Lance Fogan, a retired neurologist in Southern California, teaches neurology at UCLA. He has participated in a weekly literature/writing class in order to get “educated” since 2000. Current pursuits include documenting his two young grandsons’ lives and the memories they spark within him.
Dingsby Lance Fogan
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DINGS tells the story of a mother’s struggle to support and defend her son midst his mysterious and unrecognized condition. The school believes Conner is not ready for the third grade. His teacher recommends that he repeat second grade. Conner’s dad is on a combat tour in 2006-7 Iraq. The adults assume that Conner’s stress and anxiety over his father at war have interfered with his school success. Sandra is embittered that she must deal with her son’s problem alone.
Conner’s condition eludes the adults. He has blank outs that are not appreciated. His friends think that he acts “weird” sometimes. A psychologist identifies his client’s anxieties and works to alleviate Conner’s stress.
Sandra's husband returns from war, yet not all is well. Sam has changed. She recognizes his PTSD symptoms: he drinks more, he snaps at the family and has bad dreams, but he denies anything is wrong. Sandra is under mounting emotional stresses; she is uncertain that she can keep her family together.
One night, Conner gets a high fever and has a convulsion. At the E. R., he has a brain CT scan and gets a spinal tap. The doctor lists epilepsy as a possible cause of the convulsion and refers Conner to a neurologist. Sandra interprets the mere mention of epilepsy as a personal affront. How could her son have such a stigmatizing and debilitating disease? He has never had any seizures before. But, all of their lives change when they meet the neurologist.
The reader will accompany the family as they travel their fascinating joint clinical and emotional journey to help their son.
A practical epilepsy glossary is appended at the end of the novel.
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I just finished reading this book. I found it an easy read, informative, personal, touching and well-worth the read. I felt much empathy for the mother; her thoughts were very real, understandable, and sensitive. I easily related to what she was going through. I would, eagerly, read a subsequent book, to find out what happened to Conner as he grew up - how did his sister learn to understand what he was going through...and did the parents stay together, or did it cause an irreparable issue between them?.
If I hadn't known better, I'd say this story was of my mother and I, to a tee. I had temporal lobe seizures as a child and early adult, with all the complications and confusions. It is very unfortunate, all the stigma and misunderstanding that goes on with these types of seizures, especially for a mother and child. "DINGS" is an easy read and an informative eye opener to any reader of any age.
Should be required reading for all medical students and anyone working with children! Excellent writer. Loved all the little reference to things that anyone interested in medicine, literature or life in general can appreciate. Also there is a wonderful article about the Dr. Fogan in the Santa Clarita Elite magazine. Wonderful Doctor and Author, even after 28 yrs as colleagues, you have surprised me. Keep writing and surprising us.
Lance Fogan writes a realistic, but fictionalized account of a child who has developed a form of epilepsy. It's a heart-warming tale of the effects on the child, but also the effects on his "typical" American family. The book provides "easy" reading, but is a classic in its scope and content.