Day 1024

BS Syndrome


I’m not certain but I’d guess that my right leg doesn’t like my left. I’m pretty sure that if it had it’s way we would just chop it off and take to hopping. Half way up a mountain with a swollen knee, in full spasm and not a flicker of selective movement I have been inclined to agree with it, but then I remember that I’ve grown attached to lefty…quite literally. Aside from the fact that it has been joined to me for over 30 years, what it has had to put up with over the last few you wouldn’t wish on even the most hated limb (Captain Hooks peg leg for example). The truth is it gets a bad wrap, when actually it’s the entirety of the left side that’s, for want of a better word…struggs.

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Sooo what the badger is BS syndrome? No it’s not a congenital defect that effects politicians or something you suddenly contract when your parents ask whether you’ve had a cigarette before. In this case BS stands for Brown-Sequard. An average spinal cord is 12mm in width, of which I have 4mm left. A fragment of exploding disk decided to venture horizontally through over half of my cord, cutting the motor nerves for the left side of my body but the sensory nerves for the right…confused? Ye I was too. It’s because the motor nerves stay on the same side of your body from the brain down, where as the lateral spinotholamic tract that carries the nerves responsible for pain and temperature starts on the opposite side of the cord and only decides to cross over when they head off to their assigned body part. This means that I cut all of the pain and temperature nerves for the opposite side of my body below the level of my injury. BS syndrome only effects about 2% of people with spinal cord injuries and is most commonly associated with knife and gun shot wounds…(which basically makes me a gangsta…with a capital A).

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Gangsta or not it has resulted in my body being a tale of two halves. On one side a leg with no interpretation of pain and consequently a love of endurance and on the other side a constantly confused and over sensitive weakling…but thats fine because they’re both mine so on we trot….

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