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On the Brain
May 2018

Speak Therapy

Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(5):533-534. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0077

“A classic presentation!” the attending physician exclaimed. “What a great first case for the med students.” It was the first day of my neurology rotation on a frigid February morning. Every day I biked to the hospital, and that morning I had lost sensation in my hands as the winds of winter paradoxically burned my fingers. As I had released the handlebars to tuck my hands into my coat pockets, I thought of the time my grandfather taught me how to ride a bicycle. Around my grandfather’s house, there were long stretches of flat road. On that pavement, my training wheels came and went. My wobbly first 2-wheel ride slowly progressed to a smooth weave through tight spaces. Eventually, I taught myself to ride with my hands off the handlebars, and in my adolescent confidence I would throw my hands carelessly in the air. My grandfather almost killed me the first time he saw that.

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