An individual’s experience can only be described by themselves in their own words and language. This verbal expression emerges from the self with accompanying body language that together communicate to others. The communicated data cannot have the same meaning to the recipient as to the deliverer as they are both unique We can empathise though, particularly if we have had a similar experience. Of course when we resonate with someone, the process flows smoothly with utter ease and we feel good. Probably, those mirror neurons are bubbling away happily.
All too often in healthcare the patient is not permitted ‘freedom of speech’. Either due to time constraints or a feeling that they do not want to describe certain features of their condition for fear of being made to feel foolish or be accused of making symptoms up. This is common in CRPS because of the range of unusual feelings and experiences that people encounter. For example, an altered sense of where the affected body part is in space or a change in the perceived size. Both of these are very real and of course genuine. Those with an understanding of the science will appreciate both the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, in other words the symptoms and what is happening in the neuroimmune system to cause this emergent experience from the self, i.e. in the body part that the feeling is noted.
On this, I’d like to invite readers to post their own descriptions and metaphors about their experiences. You can use any language or metaphors that have meaning to you. Really express yourself. Of course, you do not need to identify yourself, this is a blog to synthesise the vocabulary of pain and CRPS. It needn’t be CRPS, any persisting pain experience illustrations are welcomed.