I join this because I thought I could find out some answers. Like my son is an unconscious stage. He has been in that stage for 4 months. How do I know when he is awake? What does that look like? What things can I do with him until he wakes up? I feel hopeless. I don't know where to go or who to talk to?

I did a lot of reading about Rancho levels of cognitive function when my son was emerging from a coma and found the following handout to be helpful, as it includes some "guidelines" for family interaction. We posted it in the hospital room for all of us (family and visitors) to review. I hope his medical providers can give you more specific to your son's current condition. www.rancho.org/research/bi_cognition.pdf

Oh, and initially my son had to be in a low stimulation environment, so I didn't do much with him except fluff pillows and rearrange blankets... But once we got the okay to do so, we talked to him, played a little music, read to him, put lotion with scented oils on him, held his hand, helped the staff with his daily care, etc. I requested that the hospital Chaplain visit weekly for a blessing and we prayed. He doesn't remember any of it! But it was good for me to do something to help.


My son has been stuck at level 3 for about 2 months. I wish he was in a faciluty. I really feel he could get better help there. Thanks for the information

Monica, I am sorry your son in on a plateau. Rancho 3 was a calm time for us, after the scares and ups and downs of the ICU. The Rancho levels are national standards, so for the most part, their guidelines are generally accepted. They recommend the following (among others listed in the handout): "Engage him in familiar activities, such as listening to his favorite music, talking about the family and friends, reading out loud to him, watching TV, combing his hair, putting on lotion, etc."

What proved to be a breakthrough for us was a physiatry consult. He made several medication changes, including adding the drug amantadine. Here's a link with some general info: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57388459-10391704/flu-drug-amantadine-may-boost-recovery-from-severe-brain-injuries/ He might be on it already, but for my son, it made all the difference. Ask your doctor about it, if he's not on it. Maybe other people on this site have some experience with it, too.

I haven't had a chance to get out much. I am collecting some smells from my house for my son. I am going to collect some textures and find a video for tracking purpose. I feel as though I am not doing enough stimulation things with him because I feel so exhausted all the time. I have been giving him fish oil. I have been reading on it. The doctor prescribe 3.1 ml three times a day. The doctor that I read about on a CNN article wrote me back. He told me that the dosage should be 15ml twice a day. My son doctor is going to pay a home visit today. I plan to ask her about increasing the dosage for him.

I now realize that I can't rush it. It is going to take time. My son has a severe severe brain injury. He has bruises all over his brain.