Excuse me while I curse — “Oy vays mir!”

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

That is a pretty mild ethnic expletive in Jewish language as cursing goes and the translation is something like “oh, woe is me.”

I’m sure you’ve heard worse elsewhere.  However, this is engrained deeply in the limbic — deep, reflexive — areas of my brain, I suppose, since sometimes I forget that there is nobody around me who could possibly understand it.   It does not call upon any real or imagined universal powers.  Yet my grandmother of blessed memory spoke it often, when she thought someone around her was being really stupid, and could potentially be harmful — like a butcher who had slaughtered her chicken incorrectly  and we maybe could end up with some bile in the preparation. So by hearing this, you can be assured that I have surely been secreting bile. Read more on Brain Cancer and Cell Phones (Or Not?)…

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The current litany is “The economy is bad and I need more money just to get by.” Patients tell me they are about to get evicted or starve to death.  I know nothing about benefits or their politics, except that governmental entities have no money either and this route is harder.

A lot of people seem to think that their lives would be better if they were plugged into a job that fit them as well as a plaster cast fits a fracture.  But instead, they usually tell me there are no jobs at all.  I try to slip in a little bit of useful advice, but obviously personal experience is limited.  I don’t even have a really good answer for the patients who say “you have a job.  Lucky you.  You can’t understand what I am going through.”

There are patients who amaze me with their resourcefulness.  Mostly, the manics or hypomanics; depressed people seem more likely to get “stuck.” Read more on Brainpower Helps In Hard Times…

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I first found out about this list of so-called “Influential Doctors in the USA Today newspaper and did not finish the article before I became aware of two powerful realities: 1. This list does not sound like it will help people who need a doctor, but more likely it will benefit someone else in the health care industry.  2. Nobody compiling a list of influential doctors is going to add me because I’m a professional pain in the rear-end of the other doctors on the list.

It sounds like one of those times when somebody is making money from patients pockets by marketing drugs or services, via insurance companies or drug companies. 

Hello “parasite!”  Hello person-making-money-from-sick-people without adding “value” to healing them. Read more on Turning The Brain Back Ten Years And Slowing The Decline…

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I always thought it lovely that people use the most sophisticated technology available in their era and try to describe the brain with it.  A steam engine for Freud.  A computer for the moderns.  Everyone acknowledging that the brain is more complex than anything they can possibly describe.

Sometimes you have to simplify things in order to use a concept.  I always had trouble with this “left brain/right brain” thing.  People have laterality.  They have dominant sides. I am right handed.  Minor medical problems show up on the left side of my body a little more readily.

View of the brain's two lobes - left and rightMy brother of blessed memory, who had Asperger’s syndrome, was diagnosed early on as having an “ambivalent” mind and a laterality problem by an overzealous school headmaster who really believed he had seen it all.  My mother of blessed memory suddenly “remembered” something which I had never heard before, about my brother having tried to write with his left hand, and her thinking it was a bad thing, and trying to make him write with his right hand. My guess is it was an epiphenomenon of the Asperger’s maybe, but dear Harry’s problems obviously went a lot deeper than laterality.

I remember reading some of the “split brain” experiments, stories of poor folks who had a disconnect between the right and left parts of their brain.  Coming up with words to describe things they saw in their left cortical visual fields, coming up with pictures they could describe in their right visual fields. Read more on Left Brain/Right Brain…

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There is a story about myself which I don’t enjoy telling.  As a matter of fact, believe it or not, I don’t much like to talk about my own strange history.  But my husband gives me cues.  We were having a pleasant luncheon with a person with whom we wanted to have a working relationship.  Since it was mostly business and financial, and I have never claimed such things to be my “strong suit,” my husband did most of the talking. I think the person we were with, although he said little, wondered at least a little if I were clever enough to do the scientific and medical part of the consulting we were talking about.  So my husband said it.

“Tell him about when you got expelled from 4th grade.”

Nobody asked my age, but after some precocious grade-skipping, I was, as far as I can figure, 8 going on 9.  I was in a local public school, in a city where the school system was of very low repute.  My father of blessed memory had done a little substitute teaching several years before, and the superintendent of schools was a “friend of the family.” Read more on How The Gifted Child Got Expelled…

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