A Leg to Stand On by Oliver Sacks

By Oliver Sacks

The writer of twelve books, together with the bestselling Awakenings, the guy Who Mistook His spouse For a Hat, Musicophilia, and Hallucinations, Oliver Sacks is across the world popular for his compassionate method of sufferers tormented by profound neurological issues. but whilst an coincidence on an uninhabited mountain in Norway leaves Dr. Sacks with a serious leg harm, he turns into the sufferer. in the course of what must have been a regimen restoration interval, he stories an overpowering sensation that his injured leg is now absent from his physique, and certainly from his actual information. In A Leg to face On, considered one of Dr. Sacks’ so much own works, this stressful adventure is the place to begin of a desirable trip during the mysteries of conception, the actual substance of our identities, and the adventure of being a patient.

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They hadn't meant to sound inflexible or peremptory. They seemed pleasant enough, in an impersonal way: doubtless they lacked authority in the matter; I would do best to ask my surgeon in the morning. They had said that my operation was scheduled for 9:30, and that the surgeon-a Mr. Swan-would look in to see me first for a chat. " Besides, more important, my entire life had been directed towards awareness and observation-was I to be denied the opportunity of observation now? I phoned up my family and friends, to let them know what had happened, and was happening, and to say that if I should, by malchance, die on the table, I wished and willed them to make suitable extracts from my notebooks and other unpublished writings, and publish these as they thought fit.

One understands that this is protective, but it is quite dreadful too. And I was seized, overwhelmed, by this dread, this elemental sense and dread of 27 A LEG TO STAND ON degradation, throughout the dragged-out formalities of admission, until-suddenly, wonderfully-humanity broke in, in the first lovely moment I was addressed as myself, and not merely as an "admission" or thing. Suddenly into my condemned cell a nice jolly staff nurse, with a Lancashire accent, burst in, a person, a woman, sympathetic-and comic.

It had none of the springiness, the tone, of normal muscle; and it wasn't just "flabby"-it was completely atonic. I had a qualm of absolute horror, and shuddered; and then the emotion was immediately repressed or suppressed. I hurriedly shifted my attention to pleasanter things. This was very easy to do. Doubtless I'd find that I'd been making 34 Becoming a Patient some absurd mistake-like putting the key upside-down in the lock-and discover that everything was working OK in the morning. " And as for that nonsense with the legwell, it was just that, nonsense.

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