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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum


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About Taralou

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  • Birthday 10/29/1971

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    Dublin, Ireland
  • Interests
    Photograhpy<br />Travel<br />Reading<br />Music<br />Dogs<br />Art

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  • Amputation Type:
    Partial foot
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  1. Taralou

    I'm afraid I'll regret elective amputation

    Well it's now 5 months on and I've had the operation. I got out of rehab two weeks ago and I'm back home with my new leg. I'm so glad I did it - everything's so much easier now. I can walk around the house without crutches and I just need a stick when I'm out and about. Thanks to all for your advice. Life two here I come!
  2. Taralou

    New Here and SAD!

    There's no such thing as a stupid question! If you can't ask it here where can you ask?? You've mentioned pain and living hell... Not a good place to be in my opinion. We talk a lot about emotions here but it's worth pointing out to you that the below knee amputation is by far the most common type, therefore the one with which the medics and support staff have the most experience and the highest success rate. There are probably thousands of people if not hundreds of thousands around the world who've had this procedure and are living full productive lives. They're working, getting married, having families and in a nutshell doing all the things able bodied people do and often making more of their lives having been through this than some lazy couch potato who takes his/her mobility for granted. Yes it is a leap of faith but as I said your medical team know what they're talking about because of all those who've gone before you so you're jumping into safe arms if you do decide to go ahead and they wouldn't be recommending it if they didn't feel it was best for you. Remember this is your choice and there's no time limit so you can take all the time you need to think about this before you decide if pain and living hell trumps surgery. You may need to take a giant step back by opting for surgery but think of the possibilities it offers. They manage the pain very well - I've had no discomfort at all and I'm kept going by the knowledge that in a few short weeks I'll be getting my new leg. You have to be 110% certain before committing to this course of action. You've taken the first step in that you're considering it and asking questions and honestly, you'll know if and when you're ready to change the direction your life is going in... I hope this forum is helping you and I wish you well. T
  3. Taralou

    New Here and SAD!

    Hi Jenn, I really feel for you. I was in a similar situation but my problems with my foot were because of illness. In a nutshell I had a partial foot amputation at the time of the illness and I struggled with trying to walk - I spent 4 months in a wheelchair and 14 months on crutches. I could drive and get around but everything was a struggle and I had one infection after another. I ended up back in hospital with my latest infection and a surgeon came to review me. He told me he felt that at this stage a below knee amputation was the best option. He wasn't the first one to say so. The first time that was suggested to me was about 9 months ago and I freaked out. I felt like sticking my fingers in my ears to shut out the world and the reality that I felt was closing in on me. I ignored it and reacted almost violently any time any medical expert suggested it. But the seed had been sown and the idea started to grow that maybe this wasn't the end of the world but rather the beginning of a better life for me. So I kept thinking about it and to cut a long story short I had the surgery last Thursday. It's such a relief and I'm at peace with it I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I'm chomping at the bit to heal and get on with the next stage i.e. fitting a new leg. I know exactly how you're feeling now - confused, angry and most likely scared and unsure. You probably want someone who knows everything to just step in and take over and do what's right for you. The one thing I heard again and again on this forum is that you'll know when you're ready for it. Don't listen to your family telling you not to do it. Ask them to support how YOU feel and what YOU eventually decide to do - whether that's to go on living in pain or consider the alternative. Make a list of pros and cons. Talk to people who KNOW what they're talking about i.e. your doctor, rehab consultants, physiotherapist and prosthetist. Visit the rehab hospital. Ask questions. Ask to meet other elective amputees. Take advice from them not from your family or friends. They are not objective and with respect haven't a clue what you're going through. People who work in this area or have experienced amputation are much better informed and able to help to guide you at this difficult time. Without exception every person I've met/spoken to who has elected to have this surgery has only expressed one regret - that they didn't do it sooner and even though I'm only at the early stages having had the operation only a few days ago I can now add my voice to theirs. I have no pain now, my ulcers will no longer plague me with infections and very soon I'll be putting my crutches in the attic. Someone once said to me at the early stages of rehab following my first amputation that you can't control what life throws at you - you can only control how you react to it. It was the best advice I ever got and I've decided that I'm going to live my life according to that motto from now on. It's really help me to cope. Illness happens, accidents happen and bad things happen to good people every day. It's a cliche I know but that's life. We're all destined to face adversity sooner or later - whether in our own life or losing someone close to us and the impact that may have. My advice to you right now is to just take each day as it comes. Ask your family for their support rather than opinions because they are not objective in this case as they're emotionally involved. Weigh up the pros and cons and soon the answer will be obvious to you. You'll find a lot of support here - I did and it helped me arrive at my decision. In the end though three things made up my mind for me - seeing Heather on 'Dancing on Ice' and knowing that she gets out and can ski, rollerblade, hike, etc. etc. seeing how well other below knee amputees are doing and can walk without limps and get on with their lives and finally finding a surgeon I had faith in. I liked and trusted him from the second I met him and I believed him when he told me this was the best option. I wish you luck, Tara
  4. Taralou

