Wednesday, July 8, 2009


I've been obsessed with the brain lately (more than usual). It started when I read Oliver Sack's "The Man who Mistook His Wife for a Hat". It reminded me to keep the "mind" in mind while considering the brain. From working with acute CVA and neurotrauma populations, I have developed a tendency to think of neuroscience in terms of Glasgow Coma Scales, hemipalegias, aphasias, and all that spinal (not nearly as cool as cerebral) stuff. I had lost sight of the whole reason neuroscience attracted me in the first place: the philosophical intrigue of the matter that modulates my very existence. This rekindling actually started me on a bit of a neuropsychology obsession for a couple of days until I realized that many neuropsychologists are PsyD's or PhD's and not MD's. Lame. My attention quickly returned to neuroscience nursing, which is great because it can be neuropsychology, neurology, neurosurgery, or wherever I find myself when I'm all grown up with my graduate degrees, certifications, years of clinical experience, and prescriptive authority. (My name will be warped into some long, bizarre code of nursing bragging rights: Willard Keith Cupp, III, DNP, FNP-C, CNRN; for now I have to settle for Willard Keith Cupp, III, BSN, RN.) Whatever field of medicine my nursing practice ends up becoming associated with, the holistic nature of nursing should always lead me to consider my patients' existential state and their ability to cope with the stressors in all domains of their environment not just make a tally of their physiologic deficits.

I finished "The Man Who..." and I read most of "Awakenings" before I had to return it to the library. I would like to finish it someday. I'm currently listening to "Musicophilia" as a book on CD during my drives to and from work. It's given me plenty to consider, not the least important being the possible long term effects of a mild-moderate concussion I suffered in my junior year of high school. Gliosis? New onset of seizures twenty years from now? Will I be haunted by temporal lobe epilepsy or musical hallucinations? I highly doubt it.

I'm also reading a book about dreams and sleep. The exact title and the name of the author escape me for the moment, but it's by some prominent sleep doc with some hot-shot post at some Ivy league school. (Let's hear it for citing sources!) It's interesting, but I'm just getting started on it.

I'm also slowly perusing my Neuroscience Nursing text and refreshing myself on the finer points of neuroanatomy and pharmacology with my old texts from my first semesters of nursing school. I really need to start gearing up hardcore to study for my CNRN before school starts. For some reason, I'm becoming a big fan of the basal ganglia. Hmmm.

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