I would so like to know what's going on in Neil's head. Dr. Galang, who is in charge of Neil's rehabilitation, says that Neil is fully awake now, but it's kind of hard to tell. Here's why--his span of attention remains very short, he constantly fidgets, he doesn't talk yet, he is still somewhat inconsistent with his responses, and he doesn't seem to realize he has a left field of vision...or a left side to his body, even. This is all part of the process. As he emerges from the minimally conscious stage, he enters what is known as the confused/agitated stage, so a lot of his inability to focus is to be expected. I worry that his fidgetiness is getting in the way of his therapy, but his doctor remains optimistic.
Neil has moments between his wiggles and inattention where we are realizing he understands a lot more than we thought. He remembers that he is the snowboarder in the family, and that Mom and Dad are skiers. If we're patient with him during meals, he will shake his head or give a thumbs up to show his food preferences. He points to things and sometimes pulls my hand in a certain direction, and I wrack my brain to try to figure out what he wants.
That must be why he is agitated and confused. He wants to communicate...and so do we.