The bit where I talk about myself. Which usually isn’t a problem.

A sailor accidentally cut off his right index finger.

For forty years afterwards he was plagued by an intrusive phantom of the finger rigidly extended, as it was when cut off. Whenever he moved his hand toward his face—for example, to eat or to scratch his nose— he was afraid that this phantom finger would poke his eye out. (He knew this to be impossible, but the feeling was irresistible.)

He then developed severe sensory diabetic neuropathy and lost all sensation of even having any fingers. The phantom finger disappeared too.

It is well known that a central pathological disorder, such as a sensory stroke, can ‘cure’ a phantom. How often does a peripheral pathological disorder have the same effect?


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