Hydrocephalus HydroPowered Super-Heroes
Our HydroPowered Super-Hero section is the newest addition to our web site and features fun and creative and inspirational stories of modern day super-heroes in their connection to the disorder, hydrocephalus. We hope that individuals and families affected by hydrocephalus enjoy these stories as an outlet to the often challenging conditions of living with hydrocephalus. We also offer these stories as part of our commitment to hydrocephalus awareness, outreach, and related charities.
As with many other illnesses & disabilities, life with hydrocephalus can sometimes best be expressed through fun, movies, adventure, and super heroes. We strive to creatively explore the vast connection between a number of super-heroes, and life with the disorder, hydrocephalus. Our current list of HydroPowered Super-Heroes includes: The Terminator, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spiderman, and Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer. Each story features a unique story and connection to hydrocephalus.
We believe super heroes for hydrocephalus can make for great children's & adult adventure stories about hydrocephalus. We are also mindful of what may/may not be politically appropriate for young children, as many experts and schools today discourage children from fighting back or standing up for themselves.
We've created the Incredible Hulk for Hydrocephalus as a story about a young boy, Matthew, living with hydrocephalus, who struggles with headaches, missed days at school, poor coordination, problems with cognition & memory, not being so popular at school, and bullying by other kids. At times, kids laugh at him and call him names.
Then one day, Matthew gets really really upset at the other kids. Suddenly, and in just an instant, he's as sharp as a tack, and he begins talking back with great confidence to the kids who were mistreating him. This sudden transformation then catches the other kids by surprise!
In a matter of a few minutes, Matthew changes the dynamics of his normally feeble relationship with the other kids at school, including, the bullies, and others who regularly make fun of him. His new found outspokenness & wisdom has caught them off guard, and unable to respond back. Later that day at home, his mother sees a boost in his demeanor and confidence. But, shrugs it off to a good day at school. She thinks she's seen this before. But, Matthew knows something is different. He's never felt like this, nor spoken back to the other kids this way. Ordinarily, he wouldn't ever get angry like that, as his mother is very soft-spoken, and would discourage such conduct. So getting angry is not something he's used to doing.
That evening, as he sits on the edge of his bed, he tries to replay what happened at school that day at school. Where did that sudden boost of energy and confidence come from, he thought? How was he able to speak back to those kids who had been bullying and laughing at him? He wondered, "Am I like a super hero?" But, struggles to clearly remember the details of that event, as he often would this time of night. His doctors say it is because he has a "hydrocephalus" condition. Matthew knows something different happened that day. And it happened after he got really really angry. He slips under his covers and fades off into a deep sleep. Matthew, the super hero with hydrocephalus, might just be back another day!
The fictional story describes the real life struggles of an individual living with hydrocephalus and cognitive disabilities, where memory, coordination, communication skills, and confidence are often diminished. But his story could also be a real life example, one backed by brain science, of what occurs how an individual with hydrocephalus and cognitive disabilities becomes emotionally angry. He can experience a sudden boost of memory, mental clarify, and confidence - that can last anywhere from a few minutes up to a day or so - just like this Incredible Happy Hulk for Hydrocephalus story.
I've also included this fictional story to help disseminate awareness of real life challenges faced by individuals with hydrocephalus - and how hydrocephalus & cognitive disability is not always how others perceive it. We all have our strengths & weaknesses. We have our good qualities, and bad ones we'd like to change. Just because a person has a medical condition and/or disability that makes him or her appear different, that doesn't mean they are not talented, important and relevant. Or that in some way, they are "less" than you. In fact, given the opportunity, many such individuals will surprise you - as Matthew did in this story.
The newer Amazing Spiderman for Hydrocephalus is perhaps my sentimental favorite of our super heroes. In the movie, Peter Parker is a science kid and son of a well known scientist who met a tragic death in a plane crash. Peter lives with his aunt & uncle and tries to continue some of his father's scientific work. One day while visiting his father's lab, he is bitten by a rare spider which had undergone mutations from his father's experiments. Within hours, he starts to become ill while developing unusual sensory abilities & strength - partly which happens to us with hydrocephalus.
As Peter's metamorphous and abilities become complete, he decides to commit his life to fighting crime, in part to honor his father's legacy. It was his father & uncle, whose mantra was, "With great ability, comes great responsibility." But, it took Peter some lessons to grow into this new responsibility. And in time, he grows into a respected super hero and crime fighter.
For each of us who lives with hydrocephalus, we too have acquired special (compensatory) abilities in order to overcome the ill effects, and sometimes associated disability, of having hydrocephalus. Just like Peter Parker, we are not to be deterred. And we rise up each day and overcome adversity like super heroes. It is this connection for all those living with hydrocephalus, that led me to create this HydroPowered.org web site and concept.
We cannot talk about super heroes for hydrocephalus, without sharing the Terminator for Hydrocephalus. In the Terminator 2 sequel, the Terminator was only able to survive and fight for John Connor and civilization be repairing himself and his various implanted biotechnology. He possessed extensive scientific knowledge of his body, and was able to repair it on the spot with only a brief rest.
The Terminator was forever aware of his mission and what it would take to be successful, which meant maintaining his body and implants in top working order. Throughout the movie, and especially so at its end, the Terminator spoke of his ultimate mission and of the "chip" which was implanted in his brain. This chip also contained the master program for his body and mission, a bit like those of us who have a programmable shunt for our hydrocephalus. The spirit of the Terminator has always provided me with the focus of a mission for progress in hydrocephalus care & treatment. For these reasons, I have often regarded myself as "The Terminator."
We feature some additional science & tech discussion on the Terminator at our page HydroPowered Advocacy.
ABOUT ME: I am qualified to write & speak on hydrocephalus and children's issues. I've lived with hydrocephalus since 1992. And I have coached on 20 little league soccer & baseball teams, where I had interaction with some kids with special needs. I've also experienced many of the same issues faced by children, adults, and others with hydrocephalus, and have undergone 12 shunt revisions as of 2014. I am also a neuroscience researcher in hydrocephalus and on cognitive disabilities.
Stephen Dolle, Founder
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