Can you imagine being locked in your body, without the ability to move?
I do sometimes and it terrifies me. I experienced something a bit similar when I woke up in the middle of anesthesia, and I can’t imagine how horrible it must feel if you stay in such a state for longer. Anyhow, this story isn’t about me.
One of the stories that touched me lately is the story about a man who managed to do something incredible in such a state.
A French journalist Jean-Dominique Bauby wrote a book The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, despite being physically paralyzed by the locked-in syndrome.
He managed to do this entirely by blinking his left eyelid.
Bauby suffered a stroke on December 8, 1995, which left him paralyzed.
His right eye had to be sewn up due to an irritation problem. The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid, using partner-assisted scanning, a transcriber repeatedly recited a French language frequency-ordered alphabet, until Bauby blinked to choose the next letter. When a person would point to each one of these letters or read them aloud to the correct letter, Bauby would blink his eyelid. Until he blinked out the entire book.
This was an amazing accomplishment.
It isn’t just the story behind the book, the book itself is a good read. He might lose the ability to move, but he certainly didn’t lose his ability to feel and express himself.
Sadly Bauby died of pneumonia two days after his work was published.
You can borrow his book here or buy it at your favorite bookstore. There is also a movie available.
What do you think after reading this story? Are you using your body in the best ways you can to live your life to the fullest?
7 thoughts on “The Story Of The Man Who Wrote A Book With Only His Eyelid Blinking”
What an amazing accomplishment. I must remember to find the book.
What an amazing story of perseverance!
The mind, heart and spirit can truly be a force of nature. This story also reminds me of Stephen Hawking’s story and how he was able to do with such a disability too.
Oh yes, Hawking did some amazing things too.
I’d like to mention here that is no less amazing just to survive another day.
I didn’t write about this aspect this time, but is no less important to be aware that amazing things happen in our own homes, everyday. It’s just that we sometimes don’t see them (speaking from experience).
That is a very good point, Maja. The daily miracles and blessings in themselves are amazing too!
Thank you for this post Lampelina.
I sooooo loved this book – it’s one of my treasures!
What a perfect reminder that we are all capable of so much more than we think.