Friday, December 16, 2011

Déjà Vu Blogfest: A Curse, and a Secret!

Hello and welcome to the Déjà Vu Blogfest! Hosted by DL Hammons, Creepy Query Girl, Nicole Ducleroir and yours truly!

Oh, but it was hard to pick an old post to recycle today. Though there has been good news to backflip over recently, and more good news, I've decided to share a little secret, via this Medical Mondays post from September of 2011. I was in the trenches then, studying for my Internal Medicine Boards.

Here we go!

*****


Well, ha. This was inevitable.

I'm trying to keep myself in study mode, but I KNEW sooner or later I'd learn some factoid I'd feel compelled to share with you guys.

So I'm taking a brief break to tell you about
Ondine's Curse (also more correctly known as Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome, or CCHS).

It's an extremely rare medical condition in which many sufferers can only breath voluntarily.


Meaning...if they fall sleep, they don't breathe and can die.

How can that be, you ask? Well, in the congenital form in infants, it can be fatal. It's so rare, doctors don't usually look for it. But in adults, it's caused by an auto accident, stroke, or neurosurgical complication to the centers of the brain that control breathing. They often need to use a ventilator machine to breath at night or an electronic device to zap their diaphragm muscle into helping them breathe.

The name Ondine's Curse comes from a German myth. Ondine was a water nymph in love with a mortal man. She gave up her immortality when she fell in love with him and bore him a child. He had promised, "
Every waking breath will be a testament to my love for you."

When he became unfaithful, she cursed him—if he ever fell asleep, his breath would be taken from him and he would die. Eventually, from exhaustion, the man did fall asleep. And he succumbed to the curse.

*****

Why did I pick this for the blogfest? Well, after I wrote this post last year, I couldn't stop thinking about Ondine's Curse. I'd get short of breath imagining living life with this ailment. How a person would have such an odd relationship with air, and sleeping, and...existing.

So here's the secret: one of the main characters in my novel, The Fountain, suffers from Ondine's curse.

I originally started Medical Mondays to give back and share my medical skills with the writing community. I honestly didn't expect it to come full circle and inspire me in such a significant way.

Thanks for stopping by! I'm looking forward to reading all your recycled and awesome posts!



121 comments:

Carole Anne Carr said...

Lovely to hear this story again, find all myths, folk tales fascinating and you are obviously making good use of them.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Lovely to read this, when looking back to post written previously it makes us think why we wrote this.
Does all the same memories remain.
This is a good idea and I will try and read as many as possible.

Yvonne.

Em-Musing said...

Ondine's Curse is such a pretty name for a wickedly lethal condition. Love this...your post, not the curse.

J.C. Martin said...

Wow, amazing that a mythical curse is actually a real medical condition! Nasty.

mish said...

Wow! I love the myth behind the medical ailment!
I wonder how many ailments have their beginnings in mythology?
Nice to meet you, Lydia!

~MISH~
http://writer-in-transit.co.za/deja-vu-blogfest/

Pk Hrezo said...

I love it when that happens! You gained something for yourself by giving back to others.
But what an odd condition... so do they just never go to sleep??? Impossible. I will just have to read your book so I can find out more. ;)

Sarah said...

YAY for Ondine's Curse! Er ... well, yay for the FOUNTAIN! It's such a cool part of the plot of your book, and that character :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I feel a sudden weight in my chest just thinking about this -- to have to consciously take each breath? It must feel like suffocating all the time!

I'll be interested to see how your character deals with the condition!

Vicki Rocho said...

I'm glad you picked this one because I DID miss it the first time around. I'll be paranoid about breathing today, hahaha.

Creepy Query Girl said...

awesome recycled post! That sickness sounds horrifying as does the curse! I can understand why it sparked your creativity!

DL Hammons said...

You did it! I thought you would pick a medical monday post, but I really wanted you to select something that provided us more insight into who Lydia was. You did both! A perfect post! Thank you so much for helping this blogfest become a reality, and trusting in my vision! You are a great blog friend!! :)

Laura Marcella said...

Hi, Lydia! The meaning behind the naming of Ondine's Curse is interesting, but the affliction is not. :( I'm glad it's a rare condition though!

