April’s Book is Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole. Extraordinary Journeys into the Human Brain by Allan Ropper and Brian David Burrell
“Tell the doctor where it hurts.” It sounds simple enough, unless the problem affects the very organ that produces awareness and generates speech. What is it like to try to heal the body when the mind is under attack? In this book, Dr. Allan Ropper and Brian Burrell take the reader behind the scenes at Harvard Medical School’s neurology unit to show how a seasoned diagnostician faces down bizarre, life-altering afflictions. Like Alice in Wonderland, Dr. Ropper inhabits a world where absurdities abound:
• A figure skater whose body has become a ticking time-bomb
• A salesman who drives around and around a traffic rotary, unable to get off
• A college quarterback who can’t stop calling the same play
• A child molester who, after falling on the ice, is left with a brain that is very much dead inside a body that is very much alive
• A mother of two young girls, diagnosed with ALS, who has to decide whether a life locked inside her own head is worth living
How does one begin to treat such cases, to counsel people whose lives may be changed forever? How does one train the next generation of clinicians to deal with the moral and medical aspects of brain disease? Dr. Ropper and his colleague answer these questions by taking the reader into a rarified world where lives and minds hang in the balance.
The meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. Please follow the link (in the venue box) to join the meeting.
We will start the meeting at 7:30 pm.
At 7:35 pm we will break up into small groups. Those familiar with CLH Book Group meeting know how this works: in each group we take turns introducing ourselves and giving our 1 minute thoughts on the book. It’s important not to go over a minute and not to interrupt other people’s minute so that everyone gets a chance to participate. After this first round, each group discusses for another 20 minutes or so. Then we momentarily all go back to the main meeting before being allocated to the next small group where we repeat our introductions and 1 minute thoughts. We’ll do this a couple of times before coming all together at the end in one last big group. We’ll answer questions on the day or write them in the comments below.
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While we are very social and welcoming, the book group’s primary focus is on discussing books. The group works best when we have all read at least some of the book and are prepared to share our opinions.
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