These recent reports

It seems an article in The Daily Mail has everyone concerned. I’m being asked what I think. Here goes.

I hope we’ve all been VERY worried since the first reports of Michael’s accident. That surely is the appropriate attitude.

The guys quoted in the online article I saw have taken care of patients like Michael. They have not, however, examined Michael, reviewed his scans, etc. Because their titles imply that these men are consummate professionals, I’ve no doubt that they made clear (much clearer than the Mail does) that they were speculating as to possible outcomes.

Because that is what they are doing.

Look, I think that we need to look at this speculation rather like the arrival time estimates of your satnav. Their initial estimate is based on some assumptions and statistics. Obviously, as you get closer and closer to the destination the estimate gets better and better. Duh.

It is highly unlikely that when Michael and his family are finished with hospitals, finished with rehab centres, he will be the same Michael we had known until that Sunday.

Having said that, which is admittedly saying very little that isn’t, unfortunately, painfully obvious, the range of impairment we may see spans the spectrum from mild sensory/motor/behavioral problems to more dramatic sequelae.

Once again, patience, long painstaking work by all concerned, and just maybe our thoughts, best wishes and prayers will be needed. Long periods with no news are perfectly normal, and will remain so. We will likely enter a chronic phase, punctuated by (hopefully) several steps forward and (hopefully) many fewer backward.

19 thoughts on “These recent reports

  1. I got this web site from my pal who informed me on the topic of this site and
    now this time I am visiting this site and reading very informative posts at this time.

  2. awesome post.
    gary, ive recently watched the freestyle snowboarder kevin pearce documentary (crash reel)
    who after a long recovery is getting life back…
    just last night i watched the james cracknel documentary about his tbi…
    both are worth a watch, more so the kevin pearce as it graphically indicates the slow and sevear recovery from his tbi..
    your post is incredably detailed.
    thank you

  3. Gary

    Extraordinary healing of TBI’s with EPA Fish Oil in high doses: The theory behind fish oil as a therapeutic intervention for traumatic brain injury is at once simple and complex. Simply stated, the brain’s cell wall is, in part, composed of omega-3 fatty acids. “If you have a brick wall and it gets damaged, wouldn’t you want to use bricks to repair it?” said Dr. Michael Lewis, founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute. “By supplementing using (omega-3 fatty acids) in substantial doses, you provide the foundation for the brain to repair itself.” More complicated is how omega-3 fatty acids might control inflammation — or damage — in the brain. Sears likens it to quelling a metaphorical fire in the brain. That “fire” begins when the brain is traumatized — as with a profound injury like Grant Virgin’s, or milder insults like concussions suffered on a soccer field. Neurons snap, setting off a wave of inflammation in the brain that can smolder for long periods of time — sometimes weeks or months after the injury has occurred. “That (inflammation) will continue over and over unless there’s a second response that turns it off,” said Sears, president of theInflammation Research Foundation. The fatty acid that Sears says can effectively “turn off” that inflammatory fire is a metabolite (what remains after the body breaks something down) of eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, called resolvin. EPA is found in fish oil. “What we think is happening is, high levels of EPA coursing in the brain metabolize into resolvins, turning down and turning off inflammatory process,” said Sears.

  4. Pingback: #ForzaMichael messages for Michael Schumacher, Stay strong Schumi | Rush Lane

  5. I have to say I appreciate you professionalism by pointing out you have not seen Michael or his records. I have unfortunately lost what I thought were 2 very good friends over their giving their “opinion” as to what was taking place with Michael…seems they think they can predict his outcome without ever looking at him. Thank you for being professional.

  6. We must simply respect the way the Schumacher family want this done and hope for some news soon. What they must be going through is simply unimagineable. In all my 50 years as a F1 fan this is surely one of the saddest episodes I can remember.

  7. I hope Gary is willing to respond to what the media is doing with the word “stable” that Ms. Kehm used “without the word critical.”

    Mr. Schumacher remains in a medically induced coma with “grave” brain injury; that is why he remains in an induced coma state. His injury, apparently remains in a too severe state to attempt awakening him at this time. We must also remember that a natural awakening from coma after a survivable TBI most usually occurs within three weeks.

    We have not been told that he is off life support. What we are being told is that his vital signs, while he is on life support, which is necessary while in an induced coma, are stable. Without the induced coma and life support, Michael, at this time in his process, might not survive his injury’s conditions which essentially means his medical condition remains critical and that prognosis, at this writing, probably remains unpredictable. That said, I feel that Ms. Kehm does a diservice to those of us who holding Michael in our hearts and prayers, by providing false information by omission. It remains and is nothing more that false information.

    AND it is understandable and reasonable that Michael’s family is truly embracing privacy with regard to his medical condition, no matter what it is during this devastating journey. At least a statement to that effect of privacy is forthright and inclusive.

    We have not been told anything about whether or not Michael is responding with regard to The Glascow Coma Scale that Gary explained earlier. We do not know if any attempt with regard to same has been made. If, in fact it has, we have no direct knowledge of what his scores are which can certainily change as time passes.

