pins not needles

“Gosh, it feels like a thousand pins… No needles though”

AUSTIN, TX – An unusual case has arisen in the Lone Star state, as a patient at Austin Medical Center (AMC) has both paresthesias and superior powers of perception, insisting that what she feels in her hands are pins and pins only not needles.

“I know what needles feel like and this isn’t it,” explained 44-year-old Kacey Morris whose symptoms started approximately two weeks ago.  “I’m telling you, it feels like pins not needles.”  To further add to the confusion, it affects the hands not feet.

For decades, clinicians have lumped the symptoms of “pins and needles” together.  Pins and needles, also known as paresthesias, usually suggest peripheral neuropathy.  Morris’ complaint represents the first documented case in medical history to involve either pins or needles but not both.  Neurologists are baffled, excited, and dismayed.

“We thought we had seen it all, but I guess is there a difference between pins and needles?” said befuddled neurologist Dr. Amy G. Dala speaking on behalf of the entire Department of Neurology at AMC.  “I guess it’s back to the drawing board.”  The entire neurology staff plans to resign in the next 24 hours with plans to repeat both medical school and neurology residency and pay closer attention in class.  Most if not all hope to learn how to sew.

Neurosurgery has been consulted and has conjectured on a distinction between the two.

“A pin is a thin piece of metal, one end with a sharp point, the other with a round head,” the official consult reads, “while a needle, though also a thin piece of metal with a sharp point on one end, has a hole or eye at the other.”  Neurosurgery went on to say that the pins and needles symptoms are based on the assumption the sharp ends of pins and needles are being used.  “Perhaps this basic neurologic axiom needs to be investigated further.  The real question is: Can one tell apart the round head of a pin from the eye of a needle?”

Ophthalmology has also been consulted to evaluate the eye of a needle.  Recommendations are pending.


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