how to be a beast Essay

Submitted By ding626
Words: 771
Pages: 4

Christensen describes as “gibberish.” Because Christensen is a diabetic, his son thought he might be going into insulin shock. He fed gave his father candy and checked his blood sugar, but it wasn’t low. At the hospital, Christensen was diagnosed with his third major health crisis in about as many years: a stroke. Although it came on the heels of a massive heart attack and cancer, the stroke was in many ways the most devastating to Christensen. All three health events could have killed him, but the stroke took away something central to the professor’s work and identity: his ability to speak for extended periods of time with authority and confidence. For him, it wasn't just the class sessions for his business students, but the lectures he gives far and wide. "A clot apparently lodged itself on the left-hand side of my brain, just behind the ear, which the doctors said was right in the center of where you formulate speech and writing,” he said. “It killed that portion of my heart – my brain. You see me saying the wrong words even as we speak.” In an early morning interview, the slip was hardly obvious. But Christensen is acutely aware of each misstep, and is frustrated with the long recovery that’s seemed to plateau of late. He’s back to speaking to business audiences all over the world, as well as students, and most probably wouldn’t notice a problem if he didn’t mention it. Slight irregularities in language retrieval and cadence still bother him, though. “It continues to be a vexing challenge for me,” he said. “I am not as articulate as I want to be.” That sentiment is shared by Eric Barr, a professor emeritus of theater at the University of California at Riverside, who last year suffered successive strokes that left him temporarily without speech or the full use of his left side, and impaired his memory. “You’re accustomed to doing everything, and one day the stroke comes and you can’t do anything on your own,” he said. “I have trouble with email and getting computers to work now, and trouble with the phone a lot of times. The stroke wiped out a lot of the pieces that were important for work, not just for theater.” Barr continued: “It’s very frustrating.” Each year, hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from strokes, which are caused by either blockages or hemorrhages in the brain. Symptoms run from mild to severe, and from physical to cognitive. Aphasia, or loss of language, is the most common cognitive effect of strokes that occur on the left side of the brain. Recovery times vary from hours to years to never, based on the severity of the event. For those people without major lingering effects, returning to a relatively normal professional life depends on “how you regard yourself in the milieu, and the regard or comfort you have with who you are,” said Ronald M. Lazar, a professor of clinical neuropsychology in neurology and neurological surgery at Columbia University who…