some analysis (right hemisphere processing), but no language, no internal language, no concept. I could recognize the shape of the stop sign (and the fact that I had seen it very often, without the language or ‘reasoning’ behind it; i.e., the analysis of it worked as did the visual processing in the right hemisphere), but couldn’t tie it to ‘red’, ‘octagon’, ‘STOP’, either as concepts or as words.

Most importantly, did you get any good news about the cancer?

No surgery, but chemo and radiation for the next 6 weeks (basically daily) or so. Then we’ll see how well killed those cells are. The radiation is a very focused radiation, and the chemo is a pill, so it’s a less harsh radiation than the injection kind. But I have no idea how harsh I’ll end up reacting to it. I’m definitely positive about it, but there’s always a possible negative. This isn’t quite as bad as the cancer in Phenomenon, but then again, I don’t get to move pencils with my mind, either… And it’s not a stage IV cancer, which would have been worse.

4) :) 5) It sounded like they gave you some good stuff.

We’ll see, but there’s been a helluva lot of luck involved here, too. And some significant ‘scheduling correction’ my wife and I had to make. No, you don’t really want to hear that involved story. Things are definitely looking positive. w00t!


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Questions from HD

Questions asked to me online, and some of my answers:

1) Can you elaborate on what feeling wrong means when you position your arms in different ways.

It turns out that the depth perception processing in my brain has turned on, and needed to be ‘normalized’. It was way off. So that my right hand ‘felt’ a normal distance from my left hand, but only so when it was about 6 inches away. Putting the two hands the same distance away, the left hand felt ‘too far’, and putting the left hand ‘too far’ felt way, way off!

When this processing started, and I don’t know if it was due to surgery or not, I had to walk with The Bride, holding on to her shoulder so that I didn’t lose perspective walking and possibly trip and fall. At the time, I didn’t know it was due to depth perception. You see, I didn’t have regular depth perception for 50+ years!

It wasn’t until a couple of weeks after the 9-1-1 incident that I had other perspective shifts (e.g, visual perspective on movies that then related to associative perspective on neural-pathway firing), and eventually I was able to determine that the depth-perception was causing ‘issues’. Then I started wearing a patch for a couple of days, and now, the depth perspective has normalized (post 50.50 -Rusty), and I can walk normally without needing a patch.

2) What do you think is happening?

The neural pathways for depth perception have turned on. Along with other things, like taste perception (which is much richer now). It might also be due to chemistry changes, but I’m not sure. I tend to be a neural-pathway thought guy! :-)

3) Did the medical people around you tell you how surgery in that area of the brain might affect you specifically?

Nope. All of the changes were starting at some level or another before the surgery. The surgery was simply to get samples to determine what the type of cancer it is. After getting into the emergency room, I basically could see a stop sign on a poster on a bathroom door very clearly on the left side, but every other damn thing was a complete and utter blur. And I couldn’t associated meaning or language to it. I knew the stop sign was familiar, but I couldn’t associate any meaning to it. So my right brain was ok, but my left brain was fucked up.

4) Are you having insights about consciousness?

gOd, I hope so!

5) Does being conscious feel different for you than it did before the surgery?

Feeling different? No. There were certainly some insights that I had as things blasted around. Things like making associations between movies and neural pathway firings, perspective changes on associating random events or nearly random events with silliness (like posting entries on Pharyngula at certain times, and lucking out on relating them to ‘magical numbers’, having fun doing it but not having fun since the Pharyngulites didn’t take it at all seriously; can’t say I blame them completely, though, but they haven’t really followed up with research, either).

Again, I don’t think the surgery was the issue here. I think it was reducing the size of the tumor, and that was possibly partially due to multiple factors, including drugs. I dunno, though.

But I’ve made people laugh due to frankenSteil!


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Next week, radiation starts.


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Uhm, okay, so there’s no feedback.

From anywhere, really.



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Yeah, you suck, PZed!

I go through and dick around with the folks in the Thunderdome thread, and never get them to give me feedback on a recording I made regarding (a) a change in perception of films, then (b) consciousness.

Of course, the conversation I wanted along there was very far beyond just that, and actually included so-called “St Paul” moments, or heck, even “Death/Resurrection” moments, but we didn’t get anywhere close to that.

“No, don’t want to watch your video.”

“Sorry you’ve got brain cancer. Show the video to your doctor.”

What, no feedback? Nope. Okay.

Don’t leave them anything that might allow them to follow up on the conversation. You know, like cookies that might have been requested.

Yeah, I didn’t leave them a link, but they already said “No!” when I said, “Well, you can look …”


And now you’re pulling deGrass Tyson along your butt for your own birthday? You SOB!

See if you come back to Denver sometime and I meet you at Wynkoop and try to hang out to 11:00 p.m.! Nope. Next time, I’m leaving at 6:30. Whether you’re there or not.

Just sayin’.

-Rusty frankenSteil

(Oh, and happy birthday!!!)

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The other stuff was apparently pre-production.

This is official production, and then the next step will be official post-production.

Of frankenSteil, Bride of frankenSteil, and frankenSteil III: Intelligence in the Random Universe.

Shoot me. (But not now.)

YouTube Link: *click*


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