I can typically predict when I am going to experience phantom/ nerve pain. I usually experience the pain when I have made a change to my socket or if I have been participating in a high impact activity in the incorrect prosthetic. This past weekend I made no changes to my prosthetic or my socket, so the onset of phantom pain took me by surprise. The intensity of the pain nearly took my breathe away.
I was lying in bed Sunday night, desperately trying to fall asleep. Just when I was slipping off into my dreams, I was awoken by a horrible pain. Actually, the adjective of horrible does not do the pain justice. It felt as if my little toe was being slowly pulled away from my foot while a knife was being wedged into the toe nail. The sensation was excruciating.
After what seemed like hours but was, in fact only 15 minutes, the pain began to ease. Unfortunately, it never completely went away and was, apparently, the precursor to a night of the "stinging jitterbug leg." (For those who may be unfamiliar with this phenomena, it is when my stump responds to a stinging sensation by kicking uncontrollably.) Monday morning found me physically and emotionally drained.
It has been seven years and I am frustrated that I am still experiencing phantom pain. Yes, I am grateful that the incidents are few and that it typically does not impact my day. Still, it makes me angry when it does occur. Aside from causing pain, it serves to emphasize the fact that sometimes being an amputee just stinks!
Perhaps it was the lack of sleep or my grumpy demeanor, but I decided yesterday that I am done changing diapers. Robby messed his "big boy underwear" twice within 10 minutes with no remorse. I am tired of scraping fecal matter off of Thomas the Train's smiling face (the pattern of his underpants) with seemingly no potty use in sight.
I immediately turned off the television, took away all of his cars and trains, and placed him on the toilet. I told him that he was not allowed to get up until he pooped in the potty. I explained that he is now four and that we are now done with diapers.
To say that he threw a fit would be mild. I stayed firm that he was going to use the toilet. He screamed, he yelled, and he told me that we are no longer friends. I simply got my laptop computer, poured a cup of coffee, sat on my shower chair and put my feet up. I told him that I have everything I need and no place to go, so I'm willing to stay here all day.
I didn't realize that he took my statement literally as I did, in fact, periodically spend much of the day in the bathroom. My little boy is stubborn, but he underestimated the resolve of his frustrated, phantom nerve pain feeling, frustrated, sleep deprived Mommy. He didn't realize that I was happy for the time to just sit and write. I have developed an uncanny ability to tune out both my environment and his screaming.
Finally, after a battle that lasted from morning into the afternoon, I thrice emerged from the bathroom victorious. I have little doubt that I will be challenged to a rematch in the coming days by my poop-avoiding little boy. I will be armed for battle with my coffee and my laptop to pass the time. Maybe I'll bring my iPod and play "We are the Champions" because I am, without doubt, going to put an end to this poop war!
- I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.