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Phantom Pain in Amputees - Two Separate Sensations

By Lance Rennka on Jul 08, 2011 at 09:49 AM in Health

The Problem Phantom Pain:

            Few doctors let alone lay people have any understanding of what an amputee goes through with relationship to Phantom and Pain issues. In the not too distant past, anyone who said they felt a Phantom or Pain after an amputation was put in insane-asylums or mental institutions. This stigma is still in place in our societies' Consensus Consciousness.

The Cost:

            Clinical studies are being conducted on Phantom-Pain as if it were one sensation. However it is two separate but associated conditions. If separated into Phantom and Pain a paradigm shift in understanding will occur. Amputees are being subjected to misunderstanding by the medical profession and population at large.

            The author experienced, in effect, two amputations to the same arm with the Phantom sensation without Pain and then when the nerves regenerated, Phantom with Pain. Because of the mystic of the Phantom experience, and how those who talked about their experience were treated in the near-past, amputees are reluctant to talk about their Phantom - except to other amputees.

The Solution:

            All medical and psychiatric doctors should be made aware of the duality of the Phantom-Pain sensation so through understanding they can offer reasonable explanation, advice and help to amputees and their families.

Key Words - Phantom, Pain, Phantom-Pain, Amputation, Amputee, Amputated

The Incident

The Job - Lance was the Dive Director of the largest most sophisticated Under Water Habitat in the world, which was used to allow scientists to live underwater for two weeks at a time. The Habitat, La Chalupa, was operated by Marine Resources Development Foundation, off the west end of Puerto Rico. This system is now Jules Undersea Lodge, the only underwater hotel in the world, in Key Largo, Florida. http://www.jul.com/

 

The Accident - December 31, 1972

Lance was involved in an industrial accident involving a large line under tension. He was thrown ten feet up in the air and twenty feet off a barge, resulting in a double-compound, comminuted (bone fragments missing) fracture of the left forearm, just above the wrist. He landed in the ocean. The ribs were separated from the sternum and the color bone was broken. The skin under the armpit was also torn (indicating he was almost quartered).

 

Medical Mis-Adventure -

A medical mis-adventure resulted in gas-gangrene symptoms within 2 ½ days. By the eight day, with no response to symptoms, the upper-left quadrant was fully involved (gas bubbles), the upper arm was "cherry-red" and three time normal size with the forearm rotten to the elbow.

 

First Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment - January 8, 1973

After transfer to a hospital with a hyperbaric treatment facility, the first of eight hyperbaric oxygen treatments was administered.

 

Amputation - January 8, 1973

The patient was taken directly from the hyperbaric treatment chamber, to the operating room for an exploratory review. A Guillotine amputation was performed mid-upper arm, using psychotropic drugs. The stump end was left open to drain.

 

Pain -

The patient was administered morphine upon his request. Primarily he used brain over pain. Severe pain was involved with the gas gangrene and "memory" pain of the amputation was felt but both pain sensations went away over time.

 

Phantom Moving -

Upon coming out of the general anesthetic post-amputation and for many days afterwards, Lance experienced room-wide movement of the Phantom hand (like Rubberman) but not associated with pain.

 

Second Hyperbaric Oxygenation Treatment - January 9, 1973

The morning after the amputation, while being transferred into the hyperbaric chamber, the suture came off the main artery, the patient bled down and passed out. He was transported back to the emergency room, when heart and breathing stopped (clinical death) the patient had an out-of-body-experience/near-death-experience (OBE/NDE) - standing across the operating room and watching the proceedings as he received a cut-in at the right ankle and 5 pints of blood were milked into his body in the operating room. The patient lifted-up and hovered above the body then slammed back-in with the application of the shock to restart the heart. The patient received a sixth pint of blood in his room.

Lance received seven more hyperbaric chamber treatments - a total of eight. He was released to return home from the hospital eight days post amputation, with the stump still swollen and draining.

 

Skin Graft -

Approximately eight weeks post amputation (after drainage stopped and the stump returned close to normal size), with the open nerve conduit visible at the end of the stump, a skin graft from his left hip was used to cover the stump end. The painless Phantom continued to move.

 

First Prosthesis -

            The first prosthesis was made with a hand which opened when operated. The prosthesis was too long and was too heavy to lift with the short stump, atrophied muscles and shoulder damage - totally useless except as a paper weight. Although, the prosthesis did give form to the phantom arm and hand. The hand would move into the fake hand and it was almost like it could feel.

