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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

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  1. 3 points
    Sorry to hear about your ongoing problems Cheryl and I wish you all the best for your forthcoming surgery. Yes, it's a pain, but as you say, better than losing part of your foot... I honestly don't think you're overreacting (sp?) about your alarming experience - I'd be fuming too!The woman showed not only extreme ignorance, but her insensitivity is unacceptable for someone in her position. I'm sure that her 'boss' ( I think here in the UK it would be the Sister-in-Charge) would want to know about the incident. As you so rightly point out, there are other patients who may not be as alert and assertive as yourself who will also have to experience her bizarre and unorthodox practices! There are so many people who are unemployed who would LOVE a job like hers, and if she doesn't like her work I'm sure there are plenty of competent, sensitive and professional women who would gladly do it for her. You can always temper your complaint by praising those areas of care which you found to be excellent. Good luck and do let us know what you decide to do - and what the response is. And keep us posted about your surgery too!
  2. 2 points
    Hi Cheryl , Firstly sorry to read about all the bother you are having with your foot and I hope that you can get it sorted soon. Now to your post , as you may or may not know as far as amputation and all the stuff that goes with it I tend to treat mine as a huge joke , make jokes about it ,couldn’t care less what other people think or say don’t give a monkeys who see my “stump” when I stop to sort it out …………….but after reading your post I must admit I would feel outraged at what happened , in fact not even my wife would carry on like that and like I say I’m so easy , I can honestly say I would most likely punch the person and report them ……………….unless she was a tall leggy blond wearing a skimpy outfit and a drop dead beauty but then I think I’m on about a different scenario (mick slaps himself round the face) No I can honestly say if that happened to me I would report the person and kick up a right stink not only for myself but for any other people who might end up in the same situation as you
  3. 2 points
    Hi Everyone, I hope you are all doing well - And greetings from snowy, cold NYC! I just wanted to send a quick update - Lauren is doing well. She's back at school now for the second semester and so far, it's going very well. We really enjoyed having her home for the winter holidays and for the new year. While there are still many things that she can't do independently, it's gotten so much better as she's adapted to using her feet and even her mouth. There are highs and lows, of course, but the lows are getting less frequent. She has been dealing with some bursts of phantom pain the last week, so we are getting that checked out - There may need to be a change in her meds. I will continue to keep everyone updated. And again, thank you all for your support.
  4. 2 points
    Hi All, Lauren has officially started school! Yesterday was her first day back, and we're back in NY now. Overall, I think it was a very good day for Lauren. She is definitely excited to be back, as school really is where she should be now. She's always loved the freedom and independence of being away, as well as the social aspects of being at a large, dynamic university. I think being surrounded by her friends will only be a good thing for her, and I can tell you that they are all very glad that she is back. It is going to be a major adjustment in that some of that independence and freedom doesn't quite exist just yet, but it will over time. Lauren told me that it felt really weird to be sitting in a class and not have the ability to raise her hand, take notes, etc, but she does have a note taker in each and every class. She did mention that there were plenty of stares, but I (and she) are expecting that -- It is very, very rare to see a double arm amputee, let alone one of Lauren's age, and people are curious. She did not wear the cosmetics yesterday as the weather was so warm. The aide seems to be very helpful and kind, and Lauren is getting used to her. I expect this will take time as well, as there's no doubt that it's an adjustment to have someone brand new touching you, bathing you, feeding you, etc. We are excited to see how she progresses - And I am looking forward to my daily call from her! Thank you for all of your love and support!
  5. 2 points
    Thank you Ann and Cheryl! We've been very, very busy getting Lauren ready for school! We flew down there last week to start preparations for her return (we're back in NY now), met with the therapists who she will be working with, and met with the 24/7 aide who will be with Lauren. She's very nice, and very willing to help, which is great. Lauren is definitely excited to get back to school, but I think she is nervous at the same time. It's absolutely going to be a challenge for her on many levels, but I know she's going to be able to conquer it. I think the emotional aspect of seeing people for the first time since losing her arms is going to be very hard for her, but I know that her true friends at school will help her get thru it. On the physical side, David and I are comfortable knowing that she's going to have the help she needs when she needs it, and that she'll be continuing her therapy. Lauren is continuing to make progress on all fronts, and her feet are getting more and more flexible as they continue to learn and adapt. She still needs help eating and still needs to be dressed, but she's making progress slowly but surely. She does sometimes get upset about the fact that progress seems slow, so we try to remind her that Rome wasn't built in a day, and that she's undergone a major, major physical change that will take time to adapt. I think she was initially expecting that it would be a matter of a few weeks until she was fully independent, but that's just simply not realistic, and it's going to be a marathon rather than a sprint. We leave Tuesday to head back to school to finish getting all set up - We will keep you posted!
