Amputee Space Dust

In my last post I mentioned there was a connection between a chocolate orange, I was given as a gift, and a thought I’d had a couple of days before, in this post I am going to explain the connection.

Apart from the pain in the stump from the bone issue I think I have been relatively lucky with Phantom pain. It was constant after the surgery but as time’s gone by it has subsided. I only get it now and then during the day but mainly get it not long after I have gone to bed. It is tolerable though and nowhere near as bad as it used to be. When people ask me what I feel I try and be as honest and accurate as I can. Even then it is hard for other people to understand exactly what it can be like. When I spoke to other amputees before my surgery and they explained Phantom pain I couldn’t get my head round it. I don’t think you can really appreciate it until you have felt it for yourself.

Here is my best explanation of what I feel just over a year after my surgery. If I’m sitting in a chair my foot is few inches below my stump, with the sole of the foot facing the floor. I am aware of it and sometimes get a pins and needles feeling in various parts of the foot. If I move the muscles in the stump then I can swing the tiny leg from side to side like a pendulum. That’s what it’s like during the day and really no worse than that. At night, minutes after I get in bed and settle down to sleep, the stump wakes up and the phantom pain starts. It is more of a sensation than a pain and in the past I have explained it as intense pins & needles. The more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve felt this comparison to be wrong, then the other night I made a connection to the sensation. I can remember when I was at school, yes I really can remember that far back, a new kind of sweet came out called Space Dust. It was like a powder and when you put it on your tongue it started loads of little explosions popping all over the surface. This sort of thing seems to be going through a revival at the moment and there is even a chocolate orange exploding candy version (there’s that connection). This is a more accurate description of the feeling I get at night. It’s an intense popping sensation that is within the whole of the stump and fires off in random places quickly and constantly, just like the feeling you get on your tongue with Space Dust. As long as I get through that and get to sleep it seems to stop, even if I wake up during the night it doesn’t seem to start again. I can imagine there are many amputees out there who suffer much worse Phantom pain for longer periods, I consider myself very lucky in that department.

Space Dust

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