Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to by Gavin Francis

By Gavin Francis

We imagine we all know bodies in detail, yet for lots of people they continue to be uncharted territory, an enigma of bone and muscle, neurons and synapses. what number people comprehend the best way seizures impact the mind, how the guts is hooked up to wellbeing and fitness, or the why the foot holds the major to our humanity? In Adventures in Human Being, award-winning writer Gavin Francis leads readers on a trip into the hidden pathways of the human physique, providing a advisor to its internal workings and a party of its marvels.
Drawing on his stories as a health care professional, ER professional, and family members health professional, Francis blends tales from the hospital with episodes from scientific heritage, philosophy, and literature to explain the physique in disease and in health and wellbeing, in lifestyles and in dying. whilst assessing a tender girl with paralysis of the face, Francis displays at the age-old trouble artists have had in shooting human expression. A veteran of the battle in Iraq suffers a shoulder harm that Homer first defined 3 millennia in the past within the Iliad. And whilst a gardener pricks her finger on a grimy rose thorn, her case of bacterial blood poisoning brings to brain the comatose drowsing beauties within the fairy stories we study as children.
At its center, Adventures in Human Being is a meditation on what it capability to be human. Poetic, eloquent, and profoundly perceptive, this booklet will remodel how you view your physique.

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Extra info for Adventures in Human Being: A Grand Tour from the Cranium to the Calcaneum

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Many ophthalmologists spend part of every week restoring sight through the removal of cataracts. “Think how grateful they would be,” he added. The word “cataract” comes from the Greek kataraktes, meaning “waterfall” or “portcullis” – a barrier that descends on the vision. Cataracts develop through an opacification in the lens, and they have been treated surgically for at least two thousand years. Instructions or instruments for slicing the cornea and displacing the clouded lens away from the line of sight have been unearthed by archaeologists and historians in India, China and Greece.

The removal of the lens restores only a partial, blurry kind of sight, but in the seventeenth century this displacement of the lens (“couching”) had become a fairly common operation in the West. In 1722 a Frenchman named St. Yves managed to fully remove a cataract, rather than just displace it deeper into the eyeball. It took only a couple of minor modifications to develop the cataract surgery that we know today. The operation once required extraordinary self-control on the part of the patient, who had to hold his or her head and eye steady through terrible, piercing pain, as the globe of the eye was sliced open and the lens gouged out.

He studied anatomy to appreciate the body as it really is rather than how it has been idealized. From his perspective the human body was the supreme culmination of God’s creation. One of the leaves from his notes shows the muscles of facial expression in precise detail, drawn more than fifteen years after he’d reproduced their effects in The Last Supper. Frontalis, which he’d shown wrinkling St. * * These are the “cranial” nerves that issue from holes in the skull or cranium, rather than “spinal” nerves, which come out between vertebrae.

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