Brain Case Part 6

February 2, 2010

I had days where hours would go by, and nothing would happen, and I was just thinking to myself. Nobody coming in to check on me at all, nothing going on outside my room, just pure quiet. Those were nice days.  There were times when I could picture my kids, and my ex wife, and my parents and sisters, all of whom I’d forbidden to see me. I think it was easier for me to deal with the idea of being a brain case than it would have been for them. Imagine seeing your loved one’s brain, floating in liquid, talking to you through speakers, and looking at you with a webcam. I don’t know, if I had to see someone like that, someone I cared about, I’d lose my shit, I think. I don’t think I’d be able to handle it, especially if it was one of my kids.

That reminds me of a story Dr Stevens told me, about this five year old that had been a brain case…It was one of her first cases. He’d been the victim of a vicious beating by his parents, severe internal injuries, the works. They took his head off his body, and connected it straight to the life support. That’s how bad his parents beat him. For some reason, they didn’t bash his head in, too. Or maybe the police just got there before they could get to it.

So this little boy survives a horrific beating, gets his head cut off and put in a suspension unit, and because they’d transferred the whole head, he couldn’t talk. So he’s suspended in solution, and after a few weeks with no body transplant, the doctors start trying to decide what to do. They’d been keeping him heavily sedated to keep him from flipping out, but you’d practically have to keep him sedated all the time, and you can’t really do that. There are ways of sedating what is essentially just a brain, but really you’re on your own. I mean, there’s no body to metabolize the sedatives or medicine or anything. They have artificial systems for that, but they only use them in the most dire of circumstances.

So, Dr Stevens is brought in to see the kid; he’d been non-responsive to visual stimuli. She goes in, and starts trying to talk to him, trying to get him to blink yes or no answers to her questions. Turns out the kid’s gone catatonic. Stevens made a point of sitting there with him, every day, for at least a few hours, until she finally got him to respond to her. She basically saved his mind. She told me that she was singing to him and all kinds of stuff, reading stories to him…The kinds of things a five year old would expect from an adult caregiver. No, there’s not going to be a kick in the nuts here like “the power at the hospital went out and he died three weeks later” or some horrible shit like that. Actually the kid got a new body, specially grown for him by a children’s foundation. Apparently it’s easier to clone a body for a kid than for an adult. Something about the growth rate, or something. A children’s body can be grown at an accelerated rate without damage, an adult body can’t be grown at an accelerated rate without consequence, not even an adolescent body.

There’s this episode of Star Trek, called Spock’s Brain, where this race of hot chicks steal Spock’s brain. Anyway, they use his brain to power a machine or something. I don’t know exactly what the hell it was. But they were using his brain as part of a computer or something.

That would suck, to be surrounded by a bunch of women who only liked you for your mind.

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