Keith Philizaire lived through years of anguish and pain medication for severe phantom limb pain after the amputation of his leg. A childhood accident had led to years of surgeries and devices to lengthen his leg. These therapies did “more harm than good,” according to Keith, and he ultimately opted to have his leg amputated.
Things seemed to be going well up to three months following the amputation. Then Keith noticed he was able to feel his phantom foot, and then his phantom leg. Those sensations turned into extreme phantom limb pain.
“If you can imagine, for two years, it felt like my [phantom] leg was being cut off over and over again,” he said
Keith was sent from one doctor to another, but none of them could help. “They just kept feeding me medication,” he said. “I was on a cocktail of five to six different medications.” This regimen included 600 mg of Lyrica, which robbed him of his memory and ability to function.
Keith’s unremitting pain left him seriously considering suicide as his only out. For two years, he was unable to work, unable to drive, unable to wear his prosthetic ― unable do much of anything