Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vacation time

I'm just going to start typing and pretend that it hasn't been months since I last posted anything here.

Right now I'm on my (very belated) honeymoon in the Cayman Islands. My little wife has been sleeping away the morning, and I'm on the computer; the rain, it seems, is not on a hiatus, and so our morning plans of horseback riding on the beach have been postponed until tomorrow. Meanwhile we find ourselves with nothing to do but lounge in our room.

Ah, but I can write.

Or can I?

I have plans--big plans--to write a very long story (read: a novel) that has a neurosurgeon as the main character, though it's not, per se, about neurosurgery. The problem that I encounter, and have encountered on numerous occasions in the past when trying to write about work, is that I really don't want to write about work. It's a shame, because neurosurgery is certainly the most interesting province of experience I have, and my writing on this topic would likely be of much greater interest, on average, than anything I can conjure with my imagination or glean from my otherwise ho-hum life. But, dang it, my work is hard, and it seems that when I finally have some free time and find myself sitting in front of a keyboard with an idea in mind, the last thing I want to do is venture into the realm of brain and spine diseases--especially not when I could write something odd and/or frivolous.

So instead I find myself sitting down at the computer with the idea of writing, but because visiting work even in my imagination feels so genuinely like work--except, without the time pressures of, say, somebody's brainstem herniating out the base of his skull, I wind up just surfing the Internet or looking up random facts on Wikipedia (i.e. Cymothoa exigua is a parasite that subsumes the anatomical function of a fish's tongue). And so hours pass, and little or no writing occurs.

Anyhow, I have been following the story of the Buffalo Bills player, Kevin Everett, who suffered a C3-C4 spinal injury that, as far as I can tell, is rather unclearly characterized in the news media. From what I can tell he suffered a fracture-dislocation at this level, requiring surgical decompression and stabilization. However, as for the status of his spinal cord, I'm thinking that he might have central cord syndrome, as his hands/distal upper extremities seem to be predominantly affected at this point, and he is rapidly regaining function in other parts of his body. If he does have central cord syndrome (which is likely the assumption made by Dr. Barth Green, a neurosurgeon who stated earlier this week that Everett would walk out of the hospital), his prognosis would be highly favorable for him ultimately resuming a normal life. Of course it's always hard to tell; with neurological recovery, as one of my attendings is fond of saying, "You get it if you get it." One can never predict.



At 1:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 6:11 PM, Blogger phoenix said...

Congrats - belated and all! Glad you finally tied the knoe :) Hope you are deleriously happy! Good to see you are still kickin!

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Ian said...

Hi Phoenix,

Thanks very much! I am, indeed, still kickin', though no longer very hard. I hope you're doing well!



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