click here to watch my video on how to recover from an amputation on YouTube.
So here I am, one month after my amputation and boy, what can I say, these past few weeks have been tough, painful and certainly not a ‘walk’ in the park.
I’m under heavy pain control medication and I must share this with you – most hours of the day I’m in lala land, completely out and disconnected. Hour after hour pass by as I drift in space not really knowing what’s going on. This is why I didn’t post anything lately – couldn’t concentrate for more than 10 minutes, and if tried to write something down, in 3 minutes I couldn’t remember what I wanted to say.
Nerve pain (phantom pain as it’s known to amputees) is relentless – absolutely no relief.
24/7 around the clock for almost 3 weeks. I experienced shooting, stabbing, burning, numbing pain, it is hell. At the beginning I felt intense shooting pain right down to the ‘foot’, especially the injured ankle area. Over time it changed to stabbing pain then burning pain. Gradually it moved from my non-existent ‘foot’ up toward my stump (phenomenon described as ‘telescoping’ in professional terms) and now most of it feels like an electric currant is directed to my stump and the power is on 24/7…
I know almost everyone that underwent an amputation (or other severe injury/surgery) has experienced this to one degree or another, but I have to admit – I didn’t expect it to be so painful. Pain has been part of my life and over time I developed an interesting relationship with it where we don’t get angry at each other. At some point there’s acceptance and separation – here is my body experiencing pain, and here is me observing it. This may sound bizarre and obviously not possible every time, however, with practice and in depth meditation I learned to spend more time in the ‘observer’ corner than in the pain one.
I prepared as best I could prior to the operation, but nothing can prepare you to what happens after. We all plan, prepare, strategize and think we have control over our lives, only to be ‘surprised’ when life throw a curve ball at us and all of a sudden we face a new situation – one we didn’t expect. I worked very hard to detach myself from expectations of how things will be/feel like after however, life has its own course and power, and one can only stand aside, watch and learn.
Now the big question is how do we deal with it? Do we react from a place of shock, fear, panic, anxiety, or are we able to step back just enough to evaluate this ‘new’ situation and make our decision from a place of awareness and understanding?
Under the veil of my cocktail it was very difficult. I spent days hallucinating, not knowing what is real and what is not, am I awake or asleep, has this been a dream or reality. Above all the drugs didn’t help for days so dealing with high pain levels for days wasn’t an easy task. But all this is extraordinary! To be in a place that allows me to detach and observe life, to have this opportunity where I’m truly curious and interested, where I have great tools and a different way to deal with this – this is extraordinary, and with all the pain and suffering involved – I am grateful.