Ciara said...

I've always enjoyed the Medical Monday posts. This one does not disappoint.

Old Kitty said...

What a scary curse!! Good grief!!! I love the story behind it though - such complex tragedy!!

Take care
x

Liza said...

I love that your discovery became a a part of your story! Thanks for hosting this blogfest. It's fun!

Timothy Brannan said...

I had not heard that myth before, but it is very cool. And it gives me an idea for my current book!

Thanks!

Lost_without_a_Map said...

First, wouldn't it be superb to be able to afflict any curse upon our mates if they were to 'cheat' on us; besides, us having to resort to such things like breaking their car windows. I mean, vandalism gets us incarcerated, but you could never prove who performed a curse. Secondly, you always think your life 'sucks' until you read of thing's like Ondine's Curse (kind of like the inability to handle any sort of germ or sunlight). I enjoyed it and know your novel will be a great, interesting, new read. I wait in anticipation of it.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Wow. What condition! You wouldn't have it long, that's for sure.

Margo Kelly said...

I wonder if a CPAP machine would help? Ha! Thanks for sharing a great medical mystery with us!

Coleen Patrick said...

That ailment sounds terrifying--just as bad as drowning! Thanks as always though for your cool med facts and I look forward to your book coming out :)

BECKY said...

Glad you reposted this, Lydia, because I hadn't seen it before. I always love your Medical Mondays! Very strange ailment, but isn't it fascinating how many different ones there are?!

Alison Miller said...

Oh wow! What an unfortunate condition. And now I'm totally intrigued by your story!

Colin Smith said...

As complex as the human body is, it kinda makes sense that conditions like this exist. I'm glad it's a rare condition, though. It must be a nightmare to live with... and your character no doubt knows all about that. It's great you can use your medical knowledge to shed light on these little-known conditions, and perhaps bring some comfort to those suffering with them, or caring for sufferers.

Green Monkey said...

oh boy....(long, deep, deliberate breath)

its fascinating truly it is (deep breath)

I will be here, breathing, waiting for your story. What a fun prompt that was!

and thank you for hosting this blogfest (deep breath)

Green Monkey ME

Cold As Heaven said...

I guess these people must be very tired, if they need to stay awake to stay alive >:)

Cold As Heaven

Little Ms. Fun said...

I, too, started breathing a little heavier as I read that. Great pick for the blogfest. It's very interesting!

erinjade said...

medical mondays are my favorite posts! and this one has me even more excited about your book!

i posted my deja vu too. fun idea for a blogfest. :)

Emy Shin said...

Yikes, that's a very terrifying condition -- and now I am even more intrigued by your novel! Cannot wait to read it. :)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I had never heard of this frightening condition....fascinating.
deja vu to you.

Julie Hedlund said...

Wow! I had never heard of Ondine's Curse, so I'm glad you re-shared this one. Now I'm very intrigued by your book. Is it for sale?

I would be so pissed if I gave up my immortality to a man who cheated that I would probably just kill him right then and there. :-)

Julie said...

I think myths like this are so fascinating, what an interesting post. Thanks for co-hosting this great fest! :)

Rachna Chhabria said...

I remember reading this on your blog and being fascinated by Ondine's Curse.

LD Masterson said...

Fascinating. Did you ever, as a new mom, listen to your infant breathe, as though if you weren't listening he/she might stop.

April Plummer said...

Wow, Lydia, first of all, I love that story. Beautiful and heartbreaking all at once, though I do think I've heard it before. Second of all...wow! To put that curse into your story! You've already got me all curious to read it. :) Good repost. I really love the romance of Ondine's Curse. But then, I'm a romantic. Hopelessly linked to my very unromantic husband!

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

Oh, definitely curious to read more. Looking forward to your Medical Monday posts.

Theresa Milstein said...

Lydia, I missed this post the first time around! Ondine's Curse - yikes. I hope I didn't think of it before I fall asleep. The last time I heard something about bad things happening when a person falls asleep was the movie Nightmare on Elm Street. That freaked me out.

Brinda said...

OMG! That is possibly the most terrifying condition I've ever heard of. I'll keep on eye on your upcoming release. That's cool that you've used the condition with a character.

