Thursday, July 07, 2011

I am reading a book sent to me entitled Professor Cromer Learns to Read: A Couple's New Life after Brain Injury. It was written by Alan Cromer's wife Janet, who is a psychiatric RN and discusses the difficulty of being a caretaker to someone with a brain injury. If you have ever suffered a brain injury or know someone who has, this books seems very helpful as it "provides the details of what it takes to undertake the awesome roles of survivor and caretaker."

She talks about what it was like to have had her husband suffer a heart attack after boarding a plane to go home. Her husband, Alan, was left with a severe anoxic brain injury from lack of oxygen to his brain during the resuscitation effort. While the book discusses a depressing topic, the author offers hope and humor for those going through such an ordeal. It is definitely worth a read if you or someone else you know is facing severe illness.



Blogger JJW said...

Brain damage is not something you want to live through. I really feel for this guy. In late 2002 I contracted viral encephalitis, and the consensus was that I lost about one fourth of my brain tissue. (Due to unraveling of myelin sheaths.) The doctors did not expect me to live, much less emerge from my coma, but if I did they did not expect me to have a personality.

Went from being a writer and speaker of wide reputation to having to do construction labor in order to eat. The worst part of it is after you figure out how different you are now from who you used to be and realize that it's never coming back. I used to be really smart and by most accounts had a bright future. Nowadays you might say I've "gone Galt" unintentionally by default. The hope is that the illness messed me up physiologically to the degree that I won't get old. Old, broke and half-retarded isn't pretty scenario.

Of course, had my ex-wife not taken me to the hospital, she would have gotten what she wanted (me out of the picture, cash from life insurance) and I would have been spared the last several years. So I get to blame her for that, too, in my darker moments. It looks like the guy in the cited book has a wife who really cares about him and has his well-being at heart. He's lucky. I've also heard that brain damage induced by hypoxia can be easier to rehabilitate that that from trauma or infection. So he may be lucky that way, too.

When I hear (with increasing frequency) that a friend's parent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, my question is always the same: Does he know? Some people are capable of blissful disconnection. Awareness of one's condition can be a punishment that never ends.

And to anyone who might say, "Thank God you're still alive," what manner of benevolent god would maim somebody?

4:50 PM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My wife has MS. Last Thanksgiving Day she suffered several tiny stokes. She was messed up a bit on her right side, but seems to be doing better now. She just finished her Bachelor's Degree. I think the structure of the classes has helped her immensely. I worry now that she is done. I hope she finds work, not for the money, but for the focus work will give her mind. Outside of school work she does not so well I have noticed. She has severe "blond" moments.

I saw a video that has nanobots (in the near future) repairing the mylon sheaths around nerves. That really freaked me out. The plus side is my wife gets well. The negative side is we all get incorporated into a hive mind. Anyway, that scares me.

7:44 PM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger Zorro said...

This "Singularity" stuff scares the crap out of me!

Best of luck to you and your wife.

8:25 PM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger Sandeep said...

Captain : May be you can still write? They say we use only a small part of the brain anyway etc. And who knows, your book may draw attention to many things people haven't thought much about.

JoeCavy4 : May be your wife can try graduate school or some self-tutoring at home in a subject she is really passionate about?

11:44 PM, July 07, 2011  

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