Mary Lou Heater
4 min readAug 21, 2021

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The Space Between Her Ears

“I renamed the planets,” she said. And I started to jot down notes. Over the years as therapist, nurse, and provider, I literally have heard thousands of stories. Bits and pieces of others have stuck in my consciousness but the entirety of this intrigued and stayed with me. I have been known to say to my patients that we, as humans, are more than a chemistry set and an electrical system. Yes, there’s white matter, grey matter, and mind matter. But we are a chemistry set, a power grid, as well as a plumbing system. An electrical impulse triggers a chemical messenger and the heart pumps blood flowing through our pipes; the bladder flushes the fluids; the colon excretes the solids. The brain is often compared to the CPU of a computer which is realized by a series of transistor circuits. Our brains are driven by an electrochemical connectivity matrix comprised of complex arrangements of neurons, synapses and receptors. Suffice to say, scientists are continually learning about the intricacies of the mind. But what we do know is that it will do everything it can to protect itself from attack. Like stress. We know stress kills. Think heart attack. But what might give you a heart attack, may just give me a headache. In metallurgy, they talk about tensile strength — the point at which steel will snap versus it’s yield strength. Yield strength is basically it’s give, how much bend it has, it’s point of elasticity that when the stress is removed it…

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Mary Lou Heater

Doctor of Nursing Practice specializing in adult mental heath, aging and addictions. Writer, lover of words, and ideas.