In the meantime, I have advice for the Minions: Don't get an autoimmune disease that affects your nervous system.
The patient in question is a normal, boring guy who went on his normal, boring, noiseless way until the day when he suddenly seized. Multiple times, in the presence of his family, and then multiple times in the presence of the emergency department peeps.
Then, while he was hospitalized, he got confused and combative. Then he got really weird and stopped breathing on his own. Then he ended up with us and did nothing but twitch and seize for four months.
Six months after he first had a headache that turned into Hell, this dude is waking up. Turns out he has a weird autoimmune situation going on: nearly all the people who get his particular syndrome are female; the ones who aren't have tumors on their thymus gland. Less than a tenth of a percent of folks develop this thing with the hard-to-pronounce name on their own, in the absence of triggering factors.
This guy is, of course, one of those perfectly inoffensive, perfectly boring people who had nothing at all wrong with them, who went on to develop an autoimmune disorder so rare that even Wikipedia doesn't have more than a stub on it. It's the autoimmune fuckup version of my cancer, basically, but without the good drugs and the pleasant outcome.
HOWEVER! He has, statistically speaking, a good chance of recovering. From what we can tell, if you wake up at all, you're pretty much guaranteed a happy ending. It just takes a while.
In the meantime--and this is why I would advise against getting any weird, obscure disease--we've tested him for everything from viral infection of the central nervous system to heavy metal poisoning to parasitic infestation. He's had so much blood drawn over the last four months that he's required two transfusions. For a while, we had a drain in his back to draw off CSF, just because it was easier than doing repeated lumbar punctures.
Now that he's kind of sometimes a little bit following some commands, I'm sending him off tomorrow to a long-term intensive rehab program. There, he'll learn how to swallow and talk and walk and tie his shoes again. If he's lucky he won't remember a damn thing about the last half-year. If he's really lucky, he can hit the State Fair along with the rest of us next year.
And if I see him there, you can be sure I will buy that man a Shiner and a corndog.