Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nerve.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!
My original thoughts for this prompt were: “You’ve gotten on my last nerve!” or “You have some nerve!” or “The nerve of that man!” … maybe to write a short fiction piece utilizing the notion that someone has gotten on the key figure’s last nerve.
Instead I’m going with something much nearer and dearer to me: my feet and hands. And nope, I’m not going to talk about neuropathy, because I don’t have that. I did work with cancer patients, so I could talk about neuropathy, but I’m not gonna.
I have a weird… condition?… that I have talked to neurologists about when I was seeing them for other reasons. I have talked to several people. No one has ever heard of what I describe let alone experienced it. So, I’m throwing open the windows wide here. If anyone reading this post has any experience of this condition, or know someone who has, please! comment below! Have I piqued your interest yet?
If I am experiencing heightened emotions, any heightened emotions and so sadness, happiness, horniness, and even anger, the palms of my hands could “buzz.” They don’t buzz way more than they do buzz. Palms buzzing is infrequent but not rare. I can’t accurately describe the sensation. It isn’t the normal “electrical” type jolt of pure nerve excitation, but there is a buzzy component to it. It also has a heaviness to it, almost — but not quite — a dull ache and throbbing. It does not hurt, but it doesn’t feel good either. I generally have to place the thumb of one hand into the palm of the other and rub hard circles with the thumb. Then I switch off to the other hand and repeat.
If things are particularly excited, the bottoms of my feet join in for the same experience. I will either “have to” rub my bare feet on the carpeting (or if you are into TMI, the mattress), or take one at a time and rub the sole into my shin bone.
Generally this happens to both hands, or both feet. Although the left hand or foot is usually the stronger feeling. It is never (?) just feet. It is hands, or hands and feet. I have had this since I was a child, and it wasn’t until I was a young adult that I realized this wasn’t something everyone experienced!
mmhmm. Weird huh? But that’s not all:
I am/was a clinical massage therapist, and one of my specialties was working with cancer and lymphedema patients. One of my training classes for working with oncology patients included a short segment on using Chinese acupressure points and meridian lines. I had zero knowledge of such things and while interested and intrigued, I also had a healthy does of skepticism. We were given a “cheat sheet” of some treatment areas, and these were for some basic palliative sessions. Then we had some wonderful volunteers who agreed to be guinea pigs for us. All the volunteers were in some stage of cancer or recovery. All of the students were already licensed professionals, so it wasn’t too terribly scary. But it was definitely for me a by-the-numbers session. I had the laminated cheat sheet actually propped on the patient, with her amused permission of course. She had no idea about acupressure or the meridians either, and this was her first time with that kind of massage session.
I worked the pressure points in her foot and then with the flat of my hand started tracing slowly up the “liver meridian” of her lower leg. Almost immediately my hand started to buzz, and all I could do is just swear silently at it because I did not want to interrupt the session to knead out the feeling in my own hand! I chalked it up to performance anxiety. The patient was just lying there after having blissed out from the foot work. Or was she? When my hand started buzzing, she started shifting. Coincidence? Who knows. I went back to looking at my cheat sheet to move from point here to point there. At specified points along the way I was to stop and do some concentrated pressure with circular motion on whatever point it was. Even though it is called the liver meridian not all of the points on the line have to do with the liver. Some do. Some don’t.
My hand buzzing, I got to the first point, did the pressure rub and moved to the next further up the leg and… my palm nearly buzzed off my hand. It startled me so much I did momentarily break contact. (Just thinking about it is making my left palm start to buzz right now!) I could barely touch her again, but did, and did the pressure rub. I did not tell her or anyone what my hand was doing. However, about the time my hand pulled back instinctively from the really uncomfortable feeling of me touching that spot on her leg, the patient suddenly moved her hand to where her liver was and made a little “oof” noise.
I moved on and there were no further incidents. Because I was just following a chart blindly, I had no idea what that specific spot on her leg was linked to. After the session I looked it up, and it was for her liver! Just where her hands had moved to when she also oofed. That specific point is used for is for treatment of hepatitis. Again, after the session I talked with the patient, and asked her why she grabbed her liver area. She said it was really weird, but all of a sudden that area got really hot and felt odd. It wasn’t painful but it didn’t feel good. I asked her if she knew that was her liver area. She was not aware. Although she then did tell me she had had some recurring bouts of… hepatitis.
Yeah. That happened. This was truly a double-blind experience. Neither she nor I had any experience with acupressure, and yet… my damn hands.
While I was still practicing, I had similar things happen. They were rare, but sharp when they occurred. I remember one particular woman that had a spot that I couldn’t comfortably replace my hand on after I was zapped off it the first time. I never said much to the patients. I might ask if they felt anything when I went over a spot and my hands burned. Often they would say they felt something, but it was fleeting. There’s no way I would ever claim anything was diagnostic! That would have been horrible. But I always wondered. And that’s where you start getting into quack theory and no, I just wouldn’t go there.
But it happens. I never went in to purposefully have it happen. Frankly, I generally forget about it until my palms/feet start buzzing and then it makes me stop and reflect a moment on what the fuck is going on.
So, with my recent account of social issues with online friends? My palms and soles have been working overtime, to the point where my thumbs are uncomfortable from all the rubbing into palms they have been doing. The nerve of them…