Saturday, June 06, 2009

Sensory Inventory XII

Proprioception (pronounced /ˌproʊpriːəˈsɛpʃən/ PRO-pree-o-SEP-shun); from Latin proprius, meaning "one's own" and perception) is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. Unlike the six exteroceptive senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing, and balance) by which we perceive the outside world, and interoceptive senses, by which we perceive the pain and the stretching of internal organs, proprioception is a third distinct sensory modality that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally. It is the sense that indicates whether the body is moving with required effort, as well as where the various parts of the body are located in relation to each other.

My inner sense of proprioception is somewhat compromised, because my inner ear sense of balance signal to the brain are poorly received, if at all. This give me some advantage in that I do no get dizzy -- but neither can I sense that I am bending over the same way most do it. I get visual cues from seeing the world around me, and can receive proprioception signals that tell me how my ankle and hip joints are situated with respect to the rest of my body. The rest is just some kind of magic. It works much better with all the senses firing together, let me assure you. I stumble a lot, because I do not effectively sense where my feet end up, or I forget inbetween steps. It is just another challenge I deal with.

Other sensory impairment continues as before, with some modifications. I can feel some touch on the bottoms of my feet now, but not much on the top. The left foot always sends pins-and-needles sensation like it is asleep. My hands are fully sensitive now most of the time, which is a great relief. My midsection and thighs continue to feel like sheathed in leather.

A slight diminishing in the degree of proprioception sensitivity in my hips has worried me. Sometimes it feels like before, when I could not stand up with my eyes shut. I talked to the neurologist about it last week, and he checked what he could, but it is a difficult issue to address objectively, and I may be stressing about not much. Anyway, it is something I will be paying close attention to over the next few months. Could be indicative of new Shwanomma -- new tumor development -- or regrowth of the tumor on my spinal column.

We'll see...


Patricia said...


I hope the best for you but of course I am very conscious of how long some battles can run. My own has run 17 years. One great gain has been a deeper perspective of life. In the light of my family's long battle, many things I thought important have shown themselves to have been foolish concerns, the "broken fingernails" of my life I thought were such misfortunes. Life has been wearing, but I'm grateful for the big push off the diving board into deeper water.

Patricia said...
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a little music said...

One of the things I see is the long-term progress. You see the day-to-day slogging along, but I look back and see where you are vs. where you were 6 months ago. The difference is vast. You aren't wearing a leather shirt any more, just patches of leather. You should take up riding a Harley - built in chaps. Good stuff!

Keep up the good work, and remain in your patient diligence. You are being rewarded in ways you don't even realize.

I love you.