Miles and Xeni on PBS NewsHour tonight



Damn! That’s -100 for the “tough it out / rub some dirt on it” school of thought


Miles’s story scared the crap out of me. Lord knows how many bruises I brushed off over the years without a second thought.


You know, from what he’s said on his website, it’s not like this was a case of being too full of manly pride to seek medical attention. He just didn’t immediately reach the conclusion from his first symptoms that there was anything wrong with him, because “compartment syndrome” isn’t something a non-physician would necessarily know about. When the symptoms changed, so did his approach.


Can you two stop having life-threatening conditions now, please?


I also had acute compartment syndrome a number of years ago. Fortunately for me, the bleed was faster, so the pain came on quicker and they were able to operate on my leg in time that there was no necrosis. Doc who performed the surgery said I was probably less than 30 minutes from dead muscle tissue. Had the pain level not been so high, I would have ignored it and drove the 3 hours home from where I was at the time. Had it happened in the Philippines, I probably would have ignored it longer.

From the little bit I’ve seen from him on this, I’m amazed at how well he’s handled the whole situation. The others I know who’ve ended up with amputations due to this have not been as generally upbeat about it has he has.

Best of luck to him. He’s a great reporter and I hope he’s able to continue in his career. I’ll be listening tonight.


I wish I could say something far more eloquent than I’m sorry for all the misfortune you’ve been dealt in the past while.

Obviously I don’t know either of you IRL, but I wish I could make some sort of real-life unicorn chaser for you both.


As charmingquark said above you two stop it!

Met Miles at a NASA Launch for STS-132 and he was a charming friendly fellow.

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What everyone wants to know though, is can Miles operate the transporter one handed?

Joking aside, you’re both an inspiration. Hang in there.


Speaking for myself and probably a lot of other folks too, I and we wish you two fine people all the best.


I have nothing to add other than my best wishes to the both of you moving forward!


Miles O’Brien is impressive. I’ve been through losing a leg, and so I’ve got some idea where he’s at. I do hope that he gives himself some time to rest and process – this is only a few weeks (!) after losing his arm. With time, his phantom limb pain may become more manageable, too.

Stay strong, Miles.


Have you heard of the mirror box to treat phantom limb pain? I first read about it in Oliver Sacks’ Hallucinations.
article about it here:


Xeni (and Miles, as well): you guys have had some shit luck regarding health crisis so I have a bit of an odball question to go with my sympathies:

What physical boon do you feel would balance the scales in compensation for losing a limb or having cancer? Like Getting a brand new set of permanently white and cavity free teeth with perfect gums? Or never having to work out again but still being in great shape?

Like I’m BPII so hypomania is supposed to compensate for the depression, but it really doesn’t so I feel gypped. I feel owed perfect teeth or good abs by the universe. You?

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This breaks my heart; the loss of a limb is life-changing without a doubt. The fact that he kept his game-face on during that interview despite the pain he must have been in demonstrates how brave and dedicated an individual he is. I hope he finds relief soon and I hope the technology advances quickly to the point where he won’t miss his arm so much.

+1 for the mirror box; I’m sure he’s been recommended it already but I’ve heard great things.

If I ever suddenly lose a limb I hope I can be as optimistic about it as Mr. O’Brien.


I enjoyed Miles’ interview, but Xeni’s segment was cut by the local station for a pledge break!


All the best to both of you. May the rest of the 21st Century treat you more kindly.


Miles (and Xeni), you’ve been a part of our lives for a long time. We’re rooting for you.


Ride2recovery uses long distance bicycling as therapy for veterans. They could be a good resource for you. Good luck with your journey.

I am so very sorry for your loss Miles. What difficult times the two of you have been through. I hope you have a speedy recovery and that you find relief and comfort.