 

First Nerve Regeneration -

Five months post-amputation, the nerves began to exit the nerve conduit and over the next couple of months attached to different locations on the skin graft. Touching different spots on the skin graft, would "light-up" different portions of the upper-arm, elbow, forearm, hand and fingers. When the stump was bumped, the pain would be like plugging the missing arm into 220 volts of electricity and take up to 45 minutes to calm down. The automatic, defensive/retaliatory reaction of the right hand to a bump to the stump required something be done. Using a prosthesis was out of the question due to the Phantom Pain it caused.

 

Stump Revision and Nervectomy - August - 1973

An assessment at a VA amputee ward involved a physical torture test to "make sure" the pain, generated by contact, was not in the patients "brain" but actually a result of the nerve regeneration. A stump revision was performed, the skin graft was removed, ½ inch of bone was sawed off and the nerve conduit was cut at mid-stump, but left open again (in effect a second amputation).

 

Second Prosthesis -

            A shortened version of a prosthesis with a hook was designed by the patient as a working arm which had useable function. The first problem with an upper-arm prosthesis, is the muscle rotates around the bone and the prosthesis moves through a 90 degree arc, so stability for fine work is an issue. The other problem is the loop/harness arrangement to hold the prosthesis in place and operate the hook cuts off circulation to the good right-arm and it'll quit working.

 

Second Nerve Regeneration -January 1974

Prior to the nerve regeneration, the Phantom continued to move without pain. Approximately five months after the stump revision, the nerves again began to exit the nerve tube, this time at mid-stump. Some of the nerves attached to the muscles in the upper arm and when the arm muscles are flexed it "chatters" and fires up some of the below stump sensations. Some of the nerves moved to the end of the stump and again attached to the skin. Phantom Pain began again and became more intense as more and more regenerated nerves attached to muscles and skin.

            A return trip to the VA hospital for a second review of the nerve pain by the medical doctors in the amputee ward resulted in the patient being sent to a psychiatrist.

NOTE: Up until four years prior to the incident (1968), amputees who reported a Phantom of a missing body part or Phantom Pain were routinely being sent to psychiatric wards or insane asylums. The consensus opinion of the doctors of the day, "If it's gone, it can't possibly still be there or be hurting." Over a period of 15 years Lance was seen by 32 different general-medical doctors, three orthopedic surgeons, two neurologist and one psychiatrist. They all asked the same question, "Do you have Phantom Pain?"

 

Up till current the phantom still moves. The phantom hand now resides at the end of the stump. When a prosthesis is put on, the phantom hand moves into the hook or fake hand. When the phantom is moved next to strangers, they will move away from the hand. If the partial bicep is flexed, different parts of the amputated limb light-up (feel as though they are being moved). Touching different parts of the skin at the end of the stump feels like touching specific parts of the missing arm, hand or fingers. If the Phantom-hand fingers move, several muscles in the stump flex and the phantom fingers tingle.

 

Understanding the Dual Entity we Humans Are

Body/Brain -

The body is a preprogrammed, programmable, reproducible, android - a computerized machine made from Cosmic dust and water - mud. The Body is a Planet Ocean Rover similar to our moon and mars rovers but more sophisticated. The Body is a living organism with survival based programming. The body is designed to live forever at 30 + 2 years through regeneration. The body is constructed using a DNA "blueprint." The body collects data via the senses and emotions. The body is the transportation, protection and energy conversion system for the brain.

The Brain is the CPU which operates the body, collects data and stores that data as memory in the body cells. The fact that organ transplant and sometimes blood-transfusion recipients have memories and emotions of the donor confirms Cellular Memory. In addition, people have had ½ of their brain removed and retained their memory.

The brain operates on three levels; unconscious (asleep, due to a blow, lowered blood pressure, drugs, etc.), conscious (decisions based on current data available and memory) andsubconscious (body functions, habits and programs).

The Body/Brain collects sensory data - knowledge, skill, pain and pleasure - and stores it in the cells. The Body/Brain is a Virtual Reality Machine donned by a Soul.

 

Soul/Mind -

The soul has mass and weight, 6 ounces/21 grams (the weight of a roll of nickels), which is demonstrated by this weight-lose at death. The soul is the Aura and can be seen by Psychics, Chi Masters, Kirilian photography and some new digital cameras. The Soul/Mind operates on the super-conscious level. All living organisms have an Aura. If a part of an animal or plant is removed, the Aura initially remains in the same place as the removed part. The Aura leaves the living organism at death. Bio-energy is the realm of the soul and is represented by the meridians of the body which can now be traced by sensitive instrumentation. The Aura is the "phantom" amputees experience. The Soul/Aura/Phantom is real even if some people can't see it - ask amputees. The soul uses the body as its "form" and sensory unit, its Virtual Reality Machine.

