By Cassandra S. Crawford
Phantom limb discomfort is without doubt one of the so much intractable and cruel pains ever known—a soreness that haunts appendages that don't bodily exist, frequently persisting with uncanny realness lengthy after fleshy limbs were traumatically, surgically, or congenitally misplaced. The very lifestyles and “naturalness” of this soreness has been instrumental in sleek science’s skill to create prosthetic applied sciences that many suppose have transformative, self-actualizing, or even transcendent strength. In Phantom Limb, Cassandra S. Crawford significantly examines phantom limb soreness and its courting to prosthetic innovation, tracing the foremost shifts in wisdom of the reasons and features of the phenomenon.
Crawford exposes how the meanings of phantom limb discomfort were stimulated by way of advancements in prosthetic technological know-how and ideas concerning the impressive strength of those applied sciences to free up and essentially modify the human physique, brain, and spirit. via in depth statement at a prosthetic sanatorium, interviews with key researchers and clinicians, and an research of ancient and modern mental and scientific literature, she examines the modernization of amputation and exposes how scientific figuring out approximately phantom limbs has replaced from the late-19th to the early-21st century. Crawford interrogates the effect of advances in know-how, drugs, psychology and neuroscience, in addition to adjustments within the which means of limb loss, well known representations of amputees, and corporeal ideology. Phantom Limb questions our so much deeply held principles of what's basic, common, or even ethical concerning the actual human physique.
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Additional info for Phantom Limb: Amputation, Embodiment, and Prosthetic Technology
Although researchers and amputees themselves had described forgetting since the late 1900s, accounts of intentional exploitation did not surface until around 1980, including general references to phantom utility, as well as specific reports of their benefit in counting, writing, or shaking hands (with a prosthesis). Increasingly, phantoms were characterized as vitally productive; they were not “natural” agents of the body that at times proved to be beneficial, but rather, they were inherently productive and beneficial phenomena because they were “natural” agents of the body.
Superadded features demonstrated that lost limbs had corporeal histories. Long after amputation, they continued sensing tepid water, the slippery wet of melting ice, or the pleasure of a friendly tickle. They continued wearing precious engagement rings, favorite pink lace-lined socks, or dreaded blood-filled boots. ” Reflexively or “unconsciously,” amputees have attempted to step out of bed, answer the phone, rub an eye, or shake hands only to find that the effort was in vain. Not only did phantoms disappoint when a man’s efforts went unrealized, but they were also cruel reminders of functional and physical losses.
Because these sensations were so realistic, some amputees reported that their phantoms were seriously disquieting impediments causing Characterizing Phantoms >> 37 them to alter the manner in which they moved in or through the world. For instance, amputees might purposively move in ways intended to protect the protruding phantom for fear of hurting it or others or to accommodate the ghost’s sometimes atypical angle. [or] the case of a patient who had to sleep on his belly because his phantom hand remained inconveniently situated on his back.
Phantom Limb: Amputation, Embodiment, and Prosthetic Technology by Cassandra S. Crawford