I'm the other mother - or Momma Deb. Our family is pretty much like every other family in suburbia. The girls go to school, one mom is on the PTA boards of elementary and middle school. The other mom goes to work, paints, writes, and tries to just have a good time raising kids with her partner. This is my third attempt at blogging...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Rewiring For Sound and the Heart of the Matter

Isn't it amazing what medical science promises to do for us?

Way back in the dark ages (circa '91?), while I was working for a company called Teradyne, in my capacity as resident guru I had reason to drive over to the offices of PacBell. (Later to be gobbled up by AT&T.) PacBell was your typical corporate mega-venue. Lots and lots of cubicles, youngsters pushing mail carts with inter-office mail, and loads of suits and pointy high-heel shoes. It looked to me like the offices of IBM-wannabes.

This California Casual Girl in Birkenstocks was completely out of her element. I may have gloated.

Anyway, while at PacBell I had the pleasure to meet a nondescript, balding, but genial man. His name was Scott Adams. Yes, the Scott Adams. The creator of Dilbert had not yet left his corporate environment and still worked for PacBell. We chatted for a few minutes, passing the time. I have always remembered the vanilla encounter, but I'm sure the memory of that occasion died a quick death in Scott's memory.

All the same, I have followed his career from afar. He lives about 10 miles from us, although our paths have not again crossed. He co-owns a restaurant near us, as well as another further away. I read his blog. And that brings me to the first subject of this post.

The local newspaper did a feature on Scott a while back and that was where I learned that he has been suffering from brain disorder, Spasmodic Dysphonia, that won't allow him to speak in certain situations. I think he cannot carry on a conversation with someone in person, but can speak on the phone, or in rhyme, or if he pinches his nose (How Annoying!). He goes into remission, at times. I think the disorder has been quite fluid in its symptoms. He also can no long draw the cartoons with pen and paper, but has to use a computer to generate the cartoons.

Well, today in his blog he reported that he had surgery to re-wire the nerves to his vocal chords. That must have been delicate work! I find it truly and wonderfully amazing that our body can be so manipulated to by-pass these devastating problems. I wish him the best in his recovery.

And, secondly, to the heart of the matter, in Seattle my 34 year old niece had heart surgery yesterday in an effort to control rapid heart beats resulting from too-rapid nerve firings. The effect of which has been seizures, sometimes landing her in the ER and the need to use the defibrillator paddles to shock the heart into rhythm. The surgery, cardiac ablation essentially destroys the nerve bundles that are causing the irregular and rapid heart beats.

We are all rejoicing in the success of her surgery. She's going home today to Olympia, and her husband, her Mom & Dad (my brother) will be doing their best to keep three, small, energetic children occupied as she recovers with bed-rest.

Life is good.