Before we launch into "Evaluation of a prototype tool for communicating body perception disturbances in complex regional pain syndrome," let me confess a few instances of my own body perception disturbances. Supported solely by mine own vision, mine own touch, mine own spatial orientation. I think you'll see why it's not something one wants to bring up in front of a well-educated, middle-of-the-road Republican physician. I might mention it to my Hawaiian-shirted, Birkenstock-wearing, droopy-shorted whiz-kid of a neurologist, but then he makes book on my degree of CRPS-induced insanity...
Okay, so you may have noticed a few posts where I blithely inquire: "Where are my legs?" -- and other such nonsensical tripe. True enough, sometimes I cannot locate my legs. Lately, that hasn't been the problem so much as determining which leg is which. The same is true with mine hands, these things called "hands" solely because they hang at the end of what are clearly forearms. Ah, but left hunk of hanging ham or right hunk of hanging ham? It can be a dilemma.
Then there are the days where my feet appear to have been surgically shortened. Days only outmatched by times when my left hand (only the left -- at least I think it is the left!) takes on the appearance of a lobster claw. Gone are the four fingers, in favor of a large pincer.
About half of the time, my feet perceive the solid floor, of whatever material, be it carpet, hardwood, over-waxed '50s linoleum, Carrara marble, the black volcanic sands of the Big Island, or a red dirt road, as water. Burning, shifting, untrustworthy water.
You probably don't entreat your limbs to do things -- no, you, the imperialist, the chef, the head of the gang, you just go around all Jean-Luc Picard-ish, barking, "Make it so!" in a slightly effeminate, yet headily masculine confidence of which we are all, thank you, quite tired. Me? "Please, Right Foot, if you're willing, if you're able, could you swing a bit to the left, as when you insist on going right, that puts my little toe in contact with the arm of my wheelchair (illegally parked bedside) and causes enormous pain. In return, I promise to postpone this afternoon's scheduled Do-It-Yourself Amputation (with both artichoke and white bean dip!)."
In any event, you learn, after eleven years or so, not to bring this shyte up in the presence of anyone deemed forensically qualified to gauge your mental health status. Deep, gloomy, suicidal clinical depression -- shoot, I'll confess that in a heart beat. That we could have Surf 'n Turf for dinner simply by collecting stray bits of feet and chopping off my left lobster claw? Not so much. Such is life with CRPS, but no one is going to tell you about it... This post will self-destruct five years to the second after you finish reading this article so kindly put into Open Access by the Journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
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