The case the article revolves around is so gross that I had to stop reading for awhile. Me, who is a connousieur of grossness, who is proud of how gross my story in the First Kiss anthology is. And yet I feel compelled to share. Since I am a good person I will share after the cut.
WARNING: If you are easily grossed out DO NOT continue reading. If you have ever had shingles DO NOT continue reading. I am not kidding about this warning.
The case subject is a woman who had shingles, which damaged the nerves in her forehead, and left her with an intense itch. She could not stop scratching. Various measures were used to stop the scratching but they did not work:
One morning, after she was awakened by her bedside alarm, she sat up and, she recalled, “this fluid came down my face, this greenish liquid.” She pressed a square of gauze to her head and went to see her doctor again. M. showed the doctor the fluid on the dressing. The doctor looked closely at the wound. She shined a light on it and in M.’s eyes. Then she walked out of the room and called an ambulance. Only in the Emergency Department at Massachusetts General Hospital, after the doctors started swarming, and one told her she needed surgery now, did M. learn what had happened. She had scratched through her skull during the night—and all the way into her brain.
Okay, I’m grossed out all over again. Gah! But you know what? That’s not even the worst thing about this extremely fascinating essay, the worst thing is it keeps making me itchy, and now I’m afraid if I scratch too hard I’ll go all the way through bone! Aargh!
But is most excellent article: the stuff about phantom limbs is totally fascinating. You should all read it. Just skip that paragraph. Though, um, for those of you who’ve read this far it’s too late, isn’t it? Sorry!
I go take another shower now.