The sensation of phantom pain can be difficult to put into words because it’s not just one thing that hurts but rather a collection of different sensations experienced in various locations and intensities at any given time. In my experience it feels like burning, shooting, throbbing, or stabbing sensations. Sometimes all happening simultaneously on different parts of your body.
“What is this pain?” I ask myself, to which the answer is always a mystery.
People will say they feel this after an amputation or other type of injury where there is nerve trauma involved. Which I have also felt from past surgeries. The problem with these descriptions is that everyone seems to describe their own personal. So you never really know if what someone else feels like is what you are experiencing.
As a transplant patient, the sensation of phantom pain can be difficult to put into words. It’s, not just one thing that hurts but rather a collection of sensations experienced in various locations and intensities at any given time.
What is Phantom Pain?
Phantom pain is a type of pain that a person can feel in parts of their body that have been. It can also be sensations that are aftereffects of treatment and surgeries that have been experienced from diseases like cancer.
Phantom pain is important because it serves as proof to people with physical disabilities that their mental awareness is present and alive. Phantom pain can also be frightening for some people who may not understand what is happening to them when felt.
What are three causes of phantom pain?
Phantom pain is caused by damaged nerves and the brain’s response to them. Multiple sclerosis, cancer, or amputation can trick the brain to think that a part of your body is still affected.
Phantom pain can also result from injury to the sensory nerves in a person’s arm or leg. The nerves send signals to the sensory cortex in the brain that is misinterpreted as coming from a different location from where they actually originate in the body. This will be an ongoing sensation until treating physicians find a way to correct it with surgery or other treatments.
Symptoms of phantom pain don’t stop after amputation because healthy neurons will continue to send signals to the brain.
I like to use the term Phantom Pain as a way to describe pains that I feel and experience post-treatment. Being hyper-aware of the sensations helps me be able to make sense of what’s happening in my body. Every single unexpected pain makes me wonder and creates a sense of fear.
What are three ways to treat Phantom Pain?
There are a lot of treatments for phantom pain. These include medications like antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and analgesics. It’s important to find the right type of medication for each person to make sure it’s as effective as possible. Surgery can also be an option, with the goal being to treat the problem that is causing the pain. Electrotherapy and neural stimulation are also good options if surgery isn’t possible or helpful.
Phantom pain can be difficult to deal with because there doesn’t seem to be any stopping point in terms of its effects on your body. There’s no cure for phantom pain but there are things you can do to manage your symptoms and keep your mind calm when these feelings
What are three holistic ways to prevent future occurrences?
– Eliminate toxic substances in your life. Toxic substances can be anything from alcohol to prescription drugs, and they carry a high risk for abuse and dependency. Drink water, exercise, sleep enough to recharge the body and eat well.
– Schedule activities that provide you with personal fulfillment. It’s important to schedule time for yourself in order to prevent future occurrences. If you are feeling down or need reassurance that there is more to life than just living day to day then it could be effective for you to schedule an activity on your calendar like meditation or reading a book.
– Find a group of friends who support you and believe in you no matter what! Having friends who believe in you will help eliminate stress which will create a better
What are three ways to cope with the pain?
I have found that there are many ways to cope with the pain, but my favorite ways are as follows:
-Meditate: One of the most effective ways to relieve stress and calm the mind is through meditation. Meditation has other health benefits such as promoting healthier brain functioning, lower cholesterol, and reducing inflammation.
-Exercise: Exercising can be an opportunity for you to take time out for yourself and release pent-up frustration. It will also improve your mood and reduce your anxiety.
-Take two minutes every day for “Me Time”: I like to designate at least two minutes every day for me where I do something that I really enjoy doing in order to regroup from the stresses of life. This could be reading
Phantom pain is a term I like to use as a way to describe pains that I feel and experience post-transplant and treatment. Being hyper-aware of my feelings, sensations, senses on being able to make sense of what’s happening in my body. Every single unexpected pain makes me wonder and creates a sense of uncertainty for myself which has lead me here.
It’s important to find treatments that work best for each individual because not everyone will respond the same way when it comes to medication or surgery options available. If you’re struggling with your own personal choice on how you want to handle your pain, maybe some of these tips will help you out!