Rock, Paper, Scissors

I saw Red Riding Hood this week. In general, I wouldn’t say I am doing well. Things are continuing to slide but in ways I often don’t appreciate fully until I am in a neurologist’s office.  Today, we went over the results from Neurologist 2 (who clearly deserves a name by now).  There is evidence of some sort of immune attack affecting the cerebellum and non-neuronal cells in my brain. No one seems to understand yet what this means, besides another round of labs.  It is also clear I am not getting a lot of REM sleep, which I could have told you – I am always tired.

As we did our usual physical exam – what pricks of a pin can I feel, can I follow her finger with my eyes as it moves to various locations, she added a new test that I like to call “Rock, Paper, Scissors” as the test closely resembles these movements of the hand.  First, the rock sign, then the hand takes a shape perpendicular to my lap, then the paper sign.  We start with my right hand. I see her movements. I make the rock sign with my hand and then am at a complete loss as to what to do next. I ask her to repeat the motions – rock, paper, scissors – but as I stare at my hand in confusion, I have no idea what to do.

We switch to the left hand – rock, paper, scissor, rock, paper, scissors – I move through the motions quickly and with ease.  But when we return to my right side, my brain can’t seem to tell my right hand what to do.  I burst into tears. I am so angry at my brain and my hand.  I am so angry, I can’t find the words. Or is the absence of words also the sign of a problem?  I honestly don’t know.