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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

aussiecarole

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About aussiecarole

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    Newbie
  • Birthday 01/28/1951

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  • Membership Type:
    Amputee
  • Amputation Type:
    RBK
  • Amputation Date:
    17 August 2004
  • Amputation Cause:
    failed surgery (stress frac. ankle)
  1. aussiecarole

    need info

    Hi Mari I had a pre-planned R bka just over 12 mths ago. Before my op, I researched as much as I could. I contacted amputee support groups and spoke with people who had been thru' it. I believe that there's no dumb questions, so I wasn't afraid to ask whatever was on my mind. I 'shopped' and asked around to ensure I had the best possible surgeon to perform the operation and I spoke with surgeons and read as much as I could about phantom pain and how to counteract it. I also asked around about which was the best hospital to have the operation. I found out as much as I could about what rehabilitation entails and how long I might expect to be away from work. Knowledge is power, but all the knowledge in the world will never take away the post-operative reality of losing a limb. I had to learn daily to accept myself as I now am and learn to live differently in some areas of my life. This I still find hard sometimes, but it's getting easier. I'm now back at work; I had my car converted to a left-handed accelerator and I've been driving for about 8 mths now; and I can still do most of what I used to do. Have courage. I wish you well - and remember, never be afraid to ask, anything. Carole
  2. aussiecarole

    Just checking back in

    Hi Namesake Have thought of you and your husband often during the past few months. I'm so pleased to hear there's some good news and that things are starting to look up somewhat. You must be physically and emotionally exhausted! I know what that's like - just when you think you can't go on another day, you do. Stay strong and if possible, try and make some time to pamper Carole - even if just for a few hours. My thoughts & prayers continue to be with you both. Drop in again soon with an update - it could prove to be a good release for you to talk with like-minded people. Love Carole
  3. aussiecarole

    How do you go to the toilet in the night?

    It's been very interesting reading how you guys handle the call of nature during the night. Some very inventive stuff - I don't think I could physically manage some of it. For what it's worth, here's what I do. When I was discharged from hospital, my occupational therapist supplied me with a toilet seat raiser, (which I didn't use anyway). However, a friend of mine who is a nurse and is familiar with the problems that amputees face, showed me how to turn the toilet seat raiser into a makeshift 'commode'. (I eventually intend to buy an old commode like my grandma had - one that looks like an ordinary wicker chair). Anyway, my nurse friend put the toiler raiser next to my night stand (which is next to the bed), lifted up the seat and put an ordinary plastic bucket into the frame (so the edges of the bucket rest on the frame underneath the seat). You put down the seat, and one can pee to their heart's content! It's about 2 steps from my bed and I can hold onto the bedside table for support. If I've used it during the night, I just take the bucket out and empty it into the toilet (just like grandma did). During the day, I use my artistic flair (he he), and cover the toiler seat raiser with a piece of material that blends in with the decor of the bedroom. Works well for me! Carole
  4. aussiecarole

    Hair growth

    Hi I'd love to shave my stump but when I was going thru' rehab, the physio stressed the importance of NOT shaving. She said it can lead to infections. I hate having a hairy stump (I'm a RBK), but I'd rather have that than an infection or the discomfort of hair growing back in a sweaty prosthesis - summers in South Aust can be very, very hot! Then again, I've read of people who do shave and have had no problems. I guess it's just a matter of choice and whether or not you're happy with what may happen. I've heard the womens' 'Inituition' razor is ok to use. I use it for the rest of my leg(s) and it's beaut but haven't been game enough to shave my stump with it. Anyway, good luck with whatever you choose to do. Carole
  5. aussiecarole

    I'm so sad...

    I should have told you too about our doberman that we had to have put down (this was about a year or so before the cat). Ruby was a red, 3-legged doberman (she was run over by a car when she was 6 and lost one of her front legs). We had a choice then of having her put to sleep or of keeping her, 3-legged. Naturally we kept her, She adapted very well and lived to be about 13 years old. Eventually though she got very ill and like you, we could have kept her for a few more weeks, but chose to let her die with dignity. Although we never got another dog (at least not till now), we did get another cat. I adopted a 2 year tortoise-shell cat who now sleeps happily on my bed - or anywhere else she pleases!! (If I had not taken her she would probably have been put down in some animal shelter). She's a beautiful cat and I luv her v.much. However, she's never taken the place of my previous cat, just as that one never took the place of the one before etc. etc. (I've had animals all my life). You said you'll never get another dog because you get too emotionally attached. That's why we take pets into our lives - so they can give us joy and we can give them a loving home. Don't deny yourself the happiness of owning another dog because you're hurting now. I found that my life didn't seem complete without either a dog or cat, or both, sharing my house. I bet in time you'll feel that way too. Take care. Carole
  6. aussiecarole

    I'm so sad...

    Afet I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. Not so long ago I too had to euthanise my cat of 13 years. My son had found her abandoned in a field before she'd even been weaned and if I ever had buttons on my clothing while I was holding her, she'd suck on them - to her I was her mother! She slept with me, went for walks with me and comforted me when I was sad. She was my friend and companion. I feel your sadness and I too feel sad. Bandit will always be with you, maybe not physically, but forever in your heart and nothing can change that. I know it's difficult for you now, but in time you will come to celebrate the beautiful time you had together that are yours to remember forever. You will meet Bandit again one day - I truly believe that. He's waiting patiently. Just think of the joyful reunion you'll have! Be sad, but also be glad for the things that you and Bandit shared. His spirit will never leave you. Love Carole
  7. aussiecarole

    TO SHAVE OR NOT SHAVE?

