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 well known for his compassionate method of sufferers stricken by profound neurological issues. but whilst an twist of fate on an uninhabited mountain in Norway leaves Dr. Sacks with a critical leg damage, he turns into the sufferer. in the course of what must have been a regimen restoration interval, he studies 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, one in all Dr. Sacks’ so much own works, this tense event is the place to begin of a desirable trip during the mysteries of notion, the actual substance of our identities, and the event of being a patient.

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Example text

I also tried-it was Miss Preston's last suggestion-"facilitation" she called it-to raise both legs simultaneously, in the hope that there might be some overflow or transfer from the good side. But, alas, not a trace! No "facilitation" whatever! After forty minutes, then, which left both Miss Preston and me exhausted and frustrated, we desisted, and let the quad be. It was a relief to both of us when she went over the other muscles in the leg, having me move my foot and toes, and other movements at the hip--abduction, adduction, extension, etc.

I fell asleep, but entered dreamland once again. I was on a riverbank overgrown with enormous lush trees, whose shadows dappled the slightly rippling water. It was sublimely quiet, almost tangibly quiet, the deep quiet wrapping me round like a mantle. I had my binoculars and camera with me. I was out to sight an extraordinary new fish-a wonderful thing, it was said, though few people had ever seen it. " I waited patiently, by its lair, for a while, and then whistled and clapped, and threw a stone in the water, to see if I could arouse the indolent beast.

Nurse Solveig, please-my name doesn't matter. And now, be so kind, please, and tum over. " 22 Becoming a Patient "Nurse Solveig," I replied, "can't you take my temperature by mouth? " "I cannot help that," she answered coldly. "I have my orders, and I have to follow them. " I thought to argue, or plead, or protest, but the expression on her face showed that this would be useless. Abjectly, I turned on my face, and the leg, unsupported, fell and prolapsed excruciatingly at the knee. Nurse Solveig inserted the thermometer and disappeared-disappeared (I timed it) for more than twenty minutes.

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