I don't think it ever happens like that. At least not in Meg's case.
First she wasn't in coma by herself, but kept sleeping to give her brains some rest to recover from the huge hit.
Second when they started getting her awake, less sleeping medicins, she opened her eyes yes, but did she see? Was her vision stil working? All questions we couldn;t get an answer for, only time would tell...
My motherinstinct said meg was stil there but unable to communicate in a way we normally would do. We saw her monitored heartbeat calmed when hearing our voices, so we talked to her, told her about the weather, read books to her, used calming music and sometimes also her own favourite music. Disco time!! I sat there crochetting, chat with family in a corner or sleeping too..... When I went home, it was to get cloths, or make calls with insurance, work, laywer, take care of my plants, do the laundry, etc. but stil i was restless to be away from Meg.
During her 16 weeks stay in the hospital we tried to give her all kind of stimulations, different sounds, smells, tastes by feeding her besides her liquid feed she got, letting her feel different materials as in soft, rough, etc.
The Leijpark revalidation centre in Tilburg, The Netherlands worked with this scale. They are a specialised centre for kinds, young adults, aged 0-25, whom had a brain trauma by accident, not from birth. When Meg came there she had a observation period of 2 weeks. All the therapists came to see what she was able to do and how she reacted. But I wasn't allowed to be there too at that moment, I really felt set aside,sitting in that livingroom there, Crying... Meg was my daughter! I did not put all my efforts in being with Meg all the time for the last 16 weeks to let them "destroy" what I tried to avoid in the hospital : Meg having the feeling she was there alone, without family or friends. Only strangers around her. How confusing that must be?
The rules of this revalidation centre were strict, no discussion about it. Only 5,5 hours a day I was allowed to be with Meg, The rest of the time was for resting and giving her brains time to heal. I Understood why, but it wasn't easy for me to accept, felt like giving her out of my hands. Anyway after these two weeks we were told Meg was at that time in scale 5-6. Ofcourse we were happy about that. As they also said, when kids come in in 6 they most probably reach 8 too.
in this picture an explanation about the scales in Dutch....
1. if she reached scale 8 by the end. There was no problem going for further revalidation closer to home.
2. if she wasn't in scale 8 by the end. We had to find a carring centre for her to stay, We refused that option as then she would most probably end up in a mental and disabled people nursing home. as no special houses like that for kids whom got braintrauma by accident. For us the only other option was then take her home, organise care and therapy etc in our house.
How releived I was to hear the nearby revalidation centre, Adelante said, Meg was welcome also if not yet in scale 8! So Thursday morning December 18th we moved again, this time closer to home family and friends. Meg didn't sleep at all during this 1,5 hr trip in the ambulance.She was carried out of the car and she was smiling form ear to ear.
I have no doubt now after 4 weeks being here she is now in scale 8!