Julie Dao said...

Lydia, that is so cool! I love how I learn something new every time I visit your blog. This sounds so interesting - is it congenital? When I sleep, I freak out if the blanket gets near my nose/mouth. I couldn't imagine struggling to breathe - it must be the worst way to die, EVER. Great repost and thanks to you and the other leaders for hosting this blogfest!

Rebecca B said...

What a weird and frightening condition!
Thanks for hosting the blogfest

carrieannebrownian said...

That sounds like a really scary condition. I've watched a lot of the weird medical shows on TLC, Discovery Health, etc., and I don't believe I'd ever heard of this one.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Since most people have never heard of this horrible condition, it should make for some very interesting reading. Thanks for hosting this fun blast from the past blogfest! Julie

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Interesting factoid and it's great you worked it into your novel.
Thanks for co-hosting.

Gina said...

Now that's a hell of a way to have to live. *shudders*

Great story and nice to meet you!

Jessica Bell said...

Wow! I never knew this existed. Do people actually suffer from this nowadays? What are the stats?

lbdiamond said...

I've always loved this post. ;)

Margo Berendsen said...

I love the story behind the curse! And I love how when you give to others, you get it back via inspiration. I've had that happen to me too. IT's so COOL!

julie fedderson said...

And the moral is, don't eff with a nymph. I love this post. It takes my breath away. HA!

LynNerdKelley said...

That would be a terrible condition to live with. As I was reading your post, I also thought it would be perfect for a character to have to deal with. I'm so glad you added it to one of your characters! Very cool.

R.A.Desilets said...

Crazy! I've never heard of that before! Thanks for reposting this :) Good choice

Krispy said...

Oh, this is awesome! I love the myth and it's a fascinating condition. No wonder it took root in your brain. :)

Thanks for this repost! What a gem!

cleemckenzie said...

It's hard to imagine living with a disease like that, isn't it? After reading about it it's hard to take breath for granted.

The Golden Eagle said...

It must be incredibly hard to live with that condition. I'll never take falling asleep and breathing for granted again . . .

Heather Day Gilbert said...

I'm number 33 on the Deja fest, and I have to say I LOVE your blog. Love the idea of bringing to light all these medical mysteries. I would've studied to be a doctor myself, if I'd only been blessed with any kind of mathematical abilities. Instead, I'll stick w/writing! Nice to find you, and I'm following your blog!

Chris Phillips said...

cool to see the original med. monday.

Carrie Butler said...

How cool, Lydia! Man, I cannot wait to read The Fountain! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I remember that post! And cool you used the curse in your story.

L.G.Smith said...

Wow, I love that it came around full circle and you used it in your novel. That's why I LOVE doing research. I just never know what odd fact I'm going to turn up that will send my novel in a new direction. :)

Francine Howarth: UK said...

Hi,

Ah, the circle of a writer's life: inspiration catches our breath and steals space in the sub-conscious! ;)

Lovely post!

best
F

Jennifer Wilck said...

Ondine's Curse is fascinating! Love that you've used it in your book.

Man O' Clay said...

Excellent post; thanks for recycling it! One of my favorite authors, George MacDonald, put me on to his favorite fairy tale: Undine, by Friedrich de la Motte Fouquee. It's based on the same myth you mentioned.

Thanks again!

Nisa said...

Ooh! Congratulations and it sounds so good!

Catherine Denton said...

This is a fabulous premise for a character! Oh man, but what a complicated life...

Thanks for your sweet comment on My Blog

A Lady's Life said...

Oh is this sleep apnea you are talking about?
I know many people afflicted with this. They need a machine to pump air to help them remember to breathe at night.

Hywela Lyn said...

What a frightening condition! I'm always fascnated by myths and legends and have used some in my own writing, as inspiration.

What an interesting story this was, I hadn't come across it before. Thanks for sharing.

Scarlett said...

Fantastic! I can only imagine a character saddled with this curse! The struggle to breathe - that which enables our very existence - must be literally, breathtaking to read. Would LOVE to hear more!

Jennifer Hillier said...

I can see what you picked this post - a great blend of medical marvel and drama!

