It’s amazing how powerful instincts are, which is the foundation for both good science and good medicine.
David was thrilled when he got an electric scooter for Christmas, so we took it to the deserted lowest level of our parking garage to let him ride it for a few moments.
Everyone had to take a turn (of course!), and then when it was my turn, not only was it super difficult for me to balance myself, I found myself strangely unable to steer while I was trying to balance myself, so much so that I almost crashed into the concrete wall.
(I only avoided crashing by falling off the scooter once I realized hitting the floor was going to be much less painful than hitting the wall.)
If I was manually pushing the scooter, I was okay, but turning on the motor I couldn’t balance myself and steer. Not at all.
A little embarrassed after my fall, I just brushed it off causally, “oh, wow, I just can’t for the life of me balance myself and steer! I’m such a klutz.”
And David, innocently, and matter-of-factly, responded,
“Mommy, I think there’s a piece missing in your brain.”
Just like that. A nine year old. I almost fell over again right there.
What David doesn’t know, is that I have lesions all throughout my brain, possibly infectious based lesions, or possibly autoimmune. In disagreement over the origin, but we know for a fact that these lesions are there.
And just as I was falling over, I was wondering the same thing–
Maybe my lesions are having something to do with my inability to control the scooter and balance myself at the same time.
Either way, I got up safely off the concrete and had a good laugh about it,
and then David right there called it out in a nine year old way, what I was thinking privately to myself–wondering if the holes in my brain had anything to do with my fall.
My goodness David has a brilliant scientific mind in the works. Just watching me struggle on the scooter, then fall, he put all of that together himself.
I was just joking with David the other day, that if he studied science, he might be able to solve our immune deficiency himself. Not too heavy, of course, because I don’t want him to feel too much pressure, but I was trying to point out to him how studying science can impact our daily lives, by making it personal to him.
Science all starts with observation and instinct. Not what you want to see, not what people tell you to see, not what you expect to see,
but science and medicine begin with the study of the truth of what is actually happening in front of you.
And not everyone can make those distinctions. Most people just see what they expect to see (or what they were told to see).