Helping amputees and phantom limb pain

ME AND MY MIRROR

Treating phantom limb pain with free mirrors and mirror therapy ...globally.

Outreach

Still Carrying On

Still Carrying On

By on Apr 13, 2019 in Outreach

If you enjoyed the read, please feel free to share it Freshly returned from a wicked ‘Me and My Mirror’ work trip to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and North Vietnam. Happily, a lot of it I was able to do by cargo bike. Lots of places I work, like the Middle East for example; doing it by bike is just not tenable. A lot of S and SE Asia is, however, is just built for bikin’. And for Me and My Work a cargo bike is the optimal solution. I’ve now taken 3 different bikes on ‘Me and My Mirror’ work trips. The bike this time is made by an outfit called ‘BENNO’ and the model is a ‘Carry On’. And it is, by a wide margin and for me personally – and my biking/carrying/pleasuring needs – the best cargo bike by far. It’s significantly more compact than any other variant I can think of, particularly if you consider that the robust rear cargo rack and the super-useful front ‘utility tray’ are removable. An added bonus is that it is far easier to plead it on to a plane or sneak it on to a train if you’re hot and you’re tired and you feel like cheating. One size fits all… how about that? And I’m 6’1” (and fat despite everything). Wheel size too, is a perfect balance: 24”. I’ve ridden cargo bikes with wheel-sizes all the way from 20 inch to 700c and the ‘Carry On’ sits perfect and purty on the balance between load center-of-gravity and riding like a real gen-you-ine bike. It’s tough as nails too, and I’m hard on the gear: 3 and one-half months on this trip and not one mechanical. Not even a flat (the stock tires are both cool and burly). I’m stoked. She’s idling in the garage just now and champing for another voyage and Me and My Mirror has some big ideas. Maybe Colombia in the autumn where there are plenty of amputees (many, tragically, due to ‘narco-terrorism’). The Benno will be a bonus in Bogota and thereabouts, but with that terrain and that altitude I’d best get fitter and lose a few lbs. Then how about the Balkans in the...

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THESE ARE THE DAYS
Stephen

THESE ARE THE DAYS

By on Dec 14, 2016 in Outreach

If you enjoyed the read, please feel free to share itI’ve only just returned from a ‘Me and My Mirror’ combo-trip to both Lebanon and Ethiopia. And in an awful lot of ways it was my best trip ever. I’m so happy. I’ve been bangin’ away at this for well-over 4 years now and have only now had a series of literally breathtaking breakthroughs. First was Beirut and, though it was not the first time I have worked with/for/alongside the ‘International Committee of the Red Cross’; it was certainly the first time I have worked so complicitly with them and with their complete credulity and the estimable support of their entire Lebanese Delegation. I was brought in to present Mirror Therapy at 5 or 6 distinct yet interdependent lecture/seminar/workshops all connected to a congress the ICRC assembled called: ‘CLINICAL MANAGEMENT OF WEAPON WOUNDED PATIENTS’. It was convened in conjunction with the Faculty of Medical Sciences of the Lebanese University and, under their aegis, I was able to present to both Prosthetic and Orthotic (P&O) specialists and trauma surgeons from all over the extended region: Lebanon, Syria (both Damascus and Homs), Iran, Palestine, Egypt, Yemen and others besides. I was able to present the therapy to a roomful of young Physio Rehab Therapists from ‘Handicap International’, with whom the ICRC partners, by-times, worldwide. I held forth in front of 200 rehab therapy students and the Dean and faculty at ‘Beirut Arab University’ (my favorite presentation; the kids were Totally into it and had lots of questions and quite a few trick ones). I was able to visit the ICRC’s ‘War Traumatology Training Center’ in Tripoli, Lebanon (there’s one in Lebanon too). They have 4 or 5 Rehab Therapists there who had, unbeknownst to me, already embraced mirror therapy well before my visit. One of the guys had been to an ICRC gathering in Cambodia and seen my work there and became inspired. They had their own mirrors and, within the simple treatment, developed their own new little protocols – advancements – things I had never even considered. It was so cool. I was so flattered and impressed and inspired all at once. Gunshots, shrapnel, landmines, propane explosions, vehicle accidents, diabetes...

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THE ROAD TO BEST INTENTIONS IS OFTEN PAVED LIKE HELL
Stephen

THE ROAD TO BEST INTENTIONS IS OFTEN PAVED LIKE HELL

By on Jul 10, 2016 in Outreach

If you enjoyed the read, please feel free to share itI’m on to Plan “B” here, but it’s a good one. In the first week of October I will be flying to Beirut in order to take Me and My Mirror on another road-trip. I will be working, at first, under the aegis and with the invaluable assistance of the International Committee of The Red Cross. They have invited me to present mirror therapy methodology workshops to a congress of their physical rehab therapists and surgeons from all over the world. It’s a massive chance for massive outreach and a big spike in credibility, visibility and, I hope, sustainability – there’s that magic word. My next task there is equally exciting. The Red Cross has offered me access and support to ride my mirrors into the enormous and swarming Syrian refugee camps along the famous Bekaa Valley. Every fourth person in Lebanon now is a Syrian refugee. They pour in daily along the 360 kilometer-long border and pour is too from the street-fighting in Tripoli and other regional conflicts. And plenty of them are wounded and plenty of those are new arrivals to the world of amputee-ism. Syria is the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today – and is so by a Middle Eastern Mile. There are over 9 million Syrians in need of both aid and protection. I’m stoked to do my tiny bit. There are plenty of hospitals and clinics in Lebanon where I will have access and a chance to lay down some mirror therapy and a big whack of goodwill. In addition to all this largesse, the ICRC has also given me the opportunity to present at their ‘Weapons and Traumatology Course’ in Tripoli and to take the treatment to the city’s hospitals. Major. From there I hope to push Me and My Mirror along the road to Gaza City in Palestine and continue work with both the ICRC and Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders). And if funds hold out I don’t know why I wouldn’t push on into the ‘Horn of Africa’ and try my luck with Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and the Sudans. At least those are my intentions, hell.    ...

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XTRACYCLE!!!   :-)
Stephen

XTRACYCLE!!! :-)

By on Jan 6, 2016 in Outreach

If you enjoyed the read, please feel free to share itAnother great partnership: a beautiful new bright orange ’24 D CARGO’ bike from the fine people at XTRACYCLE in Oakland. Stout and Steel and built for Real! With some small riding position mods for long hours in the saddle starting in January in Cambodia. I deliver! To the villagers, often in their very villages. This skookum bike has a meter-long rack on the back and a nice low center of gravity that will allow me to carry as many as 70-75 hand-made mirrors in one go. Now all I need is to get there and buy the acrylic for the mirrors ; and order to do that YOU NEED TO HELP. DONATE to this worthy effort and get a wonderful mission off the ground!!  ...

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