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week 2

Eric McDuffie Response

1. When i intially started to read “My Pain, My Brain” i had doubts that i would actually be able to not only like the article but also be able to get the contexts i needed to get out of the article. The title itself didnt grasp my attention and as she tries to introduce her ideas of watching her brain i felt like it was unrelatable. But as i continued i was more intrigued with the ideas, methods and practices that were helping patients suffering with chronic pain. While Melanie starts in her second paragraph about glitches and chronic pain it wasn’t until she explain that she too was suffering from the disorder that i really began to feel that the essay wasn’t going to just be about science.

2. The article had a mix between scientific understanding and more of a personal awareness of disorder brought on by the brain. It starts off with Melaine giving us her own personal outlook of chronic pains than she quickly introduces us to technology scientist hope to incorporate to helping to heal and or control her disorder. She could have made the article boring and just talked about chronic pain the affects of chronic pains and it could have been about just the practices of healing chronic pain. But she didnt she gave her own opinion, her own doubt and i felt like i could sort of connect with her as a person. She begans to become describtive in her work about her own suffering “chronic pain in my neck that radiates into the right side of my face and right shoulder and arm.”  She gives us visions of a bad horrid place “soggy , moldy dark or prehaps ashy, like those alarming picture of smoker’s lungs.” While in the other parts of the essay she is very informative, very straight to the point only giving fact and definite answers to questions from doctors in that field.

3. One of the important passages for me was the passage where she talks about the placebo affect. As she explains how by using the placebo affect even strong medication or more effective in the healing process i get more intrigue with how doctor impliment it into their practices. While this passage was important to me i believe Melanie was the passage where she also uses the placebo affect and because of her believing she wasnt in pain she suffered 2nd degree burns. She was able to control pain just by the use of the placebo affect and distractions.

4. Besides the article having moments of hope and optimism Melanie also showed shift in the experiement where the outcome ended not so successful. Doctors who showed another patient brain scan to a patient who needed treatment didnt have that much of a change in control their pain led on by their disorder.

5. One discripite was the moment when Melanie tells us how she was able to bare the damages  from 2nd degree burns when she had time to ignore the pain but when she was faced with a daily accident of spilling hot tea on herself wasnt as successful in ignoring much of anything. In a way Melanie doubted that the treatment could be affective for pains that are to instant to control.

6. While Melanie questions about the methods of doctors during the process of healing chronic pain it leaves the reader to question the practice thereselves. By seeing how someone who is suffering with chronic pain have such a change in controlling her disorder it gives you hope but by her giving us the example of the hot tea it shows that its not a miracle and that in reality you wont be completely cured from your disorder so you cant not have high hopes or be disappointed when the test arent that affective for you.

7. She’s uses fire to show the flaring of the disorder in her brain and by giving us several moment of usages she wants us to see how extreme chronic disorder is to the people that are diagnose with it. But on a postive not i believe she also uses it to show that through science you can identify the problems you are having with you brain and in time we will be able to completely modify our brains to stop future problems.

8. I believe as an author Melanie Thrunstrom wants us to get more involved and support the research being done for illnesses like chronic pain. She expects us to not only learn about the practices but know that through time if perfected those deadly and damaging disorders that have kept many of us afraid will be cured.I believe the reason that Melanie Thrunstrom ends her articles with questions as if it was someone else voice was to get the reader to think and have their own opinion. It not as if she wants to agree with her but she wants you to react and learn and find your on information on this newly incorporated science method because she can only give you what she has experienced.

One things that wasnt mentioned in the article was how much and how affordable this practice may be for people who are suffering with chronic pain. We also wasnt given a rate of how successfully neuroimaging is to helping people to control chronic pain. We havent heard the risk of being treated in this manner and if Melanie herself whom suffered from a 2nd degree burn easily and was thrown of my spilled tea than we dont know how long this process will last.

Having had psychology 103 last year i learned that the placebo affects has to be implimented very discritely in order for the process to work so from this article it makes me question if the process works because when the doctors tried to use the placebo on patient who were shown someone else’s brain images to test to see if it would work , it wasnt at all effective as they hoped it would be.



One thought on “Eric McDuffie Response

  1. Very good, Eric. You write that at first you believed the article would be “unrelatable,” but that as you read further, you became more interested in not only Thernstrom’s story, but in the “ideas, methods and practices that were helping patients suffering with chronic pain.” I think this is an important observation, and it’s an idea that you might develop further as you work on our analysis. What did you initially think about science writing? You were relieved that the essay when you discovered that the essay “wasn’t going to just be about science.” What makes this essay about more than “just science.” What is “just science” in writing, and what might turn readers away from it?

    Posted by klucenko | February 9, 2012, 4:53 am

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