Science and My Daily life Brenda Durbin Kaplan University Science and I Science has and always will play a constant important role in my daily life, maybe more so than others. Science for me has not always been my strong subject in school and I very easily tend to get intimidated. But when I look at my daily life and realize how much science plays a role in it, I cannot help but smile. Science is not at all bad, it has allowed me to do many things every day, even if I do not take the time to stop and think about it, it is there.
From the way the microwave heats up the water for my coffee every morning or the way my body digests the food I eat every meal and makes it into energy or even a trip to the doctor’s office with my son, science is a constant companion and without it, my life would have turned out very different indeed. If I arrived home late one night and after unlocking the front door, I tried to turn on a light and it did not respond I would begin a process of elimination, or in other words, using the scientific method to find out the problem.
First I would check the light bulb, to see if it had blown, once replacing the bulb if I still did not have light I would then go to my back porch and to the fuse box. I would then check the fuses to see if maybe a breaker was tripped or I had a blown fuse. If even after doing this I still have no power I would then call my electric company, asking them if someone had hit a power pole, or if they were conducting some kind of random test(s) or even making repair(s) to the line. Once finding out some information from the company I would then know whether to light some candles and to be patient or if I would have to call an electrician.
For scenario number two I will use the situation of my car not starting. First I would check the level of gas in my vehicle, if that was found to be not the problem I would then check the battery and the terminals making sure they are all clean and connected. I would then check the spark plugs to see if they were misfiring, dirty or corroded. If after checking these items I still would be finding no solution, I would do my best to get a jump start from a passing motorist. If the jumps start did not elp to start my car I would then have to call a tow truck to bring my car to a garage where a mechanic would be able to research the problem better with his/her equipment and tools. While waiting for the answer and the problem to be fixed from the mechanic I would have to plan to either take a cab or find a ride with my friend(s) and/or co-workers to work, appointments and any place I need to go for my routine errands. Every day I get up at 5:30am. Without science (to tell the time of day) and the technology that goes into my alarm clock chances are 5:30am would not be the time I would be getting up.
I then go upstairs and wake up my sons Warren and Ryely to get ready for school. When Warren comes down stairs I help him get his morning treatment machines ready. Warren was born with Cystic Fibrosis and relies on science and the continuing scientific advances of treatments, medicines and therapies to continue living. Warren’s first treatment is called a nebulizer, this lasts about 15 minutes. The nebulizer loosens the thick mucus on the walls of Warren’s lungs. Then his next treatment is done with what is called “the vest airway clearance system” (Hill-Rom Services, 2011).
This vest gently compresses and releases the chest wall up to 25 times per second (Hill-Rom Services, 2011). In other words it basically pounds the loosened mucus (from his first treatment, “the neb” as we call it) off and out of Warren’s lungs so that he may cough it up. This vest treatment last for thirty minutes. After his treatments are finished, I then help Warren break down the machines, clean them and put them away until they are needed again in the evening. Warren does both of these treatments twice a day. Without science I would not have had Warren in my life for so long.
He is nineteen and each day he does these treatments is another day I get to have my son in my life. Next, I prepare breakfast for both Warren and Ryely. We have a gas stove in our kitchen so the use of science plays a big role in the cooking of the food for all our meals. After dinner I then lay out all of Warren’s many medications they he needs to take. The absolute most important of all the medication is what is called Creon. Creon “contains pancrelipase – a combination of three enzymes: lipase, protease, and amylase” (Drugs. com, 2011).
These enzymes are produced in the pancreas of people without CF. In people who do have CF however, the thick sticky mucus plugs the ducts in the pancreas so that the enzymes cannot reach the food to help break down and digest what food is eaten. So every time Warren eats he needs to take these, five capsules for snacks and seven with meals. Without science, everything Warren eats would pass right through his system and no nutrition would be absorbed by his body. After breakfast it is usually time for the boys to leave so that they can go to their bus stops.
When they leave I will usually either start getting ready for any appointments that are scheduled or start cleaning the house. I must also admit there are some days that I do in fact go back to bed to catch an hour or two of more sleep. Science plays a huge role in the cleaning of my house also. From the hot water I use to mop the floors to the cleaners I use to disinfect and make my home smell clean science is there. Science has improved the quality of my life so very much. In explaining how I will get very emotional and I hope you understand.
Without science Warren would not have lived, therefore I would not have become a mother. Without the scientific understanding of genetics and genetic diseases not only would I have lost Warren but I could have very well ended up in jail for child abuse. Before a doctor thought of giving Warren a sweat test (a test which measures the amount of salt in sweat) I was being investigated by the state of Maine for suspicion of child abuse. Warren was only 3 months old at the time and got down to 2 pounds 1. 3 ounces.
The doctors and nurses immediately thought where I was a young mother I must have not been feeding him. This hung over my head the whole time Warren was being tested and in the neonatal critical care unit. Only when a CF specialist visiting Mid Maine Medical Center from the Children’s Hospital of Boston, after examining my son decided that a sweat test was needed, and done did this allegation clear up. Removing all doubt from the doctors and nurses of my mothering skills and love toward my son. The sweat test came back positive that Warren had CF. It was right then my life changed.
Not only did my life change due to the treatments, medications and care Warren needed daily but also I was taught a most valuable lesson, never take anyone (who is in your life), no matter how small they are for granted. Every smile, laugh and memory with and from both my children have become even more precious to me now knowing that without the help of science Warren would not be a part of the family. Warren fought so hard to live (and continues to fight) so that I could be a mother, his mother. That in itself changes a person. To be perfectly honest, there has been only one negative impact that science has had on my life.
I have always wanted to have at least two children. I underwent genetic testing soon after Warren was diagnosed with CF and the results that came in were scary. Warren’s father was found to have passed a gene unto him that is very common in about 80% of CF cases, while I had passed on to him a much rarer gene that was only evident in 2% of CF cases. The guilt was unbelievable and very painful to work through. And if that was not enough we were also told that with every child I would have with Warren’s father the chances it would be born with CF were 1 in 4.
I do not believe that I could live without science and I sincerely do not think anyone else could either. As people, we get sick, have headaches, toothaches and need surgeries for a multitude of reasons and without science we simply could not and would not be here. From a small aspirin someone takes for pain, to the food we eat or the healthcare we need and receive science is all around us every day! Science has made it possible for people such as me to live longer, be cared for, and to eat a variety of foods no matter if it is in a box or can and to live.
To be honest I have always been too busy with my daily life that I have never stopped to think about how much science was in my life and the ways it presents itself. But through this course I have found a definite respect for science. I will look at things differently now and probably always will since taking this course. Science has been around me long before Warren was born but it was when he came into my life that I began to appreciate science and all the possibilities it holds for the future.
One of the biggest possibilities that my family and I are hoping for is one day when CF will stand for cure found. Through the length of this course I have shared many of my own opinions and life experiences. Reflecting on them all I cannot help but smile, I should never be intimidated by science, because it is through science I have the life I live now. References Drugs. com, (2011). Creon, Retrieved on November 12, 2011 from http://www. drugs. com/creon. html Hill-Rom Services, (2011). The Vest Airway Clearance System, Retrieved on November 12, 2011 from http://www. thevest. com/products/