    I'm afraid I'll regret elective amputation

    I've just gotten out from hospital - I had an infection in my leg. While I was in there the surgeon came to see me and added his name to the list of people who are telling me that an amputation is the best thing for me now at this stage. It's so hard to hear that. I want to stick my fingers in my ears and scream lalalalalalalala until they leave the room! But something's changed in me this last week. I'm starting to see this not as the end of the world but as the beginning of a new journey - an opportunity to be better. I know what's ahead in terms of surgery, rehab, disruption to my life etc. so in a way I feel better prepared having been through it once already. I've been on crutches for over a year now and unless I do something different nothing in my life will change and 3,4,5 years from now I'll still be on crutches. I don't want to have the surgery then and look back and think I wasted 5 years hobbling around when I could have had a better quality of life sooner. I'm 95% decided now - are you ever 100%?
  5. Taralou

    I'm afraid I'll regret elective amputation

    Thanks to everyone who's replied so far. I'm sure you've all been through what I'm going through right now. I don't like to bother my friends or family with my concerns, partly 'cause I've already put them through so much with my illness but also 'cause they wouldn't understand how I'm feeling so it's really helpful for me to have found this forum because you all know what you're talking about and I don't feel so alone now
  6. Hi there, I'm new to this site. I had a partial foot amputation just over a year ago following an illness and am struggling to cope. I'm still on crutches with no sign as of yet of ever coming off them and now my physio and two consultants have recommended a below knee amputation. I asked the surgeon why he didn't give me this option at the time of the initial surgery and he said his priority was to preserve as much tissue as possible as the prognosis for a good recovery i.e. that I might walk with a prosthesis was excellent. The team at the rehab hospital are trying for the fourth time to come up with a prosthesis to help me but as they don't see many partial foot amputations this is new territory for them and we're not having much success... I'm in hell right now as I don't know what to do. I feel like a kid and I wish someone who knew everything about everything could just step in and make a decision for me - the right decision. I can drive and get around on crutches but I'm so slow and so tired of people asking me ten times a day what happened to me. As it stands right now I can get around my house using a big clunky prosthesis but I get tired so easily and am in pain on an almost daily basis. I can wear shoes and boots and when I'm sitting down you'd never know I was missing my foot. If I had the amputation I know I could walk again without crutches and could wear a great many of the shoes I've held on to that I can't wear at the moment but I dread facing more surgery and rehab and most importantly being a burden to my family all over again and having to give up my independence again just at the stage where I've moved back to my own house and can drive my car again. I also can't help obsessing about how this will affect how I'm perceived by guys. I was very outgoing before this happened but now I worry about the future. I enjoyed my social life and I always assumed I'd eventually meet someone and live happily ever after but one thought just won't go away - who's going to want me now? I know the question has probably been asked many times on this site about elective amputations but how do you know or when do you know it's the right thing to do? I'm so afraid I'll regret it, but on the other hand I see people in rehab with prosthetic legs and they're flying around the place and you'd never know 'cause they don't even have a limp. I'd love to hear from people about life after elective amputations - the pros and the cons. Does anyone feel they regret their decision?