First example - I love my family dearly, but why won't they stop sitting on my foot? Time and time again, they visit me in hospital and they sit on my foot. Bags, cameras, groceries, medication; everybody keeps putting things on my foot. Only, they're not. They are putting things in the space where my foot used to be; the handy quarter of a hospital bed which has now been freed up and serves as a one-stop storage solution in a cramped hospital ward. My foot has spent its preceding eight years agonisingly hypersensitive to even the slightest touch or breath of wind. People need to stop sitting on my foot.
Final example - It’s wet outside. Not just that ordinary wet that seems to frequent us most days in Britain, but that special kind of Biblical wet which makes us wonder if anything will ever be dry again. The wet saturates everything - clothes, bags, socks. I change my sock for a dry one, only the cold, wet, sticky sock on my brain’s imaginary right foot remains. All day long, the wet sock remains.
Such is the beautiful plasticity of the brain however, that my sense of footedness, my fear of crossing-points and my wet sock feeling will fade. Meanwhile, my phantom pains, specific and real as they are, will quietly being to repay their debt, for my brain will not perceive its new leg as being ‘prosthetic’. Do not pity me. For the first time in 8 years, I have a right leg. These fierce sensations will find a home in their new leg where they will seek liberation.
I know pain. I know gain.