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.