Posted by: peterhact | March 25, 2010

How is it that our minds are surrounded by such frail shells?

I recently had gallstones. they really brought me closer to understanding myself and my limitations. When the first stone broke down and passed, the experience was that of a broken rib – I just couldn’t breathe, it really was very painful – and seeing that I have a very high pain threshold, for this thing to make me suffer made me feel as if this was it, it was all over, I was going to die.

I have never had such an intense experience in pain before. the worst of it was that I found that the fever was far worse than the initial pain, I still have the fevers, but the first couple of fevers left me delirious, hallucinating and just unable to function. I was bathed in fetid sweat, even though I was showering every day and night, and I really didn’t feel that it was having any impact. I watched the matrix movie on Go! and that probably didn’t improve  my mental state, frail as it was. I clung to panadol as my saviour, to kill the fever, but they would return every night and leave me in my own personal hell – 4am getting to sleep, waking with a soaked pillow and sheets and all of my rehydration for naught.

My mind was playing tricks on me as it was being boiled by the fevers. I thought, at one point, I was too cold, and cranked the heater up to compensate. I was wearing heavy clothes and drinking hot tea to warm up, not knowing that I was actually too hot to get any warmer – my body was convinced that I was cold, the thermometer told me otherwise.

The thing that stuck throughout this experience was that my mind, the controlling component of my body and functions was being tricked into believing that the opposite of what was happening, and it was being led to believe that I was damaged in some way, even though it did not know how, and it couldn’t fix itself. 

We are the inventors of such complex technology, how is it we are limited by our own frail shells?

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