Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Let's say you're lying in bed. Maybe you're trying to sleep; perhaps you're reading, or snuggling with your kids.

Suddenly, someone, unseen, hidden at the foot of your bed jams two or three needles deep into your foot, in the fleshy pad right underneath the piggy that gets no roast beef.

But these aren't ordinary needles. They're wired up, and your unseen tormentor spends the next three, four, six, ten hours (you never know how long it will last) idly flipping switches, sending currents into them at random.

Wouldn't you just want to reach down and pull those needles out? I want to. But I can't, since that particular foot hasn't been around since 1978.

It's called phantom pain. It's going to be a long night.

Welcome to my world.



Blogger terry said...

gah, that's awful, pirate. i had no idea phantom pain could come back to haunt you so long after the fact.

wishing you much time in the land of nod.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Åsa said...

Jeez! That is the worst! I can’t even imagine. How do you fight that? I’d wish there where some “phantom-meds” or something rather you could take to get rid of this. I hope you have some real arms (not phantom-arms) to hug and hold you when it hurts. Cyber hugs coming your way!

3:34 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

My reasons for not sleeping lately seem a bit unconsequential. I hope you're feeling better soon. Does it have something to do with the nerve endings?

7:17 AM  
Blogger Heidi the Hick said...

I can't relate first hand but I know all about this. My grandpa had phantom pains often but being a stoic old Mennonite man, didn't say much more than "My feet that aren't there hurt."

I remember all the surgeries and all the hospital visits. When I got older and started learning what was going on with him, I cried from thinking about what he must have gone through.

My heart goes out to you!

8:21 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Can you not get the phantom foot chopped off?

9:14 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

DHG: I thought about that, but I'm afraid I'd get phantom phantom pain.


11:12 AM  
Blogger Nölff said...

You might be able to get some heroin from your doctor

3:17 PM  
Blogger cadbury_vw said...

when i worked in a nursing home one of the guys - billy - was a World War II vet. he had lost both legs at the knees. lots of times when i was there i would scratch his foot for him. just making the motion would help the itch go away

have you tried washing your "foot" in warm water and massaging it?

i assume probably, being as its been a factor this long, but...

6:47 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Why do we ache so much for that which is gone?

11:19 PM  
Blogger Blowing Shit Up With Gas said...

I think I first learned about this on M*A*S*H. Wikipedia mentions a specific "dorsal root" neurosurgery that's supposed to treat it (in selected cases, I gather). Sounds risky, though -- like, you go in and it works fine -- only now you can't feel your good foot as well. But, I realize they've made some astounding advances in medicine in recent years, so I wasn't sure where they're at with treatments for this kind of thing.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Miss 1999 said...

Ugh, I'm SO sorry hear that... Pain, any kind, is no fun. Here's to hoping it goes away-- and soon! *hugs*

7:36 PM  

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