A lobectomy cured ultra-runner Diane Van Deren’s epileptic seizures, but left her with an inability to remember exactly where she is going or how to get back.
Diane Van Deren...used to run away from epileptic seizures. Since brain surgery, she just runs, uninhibited by the drudgery of time and distance, undeterred by an inability to remember exactly where she is going or how to get back.
...“When she is running, it helps her,” Don Gerber, a clinical neuropsychologist who has worked extensively with Van Deren, said of the hole in Van Deren’s brain. “In the rest of her life, it does not.”...In stopping the seizures, her mind, otherwise sharp and unaffected, was robbed of part of its memory and organizational skills.
...Van Deren can no longer read maps. Telling her to go five miles, turn left, then right, then left is a confusing algorithm. She rarely runs a race without a wrong turn. “Everyone knows not to follow me now,” she said.
...Van Deren “can go hours and hours and have no idea how long it’s been.” Her mind carries little dread for how far she is from the finish. She does not track her pace, even in training...“I’m just terrified we’re going to lose her,” said Barb Page, executive director of the Craig Hospital Foundation...Van Deren struggles to remember people she recently met and has missed flights simply by getting too involved in a conversation at the gate. “She never remembers where she parked,” Page said. “Never, not once, to this day.”
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Somehow, This Story Reminds Me of Some Diplomats I Know
Am I reading too much into this story?