Power-related Ataxia Condition in Creus | World Anvil
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Power-related Ataxia

"I'm as good with my left as I ever was with my right." The old woman gave a grin as she worked the levers of the autoweaver with her left arm, her fingers impossibly precise, her right arm hanging limply at her side, white and pasty. "These new models you can run one handed and its just as good as the old machines."
Lodia shook her head. "Your arm doesn't bother you, madam?"
A short bark of laughter. "My right arm bought my children their lives and livelihoods! A small price to pay. You only really need one arm for most things anyway!" A cackle. "We here down in the machine shops have different lives than you nobles."
"Of course." Lodia bowed her head. "My apologies if I gave offense."
The old woman smiled again and gestured to the machine. "You want to know what its like, what we do here, only one way to learn how! Haha!" She cackled again.


Power-related Ataxia is a catch-all category for any form of muscle or nerve weakness or failure, brought on by long-term repetitive strain and use of Power-connected objects. Researchers speculate that it may largely be due to the tendency of Powered machinery to vibrate at high speeds; temporary numbness is a common symptom after extended manipulation of a Powered object.


The onset of true Ataxia (as opposed to a temporary numbness) is marked by the affected body part (nearly always a limb) turning white for an extended period of time, coupled with a loss of feeling, then the 'pins-and-needles' feeling associated with poor circulation. As the disease progresses, the loss of feeling becomes permanent, control of the limb is typically lost, and in the worst cases the limb needs to be amputated due to the onset gangrene and rot.


Warm compresses and heat improve circulation in the early stages of the disease and reverse the immediate acute symptoms, but the only true treatment is to immediately halt work or use of Powered equipment.


Early stages of Ataxia are reversible; within a few years of halting use of Powered equipment, all symptoms typically vanish. As the disease progresses to later stages, the possibility of reversal becomes more and more remote, and Ataxia becomes permanent.

Affected Groups

Power-related Ataxia is a disease of the older working poor, those most likely to be directly handling or operating Power machinery such as autoweavers, drive pumps, etc. Typical onset is at the age of 40-45, depending on the intensity of workload by the individual.


The only way to truly prevent Ataxia is to not use Powered equipment for extended periods of time. Some success has been reported using heavy gloves to help dampen vibration, and some Power equipment manufacturers are building dampeners into their gear to attempt to mitigate the vibration felt by the operators.


Power-related Ataxia was a hidden disease of the new era of Etoile; accidents related to Power were common and obvious (like flywheel failures amputating limbs), but Ataxia was slow in coming and would present even if the operator followed all correct safety procedures. The Principality has recently established certain medical assistance wards for sufferers of Ataxia to treat and mitigate their symptoms, funded through industrial taxation.

Cultural Reception

Many sufferers of Ataxia are remarkably sanguine about the disease - many note that it's preferable to the backbreaking physical toll of traditional farming with hand tools, and others note that the products of Power technology make their lives definitively better than that of prior generations even with the loss of limb. The sight of so many people with useless, bright white arms has led to a push for limits on working hours and research into mitigation of the vibrations presumed to be the cause.
Chronic, Acquired

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