  6. 2 points
    Hi Marian, I am not an arm amputee but a RBK. I thought you and your daughter might find the following you tube channel a useful and inspirational resource: Tisha Unarmed - on You Tube. Tisha is a 26 year old women who was born without arms and her right leg shorter than the left. Tisha has posted 52 different videos on her you tube channel demonstrating how she does everyday tasks with her feet including: Going shopping/Cooking Taking care of her dog Doing her laundry & other tasks Painting her toenails/Putting make up on Many more topics included on her channel documenting her active/independent lifestyle Kind regards, Sara
  7. 1 point
    I was looking through on your website and came across your contact info. I read that because of so many letter's and short staff that not all letter's would be read. But I decided to go a head and write a letter to you anyways, and it would be self healing for myself since my amputation was so tramatic. I was so surprised when I received an email and a phone call from one of your people. I never thought this would happen. It was very heart warming to know that someone does care about the pain I am living everyday. For the first time in almost 3 years I feel that there is hope for me and that I might be able to get my life back again!! It's been a very difficult few years for me, but I now have hope!! Thank you so much for everything you do for people, and for your website because without it I wouldn't have learned the things I have or to have been able to talk to people, even becoming friends with some. It is very much appreciated! Mary Farquhar
  8. 1 point
    However you dress, whatever your culture, whatever your abilities or disabilities,a good man will love you for who you are. I have been married for a long time, so losing my leg at 52 was not so hard on me because my husband loved me before it happened and even more since. I know it's hard for younger women but there are MANY people on the forums who have met their partners since their amputations and have gone on to very happy and fulfilled lives - and you will too. So don't be despondent!It won't be easy, but get out there and start meeting men from other cultures who are kind and loving (assuming your religion permits it). Western clothes are very practical (well, the trousers are)and comfortable, easier to put on than a sari (if less beautiful).And perfect for Uni. There is no rule to say you can't mix it up and wear either is there? Go shopping with your friends for practical wheelchair stuff - it needn't be frumpy, there's plenty of pretty clothing out there which is fashionable but modest. Seven yards of sari entangled in the spokes of a wheelchair is NOT something I'd want to deal with....BTW any man who dismisses you just because you have a disability would make a lousy partner and should be avoided! A lot of attention from Englishmen? Fabulous! Go get 'em.....you only live once - just be careful of course.
  9. 1 point
    Hello everyone! I can't believe it's been so long since my last note here - Time sure does fly. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Lauren came home for the holiday, and is now back at school where she's prepping for the final exams. It's hard to believe that the semester just flew by. Thanksgiving went very well. We went to my sister's house, along with 20 other cousins and relatives. For many of them, it was their first time seeing Lauren since her amputations. Those types of situations are normally somewhat hard for Lauren, but she handled it really well and everyone was just so supportive and loving - Not to mention surprised to see just how much Lauren can do on her own! While Lauren did need some assistance eating her Thanksgiving meal, she was able to a really good job using her feet - I was definitely proud, and definitely happy to see just how much progress she's made since she was home last. She's also getting much better at dressing herself, which is a great accomplishment. One thing that we didn't think about upon her return to NY was her footwear. When she's down at school, where it's much warmer, she typically will wear flip flops or sandals that she can easily slip her feet in and out of, but here in NY, it's freezing, so she had to wear shoes and uggs that were much harder for her to take on and off by herself to get access to her feet. This is definitely a learning experience, and Lauren was so good at just going with the flow and trying to adapt. Her resilience is amazing. Lauren is back at school now getting ready for finals, and then she'll be back for winter break and the holidays. I can't wait to have her back home! All the best, Marion
  10. 1 point
    Hooray for Lauren!!! I think you've all turned a corner here, Marion...there comes a time when a horrible, all-consuming event that sits right in the middle of your life demanding that you focus on it becomes...well...just a horrible event that happened. And then you start rebuilding a normal life. Sounds like Lauren is headed that way! Good for her, good for her wonderful friends, and good for you! Do keep us posted!
