Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Angry Artist #1

I usually find myself getting peevish and cranky around the Ides of March. It is not that I feel sorry for Julius Caesar. It has to do with Daylight Saving Time and the weather in southern Ontario. Daylight Saving Time: a brutal and senseless exercise in mass sleep deprivation resulting in traffic accidents, medical errors, spousal arguments, etc., etc. The weather in southern Ontario: looks like spring, but it's a trick. Do not put your boots away and do not get your bike out of storage. Trust me. Another blizzard is just around the corner. Not even the prospect of green beer at my local pub can make me feel better today. No. That makes me feel much, much worse. Add it to my mid-March list of annoyances.

Best to channel that aggression by posting the following:

A man presented to the emergency room of a Vancouver hospital complaining of headache six hours after having been punched in the eye during a fight. A CT scan revealed the presence of a 10.5 cm long paintbrush, which had entered the brain through the left eye (bristles first, I might add).

The case was reported in a 2005 issue of Acta Neurochirurgica by four surgeons at the University of British Columbia (Drs. Mandat, Honey, Peters and Sharma).

"The authors report a case of penetrating head injury that presented with a deceptively mild complaint. To our knowledge, it is the first report of a paintbrush penetrating the brain. The patient reported being punched in the left eye and presented with a minor headache, swelling around the left orbit, a small cut on the cheek and slightly reduced left eye abduction. After radiological evaluation, a penetrating head injury was diagnosed. Under general anesthesia, through a lateral eyelid incision a 10.5 cm long paintbrush, which had penetrated from the left orbit to the right thalamus, was removed. No post-operative infection was seen at six months follow-up. This brief report serves to highlight that penetrating brain injury can occur without neurological deficit and that a minimally invasive surgical approach was successful in avoiding any complications."

Do not annoy, belittle, pester, or otherwise piss off an artist, at least not while he/she is wielding a paintbrush.

That was cathartic. I feel better already.

(This case has also been blogged within the scientific/medical community here and here.)


  1. Loved this great read :) hate to see the damage a palette knife could do...

  2. Thanks. And, wow! As an artist with "P. Ruiz" for a name, you have a hell of a lot to live up to, don't you?