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I could not make a fist. There I sat in the middle of a typical Wednesday afternoon lecture, staring at my hand in disbelief. The fingers of my right hand were too weak to abduct. ‘Crap’, I thought. Actually, a more colourful word was my first thought. ‘Am I having a conversion disorder?’. That was my second thought. As a senior neurology resident just a few months from graduation, I had reasons for stress. I had nearly signed a contract to become a faculty neurologist but did not know the specific responsibilities of my future job. The neurology board exam was right around the corner, and every newly discovered knowledge gap produced a statistically significant amount of anxiety. In that moment, I could rationalise a subconscious manifestation of anxiety preventing me from moving my hand. Then in an instant, the preceding days flooded back to me, each carrying neglected neurological symptoms with them. ‘Crap’.
Five days before, I had first felt it while showering. The heat from the water did not seem …
Contributors Jessica Frey, MD and Katherine Seachrist, MD provided editing and content revision to the manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Alasdair Coles, Cambridge, UK.