  11. 1 point
    Thank you Cheryl! I am happy to report that Lauren has survived her first week of classes! She has said that it is definitely a radical adjustment, and she's still processing it all and taking it in. It's going to take time. Her classes went well, and the note-taker is proving to be invaluable. While Lauren can write somewhat legibly holding the pen with her toes, it just wouldn't work in the context of a fast-paced class, so it seems like we have a good solution. She's getting used to her aid, and they're developing a good rapport from what I can tell and from Lauren says. It's a definite adjustment to having someone new shower you, help in the bathroom, etc, but she's taking it in stride. The hardest part does seem to be the social aspect, with all of the staring and such, as you would expect. Her friends are being super helpful and supportive, and Lauren is very happy to be back with them - And to see some of her friends from school who she didn't get to see over the summer after her amputations. I do think she's going to have to learn to become even more comfortable in her own skin and with her new body, but she's doing great so far! Best, Marion
  12. 1 point
    Hi Marion and Lauren, I am not sure where the post on returning to school is , but CONGRATULATIONS Lauren for taking on the challenges. It seems like your mom and dad have helped put in some great support. Not even knowing you well at all I am sure you will conquer each challenge month by month--you are a gutsy young woman!l! Know I will be thinking of and pray for you and look forward to updates. One thing all amps need to adjust to is the staring--it really helped me when I realize they were curious not judgmental. A funny incident happened to me last week. I volunteer two afternoons a week at the Habitat Restore. Over the last two years I have gotten to know a number of the "regulars" well. I have a service dog to help me and when a regular saw her--I guess for the first time (she is very quiet and good) she asked why I had her. I said I had no leg. She said, "What do you mean? I came around the corner of the desk and pointed to my prothesis and she almost had a heart attack, she kept telling me she was sorry, she was sorry, probably 10-15 times. When I got her calmed and told her I was doing very well and it wasn't much of an issuel any more. I knew she wasn't being judgemental, but concerned about me. In the begining I had to remind myself that they were not judging. One thing I have been dealing with in the last couple of years is people being too helpful. I know I have hurt a few feelings by insisting I can really do it--I almost lost a friendship with this. Your true friends need to realize this and let you do what you can do even if they could do it faster. As time progresses you will be doing more and more things and your friends have to adjust to that too. Blessings on your new great adventure!!! Peace and blessings, Beth Marie
  13. 1 point
    Thanks BethMarie! She definitely is a spunky gal for sure! She is definitely making progress, but it is a slow, slow process indeed. We're learning to really celebrate every victory to keep Lauren's spirits high and to encourage her. I know she's going to thrive - Even without her arms! She does definitely have moments of deep sadness, but we know it's going to get better as she gains even more independence. While I was initially very apprehensive about her returning to school so quickly, I do think it's going to be great for her. She'll be in the environment she's supposed to be in at this time in her life - Just with some help. Cheryl, you are right in that there are some cool gadgets and gizmos out there. At the recommendation of Lauren's doctors, we've been looking into some of them. Interestingly (and intelligently, I might add!) they've pointed us in the direction of companies that make assistive aids for quadriplegics (who don't have us of their arms either). We've found a device called a feeder that could be a good option for Lauren - http://www.pattersonmedical.com/app.aspx?cmd=getProduct&key=IF_46883. We've even found devices that would allow her to use a computer using her eyes! She's been using voice recognition software thus far, but that is also something that we're considering for down the right. Our (and Lauren's) natural preference is for her to use her feet for as much as possible, but it's great to know that there are options out there. It is simply amazing how quickly technology is advancing. You're right that the cosmetic arms really aren't going to be for everyday use. As I mentioned, they're rather heavy and hot, and as per Lauren, definitely not comfortable. I'm sure they'll get a little better as she gets used to them, but they will really be for special occasions. She's been wearing them quite a bit this weekend, but I think it's just out of excitement. They do definitely get in the way for both Lauren when she's using her feet, as well as for us when we need to assist. Lauren's feet have been giving her pain, so she's been relaxing them a bit, and we've been doing a bit more for her (like brushing her teeth, feeding her with a fork, etc) so that she can hopefully feel better. At the recommendation of the podiatrist, we're looking into different shoe options for her. She generally wears flip flops because they're so easy for her to slip out of (and because she loves how they look), but they really do lack support, which could be contributing to the issue. She does have regular athletic