Ok, so confession time? When I was a kid I went through a phase where I scared to sleep because I thought I might not wake up. I could only fall asleep if I was utterly exhausted. My poor mother. :(

Nicki Elson said...

Hey, that's super awesome amazing newses on those links! Congratulations.

How cool that this fascinating post inspired what I'm sure is a very cool aspect in your novel. Thanks for hosting this blogfest. :)

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

How totally awesome! I remember reading this post the first time you wrote it. How wonderful that it could inspire you like that. And congrats on your book deal!! :)

M Pax said...

Great that your own blog inspired your writing. It's a great condition to writer about.

Thanks for this great blogfest, Lydia. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I remember this post, in part because it's a fascinating bit of information and in part because I had a character named Ondine. :)
I so wish I'd realized this fest was happening and joined in....:(

Amy said...

Great post! I loved learning about the curse and how it's in your story. Thank you for sharing! :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Although I would never want this cursed disease, I think it would be fascinating to see a character suffer with it.

DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi Lydia. I'd vaguely heard of this condition but didn't know its name. Thanks for sharing.

Denise

Brenda McKenna said...

Oooh...chilling. This blog fest was a great idea--I love what you shared, and I'm glad you hosted it. Thanks!

Jemi Fraser said...

Very cool! I love when those little tidbits surface and becoming alive in the story :)

Sophia Chang said...

I love your medical Mondays series! Esp. the recent one about birth control.

Thanks so much for hosting this blogfest; I had so much fun going down memory lane.

Accidentalwriter said...

Once again, another amazing revelation Lydia. The human condition is a real paradox - full of great joy and wonder - and yet susceptible to unimaginable afflications/conditions as well. I couldn't help but draw a parallel between the Ondine Curse and the thought of never being able to write again. Our breathe comes in many shapes and forms.

Connie Keller said...

Loved this post! I can't wait to read the story.

BTW, thanks so much for organizing the deja vu fest! I love it. I'm just starting to visit all the blogs--I've spend the day nursing my post-surgery kids. :)

Arlee Bird said...

Oh, that's scary. What a horrible thing to acquire. Now I hope I don't remember this so I'm not waking up in the middle of the night thinking about it. On the other hand, at least I'd be waking up and still alive.


Lee
Wrote By Rote

Belle said...

I've never heard of this condition or the myth and found it very interesting. Thanks, and Merry Christmas!

Botanist said...

That's one nasty affliction! Thanks for hosting this blogfest...and how many entries are there to visit???

Kristy Shen said...

Wow. Lydia, this post is amazing! I never knew there was such a strange illness.

And now you've really intrigued me with your character. Must read "The Fountain" now!!!

Thank you so much for following me. I'm also following you :)

Juliann Wetz said...

This is fascinating! How could you not put it in a book? Now I want to, too. And I think it's so funny that you felt like you couldn't catch your breath just thinking about it. I almost felt the same way as I read this. Excellent post!

Donelle Lacy said...

I love it when our other talents or skills inspire our writing like this. It rocks hard. Your blog is lovely and this entry is just very interesting - and horrible! Horrible to think about and have happen to you, but a VERY interesting addition to a character bio.

Jennie Bailey said...

Wow - that is a really cool myth! What a horrible medical condition to have, though. And I'm so intrigue that you wrote it into your book. As if I couldn't wait to read it before this, now I'm even more anxious to get my hands on it!!

Em said...

Very interesting and very difficult! I would imagine one would have to be on a vent 24/7. I'm looking forward to your book!

Thanks for hosting the blogfest!

Nancy Thompson said...

Totally interesting, Lydia! I know the story of Ondine, but I didn't know about the disorder. Funny where we find inspiration. BTW - I have medical question I need to email you about. I need to make sure my scene is technically accurate. Thanks for cohosting this blogfest.

Emily said...

I can see why you chose this post! It's absolutely unforgettable. The disease, the myth, I could get lost in the complexities here. To be aware of each breath, to make the decision over and over...it would change everything. I can see how this disease would work well in a literary sense, too. It's poetic and compelling!

Pearson Report said...

This is my first time reading this - fascinating!

