Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside
Firlik reveals how she became and neurosurgeon and why. Her writing illustrate her contempt for drunk drivers, smokers and those who choose not to wear safety belts. She has managed to beautifully adapt to seeing heart-breaking cases day in and day out.some favorite passages;"I do understand the emotions of those who would oppose such use of rodents in medical research, but I am swayed far more by the emotions of a family gathered around the bedside of a stroke victim, wondering why nothing more could be done.Our journals are roughly divided into two major sections: clinical papers, based on real patients, and laboratory research papers, which are often laced with super-specialized jargon. The latter is the less popular section. I had an interesting conversation with the editor of one of these esteemed neurosurgery journals several years ago. He admitted that even he didn’t understand many of the laboratory research papers, but they certainly looked impressive in the journal, and that was important.While the hospital became my home during the worst stretches of my residency, even the smallest forays out into society got me all excited. I absolutely loved going to the grocery store. Here were all sorts of people around me, not immediately worried about their health, exercising their freedom to walk up and down the aisles with no care other than what type of ice cream they wanted to buy. That was beautiful.It’s clear that the brain can accommodate quite nicely to the overbearing presence of a malformation, but can the mind be trained to accommodate just as well? When inaction is the best action, how do you prevent fear itself from becoming an illness? Does the fear simply wear out, or does it have to be forced out?Most people believe in religious teachings simply because they were brought up with them from an early age, not because they critically examine the fundamentals and concluded that they made sense. Culture and tradition often trump good common sense. From the view-point of a Nature-based believer, then, traditional religion can lead to false hope or false comfort starting at an early age. Think of the ramifications. How many people sell themselves short on life because they expect great things after death? Life is not a dress rehearsal. You have to enjoy it, make the most of it, while your neurons are still buzzing with live connections.At first I was incredulous—the explanation was too simple—but then I realized that it all made sense. If you mess with a kid’s sleep every night, year after year, she’s going to become a certain type of person. The disease will actually mold her. If you fix the disease, then the true person, submerged for so long in a fog of seizures and chronic sleep deprivation, can finally blossom into her true self.