Conscious: (adj) the state of being awake and aware
In a spirit of candor, I will tell you that it is much easier to discuss pain when it is not your own.
Speaking of it in the abstract does afford an opportunity to be philosophical instead of devastated. So I preface my comments today with that realization.
My son was hit and run by a car and suffered a severe brain trauma which left him in a coma, unconscious.
We stayed with him, we loved him, we prayed for him–even though the doctors felt the prognosis was grim. We were about a month-and-a-half into the experience when I asked a nurse when my son would come out of the coma.
I just wanted her opinion.
She looked at me, surprised, and said, “I thought you knew. He’s been out of the coma for about a week.”
I was bewildered.
You see, the reason for my confusion was that the young fellow was not responsive, couldn’t communicate and just stared off in the distance.
I assumed there was more work to be done, but the nurse explained that the coma was over and that he was conscious–but the accident had robbed him of skills and brain-power.
After she told me this, I looked at him carefully and realized that he was exhibiting waking and sleeping periods, and that there seemed to be some presence of life–but no conscious effort to reach out of the shell of his body.
It was frightening, debilitating and agonizing.
It is a great gift–to be alive.
It is even a greater bestowal–to be able to hear and receive information.
But we must never forget how blessed we truly are–to be conscious of the world around us, and able to offer a response.
(click the elephant to see what he’s reading!)