We depend on our bodies and our senses to give us accurate feedback about the world around us – how it looks, if it’s hot, what the food we’re about to eat smells like, and so on. But what if you had a condition or a disease that meant you couldn’t trust what your own body and brain was telling you?
I’ve never thought much about it until now, but, yeah. It would totally bite the big one.
#5. It can make you only able to communicate with a single syllable or word.
Like Groot. Or Hodor (sob).
It’s called aphasia, and it has got to be frustrating as hell, because in your mind you’re forming perfectly full and logical sentences. Scientists have discovered that it’s caused by brain lesions, but are unsure of how or why they develop.
There’s another version of this disease called jargon aphasia, which causes a person to slide into gibberish in the center of perfectly normal paragraph, then return to coherence without seeming to notice an issue.
#4. It can make everything smell like a literal toilet.
Or what goes in a toilet, or your trash can in the final hours before garbage day, or your dog after it rolls in something dead, or…you get it. It’s called troposmia, and doctors don’t know if it’s a malfunction in the brain or the nose, but it’s gotta blow. It can make everything smell like one terrible thing, or each item can have its own (equally terrible) smell.
Basically, nothing smells good. Even bacon, I assume. *shudder*
#3. It can refuse to be numbed by anesthesia.
As someone who just had a baby and definitely for sure wanted to kiss the anesthesiologist after her epidural, this sounds truly awful. It’s known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and it basically means that there’s no numbing your pain or putting you under – which can be downright deadly if you end up needing any sort of surgery in your lifetime.
The weirdest part? We have no idea why it happens, what causes it, or how to fix it. I’m guessing at it’s least partly because the people who have it probably aren’t doing any volunteering for medical studies, given the circumstances.
#2. You can lose half your field of vision and not even realize it.
Our eyes are good at taking over for each other – if one is being lazy or has to be covered for some reason, if we lose a contact lens, etc, the “good” eye picks up the slack for the other. It works so well that you might not even feel all that different.
That can be dangerous for people suffering from hemianopsia, though. It’s usually the result of a stroke, and it wipes out half of your field of vision. It’s a relatively minor inconvenience, if you know it’s missing and can remember to turn and check your blind spots, but it’s a much larger problem if you don’t realize you’re not seeing everything. Which, terrifyingly, can happen.
#1. It can make you believe you’re in pain all the time.
When we sustain an injury, your brain sends out pain signals to make sure that we’re aware of the issue, stop the behavior that caused it, and seek treatment. Once that’s done, the signaling stops…for most of us. But not for those who suffer from complex regional pain syndrome. Their brains, for some reason, lose their shit and start spamming the body with constant, random, unwarranted pain signals.
We do know the issue is with the nervous system, and that it usually begins after a trauma (even a small one), but that’s about all. If it’s treated quickly, there is a good chance the condition will improve with time.
So that’s something.
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