sneakers, but they're almost impossible for her to get on and off independently, so I've been trying to encourage her to wear her Tom's, Sperrys, or Flats, as they'd also be easy for her to get on and off so that she can use her feet. These also help us, as we regularly wash her feet (just as we wash her hands) to keep things as sanitary as possible. Later today, Alison is taking Lauren to a yoga class! The studio that Alison goes to actually has an adaptive yoga class for people with disabilities. Lauren is extremely excited, as she loved yoga before her amputations. The studio has never dealt with an arm amputee (it's mostly for folks in wheelchairs), so we'll see how it goes. It'll be good for both Lauren and Alison to spend some one-on-one time together doing something that they would have been doing before the accident, and David and I are just thrilled that she's willing to go out and try new things, rather than just staying home and being sad. I'll definitely let you know how it goes. Enjoy the day!
  14. 1 point
    Well I think those are some lovely developments! I know that you have some concerns about wanting Lauren to be fully self-sufficient, Marion, but do try to keep in mind that she wasn't "fully self-sufficient" when she set out for college pre-accident either. This entire time in her life is about that "becoming fully self-sufficient"...she just happens to have an additional challenge to master. If she is feeling strong enough to give it a go, she's also very likely to sort out what to do and/or who to call if she does run into a difficulty that's beyond her present abilities. The more independent she can be, the better! If she has a good caregiver working with her, they'll no doubt be able to figure things out between them........ I'm not only glad that Lauren and her dad got some nice "together time," I'm happy that you got a chance to just step back a bit and have a few minutes to think about things...or not think about things, whichever you most needed! Sometimes it seems that a situation like this can be harder for the parents than for the amputee. The person actually going through the recovery truly knows what's happening, what it feels like physically, how it affects them emotionally......their family and friends have to just guess at all that. Take your cues from Lauren...while you're all learning about the "technical" parts of being an arm amp together, she is the ultimate authority on her body, mind, and emotions. It sounds like you're doing your best to be supportive, so remember that granting Lauren that authority over herself is a major way to support her! Do keep us posted....this is an exciting time in a new amputee's progress and there are many of us pulling for Lauren!
  15. 1 point
    Hi All, Hope everyone has having a great weekend! Yesterday, Lauren spent the day with my husband in the city, and I think it was good "father daughter" time. As he works long hours during the week, he rarely gets to spend time with Lauren alone, and I think they both had a really good day. He told me that he was surprised at how tired he was after the day - And indeed, Lauren does require a lot of help, but he thoroughly enjoyed it all and he also surprised at the progress that she's making emotionally. Lauren told me that it's definitely an adjustment to need her dad to help her in the restroom and such, but she's starting to accept it. While she does definitely have quite a bit of sadness, she's not nearly as weepy as she was just a few weeks ago - And it's amazing to see her smile. It's true, Ann... Her friends really are helping her get thru this. They are really treating her as they always did, albeit with some extra help. I can't believe how much they really care about Lauren, and I know she's so appreciative. Now for the big news - It looks like Lauren is going to be returning to school for the Fall semester! It was a big decision, but Lauren really wants to get back to living her life, and while my husband and I do definitely have our trepidations, we both agreed that we're not going to do anything that will delay Lauren's emotional progress on this whole journey. She just wants to get back to her friends, her studies, and the things that every girl loves about college! She will have 24/7 assistance, and will also be continuing all of her therapy while at school. Lauren knows that it isn't going to be easy at all, but she seems up for the challenge, and we know that if there's anyone who can make this work, it's Lauren. Classes begin on August 25th, but we're going to go down a week early to get her all settled and into the swing of things. The school has been amazing to work with, and they really seem to be onboard with getting Lauren everything she needs to succeed. So I guess that I am nervous, but obviously elated that she wants to take this step. Part of my concern is that she's not really close to being self sufficient yet, but as my therapist told me, I need to put faith in the fact that Lauren is a smart girl, and that she has a great support system between her friends, advisors, aide, etc. In other news, we are excited for her to receive the cosmetic arms - She's really looking forward to getting them! Though it remains to be seen how often she'll actually wear them, I know that she's just so excited to look at herself in the mirror and see her sleeves filled again. Physically, Lauren is healing well, and the scars on her stumps are fading. We have an appointment this week for a check-up. I will keep everyone posted!
