Saturday, February 8, 2014

Robbie the FREEEEEEEEEE amputee!!!!!!! PART II.

Robbie relaxing during his sixth session of acupuncture to combat phantom (fake) pain. Phantom pain is only problematic when he's stressed physically or emotionally and comes in waves with a pain level of about three out of ten. So all is going well with this aspect of the double amputation with improvement each passing week. Heat packs are also helping reduce any phantom pain. He's not taken pain killers for over three weeks.
The arthritis in the hips has been pretty good unless irritated by contractures causing the ball and socket to rub together or if the weather is cold. He's taking supplements of: calamari oil, rose-hip capsules and herbal tea, Green Lipped Mussel oil, cod liver oil, extra virgin olive oil, flax seed oil, chlorophyll and ginseng. Have bought a bath tub to set up in our sun room where later Robbie will be able to soak in a hot solution of salt crystals
During this week Robbie was having severe contractures around his right ball and socket mostly underside. I tilted and reclined his wheelchair. And now with the absence of legs I can massage all around the ball and socket of both stumps (image below) while still seated in his wheelchair. This is wonderful for both of us. Robbie doesn't have to endure the pain of being transferred by hoist into a bed just to have his tendons massaged. And I can just sit in front of him and use his seat cushion to rest on for support. No exhausting transfers!!! After the massage the contractures reduced by 95%.
So much necessary flesh had been saved in order to cushion the cut bone around the stub that it was obstructing the stoma of Robbie's colostomy and often he's had to wear nappies to catch the waste instead of the colostomy wafer and bag. But he's now lost some more weight around the legs at the top and gut so - as the image below shows - there's no more obstruction. And the wheelchair's recline function (second image) allows more access the stoma and for general cleaning around Robbie's groin area.
Fixamol is used as a 'second skin' to minimise scarring due to the skin stretching. Now that Robbie has lost more weight the skin is not as tight and so helping the healing process nicely. Heat packs are also applied to help blood circulation and massaging the area to stimulate nerve healing and to desensitise the scars and keep the skin soft.
The only area that's healing slowly is where the drainage tube was place in the left stump. This may be due to the dissolvable stitches causing irritation and should eventually resolve itself. In the meantime, ice packs are used twice a day to keep any infection at bay and lancing of the wound.
With hardly any phantom or physical pain - and the freedom that has come with being legless - Robbie's been out and about. He's got far more energy, confidence and mobility. Below is a picture taken today, the 8th of February, 2014 playing games with a large games group. Both our lives have changed so much for the better. Robbie no longer wants to die so has stopped asking me to kill him. And I no longer dread getting out of bed each morning as life is no longer one unending time in 'hell'.