That was the whole point, after all. To do with a few swipes of a blade what years on an analyst’s couch, or in an asylum’s cell, failed to accomplish. Freeman expended a great deal of energy trying to gather evidence for these beneficial changes. He kept meticulous records and was diligent about staying in touch with all of his patients, monitoring their progress. He looked for signs of improvement everywhere. Sometimes he saw evidence where others didn’t. For example, he always photographed his patients before their operations, then at some interval afterward. He developed the negatives himself and spent time peering into their pre- and post-operative eyes, reading them like tea leaves. In papers and presentations, he liked to point out how the eyes of most of his female patients looked notably more fearful and anxious pre-operatively. (He failed to attribute this to the fact that for the pre-operative pictures he almost always photographed the women while they were naked, while for the post-operative ones he almost always photographed them while they were fully clothed.)

Luke Dittrich, “Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness & Family Secrets”.


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