Sacks’ novel has taught me many things about the world of neurology. I have learned how the treatment process is different for each patient. To me, this makes neurology seem much more difficult, because the doctor must come up with a new way to treat each patient that is very specific to their disorder and their needs. For instance, several cases in the book, such as that of “Witty Ticcy Ray” (Chapter 10), and Natasha K. (Chapter 11) had disorders with certain positive aspects, and certain negative ones. What the patients wanted from Dr. Sacks was for the negative symptoms to go away and for the positive ones to remain. This altered the way in which Dr. Sacks went about treating them as compared to other patients with similar conditions. His treatment of these two patients has taught me that there is no clear-cut way of treating people with neurological disorders, even if their conditions are similar to other patients.
The Man Who Mistook his Wife for a Hat has also taught me about the categories of disorders. Sacks talks about how any condition ending with “-mnesia” has to do with the memory, and how any disorder with “-gnosia” in its name has to do with recognition. This explanation is helpful when reading Sacks’ novel or any other text that mentions neurological disorders, as I often times do not know exactly what a condition entails based on its name.
Thirdly, I have learned much more about Tourette’s syndrome. Several chapters in Sacks’ novel discuss this condition in its varying degrees of intensity. I knew little about Tourette’s before reading this novel, so Sacks’ has helped me to understand the differences between Tourette’s patients and the severity of their syndromes, and also to understand what a Touretter’s daily life is like.
The collection of cases leaves me wondering what other neurological disorders there are, how they are caused, and how they differ from patient to patient. Although a large variety of cases are thoroughly discussed in Sacks’ novel, reading them has led me to believe that there are so many more unique and intriguing neurological cases. Sacks’ stories have shown me that many people are affected by neurological disorders, and that each patient is affected differently. For this reason, I know it is practically impossible to learn about every condition. However, I still ask what other conditions Sacks, or any other neurologist, has treated.
While reading this novel, I began to ask myself how there could be this entire world of neurological disorders that I was completely unfamiliar with. To me, neurology seemed to be an undiscussed field of medical science. Many people are familiar with sciences such as oncology and radiology, but few understand neurology and its treatments. Sacks’ novel describes many intriguing things about this field of science. So, why is neurology not more widely discussed?
Sacks’ descriptions of how he went about diagnosing his patients, and then treating them, followed his path of logic. The understanding of how he uses logic to solve these major problems in the lives of others help his readers to understand how to apply logic to any problem. After reading this novel, I understand how doctors, and other important people, don’t always use the knowledge they gained from their education to solve a problem. Instead, they use logic, which is a skill that everyone can and should learn.
Hi! I'm a high school student who loves reading about new things!