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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

Caution for Mirror Therapy

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This topic is about mirror therapy and to be cautious when trying it. My rehab doctor suggested it along with my prosthetist. I looked it up online to see how to do it and how it worked. My wife went and bought me a full length bathroom mirror (just a cheap one) so I could try it tonight. I have had a bit of a difficult day already because I went to Shriner's and did some motion lab testing for them, which ended up hurting me a fair bit. So I decided to do the mirror therapy tonight. I did my due diligence and researched it quite a bit to see if anyone has had adverse reactions. I did not find any, so please take that into account when reading this. To understand fully what my reaction may be due to, please understand that before my amputation 8 years ago, my leg was completely twisted up (see my profile, the leg grew wrong). I was in so much pain from the age of 13 to my amputation that I had a surgery every 6 months and I had more pain meds than would knock most people out.

Back to the mirror therapy results: As I was moving my good leg, I could actually feel my non-existent ankle moving around, which was great. However, after about a minute of this, my amputated leg locked up and immediately started to spasm. All the muscles in my thigh have completely locked up and I have had to take twice as many (almost) pain pills as usual to get it down to a manageable 9. I have now tried my wife massaging my leg, good and bad, (in view of the mirror and just massaging) and a hot bath along with the pain pills and a sleeping pill. I have also put an Ace wrap around the bottom half of my thigh and around the stump, which has helped the most. It is quite tight on the thigh, and not so tight on the stump. My leg muscles feel like they are completely locked up and my stump just keeps spasming and my toes (which are not there) feel like they are being clenched down along with other weird reactions to the foot I no longer have. Oh, and my wife has also tried massaging my good foot, which usually helps a fair bit but is doing nothing now.

My point in telling all of you this experience, which is going on right now, is to please be careful when trying anything for the first time and to make sure you have muscle relaxers on hand when you do. Unfortunately, I don't have any right now.

If any of you have any ideas at all on how to calm this down, please let me know. The pills are starting to kick in, so I am doing a fair bit better now. Thanks.


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Your brain must really remember all the pain over the years. I am so glad that the phantoms don't visit me often. I have had a number of times in the past month or two when the phantoms came. I had surgery on my stump twice since the end of Sept. The phantoms are lingering even now because of my ill fitting leg. I noticed them last night. They were bad enough to wake me up, but not bad enough to keep me awake.

I'm sorry Stub that you can't get some relief. It must be miserable. Read this story about Mike Roman. I met Mike at the ACA conference in California this past summer. A stimulator might be in your future. Mike is a very nice guy and I'm sure he would be glad to talk with you about his experiences in phantom pain. I can try to put you in contact with him if you wish. http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=227306

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I discovered, by accident, that putting a vibrating pillow either under my good foot or on the end of the stump that it confuses the nerves or directs their attention elsewhere.


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