If anyone has a question about "Soul" and "Body" being different aspects of what they are, try an out-of-body-experience (OBE) to "discover" the truth that you are a Dual Entity - Body/Soul. If you want to gain an understanding about what lives after the Body dies, have a near-death-experience (NDE). When asked, 25% of the population will admit to having had OBE/NDE experiences. You can also look-up NDE and OBE at www.wikipedia.com. For more information read Lance's books Back From Beyond and Body/Brain- Soul/Mind.

 

Phantom Pain -

Phantom Pain is two things: Body based nerve pain data and Soul based Phantom sensations. Without separating and understanding these two different aspects of the Phantom Pain sensation, a proper treatment is impossible. If the body feels pain (current input or stored data), the soul "feels" it as well via the Virtual Reality connection. Before nerve regeneration, there is Phantom without pain. After nerve regeneration there is Phantom Pain. The brain makes no differentiation between current input and stored data.

 

The Implications of Amputees' Experiences -

  • 1. The Soul/Aura/Phantom is real (and can be photographed).
  • 2. The body regenerates nerves. Nerves are the fastest regenerative organ in the body. The nerves (electrical communication devices) run throughout the body in conduits (tubes). The brain knows where the nerves are supposed to go and where they're to connect.
  • 3. If the nerve conduit (tube) is cut, the nerves regenerate to the end of the conduit and exit on their way to where they were originally connected. If they can't get to their original connection point, they'll connect some other place.
  • 4. If the exiting nerves connect to muscles already controlled by nerves there will be conflicting signals and interference between the different nerves.
  • 5. If the conduit is sealed off, the nerves regenerate to the blockage point, hook-up together and cause severe pain because of the blockage (typical motorcycle accident with a crushed shoulder). Damned if you leave the conduit open, damned if you don't.
  • 6. The Phantom is connected to the body, but separate from it. The Phantom receives the body sensations as it was (body parts damaged or removed) or should be (in the case of some deformities) and in some cases heart attacks (which cause dead heart cells and nerves which need to be regenerated).
  • 7. One of the main concerns when giving injections and doing operations is the location of the main nerve conduits. All operations transect nerve tubes. When these nerves regenerate, they may be blocked by scar tissue or misalignment of the nerve tube and strange sensations occur around the operation site, i.e. pain, tingling, itching, involuntary contraction of muscles, etc.
  • 8. Non-amputee researchers and doctors who can't "see" or "experience" the phantom are unable to "believe" the sensations experienced by amputees. How do you explain something for which you have no data? How can you gain understanding with no personal experience? How can someone with no knowledge about or experience with Phantom or Phantom Pain believe an amputee?
  • 9. If the amputee who asks about Phantom and/or Phantom Pain is given the standardreply, of "It's all in your head/brain/mind." In most instances, the amputee will quit asking. If the answer is, "You're a dual entity - a Body/Soul. The Body has nerve sensations - Pain and pleasure. The Soul is the Phantom - the Aura - which wears the Body as a Virtual Reality Machine to have sensory experiences on this plane of existence. The Soul takes the form of the body and when an amputation occurs, the Soul remains in the shape of the body it wore at the time of the injury/operation. Over time, the aura/Soul will change shape - adapt - to the new shape. When the nerves regenerate, the Soul/Aura/Phantom again feels the sensations the Body's nerves are feeling."

 

Attached is a digital Photograph of Lances Aura Showing His Phantom Hand

 

Sensations Experienced by Lance

            When the missing arm and hand fires-up, it's like plugging them into 220 volts of electricity and it takes time for this sensation to go away. The stump muscles normally lock-up (cramp) and the pain is intense - like hitting your crazy bone - but worse since it involves more nerves. Sometimes this sensation is intermittent and happens for no discernable reason. If the stump is squeezed (rolled over on by bed partner), squished in a crowed elevator, or the amputee rolls over on the stump - it fires-up. If different stump muscles are flexed, specific nerves fire up based on which nerves had attached to which muscles. Bumping the stump will fire-up the missing arm and hand nerves. Electrical stimulation, i.e. electrical shock, IMG or tense unit use - anywhere on the body - will also fire-up the nerves.

On one occasion, a van door blew closed and brushed the end of the stump. For over two hours, Lance experienced repeated sensations of a knife cutting through the arm muscles in slow motion. Muscle/cellular-memory of the muscle being cut during the amputation?

 

 

Nerve Regeneration Implications

The greatest implication of this information is, if a severed or crushed nerve conduit can be repaired or replaced with a prosthetic conduit or a cadaver nerve conduit, as long as the circulation to the tissues continues the body will regenerate the nerves back to their original locations and paraplegics would gain back feeling and mobility within two years (the time it takes for a nerve to degenerate to the brain stem and regenerate to the big toe), as current animal tests are confirming. For more information, click here.