Friday, 17 May 2013

I Love My Thrift Shop / People Who Don't Perceive Pain

I know I keep going on about it, but I managed to find the best stuff at my local thrift shop the other day, this baby blue sweater and orange blazer included. I really like pairing light blue and orange together, it's one of my favourite colour combinations (after lilac + orange).

sweater - Thrifted
blazer - Thrifted
skirt - c/o Sheinside
shoes - Chicory
tights - c/o Oasap
necklace - c/o Merrin & Gussy

In psychology the other day, I learnt about a really interesting (and somewhat terrifying) super rare condition called "congenital analgesia". People with the condition, like Ashlyn Blocker, don't ever feel physical pain.

Congenital insensitivity to pain is usually caused by a mutation in DNA on what is known as the "SCN9A" gene. The normal function of the gene is to assist in sending signals from nerve cells to the brain. An essential part of one type of nerve cells is to detect and transmit pain signals (so you know to draw your hand back when you touch something hot, for example). The mutation in this gene inhibits the sensation of pain, and so people with this particular mutation don't ever feel physical pain.
This is chromosome number 2 (out of 23), and this is the location of the gene on that chromosome. We all have this gene, but in people with congenital analgesia, it has become mutated (image source)
At first, not feeling pain might sound like a gift or some kind of superpower, until you consider how important pain really is for our survival. For example, Ashlyn could happily plunge her hands into boiling water, and the first hint she might get that something is wrong  (apart from now having learnt from experience that putting body parts in boiling water is not a good thing to do) is when her hands are totally cooked and melted away. Or, you might know that you're sick and have to go to the doctor when you get really bad stomach pains - but if you have congenital analgesia, you wouldn't get this warning signal that something is wrong. This article tells of a woman with the condition who gave birth, and didn't realise her pelvis had been totally shattered in labour and was bleeding internally until she was physically unable to walk a few weeks later.

Although life without pain is actually a lot tougher than you would think, Ashlyn Blocker and other people with congenital analgesia have helped science greatly by providing clues as to what can cause pain signals to go the other way - being over-sensitive and causing chronic pain for no reason, for example - and may be able to help with treatments of these conditions in the future.

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  1. Not only the clothes are beautiful but the info about insensibility to pain is really interesting!
    Great post, thanks for the info!

  2. I've seen you in the Modcloth Style Gallery, and I'm so glad I checked out your blog. I love your style! You're going on my daily reads list for sure. :)

    xo, Mandy

  3. cool!!! You are my favorite blogger!!!!

  4. Keep telling us about the thift shop and show us the loot, I'm always interested :P if you've ever read the Lisabeth Salander series, her half brother suffers from this condition and it makes for a very interesting read

  5. Great look!! I like it!

  6. I first heard about that condition while I was watching "Grey's Anathomy" (yap, I;m hooked to crappy medical TV shows) and my first reaction was: "That's not good". But from time to time I really wish I have that, since I have idiopatic migrenes that can last for days. Currently I'm having one that lasts 8 days, feels crappy and I have exam tomorrow >: |

    1. Oh and BTW - I like that thrift shop too, finds are amazing :)

  7. That blazer is awesome!
    That disease does not sound like a cup of tea at all. How do they live day to day? It's just crazy to think there's people out there that don't get the warning signals from their bodies. :(

  8. I read an article about congenital analgesia once and this guy who had it jumped off the roof of his first story house on his birthday as a present to his friends. He got up afterwards and told everyone he was fine and then died a few days later as a result of internal bleeding...
    On a brighter note, loving the blazer!

  9. Oh my goodness, that blazer is kind of amazing. Also, that sweater looks so comfortable! Isn't great, but also kind of dangerous to the wallet, having such an amazing thrift store close by? I have one near my summer house that I can walk to that has a $1 basement. So good!

    Also, that article was so interesting! I guess sometimes it is good to be grateful for things like pain; even if it sucks, it has a purpose, right?


  10. I love your posts, that blazer is amazing. I also love the science paragraphs at the bottom although I'm not the smartest cookie it helps me feel a little bit smarter!

    Jamie-Lee | Glitter Infatuation | Beauty & Lifestyle Blog! x

  11. Sorry if this is a tad creepy, but I've just been trawling through your blog for a few days now and it is so damn good :) All your outfits are awesome and you're so pretty and your wigs are super cool and just :O I love the science bits at the end of every post too, makes me feel slightly less guilty about procrastinating for my bio exam ;)

  12. Cute outfit!

    Also, being that I have fibromyalgia and endometriosis, I would love to suddenly not be able to feel pain!

  13. Love this blog post Annika! Is it weird that the reason I love this is about the science fact? But the outfit is lovely too...

    I always knew there was something wrong with me. I usually don't feel any physical pain at all. Thankfully, I'm not like Ashlyn Blocker. I can still pain from time to time but mostly none. I remember when I was 14, I accidentally bumped my head on the wall and walked away like nothing happened until my cousin shouted that my head was bleeding


    1. WOW. really? That's incredible. Do you hurt yourself a lot??

    2. I used to. But thank God I'm not as clumsy as I was before.


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