Download Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to by Gavin Francis PDF

By Gavin Francis

We think we all know bodies in detail, yet for lots of people they continue to be uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. what number people comprehend the way in which seizures impact the mind, how the guts is attached to overall healthiness, or the why the foot holds the major to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning writer Gavin Francis leads readers on a trip into the hidden pathways of the human physique, providing a consultant to its internal workings and a party of its marvels.

Drawing on his reviews as a health professional, ER professional, and kin health care provider, Francis blends tales from the health facility with episodes from clinical heritage, philosophy, and literature to explain the physique in ailment and in health and wellbeing, in existence and in loss of life. whilst assessing a tender lady with paralysis of the face, Francis displays at the age-old hassle artists have had in taking pictures human expression. A veteran of the battle in Iraq suffers a shoulder damage that Homer first defined 3 millennia in the past within the Iliad. And whilst a gardener pricks her finger on a grimy rose thorn, her case of bacterial blood poisoning brings to brain the comatose slumbering beauties within the fairy stories we research as children.

At its middle, Adventures in Human Being is a meditation on what it potential to be human. Poetic, eloquent, and profoundly perceptive, this publication will rework how you view your physique.

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Extra resources for Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum

Example text

Modern dying takes place in the modern hospital, where it can be hidden, cleansed of its organic blight, and finally packaged for modern burial. We can now deny the power not only of death but of nature itself. We hide our faces from its face, but still we spread our fingers just a bit, because there is something in us that cannot resist a peek. We compose scenarios that we yearn to see enacted by our mortally ill beloved, and the performances are successful just often enough to sustain our expectations.

Occasionally—very occasionally—unique circumstances of death will be granted to someone with a unique personality, and that lucky combination will make it happen, but such a confluence of fortune is uncommon, and, in any case, not to be expected by any but a very few people. I have written this book to demythologize the process of dying. My intention is not to depict it as a horror-filled sequence of painful and disgusting degradations, but to present it in its biological and clinical reality, as seen by those who are witness to it and felt by those who experience it.

It was his way, it seemed, of telling me to desist—my efforts to bring him back to life could only be in vain. Alone in that room with a corpse, I looked into its glazed eyes and saw something I should have noticed earlier—McCarty’s pupils were fixed in the position of wide black dilatation that signifies brain death, and obviously would never respond to light again. I stepped back from the disordered carnage on that bed and only then realized that I was soaking wet. Sweat was pouring down my face, and my hands and my short white medical student’s coat were drenched with the dark lifeless blood that had oozed out of McCarty’s chest incision.

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