24 Following


Currently reading

Paddy's Lament, Ireland 1846-1847: Prelude to Hatred
Thomas Gallagher
Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One
Jenny K. Blake
When in French: Love in a Second Language
Lauren Collins
Beyond the Job Description: How Managers and Employees Can Navigate the True Demands of the Job
Jesse Sostrin
Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing
David Hubel, Margaret S. Livingstone
Achieving Your Potential As A Photographer: A Creative Companion and Workbook
Harold Davis
Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
Sherry Turkle
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter)
Roberto Valenzuela
Man's Search for Meaning
Viktor E. Frankl, Harold S. Kushner
Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection
Jacob Silverman

Deep Within the Brain

Deep Within the Brain - Helmut Dubiel Quick read, gave me a little insight in Parkinson's Disease, by a German academic type who has it. "Once the term Parkinson's had been introduced into my world, most notably the constant fatigue and anxiety attacks could no longer be dismissed as the hypochondriac symptoms of a severe neurotic. The diagnosis brought order into an apparently random series of symptoms, just as one creates order in randomly scattered iron filings simply by passing a magnet over them at close range. With respect to the dimension of time, the diagnosis had the paradoxical effect of being both disquieting and quieting. On the one hand, it marked the starting point of a state of separation from other people, the irrevocable onset of exclusion from the circle of those who are (apparently still) "healthy" and "normal." On the other hand, due to the chaotic multiplicity of the symptoms, the diagnosis was a kind of black box where one could deposit every symptom, every form of discomfort. ...At the beginning of the illness I consulted a large number of doctors. They differed from one another in the adeptness with which they introduced me to coping with the disease. In the long run, the ones I experienced as trustworthy -- totally irrespective of whether they were neurologist or general practitioners -- were always those who would not support my childlike desire for order, predictability, and a lack of ambiguity, and were simply able to admit how little they really knew. My experiences with this kind of mindset were consistently helpful." p.32"During the year following the diagnosis I changed radically. It was surely not a transformation caused by verifiable changes in brain physiology, but rather a psychological adjustment to a biorhythm that had become utterly unpredictable due to the illness and medication. I could no longer predict whether I'd be in sufficiently good shape -- in the next few minutes, in the next hour, or in the afternoon -- to receive guests, lead a discussion, or chair a meeting. I would soon learn that there is a technical term for the specific kind of "bad shape" Parkinson's sufferers find themselves in: it's called an "off phase. And indeed, it feels as if someone has pulled the plug on your body's mental apparatus and it's only running on "stand-by," on back-up current, so to speak. All movements become toilsome, your face freezes, it becomes difficult to speak, even intellectual processes decelerate. When that happens, the only thing that helps is an L-dopa preparation, although it takes an hour for the effect to set in. ..." p.51"I could still speak impeccable, fluent English, while speaking my native language was torture. My Italian, which was passable at one time, had been virtually obliterated." p. 101"That marked the beginning of a series of word-finding difficulties that plagued me particularly when I faced people who weren't able to put themselves into my position. Although these symptoms subsided three weeks later, they laid the foundation for a multitude of vague speech impairments that continue to this day. My speech is soft and "washed out." The better part of all my attempts to establish contact and communicate fail because, all conscious effort notwithstanding, I can't speak loudly or clearly enough. Particularly burdensome for me and alienating for those in my environment is my pronounced stuttering...." p.116