Residential Space A creative outlet during residency, turned ongoing virtual soap box

Excellent website  0

Posted on February 13th, 2006. About Uncategorized.

Recently, I was driving down the road and saw a church sign too good to pass up. I returned to the spot with my camera the following morning, just to document it for my blog.

So actually, and many of you may already be familiar with this website, but it’s from http://www.churchsigngenerator.com/ – a great site for playing intelligent (but totally immature) jokes on friends. Thanks to Austin and Evan for passing it along. 🙂

A moment of childhood awe is spoiled, and rekindled  0

Posted on February 13th, 2006. About Ramblings.

I read The Hiding Place by: Corrie ten Boom as a 12 year old sixth grader, growing up in Chapin, SC, during a time when I was becoming aware of the atrocities in history. Following my read of Anne Frank’s diary, I decided I had to read more first-person accounts of the Holocaust, and my mother suggested The Hiding Place – the true story of a Christian family in Holland who hid Jews in their home and worked with the Dutch Resistance to defeat the Nazis. Before the war begins, Corrie’s mother suffers a stroke and is left unable to speak. One Sunday, the family takes the disabled woman to church, and when the organist begins to play her favorite hymn, she sings along with the congregation quite joyously. When the song concludes, she remains unable to speak. Corrie sees this moment as a miracle – and as a child, I did too…

…until last week. My team saw one of our Harborview neurology patients, a man with a right-sided parietal stroke that has left him with severe language deficits; he has a global aphasia, meaning he is unable to speak or comprehend. Nicole, my chief resident on the team, suggested that because music originates from a different part of the brain than language, and familiar songs can be regurgitated rather than having to be calculated by the brain, we might try singing in front of him to see if he could join us. We started singing, “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…” and we immediately got a “Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream,” out of our patient. We sang the song three times as a group, our patient singing the most enthusiastically of all of us. When our singing concluded, he became silent again, still not able to follow commands or speak.

I think I witnessed the same cerebral stroke that Corrie’s mother must have experienced, later recounted in The Hiding Place. There is a logical explanation for what happened to her mother, easily explained by science. I am almost disappointed that it likely wasn’t a miracle, but then – my amazement is rekindled in a very different way. The brain is astonishing in what it is capable of doing – how weird that music isn’t related to music at the cerebral level.

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