Category Archives: brain

The aqueduct of sylvius…


Oh my word the brain is just so absolutely fascinating and phenomenal.

I had to explain the brain’s mop up operations to a patient today and was suddenly struck by wonder …

This extremely intricate system “cycles” cerebrospinal fluid 3-4 x a day. I had never really thought about this before. One learns neuroanatomy in second year and it is really just all part of a web of knowledge about the body that has never been debated philosophically before (by myself I mean).

“The windings of the brain (which I first learnt of Franciscus Sylvius, a great anatomist) if you diligently examine the matter you shall find to descend a good depth and that the brain doth gape on each side, over and above that same middle division made by the Sickle, with a winding clift, which begins in the forepart, about the roots of the Eyes, whence according to the bones of the temples, it goes back above the root of the spinal marrow, and divides the upper part of the brain from the lower part.” -written by Caspar/Thomas Batholinus from a book F Sylvius neuroanatomical work.

How beautifully described. I am in awe just of the description. And that is how they communicated in those days 1500’s – with care and deliberation.

Much similar to the brain’s care and deliberation of itself.

A slow wash 4 times a day : fluid formed by choroid plexus within the lateral ventricles which then feeds through the system into the third ventricle via the aqueduct to the 4th then via 3 small foramina into the subarachnoid space and spinal column.

The brain bathing itself, soothing itself, slowly like a water feature – tranquil and clean and clear.

We have much to learn about self care from this amazing washing lesson by the brain. WE are generally our own worst enemy. Learn from your brain and cleanse, dream, bath today.

The aqueduct 🙂 one of my favourite parts of anatomy.

 

 

Advertisements

Suicide, yes I said suicide


A subject we all seem to shy away from. And yet I am guessing it has been around for a long time and seems in my observance to be on the increase. Certainly amongst the medical field.

The root word is from latin sui – self and cidiim – killing, not even really a fair description.suicide

What bugs me more is the judgement. The condemnation, never mind of some. I feel that to a large degree is it because we are not connected any more and that the lack of true “support” across the board reigns. It seems we are all islands.

And yet it could be different. We could “support” people at large more and actually “be” there for people at large.

We have become shallower in our dealings with humans. Human to human is a connection we don’t seem to have anymore. And it is sad.

Suicide is a comment on our society and it is sad.

Not long ago I thought it was dentists that had the highest rate of all professions, medical doctors seem to have taken the lead and how very very sad this is. The healing profession seems unable to heal itself and yet is it as simple as that? What lurks beneath the murky surface of this awful predicament that has surfaced. Ego ? Burn-out? The eternal yearning to be the best? Denigration ? Putting people down? Army style? Again and again? Relentless hours? Death witnessed firsthand uncountable times and the expectation that you walk out the room and have a cuppa????

Many things.

Surely we can find the roots, and deal with them? Academia at large are seemingly unaccountable – should that not change?

Lives being lost as we speak – fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers.

Sad, sad. Is there something YOU can do today? Or will you choose to remain silent and impotent.

Abbott Francis Pfanner


What a lovely story of a man who gave his life for others. The founder monk of Marian- hill Monastery whose handiwork still stands today in testament.

Apparently a sickly young man who ministered in albania and europe and then come out to “africa”, landing in PE after having vomitted for most of the sea journey. He made his way up to durban and then established the monastery at marian hill. He had a different way of working to the vatican and ended up being dismissed.

He was passionate in his faith and demonstration of it, yet differed from his superiors on some of the doctrines which seemed to be deal breakers at the time.

Yet his work, handiwork, leadership etc still stands for all to see. He died feeling a great sense of injustice which I feel is so terribly sad and yet I am fairly sure that once he arrived on the other side his joy would be complete.

My own mind still boggles at the strangeness of man, I can only imagine how God’s must.

 

“SUID-afrikaners” is plesirig!


Not to be controversial or anything, I honestly believe that as south africans at large we are extremely talented and have the greatest potential on this green earth of ours.

I watched “die wonderwerker” on the weekend on showmax, a story about Eugene Marais. Oh my word, our actors! our people, our film makers – I could wax lyrical and then some.

I just love Karen Zoid and her republic of zoid afrika. She show cases the best of us!!!

Again and again and again.

Opens our eyes to the beauty around us. Allows us to dream harder, believe.

WE so can. We are amazing people. Resilient and talented and beautiful and amazing

“ama” zing.

My absolute best is at the end of the show what one thing would you wish for OUR country – watch and be inspired – I am!!!

The world – divided or united?


Where are we at in 2017. Have we learnt anything from our existence up to now?