  16. 1 point
    Hi Everyone, I hope those who celebrated had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! We had a very relaxing weekend, and spent quite a bit of time at our pool (our building has one on the roof) just enjoying the nice weather. Lauren got to spend time with some friends, and got to really spend time with her sister. We all got very tan! Lauren actually put on a bathing suit and went into the pool for a few minutes (in shallow water, obviously), which was great! This was the first time she's really exposed her arms and shoulders since the amputations. I know she was definitely uncomfortable at first, but the crowd was really very minimal and I think she had a good time. It's great to see her starting to feel more comfortable with her body and not let it get in the way of a good time. With the weather being so warm lately, she's been wearing short sleeved tops that just cover the top of her shoulders, and she's been dealing well with it. She even said to me that hopefully soon she'll feel comfortable enough to wear tank tops, but that she's not there yet. Again, I know it will come with time. Where she continues to struggle is with seeing people who she hasn't seen or who didn't know about her injuries. Between having to go thru the story and then dealing with the "I can't believe it" reaction, it's very, very tough for her. Cheryl, you're absolutely correct about the dating issue. With her injuries, it will be very difficult to "hide" her amputations, so she will find guys who are attracted to her for who she is. I know that the pool will be limited (unfortunately), but I firmly believe that there's someone out there for everyone, and I know Lauren has so much to offer someone beyond her limbs - And yes, with the way that she's learning to use her feet, I have no doubt she'll make some lucky guy very happy with them :) I did come across the "devotee" issue in some of my online research - How repulsive! I can't believe that people would actually want to see others suffer, and be attracted to them because of their suffering. I have not yet mentioned this to Lauren, but will engage in a light discussion when the time feels right. Tomorrow, we go back to the prosthetist for the next appointment on her cosmetic arms. She's excited to get them, as they'll definitely help her feel more confident, even if they aren't really functional. We will keep you posted!
  17. 1 point
    Hi All, I hope everyone is getting ready for the 4th of July! Things here are going as well as they can be. Lauren is continuing to make progress, and in fact, they've started to teach her the basics of how to feed herself using her feet! It's going to take quite some time for her to get it, but at least the process is in motion! She's very, very happy about this, as having to be fed (and dressed, for that matter) is one of the hardest parts of her injuries for her to deal with. I will say that it's been amazing to watch her learning to adapt - She's moving her toes in ways that I never thought were possible! Things like picking up a pen, for example, seemed all but impossible just a few weeks ago, and now she's not only doing that but even starting to learn write with her feet. It's exciting. I still absolutely battle with the fact that my daughter's life has changed so drastically, and that things that she didn't think about now require so much effort and help, but it is getting a little better. We are still figuring out the school situation. Lauren really wants to go back ASAP. I am beyond thrilled that she feels comfortable enough with her new body image to want to return. Logistically, she would have a full time aid, and we have already made contact with a team of therapists nearby who would be working with her on her rehabilitation and recovery. Is it too early though? Lauren did have a little bit of a breakdown about dating. It's especially hard as many of her friends are getting into semi serious relationships, and attracting boys was never an issue at all for her. She's in the "who will want me like this" phase, which is heartbreaking for us. She's made comments like she can't even hold hands with a boy at a movie, let alone give a hug. We keep telling her that she will find a guy that can see past her disability, and that it will come with time, but it's obviously very upsetting to hear, and i know she's sad about it. I hope you all have a great holiday!
