I caught the tail end of an NPR story during my commute. It was about Alien Hand Syndrome, and it sent me scampering off to Google, because stuff like that fascinates me. Imagine having a body part with a mind of its own. (Okay guys, get your mind out of the gutter.)
First of all, lest you panic, this syndrome is very rare. There have been less than 100 cases documented. And thank goodness for that, because it sounds like a living hell.
It usually crops up in individuals with epilepsy so severe that they have to have their left and right brains surgically separated in order to stop the constant seizures. Needless to say, there are bound to be side effects when you take such extreme measures.
As most of us know, the left side of the brain controls the right side of the body, and vice versa. The left side also is the verbal side. So when you separate the brain in two in this manner, you are leaving the right side of the brain and the left side of the body with no way to communicate, and no way to express themselves logically. Apparently that pisses them off, and the left hand, in particular, tends to act out.
People with this syndrome are often unaware of what their left hand is up to, and it’s often up to no good. There have been stories of people being beaten by their own hand, or choked, or stabbed. The left hand will sometimes try to steer their cars off the road. Or your right hand turns the page of a book you are enjoying, and your left hand decides to tear all the pages out. Or “you” want to get dressed, and “it” wants to get you naked in public. How mortifying!
For some reason this reminded me of the Cymothoa Exigua, which is a parasite that causes the tongues of fishes to atrophy, and then pretends to be that fish’s tongue for the rest of its life, robbing it of nutrition. That something like that even exists freaks me out. I think it’s the lack of control over your own body that does it for me. And it makes me wonder what is actually going on inside our skulls. And not in a good way.
Take a quick inventory. If all your body parts belong to you and cooperate, give thanks to the universe.
Like the way my weird mind works? Then you’ll enjoy my book! http://amzn.to/2mlPVh5