I've come to realize that I don't appreciate the absence of pain and discomfort. I expect to be pain free and so I never really think, "Wow, my leg doesn't hurt today." Only when I do experience discomfort do I think about how long it has been since I've been in pain.
Last night, lying in bed desperate to fall asleep, I realized that my leg has been feeling better. The blood blister has resolved and my stump is no longer sore. I am now walking with my normal gait, and if I weren't constantly in shorts, my amputation wouldn't be obvious. Apparently my prosthetist was correct when he prescribed non-impact activity and a travel hiatus for a few days.
While I was happy to realize that the blood blister pain had faded, the only reason I had this epiphany was because I was having a bad phantom pain night. I don't experience phantom pain often, but when it occurs I am utterly miserable. When massage doesn't work, there is little I can do but try to remind myself that my toes are not attached anymore despite the fact that they feel as if they are being twisted in a molten hot vice. Logic, at least for me, does little to resolve my phantom pain!
Typically my phantom pain flares when I am fitted with a new socket or when I engage in high impact activities for a period of time. Yesterday I did neither which is why the pain took me by surprise. Around 2:00 A.M., I finally figured the cause!
My toe twisting sensation was triggered by stress. I fully acknowledge that my mind was racing when I went to sleep, and, while I tried to keep all of my worries in perspective, I think that my increasing fatigue made everything worse. When I couldn't fall asleep, the pain simply amplified.
Last night there was a direct correlation between my increasing feelings of stress and the intensity of my phantom toe twisting. Of course realizing the cause did nothing but frustrate me, further perpetuating the cycle. This could be stemming from exhaustion, but at this moment I really resent feeling phantom pain--and experiencing it when I'm stressed and tired simply feels like insult on top of injury! I think tonight will be a Tylenol PM night.