  18. 1 point
    Very true I'm itching to get going and starting a new chapter
  19. 1 point
    Thank you Johnny! We will definitely look into this! Lauren had an intense day of therapy today, and she's coming along well. It's looking like they will begin to teach her some basics for feeding herself late next week - She is definitely excited about that, as having to be fed like a baby is one of the hardest parts of her injuries. The therapy team has really focused on building up strength and dexterity in the torso and in her legs/feet. Lauren has made some very good progress in using her toes to pick things up (like a pencil, etc), which is going to be a crucial skill for her future. The therapist was telling us today that many arm amputees often like to continue to use their feet even with prosthetics. Tonight, Lauren has some friends from college over, which is great. She's certainly trying to go about her life! Best, Marion
  20. 1 point
    Thank you Johnny! We will definitely check out that organization. It's been a struggle to find other arm amputees similar in age to Lauren, let alone someone with the same level of her amputations. This weekend went surprisingly well. We had a family wedding over the weekend. Originally we didn't think Lauren would want to go, seeing as it was so soon after her accident, but surprisingly, she told us 2 weeks ago that she absolutely wanted to attend. I was absolutely surprised, but in the best way possible - My daughter wasn't going to let amputations stand in the way of having a good time and being with family! Needless to say, the entire family (including my niece, the bride) was overjoyed that Lauren was able to attend. Lauren definitely did well up and cry a bit as we were getting her dressed and when she looked in the mirror, but we were able to pep her up and she got over it. Arms or no arms, she looked absolutely beautiful! I will try to figure out how to post a picture. She did surprisingly well at the wedding, which I know was so tough because there were so many people there who hadn't seen her since she had her amputations. Many of our relatives told me that they couldn't believe how well she seems to be doing. She stayed with us most of the night, and we fed her and took care of her. I know she would have rather been out there on the dance floor, but that will come with time. Overall, I couldn't be more pleased at how it all shook out! Best, Marion
  21. 1 point
    Thank you Kitkat - sound advice as always. At least I know I'm on the right track - I'm using bits and bobs like long-arm reachers etc. to help with dressing and undressing and I'm scouring the internet for other useful gizmos. I do find though that in theory the gadgets are a fab idea but in reality they never quite live up to the expectation. I think you may also be right about needing to go to a rehab centre .I know my family are more than happy to help, but I am going to be so incapacitated for a while I just want to be as prepared as possible beforehand!
  22. 1 point
    I only wear a removable cover under pants (skinny ones in particular) in order to "fill out" the pant leg. With shorts and dresses I leave my leg bare. I even have a high heel leg that I leave uncovered with dresses. I don't care if people look. I would look too. Carbon fiber legs look awesome. My attitude may be a result of my occupation. I am a Physical Therapist and am used to prosthetics, orthotics and all kinds of assistive devices and I always notice how people walk and try to figure out why.
  23. 1 point
    You all deserve one as well for all the work you do in the background to make this forum work for all of us...We do appreciate it!
  24. 1 point
    HI I dont think I am even wanting to write on this post, because I picked something along the lines of dating still exists, it was the other one that tied with this one, but I have heard so many times that theres a guy out there for you and I am like ok...but my leg doesnt bother me, and I wear shorts all the time to school and I think every guy knows there is something wrong, but I havent been on a date and I think I am too young to actually know what love is, because all I hear and see at school is PDA and breakups, so I dont see where in my case, and age that I could know what love is, I know I am pretty, because GOD made me special. So if a guy likes me, someday he will sweep me off my feet, sometimes I get so overwhelmed and forget to think about whats really important to me, believing and trusting in yourself and knowing who you are and how much you have to offer this world is everything, for all people who havent dated and dont want to, I dont blame you, but if you get the chance, then have a great time. At my age that is what every girl is doing, going out on dates and ending up saying things they dont mean. I am not sure I guess I have mixed emotions on what is love really? Lesley
  25. 1 point
    I've found dating to be actually a little easier now that I'm an amputee. I'm more comfortable with my body....as if the things I was worried about before have become so unimportant. I'm relaxed in my own skin, and I think that helps project a sense of confidence & ease. My only advice (& I learned this the hard way) is be up front about your disability. Honesty is a good starting point, and if the person decides they can't handle it, then you are better off without them.
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