Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Locked-In Syndrome

I fear being locked in.
Not inside my room, nor inside yours with you upon me.
But the fear of being locked inside this body,
Still alive but not being able to talk, walk or even…

How does it feel to be trapped inside your own skin?
---
Medical footnote:
Locked-in syndrome is a rare neurological disorder characterized by complete paralysis of voluntary muscles in all parts of the body (except for those that control vertical eye movement). It may result from traumatic brain injury, vascular diseases, demyelinating diseases, or medication overdose.

Individuals with locked-in syndrome are conscious and have cognitive function, but are unable to speak or move. The disorder leaves the patient completely mute and paralyzed. Communication may be possible only with blinking eye movements.

There is no cure for locked-in syndrome, nor is there a standard course of treatment. Functional neuromuscular stimulation may help activate some paralyzed muscles. Several devices to help communication are available. Other treatment is symptomatic and supportive.

The prognosis for those with locked-in syndrome is poor. The majority of patients do not regain function.

19 comments:

Dr O2 said...

I decided to add the footnote as an example of how my 5 liners are usually formed :-D Jus comment on the post if you wish, the footnote is for providing more info.

Nyx said...

I'm able to walk... and talk... still, I sometimes feel locked in.

Kimia said...

I think nothing could be worse than this. It is just real hell.
Remind me this when I am nagging of stupid things. How can I be dare to say I fear traveling alone??

This footnotes is a great idea :)

By the way between your 100 ideas I love "Sweeter than honey.." the most.

Dr O2 said...

nyx - yeah it happens to me as well.

Kimia - well it is a tragic scene. It is tough to imagine being alive but not being able to do anything but move your eyes up and down :-S

Being locked in your own skin is unimaginably frightening!

David said...

This sounds like a very frightening syndrome indeed! The description reminds me somewhat of the disorder spotlighted by the movie Awakenings starring Robin Williams and Robert De Nero. However, that disorder was treatable to a certain extent with L-Dopa. From what I know of Multiple Sclerosis and Lou Gherrigs (ALS) disease, I think that the pathology may ultimately resemble Locked-in Syndrome. The famous physicist Stephen Hawking must have something like this, although he still has some capacity for movement and speech.

jarvenpa said...

Your post (pre footnote) is poetic; with footnote reminds me of how many people suffer.

But, like nyx, I have in my life felt locked in sometimes. Perhaps we all have.

Dew Drops said...

is there atleast hope of being cured? or is it absolutely incurable?

Behrooz said...

I was wondering if the medical note was part of your preparation exercise for some kind of exam you have.

The question you ask is unanswerable because the medical note says those who suffer from locked-in syndrome cannot talk!! I guess that's why you are asking the question :-D

Dr O2 said...

david - this is actually a problem caused by any defect to the brain stem which is where most spinal nerves meet. Imagine being alive & aware but not being to react! only answering with yr eyes.

Jarvenpa - well the first part was what I intended to post but since there was demand for further info, I decided to add a sample footnote of how the idea came to me ;-)

Dew drops - There is always hope but not much!

P.S: My name in my own language means hope to start with ;-)

Behrooz - well I am all through with exams luckily :-) But well as a part of reviewing books and taking notes I got to this point and the idea of posting a 5 liner hit me :-) The original message is the first part & the second part was for more info on a medical condition only :-)

SOF!A said...

the footnote is a great idea, i enjoyed reading it

if i get trapped like that, my head will explode and i think tears would come down my eyes all day

Frank said...

As the mass media develop more, we tend to devalop the syndrome more!.

David said...

Well, there is some research into repairing severed rat spinal cords that may ultimately help repair brain stem damage and restore some movement to these people. The rats treated with stem cells are recovering some ability to walk! Of course, we have George Bush standing in the way of such research. Ultimately, his position will crumble and fall into dust. Old people vote in the U.S. more than any other group, and they want therapies that will extend their lives. Personally I can't blame them!

ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

I know a few people who would voluntarily lock themslves in their own skin... metaphorically speaking and not the pysical disease you are referring to.
Sometimes one needs a break from the world's onslaught. and "cocooning" gives us time to re-charge.

mariamusic said...

Too hard for me to understand the condition dr O2.
mariamusic.

jac said...

Some times even with out a 'locked-in syndrome' I tend to develop a similiar feeling, but only for a few seconds.

I know that it will be terrible, but it is better than a comotose

starry nights said...

I think at some point in our lives we all feel locked in.nice post.

Dr O2 said...

Sof!a - the problem is that tears don't exist in this case :-S

Frank - well that's a good idea! This is a fiedl that more investigation should be put into!! great note.

david - in this very case, the damage is done in a very important & specific part which is the jinction to mostly all spinal nerves. If a defect is detected below or above it, the result won't be as severe. That is why it is rare. Yet the thought is the SCARIEST I have come to face in a long long time!

Chitty - "Cocooned" was the title first!! then I changed it.

Well yeah I agree that everybody needs sometime all alone but if it is irreversible then it is HELL on earth!! I don dare imagine myself in that situation :-S

mariamusic - then you are among the more fortunate! It isn't a pleasent feeling at all.

jac - I think Coma is hell lot better! There is no conciousness in Coma but feeling what's going on but not being able to respond is unthinkable for me...

Starrynight - yep we do but thankfully it is transient.

Colleen said...

This is both fascinating and terrifying at the same time!

I almost think I've felt this way before...well...it's not the same thing... but: sometimes I'll be falling asleep and I almost feel like I'm "too deeply asleep" and I can't move or wake myself up. When this happens I will scream in my dreams, desperately aware I'm asleep and desperately aware that I cannot move my body or wake myself.

Ok, sorry if I sound weird.

Nice blog, by the way!

Hot Lemon& Honey said...

the closes experience I had to this was sleep paralysis...so scary..