Now..the only thing to worry about, at night, is a power outage...

Great Do-Over post!

Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'd never heard of this medical condition before. Kind of puts even the worst case of snoring in a different light, doesn't it? "Honey, just be happy for me that I CAN snore!

~ D-FensDogg
'Loyal American Underground'

Len Lambert said...

I didn't know about this condition before...thank you, Lydia! This is a very interesting post.

Donna Hole said...

Kinda cool your own research inspired a post, which in turn inspired a writing concept. Nice.


This was an interesting post, and I think one that can inspire a lot of creativity.

Thanks for hosting and continuously dvulging your creativity.

........dhole

catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com said...

What an unfortunate ailment! Great that you are getting inspiration from your content.

Dave King said...

Great post. Enthralling. I'm not sure if it's too late to post in the blogfest!

gloriarichard said...

THANK YOU for co-hosting this great blogfest! At least my brain will get aerobic exercise this morning as I do "the hop." Sounds aerobic and fun, right?

Ondine's Curse is a disease I can't fathom. I consciously breathe to relax, get into a "happy zone." I can't imagine having to think in order to breathe. YUP! My gratitude list just grew longer.

I'll be back to visit.

Jeremy [JMH Digital] said...

totally up my alley...

Thank you for re-sharing.
Part of the Deja Vu Blogfest...

Jeremy [2thumbs]
Two Thumbs

Tara Tyler said...

that is a tragic ailment! i cant imagine having a person go thru life w/it!
great reply =)

Suze said...

Lydia, this was a very interesting post and I like how you articulated a person's 'relationship' to things fundamental to existence.

It piques my curiosity to read 'The Fountain.'

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sometimes we inspire ourselves!

Al Penwasser said...

After looking at that picture, I thought Ondine's Curse was split ends. I think that stopping breathing when you fall asleep would be worse, though.

Under Cover said...

That is fascinating. I wonder how to treat people with this problem? Must they be hooked up to a ventilator when they sleep? Great post!

sue said...

I found the information very interesting, I just have to work on not becoming paranoid myself!
sue

Andrea Franco-Cook said...

Interesting post. It's so cool that you afflicted one of your characters with the disease. Great post.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm so late visiting. I remember this post. Love Medical Mondays :)

Kylie said...

Fascinating! I have never heard of this. Thanks for hosting the blogfest and for choosing this post. I found it very interesting.

Angeline said...

That's fascinating. I'm always interested in weird and unusual things like that.

Stephen Tremp said...

I really like your Medical Mondays. So much inspiration can be drawn from myth and fact and weaved into the fabric of a story.

Emily Rose said...

This is an awesome post! I'm gonna link up, but is there a certain day I have to re-post my post? or can i do it whenever?

Emily Rose said...

I've linked up!

Romance Reader said...

Awesome post! Loved it!

Katy said...

Wow! I'm so glad you shared this! I've never heard of this particular medical condition or the myth it's named for. I can see why it fascinated you, and I think it's awesome that you wrote it into a story. :)

Nas Dean said...

Great story and thanks for reposting this.

Ghenet Myrthil said...

I'm excited to read your book and see how this is incorporated!

Brenda Drake said...

Wow, that is crazy. Thank you for sharing this re-post. I can't wait to read your book! <3

LTM said...

That is so supercool! And it's awesome that one of your characters has it now. And gah! Now I'm tinking about my breathing... In. Out.... In. Out...

Lydia!!! :D j/k <3

LisaAnn said...

Wow! I have never heard of this condition, and I am officially freaked out! (AND officially even more excited to read your novel!) Love this repost!

Medeia Sharif said...

I don't recall reading this, so I'm glad to be reading it now. And yay for getting inspired.

Have a great week.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Gosh, just reading this made me more concious of my breathing. LOL

cd sutton said...

I really enjoyed this information. Interesting, I must say, very interesting.....

Jessica Salyer said...

I actually had a patient the other day that had this. It was the first time I had ever seen it.

Kelly Dexter said...

I have never heard of this, but it sounds terrifying. It also sounds like great fodder for a novel.

Thanks for hosting the blogfest last month, and for stopping by to check out my blog!

 
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