Doctor Sacks ― The Marvelous Doctor
“Today we fight. Tomorrow we fight. The day after, we fight. And if this disease plans on whipping us, it better brings a lunch, 'cause it's gonna have a long day doing it.”
― Jim Beaver
For years, people have been fighting against various diseases. Through persistence and will to fight, people are able to put up a fight against the diseases and live considerably well together with them. In The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat written by Oliver Sacks, Chapter 2: The Lost Mariner talked about a former navy called Jimmie, who had fought in World War 2, as he fought against Korsakov’s disease. Conversely, Chapter 7: On the Level talks about Mr. MacGregor, a 93 years old man who fought against Parkinson’s disease. Although the disease diagnosed and treatment process were different, by working with Doctor Sacks, which involved referring to older medical literatures, patients’ life condition can be improved. He was able to accurately diagnose the disease for the patients and then conducted the treatment process accordingly with the help of medical literatures.
Although disease diagnosed for Jimmie and Mr. MacGregor differed, Doctor Sacks was still able to accurately determine their disease. When he first met Jimmie in Home for the Aged, Jimmie could not remember he had met him after 2 minutes had passed. After a series of tests, he deduced that Jimmie had his memory cut-off around 1945 and could not form any new memories. Then, by reading the report from Bellevue Hospital which stated that Jimmie’s disease was caused by heavy consumption of alcohol, he was assured that Jimmie had Korsakov’s disease. Meanwhile, Mr. MacGregor had trouble maintaining his body composure straight. When he first met him in Neurology clinic of St. Dunstan's, he could not walk with his body straight. This could be caused by either damaged labyrinth, proprioceptive or visual systems. But, these three control systems were normal for Mr. MacGregor. Therefore, he deduced that the complex integration of these systems was damaged and that was caused by Parkinson’s disease. Although the diseases diagnosed for Jimmie and Mr. MacGregor differed, but, by going through some specific tests, he was able to accurately deduce the disease that both of them had. This led him into researching for medical literatures relevant to their diseases in order to find the appropriate treatment for them.
By referring to related medical literatures for both diseases, Doctor Sacks obtained hints regarding the appropriate treatment for his patients. In order to make sure that the disease that Jimmie has is Korsakov’s disease, he referred to Korsakov’s original thesis. It stated that those who had Korsakov’s disease, “memory of recent events was disturbed almost exclusively while impressions of long ago were recalled properly. Yet, the patient's ingenuity, sharpness of wit and resourcefulness remained largely unaffected.” (Sacks, 31) Since the symptoms matched with...