    The media, again, has not done its homework and it seems, without integrity, they will write anything to get the most readers attention. The doctors that are interviewed, as Gary rightly noted, are indeed speculating unless they are having direct conversations with Michael’s medical team which is doubtful.

    Even the opinion I am expressing is speculation in spite of the fact that it is backed up with some due dilligence.

    All of the above being written, I believe that we can all agree that we are, and remain, deeply concerned about the wellbeing and recovery of a very special and atheletically talented and gifted man who is supported by a loving family during a most difficult time.

  8. Hi Peter

    I agree with you too.
    I have decided to take Ms. Kehm’s advice and put her “stable” comment in the ‘she is Not a Doctor of Michael’s’ column, and wait until word comes from those in the know who are willing to be straight and forthcoming.

    Like so many, I believe that holding good thoughts has value and truth telling, by far, is much more supportable and easier to stand with in any difficulty.

    I would much rather continue to believe in a greater power than relax under the pretense of “stable.”

  9. Gary – I am not comfortable with the lack of simple forthright honesty, I wish this accident had NEVER happened to Michael Schumacher, however there are thousands, maybe millions of fan, whom deserve better. Yes, the family has a right to privacy, clearly. But to those of us who are, shall I say, have VERY knowledgeable friends, it seems to be an insult to claim one thing when something else is the truth.
    “The AHA’s “General Guide” states: “‘Stable’ should not be used as a condition. Furthermore, this term should not be used in combination with other conditions, which by definition often indicate a patient is unstable.” (As one hospital spokesman put it, “You can be dead and be stable.”)

    • May I say I entirely agree with every word KC writes and in a less forthright way, made the same points yesterday. But I am unsure if you are aware KC that Sabine Kehm appears to have sent an Email out this evening (Friday) which again states that MS is in a ‘stable’ condition, but with what also purports to be public statement by the family in connection with the medical attention MS is receiving at Grenoble. Here is the link – http://news.sky.com/story/1196858/michael-schumacher-in-stable-condition
      This is a devastating time for his entire family and they quite rightly should be left in peace, but it is the unfortunate task of a ‘superstar’s’ Management to deal with the public who have a quite legitimate and heartfelt interest in knowing in reasonable detail what it going on.

  10. Aqui no Brasil estamos orando e torcendo muito pela recuperação do Schumacher. Depois do Ayrton Senna, os brasileiros sempre torceram muito pelo Schumacher e acreditamos que ele irá se recuperar. Que deus o acompanhe!!! Paulo Martins – São Paulo – Brasil

  11. Don’t let something the Daily Mail wrote scare you. These are not official updates about Michael’s condition. If it doesn’t come from the hospital, no one should really pay them much attention. Gary is right as always, a sensible post!

  12. i believe that since they stopped updating his status and his family requested privacy and peace, it is obvious that MSC is not in a good condition, and therefore no good news is coming and they will not let go the bad ones.

    MSC as who he is a massively popular sports figure, in case if he is awaken but he needed a physical rehabilitation, it will not be publicly announced.

    I remember back in the day, he refused to answer a question from the media after winning the world championship, about him treating himself by smoking a luxurious cigar back at home, then he simply declined that and replied to the reported that i don’t think its appropriate to ask such a question to a sports person and my fans will get to know such a thing”. My point is here, that MSC is very careful about his privacy, very very careful, that he makes sure that his image is will reserved as it is. and I totally support in this.

  13. I do think however that whilst ‘we’ can more than accept the need to allow the medical staff to get on with the treatment, keeping ourselves informed as best we can from reading Dr Hartstein’s and other experts’ comments, we also have to accept that there is a ‘they’ group of people that demand information on MS and cannot understand why it is not forthcoming. It is the ‘rolling news’ world we (are obliged to!) live in. And so hard as it is to say, I do think that going 10 days without some sort of official comment from either the Grenoble hospital or Ms Kehm is inevitably going to make the press turn to other ‘reliable’ sources (as they put it) and muddy the waters by publishing articles like that published in the Mail and other foreign papers. We know we are not going to get the old MS back, which in itself is already hard enough to come to terms with, but I do feel some sort of official report, even if it IS just to say “nothing has changed’ is getting overdue. Thank you.

  14. The bloody Daily Mail! They don’t let the truth get in the way of a story do they?? The story they printed is all guess work and supposition. The only medical people that know what is going on with Michael are the people treating Michael. Would we all love it if Michael woke up with a bit of a headache and that’s it? Of course we would but what are the chances of that happening?

    We would all like an update on Michaels condition but only from the people treating him. And, if push came to shove, I’d rather the doctors were left alone to get on with their jobs instead of thinking about a press release. I’m sick to the back teeth of ‘sources close to…’ being reported as fact.

    The brain is a weird and wonderful thing. Who knows what the future holds? The family has enough to try and cope with without these scaremongering ‘stories’ being peddled in order to boost sales.

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  16. Question: On Michael’s birthday a CT scan was supposedly done that was defined “catastrophic.”

    If that is the truth, and the CT scan was in fact as stated, then is it not reasonable to sadly state the obvious?

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