Wednesday, August 6, 2008

B.C.'s 150th Birthday, Iguanas and The Second Brain

The weekend was better than usual. We all took in our provinces 150 year birthday celebration. On Saturday we stood in front of our parliament building and listened to our Prime Minister Stephen Harper deliver a speech. Gordon Campbell the premier of B.C. was also there. Unfortunately Shira totally melts down and her vital signs crash when people clap and cheer; she absolutely hates it. So we didn’t get to see the concert which had among others Cold Play and Sara McLaughlin. During Cold Plays set we walked around the inner harbour with about 50,000 other people and the Canadian Air force’s Snow Birds doing manoeuvres overhead. Sam of course was blown away with all those jets flying in formation over head and so close to all the buildings. It was loud and thunderous. Shira didn’t really know what to make of the whole scene because we do live quite a solitary life so that she doesn’t get sick. While we were at the event Shira of course got to pat many dogs and an iguana. Shira has a plastic iguana at home that she loves to play with so when she got a chance to touch a real one it really made her day.

Today (Wed) Shira, Maxine and I walked around a golf course that has a trail and duck ponds. It was really hot out and the walk turned into more of a sweaty work out pushing her stroller over a bark mulch path; All in all a really nice day.

On another medical rant I came across something in a book I have been reading called “The Second Brain” by D. Gershon, M.D. The premise of the book is about how the stomach is not controlled by the brain and how it functions with and without the brain controlling it. I found the premise interesting because Shira’s brain isn’t able to send its signals throughout her body and so I’m hoping there will be some clues within the book that might lead me to some ideas as to how I can improve Shira’s diet etc. Since Shira is missing certain cells that the brain uses to send signals to muscles I thought the book would also shed light on how Shira’s digestive system is still able to work to such a high degree.

But what I really want to talk about is something Dr. Gershon sheds light on at the very beginning of the book. When I wanted Shira to start using the cough assist Dr.’s were literally trying to talk me out of it saying its unproven, there’s no empirical evidence and that the machine is an old idea brought back. Here is what Dr. Gershon has to say about old ideas.

“Those of us who deal in science, even the most enlightened of us, have a strong and objectionable tendency to hubris. Hubris for scientists comes from an inadequate knowledge and appreciation of the past. Discoveries are thus made and claimed that are really rediscovered – not new advances at all, but history lessons.”

“I have to concede priority to people who came before me. Rediscovery is every bit as good as discovery, If what is rediscovered is important and was forgotten. It is better still when the rediscovered information has the capacity to improve the lives of those around us.”

It’s comforting to know that somewhere in the world there are real scientists with open minds thinking about truly helping people even if it means using someone elses old ideas in a new way.

On another note, apparently Sam told his councillor at sports camp today that he reminded him of Dave a councillor from Sponge Bob Camp except that he had a different face. I just love kids!!!!!

Keep up the good fight everyone.

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