I am honored and excited to announce I have been selected to participate in The Examined Life Conference: Writing, Humanities, and The Art of Medicine, April 11-13, 2013. I will be in the first group of presenters. Professor David Gould has been kind enough to join me and help me find my way through this event which is the first of its kind I have ever attended. If you are in the area, I hope to see you at the conference. If you are unable to attend, I will share the details after the event.
From the event program:
Tara Fall, MS, Psychology, Finding Strength To Stand Again; David L. Gould , MA, The University of Iowa, Associate Director for Professional Student Development/Faculty, The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
I am grateful for the pursuit of knowledge regarding the study of memories. Yet, it is imperative patients’ voices are not drowned out by statistics and theories provided throughout the medical community. Some people will never forget a face. I will never remember one. Amnesia and short-term memory issues resulted due to status epilepticus. Constant searching led to no information offering a connection to peers for guidance as a new mother having no recollection of her own children. As a stroke survivor at twenty-seven, I could not find healing information targeting a younger population. I knew my outcome would be different than an older patient. Now, I offer information about acquiring anterograde prosopagnosia. I share experiences about coping techniques developed with this form of memory loss. I write a blog to offer first-hand knowledge with people everywhere. University classes, newspapers across the country and television shows spanning the globe have sought out my story to help explain what happens when optimism meets adversity. My presentation will provide a voice to what occurs in a patient’s mind when faced with memory loss. Scientists and physicians are detailing great success in gaining clues to our memory. I want to share with you success patients can find overcoming loss of memory. Gratitude is extended to brilliant individuals who study and bring progress to our ability to form and retain memories. It will be a privilege to share first-hand knowledge of experiences which occurred when my memories were taken away. I am honored to share the thought process developed when seizures controlled my brain as a teenager, what it feels like when memories are erased of significant life events and what it feels like to face a world of strangers after acquiring prosopagnosia. Participants are encouraged to ask questions regarding challenges I face daily.
Objectives: Participants will hear a reading of a piece from my blog and upcoming memoir written to provide better understanding of emotions epilepsy can present throughout different stages of life. A second presenter will step in to outline questions allowing participants to travel the journey taken by a life shaped through various memory loss issues. If time allows, participants will be encouraged to ask questions forming an intimate view of how I dealt with these experiences and how I learned to truly, fully live by overcoming them.