Not the scarecrow

I have proof positive that I have a brain. I mean, I was always confident I actually had one, but there is something very reassuring about being able to see it in black and white. This picture was produced as part of an MRI I had earlier this week, which was part of a study into pain.

I volunteered to be a part of this great study as one of those “without chronic pain” which will help the clever scientists work out what the brain is actually doing to those poor people suffering chronic limb pain. Chronic pain is just so dreadful, so debilitating. I suffered a little nine years ago with nerve pain in my back, my leg and foot which resulted in surgery to relieve it. I was one of the lucky ones, pain-free the morning after surgery.

It is little wonder that so many people who suffer from chronic pain get themselves to a point where life is just too difficult and everything is completely coloured by their condition. Sensation discrimination is a little different for left-handers than right handers which is interesting. Lets face it, it’s all interesting isn’t it? We know so little about what pain actually is, and what the brain does in the process of convoluting those impulses, so it was really exciting to be a part of the study.

My amazingly strong bride can abseil down thirty storey buildings and walk the Kakoda Track, neither of which I could do, so it was cool to be able to do something she could not. Sticking your head into an MRI tunnel for thirty minutes is not for everyone. I am so glad we have brilliant researchers looking into this stuff. This sort of study will truly change lives.