Placebo Effect

I sprained my right ankle. I have just gotten off the car and stepped on the sidewalk. My right foot must have slipped off the edge, twisting it and sending me and my bag flying on the floor. My left shin actually broke the impact of the fall so I didn’t land on my face. But I fell, nonetheless.

My husband, who have just dropped me off, was keeping Elmo in place, when he noticed the crowd beside his car. And Elmo was peering curiously at the window, “What is Mommy doing?” That was when he saw me “sprawled” on the steps. (I’m such a klutz, y’know. I’ve fallen off stairs and potholes and grassy slopes, in Manila, in Cebu, in Thailand. πŸ˜› )

Terci went out to help me as I hobbled into the car. When I got in, Elmo bombarded me with questions. “Mommy, what happened?” “Mommy, why did you fall?” “Mommy, why did your bag fly?” “Mommy, does it hurt?” “Mommy, are you alright?” And then he went down and got hold of my right foot.

“What are you doing?”

“I will kiss it. :-* There, it’s better now Mommy.”

Whenever Elmo would hurt himself, he’d tell me to kiss and sometimes massage the painful area. And almost magically, he’d feel relief. Placebo effect? Still not fully myelinated spinothalamic tracts? Central modulation of pain? Β Some signals diverted to the dorsal columns? Whatever the mechanism, it sure does wonders. 😎

And despite the searing pain, I couldn’t help but smile. It still hurts a lot (I couldn’t stand on it, and had to crawl up the stairs to get to the bedroom), but Elmo’s little gesture sure brought me comfort. ^_^


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