Liz's colonic journey

Haptic feedback

Did you know that haptics is the study of communication by touch, and that it is a cross-over field of applied technology drawing on a range of disciplines (medicine/surgery, electronics, mechanics, education etc)?  I learned this as I listened to a podcast last night called “Putting the feel back into touch” . It’s part of a BBC 4 series of radio programmes called Click On, that reports on technology developments. The possibilities that this programme opens up make my head swim.

I was particularly interested in the segment about how researchers at Cambridge are working to simulate the feel of the different kinds of organ tissue (in this case the liver) so that surgeons doing keyhole surgery and the various ‘scopes can have access to that touch information.  This experiential information has gotten a bit lost in the digital advances we’ve seen. Success in this area would lead to surgeons being able to distinguish between normal and abnormal tissue without chopping anyone up. I think this might be a Good Thing.

My interest in the programme is quite obvious I think, but it also talked to two rather weird experiences I had yesterday.

Pat and I went to see the insurance broker about our finances, also to find out how to claim the dread disease payout on one policy. This is a Good Thing, I think – they give you the death benefit before you peg – they call it ‘escalation’. (I think the broker has a notion of re-investing, whilst I’m gleefully thinking about items on my bucket list. Obviously we have to make sure that if we live to 103, we won’t have to pull out the moth-eaten tent  and pitch it in the park in front of Pinecrest Centre.) Let’s just say our ideas differ!

After being buried in numbers  – including the bit about how much we’ll need to have in order to retire – always fear inducement involved in this sales pitch and more zeroes than my head can accommodate – we decided to splurge at Exclusive with the vouchers I was given for my 50th birthday. One of my guilts is that I haven’t said thank you in writing to everyone – I was brought up better than that. I plead being off-colour (how’s that for an excuse?).

Book shopping is lovely. Being in the Pavilion was not. The first weird incident happened when we were going down in the lift from the mezzanine level. The large lady in front of us was not quick to move when we got to the Exclusive level, so Pat thought she was not getting out and was unaware of us behind her wanting to do so. (May I also say that neither of us were exactly Jumping Jack Flash either) Pat said, “Excuse us please”, politely, Pat is never anything but polite, where as I’m often a bit of a bulldozer. The look that she got back was so aggressive that it shook me. Worse, it wasn’t just a cognitive experience, the psychic jab hit me directly in my midriff and nearly bent me double. It’s true that I was already feeling a bit grey – the blue lip feeling? So maybe the look and the bodily experience were not connected in that way. My instinctive emotional response was to ‘put up my dukes’,  I’ve always done Fight before Flight or Play Dead as survival strategies. My anger, contained, made me feel even worse.

Something similar happened on the way home, when another driver reacted to Pat hooting, because he was dawdling up Stapleton Road at 10kms an hour whilst talking on his cellphone, with the most incredible level of rage. Again, my midbits seemed to react at the same time. I was too tired to get angry, which probably saved me from worse discomfort, if my hypothesis of connection is true.

My  questions are, am I ultrasensitive because of what my body is dealing with? Do each of us deal unconsciously deal with this every day, and inflict it on others? If so, is there a way of breaking this nasty feedback cycle?

I had ‘cheated’ at the Pav, when we stopped for lunch at Gitanos, and had a toasted cheese sarmie and about ten chips – which were delicious and more-ish. I was quite proud of my restraint though I probably should have had a salad! Let’s say it was nice to get home, picking up Pepper and Rocky fresh from the doggy parlour on the way. They looked beautiful when Sharon came round to help me walk them around the block – but hyped! (I think the choccie biscuits that Cindy was feeding them when I arrived might have had something to do with that.) Of course the first thing R did when we got back was hop in the pool.

Elaine kindly agreed to pop past and take out my stitches, which will save me a doctor’s visit or  having to wait till next Wednesday. Incredible what a relief that is, even though they’re not really worrying me, physically. I think it’s the idea of healing happening that soothes me. The stitches are like a symbol of unwholeness.  

Gosh I’m being reflective today. I’m not sad or depressed – just thoughtful. Might this be the product of the beetroot, ginger and carrot juice this morning?

I want to end off by acknowledging my sister, on her birthday – another special Scorpio that I’m honoured to know. Thank you for loving me in spite of all I put you through when we were kids, Lou! One thing I have had even prior to my arrival on the planet was the good taste to choose an amazing family. Why she chose us is another thing! Happy Birthday Sis, may everything that happens today let you know how precious you are.


Comments on: "Haptic feedback" (2)

  1. Gill Shackleford said:

    Dear Liz

    Spoke to Ann last week and she told me about your journey and gave me the website details … but I couldnt just read without telling you that I am one of your now admiring throng who stands in awe of the journey you are now undertaking, your positive stance, and the very down to earth way you are dealing with the ups and downs of your challenge.

    I am devastated to hear that you have cancer. It seems like so many people are having to deal with this. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    On reading your latest post – perhaps I can point you in a direction for you to investigate further….

    Stress and trauma manifest as disease years down the line. All trauma starts between 0 and 6 years of age. Where incidents are communicated to you as being life threatening this imprints on your brain and creates a parallel disease which manifests years down the line.

    With respect to your anger, for example, one thought of anger is so toxic it can shut down your digestive system for six hours. So when you actively felt it – you definitely did – and yes, probably more so than most because you are so sensitive at the moment.

    Have you heard of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique). By initiating a very simple tapping process it works as a form of very quick and effective form of acupuncture with your fingertips and dissipates things like anger, fear, etc within minutes.

    You may want to investigate Meta Medicine to which works well with EFT and Matrix Reimprinting (which takes you back to incidents to resolve them without trauma).

    If you are interested I can help (but I dont want to intrude)!

    By the way – I love your blog – full of warmth, humour and tenacity! You go girl! You have so many thought and prayers in our hearts wanting to lift you up!

    With much love

  2. Here’s another irony (and as we know there are many in life)_ contemplative thingymajigi_ according to wikipedia_ our heart is generally the size of our fist_ same but different?… the dichotomy in flight or fight! Talking about fighting… Sebastian read me this MINDFUL quote this morning, on the way to school, from a book he has on weapons: “A sword is never a killer, it is a tool in the killer’s hands” (seneca). No sure how this fits with your post but my thoughts are going on tangents_ and I simply wanted to share this with you… I think your post has also made me feel reflective… X

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