    Just thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in! My physio would KILL me if I shaved my stump, (which I would love to do). As well as the risk of cutting, she cites the risk of ingrown hairs. I've had a couple and they can be painful so I see what she means. I too have tried the Intuition razor on other parts of my body and found it excellent. It really is smooth and haven't had a nick anywhere. Despite this, as much as I'm tempted, I haven't shaved my stump, which after 3 months (since my amputution) is hairy and I hate it!! However, the wrath I would receive from my physio (I'm still attending gym and rehab as an outpatient), overrides my very strong desire to shave my stump. I haven't seen this much hair on my leg since I was about 12, which is when I started to shave my legs. To shave or not to shave ..... I guess it's different for different people. Me, I'm scared s---less by the thought of my physio bawling me out, so for the time being anyway, I guess I'll remain "hairily yours", Carole
  8. aussiecarole

    i'm new here

    Hello Aldo My name's Carole and I live in South Australia. I'm a RBK since August this year. It's great to hear from people from different parts of the world ... it shows that we're truly not alone! Keep in touch. Cheers Carole
  9. aussiecarole

    Hard socket versus pelite liner....

    Hi Cazzy I'm Carole and I live in South Australia. I'm a new amputee (RBK 9 weeks ago) and have already had 3 castings done. I'm also in the process of having a shower leg made. Because I'm a newbie, can you explain what 'renegade' and 'runaway' scokets are please. My prosthetist has never used that terminology when we've talked. Cheers Carole
  10. aussiecarole

    OUCH

    hI I had my amputation (RBK) on 17 August this year and got my first leg about 2-3 weeks later. I'm now on my second leg and I too am having problems with the prosthesis. I know that some of this is because the skin is still sensitive and there's still swelling, but llike you, I cringe with every step I take (I currently use a frame). I still attend outpatients 3 times a week for physio, but the prosthestist is always there too, and I just keep telling her where it hurts, she adjusts it, and I go off hoping that it's going to be alright. The point is, I will keep on telling her about any sore spots until she gets it right. That's her job. You should also be doing this, or else find someone else to make your leg for you. I hope you get your problem resolved (as do I). Good luck Carole
  11. aussiecarole

    I'm home!

    Thanks to all of you for your warm welcome back and for your encouragement and support. Now that I'm back, you'll be hearing a lot more from me. There's so much I need to know about living as an amputee. I'll need to learn how from your experiences, strength and support. Thanks for being there. aussiecarole
  12. aussiecarole

    New battles to be fought

    Hi Carole I'm aware of your husband's illness because of our previous correspondence. I wasn't aware that you were on crutches though. Can you get assistance from any community organisations/church/local council/Red Cross etc.etc? In South Australia we have organisations such as Domiciliary Care, Home Help and our local councils have people who will come into the home to do various tasks, and a host of other organisations that I can't recall. Does the hospital where your husband is having his chemo have any home assistance programs in place? When I left rehab yesterday, the social worker at the hospital had arranged assistance for me in the home (my husband's an invalid so he can't really care for me). There must be some assistance you can get near where you live - sometimes it's just a matter of finding out what and where. Don't know if I've helped, but please know that I'm thinking of you and your husband. Miracles do happen (so I'm told)!! You will cope somehow, I know you will. aussiecarole xxx
  13. aussiecarole

    I'm home!

    Hi After 7 weeks in rehab, I've finally escaped! It's so good to be home amongst my own things, but more importantly, to be able to sleep in my own bed (and to see my cat again)! I'm wearing my 2nd prosthesis, but I'm still having problems with breaks in my incision line which is caused by the pressure of the prosthesis. They're also in the process of making my 1st shower leg for use at home - can't wait, it's so awkward showering. I'll be going back 3 times as an outpatient for more physio, but it's just so good to be 'free' again. Cheers to you all. Carole
  14. aussiecarole

    Update

    Hi All Well, it's over. I had my RBK amputation on 17 August and I'm now in a rehab facility. I've got my first prosthesis (I had another casting yesterday) and they reckon I'm OK to come home on overnight weekend leave. I get around on my leg with the aid of of a frame - it's slow, but it gets me there! The surgery went OK, but coming off the huge doses of morphine that I'd been prescribed was awful. I had hallucinations, tremors for 2 days and vomited bile for 2 days. I never want to go thru' anything like that again - it was horrendous. I'm told my progression is comparatively advanced. However, over the last week I've developed skin break through in parts of my suture line which worries me immensely. Given my history of ulcers around my wound site I'm afraid that it may become ulcerated which would be a major setback. Did anyone else have this sort of problem? Anyway, it's great to be home amongst familiar surroundings, my cat, my garden, my books, and of course, my husband! Hope you're all well and enjoying life. I'll catch up with you again soon. Incidentally, thanks for the support and encouragement from various people prior to my surgery. Warm regards Carole
  15. aussiecarole

    Hello for Down Under

    Thanks so much to the people who replied to my initial posting. Your encouragement and good wishes for successful surgery were much appreciated. I had my surgery on 17 August and to be honest, it was horrendous. I was in intensive care for over a week coming off all the morphine that I'd taken for the past few years that had been prescribed by the surgeon who butchered my leg. However, like everything, all things pass and I've moved on. I'm now in my 3rd week of rehab and today I'm home on day leave. I've had my first prosthesis for a week now and am able to walk fairly well with it using a frame, although most of the time I'm still wheelchair bound. Anyway, I'm told by the physio and prosthetist that I'm advancing well and should eventually be able to walk unaided. Being me, I'm finding the rehab process really slow - I want to get up and walk now (who am I kidding)? I'm trying to keep positive although I keep hitting brick walls and have some really down days. I guess it's just a matter of perservering! What a joy to come home for the day and read all your postings. Thanks for caring. I'll let you know how things are next time I manage to escape for the day! Take care and my best wishes to you all. Carole
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