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jberna

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Everything posted by jberna

  1. I was so generously helped by the people of this forum, when I was doing my pre-amputation research in 2003, and I love coming back here to see what great things you guys are still up to. I'm a writer and write for a national blog, mainly covering prosthetic and amputee related topics. I'm currently doing a series of posts about the ways that amputees can show off their hardware finally, and because of that, many of us have customized sockets. I'm collecting stories and pictures of the things people have done to their sockets, to make them more personal. If you have a customized socket, and would like to share it with a larger audience, feel free to contact me. Or if you don't want to share the story behind your socket, and just share a picture, I'm okay with that too. I think our readers, who are mostly non amputees, will be amazed by all the amazing artwork that's walking around out there. I also love sharing the stories behind the custom designs, because that gives the artwork so much more meaning. I hope to hear from some of you. Feel free to send responses to my personal email at justonefoot.gmail.com I'll put a link to the article on this site, once it goes live. Thanks again! I love coming back here and hope to visit a lot more often in the weeks/months to come. Judy Berna (Judyb for those of you who were around in 2003 and 2004)
  2. jberna

    Everyones story

    How amazing is this forum that, almost ten years ago I started this thread because I loved hearing other amputee's stories, and it's still here, almost a decade later? I just had to pop back in and say I'm no longer in Utah... have since lived in NY for five years, and now reside in Colorado. But I'm still an amputee (it didn't grow back!) and I'm thrilled that this thread is still going strong...30K posts later. Cheers to all the amputees out there, reaching out to help each other...for decades! Judy Berna (jberna, or judyb back in the day)
  3. Hello! My name is Judy and I was a very frequent visitor here in 2003. I was researching the option of elective amputation and this group was a LIFE SAVER. I met so many caring, encouraging amputees here. I had my surgery in Jan of 2004 and have had a wonderful eight years, doing things I couldn't do with my old, deformed foot. It is fun to come back here, and see some threads I even started, like the 'Everyone's Story' thread. It was so interesting to see the stories that people posted and see how there are so many routes that get you to this place. Before my surgery, I was desperate to find a book about another elective amputee, and I never found one. The books about super athlete amputees were great, but I wanted to know about an everyday amputee, and even someone who chose to have it done. In the years since my surgery I've been watching the market, and there were still no books in this category. Since I'm a writer by trade, I thought maybe it was time to get one on the market. My book, called Just One Foot: How Amputation Cured My Disability, came out a few weeks ago. My goal is to get it to the people who need it the most. That means not only new amputees and people facing amputation, but also their friends and families, who might not understand. The book's website had helpful links for amputees and their families, before and after pictures of my deformed foot, and an essay called "You've Already Lost It', which I shared here several years ago. It's about how amputation can be the answer, not the problem. You can find all of this at justonefoot.com I have mentioned this site in the book, and how it was so helpful to me. I thought some of you old timers might like seeing it. I'd love it if you'd help me spread the word, so more amputees and their families can find it and know they are not alone. There is a flier you can print off, on the website, and post in your own local prosthetist offices or orthopedic hospital waiting room. I hope to also talk to the orhtopedic med students at our local medical school, to help them see that sometimes doing dozens of surgeries on a limb, and making a patient live on crutches and pain meds for years is NOT helpful. And that amputation is not failure. It just might be another way to get the patient back to an active life. Thanks again for all your help through the years. You guys are amazing. I was so moved to see that, after all this time, you are all still here, helping the next round of people who don't know where to turn. This site is incredible. Keep up the great work!! Very Sincerely, Judy Berna (or known to you as jberna!)
  4. jberna

    Long Lost Member and Elective Amputee Book

    Cheryl, thanks for sending people to that You've Already Lost It' essay. I think it sums up what most elective amputees go through and it helps their friends and families understand better. I have it posted on my blog and hope people find it. I'd love to get it published again, to get it out there. Sue, I'm glad you can get it in the UK. I'm also glad your doc was bright enough to realize when it was time to stop trying to fix things and time to get you back a real life! I think there are more of us out there than docs realize, and my mission is to get the word out to ortho docs that amputation is no longer always considered a failure. Judy
  5. jberna

    Elective Amputee Book

    My heart goes out to every person on these forums who is struggling. I'm so thankful this forum exists, so we can all find help from people who understand. When I was doing my pre-surgery research back in 2003 (when the internet was pretty slim on information!) I could never find a book about an every day amputee, not the super athlete amputee, but a person who lived with a prosthetic in real life. Once I had my surgery, and it went well, I decided there needed to be a book out there for all of us who will never run in the Paralympics or climb a mountain. I'm a writer, by trade, so I dove in. My book, called "Just One Foot: How Amputation Cured My Disability." is now available, along with it's website, at justonefoot.com I'm trying my best to get a flier about the book (and some day a copy of the book) in every prosthetist office, and every orthopedic hospital waiting room. I want those considering this option to know they are not alone and that life can be very good afterward. Every time I get a tiny bit of proceeds from the book sales, I go buy postage, to send the word out to others who might need it. I hope to also speak to the orthopedic resident doctors at the med school here in Denver, to let them know that amputation doesn't always mean failure. Sometimes it can mean a better life...better than years of surgery and more crutches and pain pills. I hope to get a new generation of docs thinking in a new way - more about what is best for the patient, when a limb refuses to heal. Sometimes amputation means they can go on with their lives and be more active than they were before. I was so encouraged and supported by this forum when I was doing my research. I wanted you all to know it was very appreciated and that I'm trying to give back, by getting this 'everyday amputee' book out there. Thanks again!
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