Sunday, November 17, 2013

Culinary Solace

For the past three years, I have not been in a state of denial. By that I mean that I have been fairly permissive in allowing myself to follow whims of appetite. This may explain my weight gain, seeing as for the forty years prior, I was truly in denial that my inherited skinny metabolism could carry me through relative inactivity. Now that I've been forced into a lethargic state, I've followed some simple, though hardly healthy, rules that allow me a bit of Hedonistic pleasure  at the expense of my waistline:

  • Rice Krispies Treats are a great way to push through afternoon doldrums.
  • If invited to eat something tempura-fried , do so; it would be impolite not to accept. So far, I've only experienced tempura-fried ginger ice cream and Whoopie Pie, but there's got to be more out there for the having.
  • If you haven't had it in awhile but wonder if it still tastes the same, eat it. Thus I bought a box of Twinkies when they returned to super market shelves.
  • If it sounds enticing, give it a try, such as:
Okay, as much as all of that's true and important to me, it doesn't justify a post. But as long as I'm vaguely on the subject of denial, I can talk about the appointment with my medical neurologist this week. I've been seeing him ever since my deja vus of Elvis Costello and Star Trek: The Next Generation were diagnosed as seizures, though now only for annual check-ups and in case of new episodes. He's a very nice man who always wears bow ties and takes a balanced approach to my care. While congratulating me now on my recovery in terms of driving and return-to-work, he also demonstrated to me and a med student how stroke recovery in muscular control is faster for extension than flexion (true for my left leg but not my left arm or hand); interesting, but discouraging (Could I have worked harder at my therapies? Maybe. Did I have the desire or energy to work harder? No. Would it have made any difference? Nobody knows, and it doesn't matter now.). He was also not in favor of my seeking a functional MRI, since it would only show a lack of activity in the dead areas of my brain. That reminds me of a very early, prescient visit with him: we were reviewing a CT of my pre-surgery aneurysm; and while he was in favor of an operation to remove it, he did remark that it would be a shame if I had a stroke and "ruined a perfectly good brain". So why do I continue to see him? At the time, I appreciated and agreed wholeheartedly with the sentiment. Now I go primarily for the bow ties. And because I'm in denial about my brain. I don't think it's ruined. I want the fMRI -- assuming insurance would cover it -- because I want to see how my brain is healing/remapping. If I'm only using 10% of my  half-brain (=5%) , how am I able to get anything done? And if I technically have no right brain anymore, why does this test show that I use both sides evenly? I'd say it's because the brain is a mystery, and it may take someone with half a mind to figure it out. That and some Brain Food (preferably tempura-fried).

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