^DOWNLOAD-PDF) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly A Memoir of Life in Death [PDF EBOOK EPUB KINDLE]

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) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death [PDF EBOOK EPUB

KINDLE]


) The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death [PDF EBOOK EPUB KINDLE]

) The Diving Bell and

the Butterfly: A

Memoir of Life in

Death [PDF EBOOK

EPUB KINDLE]

Description

From The New England Journal of Medicine The locked-in syndrome is a complication of a

cerebrovascular accident in the base of the pons. The patient is alert and fully conscious but

quadriplegic, with lower-cranial-nerve palsies. Only vertical movements of the eyes and blinking

are possible. At the age of 43, Jean-Dominique Bauby, who was editor of Elle and a robust bon

vivant, suffered such a stroke. After 20 days in a deep coma, he gradually regained

consciousness. His right eyelid was sutured shut to prevent corneal ulcerations, he was fed

through a gastric tube, he drooled uncontrollably, he breathed through a tracheostomy tube, his

urine drained from a catheter, and his bottom was wiped by others. He felt as if he were trapped in

a diving bell, but his mind was free as a butterfly. Bauby wrote The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

solely by blinking his left eye in response to the reading of an alphabet, arranged according to the

frequency with which each letter occurs in French (E, S, A, R, I,... W). A friend read off the letters,

pausing when Bauby blinked. Letters laboriously became words, and then sentences. I brought

this book along on an airplane that took me to a meeting in a distant city. Reading it made me

hope that air traffic would delay our arrival. It is a remarkable tribute to the human spirit -- a book

that will inspire any physician, medical student, nurse, or patient. There is no self-pity and no

thought of physician-assisted suicide. The tone is as ironic and dry as perhaps only the French

can be. In a seaside hospital, Bauby, imprisoned in his paralyzed body, recounts his days. He

notes that a stroke such as his is usually fatal, but 'improved resuscitation techniques have

prolonged and refined the agony.' Now, instead of directing one of France's leading fashion

magazines, he is strapped in a wheelchair, completely dependent on others for the simplest

demands of life: shut the door, roll me over, fluff up a pillow. 'A domestic event as commonplace

as washing can trigger the most varied emotions.' And then there was the boor who, with a

conclusive 'Good night,' turned off the Bordeaux-Munich soccer game at halftime and left. Bauby's

attendants dressed him not in hospital garb, but in his own clothes ('Good for the morale,'

according to the neurologist). Bauby comments, 'If I must drool, I may as well drool on cashmere.'

He is, as he says, a 'voiceless parrot' who has made his nest in a dead-end corridor of the

neurology department. When the stretcher-bearer who returns him to his room leaves with a

hearty 'Bon appetit!' the effect on Bauby is the same as 'saying `Merry Christmas' on August 15.'

Fed by two or three bags of brownish fluid instilled into a gastric tube, Bauby recalls his culinary

skills -- boeuf en gelee and homemade sausage -- and melon, red fruit, and oysters, but above all,

sausage. He imagines spending a day with his children, lying in bed beside his lover, and flying to


Hong Kong, an

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