Sunday, June 8, 2008

Sympathy for Ted

Ariel Leve tries to imagine what Ted Kennedy went through.....

If they were about to encroach on a part of the brain that served a function like speech, keeping him awake meant they could test it out. Like repeatedly ask him questions like who the President is or to identify objects in pictures and then as long as he got the correct answer, they knew they weren’t messing up.

That seems like a lot of pressure. I know that when I’m on the spot, I tend to freeze. What if the surgeons asked me a question and I hesitated because I needed more time to come up with the answer. Would I be able to say, “Wait, I’m thinking – give me a second”? I wouldn’t want to be rushed. Or what if I got the wrong answer?

This brought back a memory.....

Also, if I’m wide awake that means I’ll be able to hear them talking. I can see it now - I'm lying there, fully conscious, unable to move, and the doctor says: “Oops.”

When I was 10 or so I was at the dentist. Normally a man of few (almost no) words with a demeanor that would make Dick Chaney seem bubbly, he was working away on something in my mouth when he suddenly stopped, frowned even more than usual, and said "oh fudgesicles". He then silently continued working while I sat in stark terror trying to decide whether I should bite him just to get his hands out of my mouth so I could find out what happened, or if it was best to remain ignorant. In the end I opted for the latter, and never did find out what happened.

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