Wednesday, May 17, 2006

In Another Galaxy...

Science experts say space is one of the last frontiers yet to explore. I beg to differ…NASA hasn’t called me yet to take a look inside MY brain and there seems to be a lot of unexplored “space” in there!

I’ve been wracking my brain (full pun intended) for the past several days, trying to figure out how such tiny, little lesions in all that white matter mass of my brain could be causing such pain and problems in my life right now. By comparison, you’d think half my brain was nonfunctional, given the extent of the pain I have been feeling in my left shoulder and arm. But the majority of my brain remains intact…apart from a few inflamed areas seen on my MRI (yes, these pictures ARE of my brain…for several thousand dollars, you TOO, can have your own set!).

There is still so much we do not know about the human brain or even why it works in the first place. And since most of us only use a small percentage of all that spiral mass inside our skulls, it’s a wonder we even know as much as we DO about our central nervous systems. We know the “brain” keeps us alive and regulates all of our bodily functions. We know if our brains are injured, we may likely see a vast variety of changes in how we perceive and interact with the world. But what we don’t know is why some people can injure their brains and show little effect, while others (in the case of Multiple Sclerosis) experience devastating disability from tiny, little dots of inflammation…it’s just one of life’s many mysteries.

They say it is our higher functioning brains, giving us the ability to reason, which separates us from other animals. But what we still do not understand is what part of our brains and logic constitute “who” we are…who we believe ourselves to be and what provides us with our understanding of concepts like mind vs. emotion and spirit/soul vs. body.

There is STILL so much to explore and know…and I don’t believe NASA can really assist us in this process. We may never “know” so many important answers, but we will always know the questions. We will always search for meaning and understanding in our quest to discover what truly establishes our essence of life.

In the meantime, I’m still perusing over these MRI pictures and trying desperately to locate my ears and eyes…I think they’re in there somewhere!

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