Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Brain Tumor

Yesterday, I met someone at a volunteer get-together. She wasn't a volunteer, but the older sister of someone there. She was a club promoter, and it made sense to me by her social nature and outgoing attitude. But people aren't always (or never) as simple as they seem.

She talked to me about her father had passed away a few years back from a brain tumor. It sucked because they didn't even know what was going on at the time. He was getting migraines, headaches, and then losing his memory. They did go to the doctors and they got regular tests, but they didn't see anything and by the time they finally tested carefully enough to find the tumor, it was too late. They cut off the surface part but it had spread to another part of his brain as well. Eventually, he couldn't remember his family members and was crawling around on the floor like a baby eating plants in the house. He didn't know any better. He couldn't remember what he had learned for 52 years of his life. The family had to give up the family restaurant so that someone could always watch him. He eventually passed away from the brain tumor.

Diseases are a scary thing. Get tested. However, we only know what tests tell us and we have to take the right tests to tell us the right things, but doctors are just humans after all...humans who are relying on what they learned to guess more accurately than we (non-health care providers) can.

This also taught me a lesson of not judging people by their cover. People are so much more complicated than we often give them credit for. I read in a Postsecrets book that "Every single person has at least one secret that would break your heart. If we could just remember this, I think there would be a lot more compassion and tolerance in the world."

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