Saturday, September 15, 2007
Witty Ticky Ray and A Passage to India
The exploration of tourette's synodrome by Sachs in the chapter entitled "Witty Ticky Ray" was a facinating look at how some people use their illness as form of identity. As in "The Lost Mariner" self expression frees these disabled people from their illnesses. Without Haldol, Ray was sharp, erratic, and could fly off into wild improvisations on the jazz drums, but still couldn't lead a normal life because of his violent ticks. Ray describes being on Haldol as "...dull, makes one square and sober, and neither state is really free". The most interesting and moving part of this chapter, was Ray's decision to take himself off of Haldol during the weekends, but "dutifully" take it during the week. Ray split himself into two people and as he describes neither one is balanced, but he must do the best with this imbalance to lead a life more like normal people. Reading all these different accounts of patients definately makes me appreciate all that I have and that I am not lost in another world that is not this one. As in "A Passage to India", Bhagawhandi P., a girl of just 19, gets lost in a fantasy world, because of a malignant brain tumor. In a trance like state, as Sachs describes, Bhagawhandi P. would drift off into fantasies of India. She says just weeks before she died: "I am drying..I am going home. I am going back to where I came from- you might call it my return". This story is almost romantic in its description and extremely saddening, because of course it is truth and not fiction. It's hard to think that a girl just a year younger than myself could die so abruptly and tragically. Sach's writes in a very direct and clear manner and really makes the reader understand and empathize with his patients.