Sunday, October 24, 2010

For just a while longer...

I was just listening to a podcast where the panel speaking were mus1ing on the ability of a whale to transfer and release nitrogen into the ocean through their feces. This was a question posed, and the questioner revealed that whales do indeed release enormous amounts of nitrogen into the ocean ecosystem by way of their bowels. These speculations truly appeal to a very juvenile part of my brain. Still, it is exciting to see how animals life functions change their environment. I will not dwell on the scatological aspects of this story any further.

I do love, however, the insights I glean from listening to science-oriented podcasts, and with some patience, I am able top find ones where the podcasters are not speaking from some technical level far above my head. My main interest is neurology, and as such, find myself to be a delightful case study, about which I have much to investigate.

I remember meeting with a doctor, peering down at my file, and she asked me, "You have Tourette's Syndrome, seizure disorder, and Multiple Sclerosis? No one has this many diagnoses..." I stared back at her, shrugged my shoulders, and smiled.

My tic disorder has mellowed out in recent years; through proper medication, my seizures have stopped; the MS symptoms were ascribed to spinal trauma, and the diagnosis was discarded. But, to this day, neurology remains very exciting to me. I love listening to the Brain Science podcast, and my curiosity gets fed. The discussions I find encouraging involve the nature of nerve stimulation.

The woman who manages my house is a quadriplegic who lost all function and sensation from her neck down. Through aggressive therapy, she regained use of her hands that she can direct her chair with the joystick, and feed herself. From her chair she directs all aspects of the house functioning.

With the house caretaker, she guides the preparation of the evening meal. She has taught several men to become competent cooks. Step by step, she instructs her caregiver to prepare an entree, all side dishes, and guides the preparation of each plate to the needs of each resident. Every few nights we run out of salsa, and we have tomatoes and jalapeƱo peppers roasting on a cast iron skillet, brought to the counter to have the blackened skins removed, and blended into the most flavorful salsa.

With exercise, I am gaining more use of my arms and legs. Problems I had when I moved here are diminishing. Through watching Rose, the house's manager, I am learning how to effectively direct my own care. The environment here has much to offer me. Even as my desire to live independent again grows, this house gives me many reasons to stay.

Thank you for reading.

1 comment:

Nyl said...

Keith, I see you an enthusiast of great things about life. You're a strong person. People who know you are sure proud of you...just as I do.:)

Keep're in a right lane.