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My brain hurts.
May 27, 2008 3:57 AM   Subscribe

Unusual penetrating brain injuries, via neurophilosophy.

Related: an article on Prehistoric Inca Neurosurgery and a BBC radio 4 program on the contribution of Phineas Gage to psychological research.
posted by farishta (42 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ow ow ow ow ow ow.

At one point in my life, I worked schlepping charts in the local teaching hospital for the neurological surgery department. Main thing I learned was don't try to commit suicide by gunshot wound to the head and fail in your attempt. Also learned that nearly every patient* in a teaching hospital will sue for malpractice; it's the only hope they have of paying for their care.

* Or so it seemed, anyway.
posted by maxwelton at 4:06 AM on May 27, 2008


"Nail gun brain injuries are commonly intentionally self-inflicted."

I do not understand your ways, nail-in-the-brain guys. I do not understand them at all.
posted by dersins at 4:10 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here I am pondering how it is physically possible for a man to hammer 10 nails into his own skull, without wondering why. You've changed me, internet.
posted by tehloki at 4:44 AM on May 27, 2008


without wondering why.

When you have a hammer, the whole world looks like your head?
posted by allen.spaulding at 4:52 AM on May 27, 2008 [10 favorites]


If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, all over my h-e--a-d...
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:01 AM on May 27, 2008


Anybody got an Advil?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:04 AM on May 27, 2008


Apply directly to the forehead...


ouch ouch ouch ouch
posted by DreamerFi at 5:12 AM on May 27, 2008


Ow! My brain!
posted by From Bklyn at 5:13 AM on May 27, 2008


Look at that profile picture. Prince is getting his masters in neuroscience. Maybe he is God.
posted by stavrogin at 5:17 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dave: Ah yes, Darcy. Well, what I've done for this dress is I've designed a hat that I call "The Spike in the Head." (Shows next sketch of an ugly, overweight woman with a large spike through her head.) Quite simply, it's a spike driven into the woman's head. Very simple. Very painful. But! The ugly woman deserves only the most painful.

Kevin: I love hats, but I don't have a hat face.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:25 AM on May 27, 2008


Linky! Sorry.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:26 AM on May 27, 2008


Anybody got an Advil?

So: the symbol of the MeFi party is a blue flag emblazoned with a hammer and Advil?
posted by eriko at 5:53 AM on May 27, 2008 [4 favorites]


... having claimed to have hammered several nails through his skull over a three month period... He had concealed the injuries by wearing a hat.

How clever.
posted by Free word order! at 5:57 AM on May 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


I need this post like I need a hole in the head.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:58 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just your average Saturday night over in Glasgow...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:05 AM on May 27, 2008


Eewwww and ow.

As an archaeology student though, the seminar on trepanation was one of funnest ones we had, up there with the one that looked at (the lack of) ancient dentistry. The resilience of the human body amazes me.
posted by Helga-woo at 6:36 AM on May 27, 2008


Wow, that Neurophilosophy blog is very cool. Could turn this entry into an FPP also.
posted by kisch mokusch at 6:59 AM on May 27, 2008


...as has been done.
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:01 AM on May 27, 2008


Ow! Those pictures made my head hurt. The guy who drilled the hole in his head and "introduced" the wire from the spiral notebook was my favorite. What on earth could he have been thinking?
posted by Forktine at 7:17 AM on May 27, 2008


KITH
posted by DU at 7:24 AM on May 27, 2008


Pollomacho: "Anybody got an Advil?"

Why? Got a pounding headache?
posted by symbioid at 7:39 AM on May 27, 2008


How can you not realize a paintbrush making its way into your head?


ow.
posted by yeoja at 7:40 AM on May 27, 2008


If you're planning any penetrating brain injuries, unusual is the way to go.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:56 AM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


That "asbestos" fragment looks to me like a piece of a shattered metal cutting wheel (can any Portuguese readers confirm?). Maybe I should revise this advice.
posted by flabdablet at 8:02 AM on May 27, 2008


So much easier to achieve a penetrating brain injury if you remove some skull first.
posted by flabdablet at 8:10 AM on May 27, 2008


Though this can probably be taken too far.
posted by flabdablet at 8:22 AM on May 27, 2008


Yep, that's a chop-saw.
(I'm not Portuguese, but the webbing gives it away)

...ouch
posted by Demogorgon at 8:42 AM on May 27, 2008


The Spike in the Head goes perfectly with the Box of Broken Glass shoes.
posted by chupacabra at 8:55 AM on May 27, 2008


Wow, just what I needed before breakfast, a case of the screaming jibblies.
posted by lekvar at 9:42 AM on May 27, 2008


An Unusual Brain Injury.
posted by msaleem at 9:58 AM on May 27, 2008


An Unusual Brain Injury

Or: Do Not Attempt Suicide With a .32 (Unless Your Name Is Adolf)
posted by vorfeed at 10:05 AM on May 27, 2008


An Unusual Brain Injury.

What's so unusual about that, unless this was the first documented case of someone having survived a gunshot to the head?
posted by deanc at 10:18 AM on May 27, 2008


What's so unusual about that, unless this was the first documented case of someone having survived a gunshot to the head?

True, but it's not very usual for someone to survive a shot through the head.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:07 AM on May 27, 2008


An Unusual Brain Injury

"There was no tendency, as a matter of fact, for a formation of a brain fungus at either wound."

Brain Fungus! Do not want!

Oh and patient zero... Phineas Gage
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:53 AM on May 27, 2008


My brain hurts!
posted by lalochezia at 12:19 PM on May 27, 2008


Did the mods just fix a bad link from the OP, fearfulsymmetry, or do you have a penetrating brain injury?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:23 PM on May 27, 2008


Ouch. I'm guessing that a nail to the head is generally a bad lifestyle choice.
posted by triv at 1:08 PM on May 27, 2008


The best thing about this is, when the guy was driving those first nails home, he probably missed a few times and hit his thumb and it really hurt.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:16 PM on May 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


A 32-year-old Caucasian male with a history of repeated self-injury drilled a hole in his skull using a power tool and subsequently introduced intracerebrally a binding wire from a sketchpad.

Nice to see some creativity from the self-inflicting crowd. I'm so tired of people cutting up their arms or putting cigarettes out on their hand.
posted by brevator at 4:14 PM on May 27, 2008


That "asbestos" fragment looks to me like a piece of a shattered metal cutting wheel (can any Portuguese readers confirm?).

It's from a "disco de polir pedra sab√£o", which means "a disc for polishing soapstone."
posted by jewzilla at 8:05 PM on May 27, 2008


Interesting post, farishta, yet so sad to think of the people with the self-inflicted injuries who must have hurt so much emotionally to do this.

From Incas: By that time, the procedure appears to have been stabdardized, as its practitioners operated only on certain parts of the skull, and avoided other areas...

Perfect context for the oft-misused stabardized.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:44 AM on May 28, 2008


My "Brain and Human Behavior" professor (I went to hipster burnout art school. We has a "science" minor. Not biology. Not chemistry. Just "science") said the best way to inflict fatal damage to the brain is to aim for the medulla oblongata. "That's why putting a gun in your mouth works."

Um, I just realized right now that he was incredibly embittered about teaching science to rich kids who couldn't give a damn, and was probably subtlety telling us to kill ourselves. Bravo, Vinoth!

Anyway, I'm psyched to read this illustrated history of trepanation now. Man. I wish I'd known about this blog before -- so many slow afternoons wasted by napping at my desk. Thanks farishta!
posted by giraffe at 5:58 AM on May 28, 2008


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