update

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Personal Life
Tags: , ,

The last weeks have been tougher than usual in school. We’re reading about neuro-patients now, which is a very diverse field. One week we’re reading about dysphagia (swallowing difficulties) and feeding each other jam; then we jump to aphasia which is difficult because the current theories on how language works are opposing each other and are much more abstract than e.g learning how the kidneys work. Neuro is also heavier than children’s speech deficiencies, because the patient’s tend to be much sicker. The most common illnesses in the patients that we’ll see are stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Huntingtons and ALS. A stroke patient can recover, but they’re dealing with so much other than the communicate difficulties, like paralyses and  damaged cognitive abilities. The sound examples that we’ve listened to from patients with traumatic injuries came all from young men who had been hurt in car accidents, and years after the accident could barely even communicate with grunt-like sounds. Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Huntingtons and ALS are degenerative diseases, which means the rehabilitation is mostly focused on keeping the remaining functions as long as possible. Just reading about ALS is tragic because it’s such a horrible disease. The person’s nerve system breaks down, gradually causing a loss of function to every part of the body while the cognition remains intact. Most people are dead within 5 years.

I found out yesterday that a classmate’s husband might (probably ) be dying. We’ve all known that he has been sick because she’s been missing classes because she has to take care of their kids (the smallest isn’t even 1 years old, and the other is just 3) and be at the hospital. He was admitted shortly before Christmas, but the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with him. They took a biopsy a little over a week ago and it turned out to be a tumour. We found out during the study meeting yesterday (that she’s supposed to be a part of). She sent an email saying that tests had shown that it was glioblastoma multiforme class 4. The others in the group asked me to look it up since I was taking notes on my computer. They asked what the prognosis were and I said it’s at least better for people under 50, but I left out the part that it was still only a very few who survived for over 5 years. It just felt too strange basically reading about someone’s death sentence from Wikipedia. I don’t know her well and I’ve never met her husband, but I feel very bad for them and the kids. She’s been so strong whenever she talked about their situation. I really hope that her husband is one of the 4% that survive past 5 years.

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