Sunday, December 21, 2008
I've recently started reading Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic. I highly recommend it to anyone curious about Lyme disease--what it is, why it's so controversial, and how it can affect patients (and the doctors willing to treat them). Also, it's just a darn good read for anyone who enjoys science writing or investigative journalism.
It explores how hubris and "experimenter bias and expectation" can have a profound impact on how the scientific/medical community can view, understand, and treat a disease. Even for someone completely untouched by Lyme disease, it's a keen insight into common human failings.
As a companion read, I recommend How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, a physician and occasional writer for The New Yorker. It's a great tool for patients, and--again--a fascinating read. Even with my limited cognitive abilities (thanks, Lyme disease!), I plowed through the book in just a few days. I love non-fiction page-turners.
Luckily, I think I'm finally making some headway against the neurological symptoms of this disease. My cognitive abilities are not as hampered as they once were. Last night I was able to read over 100 pages of a book! While this was completely commonplace before I got sick, in the last year it's been nearly impossible to read for even thirty minutes at a time. Not only was it simply difficult to understand the words on the page, the act of reading itself was painful. The effort of processing what I was reading was just too much. But now I think I am getting a little better. I hope.
I still have difficulty finding the right words sometimes. I will forget the names of common objects. For example, last night I told Nick that he could put the dirty laundry in "um, the thing that, um, makes stuff clean." Luckily, he's used to this by now, and just put the laundry into the washing machine.
And my grammar and spelling are not perfect. Writing is still hard. I have to go back and correct simple misspellings--mixing up "here" and "hear," for example. And I find myself using the wrong verb tense, especially while speaking. But not as often as I used to. Progress!
at 12:56 PM