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Have Your Cuttings and/or Scars Ever Bothered You “Physically?”

Posted Jun 22 2008 12:00am

Some time ago, I wrote this post about showing your scars in public but that is not what I am referring to here. What I am asking is, in terms of a physical feeling, do they ever bother you, irritate you or can you feel anything from them at all? Initially, the feelings will be felt internally but then of course your brain will interpret them as external sensations.

What I have been noticing lately is that I am experiencing this with definitely my most recent cutting/scar that was done in late winter of this year and to a lesser degree, my first that required reconstructive surgery as I severed three quarters of my median nerve. It’s been a running joke (albeit not a very funny one?) that I became a very poor amateur surgeon myself as I only cut the nerve and no major arteries or veins. All of the medical staff at the hospital were in disbelief and even my Hands and Plastics Surgeon was shocked.

Nerves. It’s all about the nerves is what I am going to say.

I am feeling some vague sensations of pain, itching. That’s about it. It reminds me of what I believe I had called Postherpetic Neuralgia. Now don’t misunderstand, here, people. PA doesn’t have “Herpes.” No, Postherpetic Neuralgia is caused when you contract the virus called the Varicella Zoster Virus. That will bring on Chicken Pox in kids and Shingles (aka Herpes Zoster) in adults. The Postherpetic Neuralgia commonly follows the Herpes Zoster. Or at least it did with me?

It was bad, too. My concentrated outbreak of Herpes Zoster was all over my neck and shoulders. It was (and is) very painful. I don’t remember much of it but I was told that I just laid there a lot of the time and cried and cried. I was around 15 years old? I was covered in tonnes and tonnes of blisters and you just had to wait for them to go away. Lots and lots of Calamine was pretty much the only thing to use and some minor painkillers? It’s a virus so no antibiotics.

Afterward, the Postherpetic Neuralgia hit. Similar to now but perhaps worse due to the larger area of my skin affected. A vague pain and itch that you just can’t make “go away!”

So on to the nerves. Well with the first cutting I did, it is quite obvious a nerve (and a damn important one!) was damaged. I am still lacking a bit of feeling in my hand and some fingers but the surgeon told me that it might not be 100%. Fair enough. However, with my most recent cutting, I didn’t go deep enough to hit a major nerve. This is what I think happened, though. I think I may have knocked out some of my C Fibers with my knife.

This is where it gets kind of interesting. C Fibers have free nerve endings called Nocioceptors. If you don’t read the aforementioned link, Nocioceptors are pain sensing receptors that are involved in Neuropathy and/or Neuralgia. You see where I’m going with this?

Within the C Fiber link, it actually states their role briefly in Neuropathic Pain. “Trauma” is listed, so therein fits my cutting? Even more specifically for me because of feeling the pain and itchiness, well basic Nocioceptor, I suppose, and then the “Ultra-Slow Histamine-Receptive C Fiber” for itchiness.

Anybody else think this is neat or am I geeking out too much, here? I kind of thought the Histamine part was interesting. Treatment for Neuropathy and Neuralgia can involve Antidepressants and Anticonvulstants. Hmmm…some Histamine receptor stuff going on?

Now, just to wrap this all up, when I was experiencing the Postherpetic Neuralgia, I was always very stressed and tired. I am extremely stressed and tired now. I was not experiencing these feelings from my cuttings and/or scars prior to losing my job. As you all know (or do now), I am a very strong believer in the mind-body connection. I am reading what seems to be a good book on it now but I have just started. So perhaps a review will be in order later.

So, yes. I am going to take a stance right now–and it really may not be that ridiculous however a lot of the medical community balks at the mind-body connection. Stress is a definite trigger to Neuralgia/Neuropathy. Can anyone else out there relate?

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