What is life? What is quality of life? Who are humans? What is power?

From the year dot – and who really knows when exactly that was, humans have lived on earth and by definition had to co-exist. We have grouped ourselves into various different groupings. We have fought wars. We have progressed in many ways and regressed in others.

There are places on earth where justice exists and there are places where it does not. Most of us would prefer to live/be born where there is an inkling of justice and freedom?

So many people were convinced that Trump would not actually become president. They laughed scoffed and said it would never ever happen. It did.

Now here we are in 2017 in a fairly regressed place – I believe. Where one person signs into being orders that blanketly prevent movement of “free” people categorising them by a set of rules. Abortion is bad – terrible and to be frowned upon but living people who are living in a war-torn unjust places are even worse, cursed and must remain that way with no redemption? And America – the once – free world is now becoming an insular, inward focused country with walls around it. No boogy men or women allowed in. Are you really that narrow minded ? Mr Trump? The message preached sounds really quite extraordinary, quite two-faced, quite astonishing.

As the CNN reporter put it – americans risk of being killed in america by any one of these nations so called terrorists is a very very small number with the total counted up to now being zero.

However countries that provide profit to Mr Trump (whose citizens may be more dangerous) seem to be fine for the moment (don’t hold your breath though).

I wonder where this is all headed. In about 2 weeks a brand new landscape opens up across America – no longer the free world. No longer an american dream. No longer.

And yet there is support against Trump worldwide ?

I really wish that the way I see things is perhaps not the way they are – can someone point out a positive here? Is Trump actually doing a good thing? A thing I can not see?

A spoon full of sugar :)


Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. This is a philosy that buys into disguising one thing as another. A way to make something that is hard easier. Something that tastes bitter taste sweet in order to get it down and in so doing to heal.

While this may be a technique that could work for say antibiotics, it is maybe not the way to go for a general philosophy in life. Sometimes we need to face the hard truth – the music even if it is damn hard to hear.

The hard facts are that simple carbs – boil down to sugar – in copious amounts are bad for you. Simply put sugar makes things stick to other things – your arteries and veins and organs – eyes and kidneys are unhappy campers if you load the body with sugar.

There are even some studies that show the effects of sugar on the brain being something similar to cocaines’ effect on the brain. And the more you have the more you need kind of scenario plays out here too.

How many spoons of sugar in that coke ? or fruit juice ?? Too many.

Think about what you drink.

Think about quality of life, and longevity with quality.

Think blue – diabetes, type 2 is preventable as well as treatable.blue-circle

 

 

 

On giving birth and what I have learnt


I believe that from the moment of conception something changes inside of you. Something that you can not quite put your finger on and something that eventually is what one might call motherhood. That in itself is a whole dimension of complicated intertwined emotion and a whole lot more.

From the moment I knew that I was essentially a “mom” I was changed and I wanted only the very very best for this little creature growing inside of me who was body, spirit, soul.

This, combined with hormones (and they were certainly not friendly to me) was a complicated mix of “stuff” to deal with.

I knew that conception is natural. I knew that for 1000s of years women delivered babies at home. I also knew the flip side (being a doctor) and that many things can and do go wrong. This was not a good combo for me personally.

I delivered two babies naturally with epidurals that only worked on one side (both times – apparently I have a filament). The first time was with a “doula” and quite an elating experience. The second was without  (you can read my birth story for reason , I still wish I had had one rather). The second time around I was 39 and things really just never actually

went according to plan.

Long story short I had a near-death and out of body experience. The pain I had AFTER delivering was something I never ever wish to experience again. Despite being a doctor and complaining of pain I was treated unkindly (to say the least)(there are many other phrases I could use). I was eventually resuscitated and taken to theatre. It was unpleasant mildly put. I was not even able to really bond with my little for at least 48 hours. All of this could have been prevented. Recently I had surgery and realised that I had actually ruptured my uterus with the birth (this healed miraculously by itself). There are many miracles that happen every day. I thank God for mine.

I am writing this in part as catharsis and in part to women out there at large.

Lessons I have learnt :

1.) If you are in pain – you really are in pain and don’t let anyone tell you that you are not

2.) Pain (extreme pain ) always means that there is something not right and it needs to be figure out and fixed

3.) When you are over the age of 35 it may be better to cut your losses and have a caesarian section – provisor – if all goes 100% to plan at dates (term) and your labour progresses as it should by all means go for it. However if one requires induction, long labour etc have a caesarian section.

4.) Miracles do happen but medical science is very clever now make sure your “carers” do all they can in terms of what we know to date.