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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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lynnieb

amputate or not?

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I have no use in my right hand/arm/shoulder following surgery for a tumour three years ago. I'm in a sling permanantly, which is now causing me problems in my neck, (where I have another tumour!). I'm in a great deal of pain, and take morphine every day. :angry:

The thing is, I've been thinking lately about whether I should just have the arm amputated and be done with it. I'll never get the use back, and they won't even consider nerve transfer because of the risk of recurrence.

I just don't know what to do. Can anyone offer me any heklp or advice? I'd be very grateful.

Lynn x

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Hi Lynn, although my problem is slightly different (right leg), I think that the decision to be made is a similar one.

I was asked to decide about a below knee amputation last December, at first I just looked horrified and wouldn't talk about it at all. After a couple of weeks my eldest son broached the subject and told me he thought I would be much better off in the long run. Both my sons said they couldn't stand to see me in so much pain everyday (this made me feel very selfish). Slowly I started to think about what I'd be like if I did have the op. I started to think of positive things and they far outweighed the negative feelings I was having. My husband also started to agree with me, which took a while.

In April I came across this website, it has helped me no ends in coming to terms with my decision. I haven't had the op yet, just waiting for a date to be admitted into hospital. I have met a couple of people who have had the operation (Lesley, Meggy you will recognise her as), this also helps a great deal when you meet someone in person.

I hope this will help you in coming to a decision, I know from experience that pain drags you down, all I want now is to be rid of it, so I can get on with my life.

Love Pam

Cheshire, England. :angry:

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lynnieb

Hi There

and I think you should. I had a very bad foot after a surgery they messed it up

and I waited a long time, because I didnt know what to do. But if you are in so much pain, then the best thing would to have it amputated. But its only up to you

and I hope all goes well

best wishes

Lesley

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Hi Lynnieb and WELCOME,

The decision for amputation is a very hard one to take and I think its such a personal decision also.

I chose my RBK as I didn't want to spend up to 3 years of surgery, pain, hospitalisation and being away from my family - if I tried to save what was left of my foot after a crush injury. (afterward they said I would have lost it anyway). For me, it was a positive choice and I have moved on - its only been 7 months and I am back to 'normal'. I was however, in hospital with a chap who didn't want amputation at any cost - it's such a personal thing I think.

I have a prosthetist who was born without his right arm - he only has a bit below the shoulder - and he is doing so well in his chosen professional.

I would suggest taking on board all of the advice offered to you, speak to the limb centre professionals BEFORE you decide, see what is available for you post op etc., and then see what you want to do. Also talk it over with your family - as it will also affect them.

Good luck and take time to decide. This forum is a great place to obtain information, advice, support and also friendship and commaradary.

Sue - Cardiff - UK :angry:

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Hi Lynnieb, you certainly have a big decision ahead of you, so please take your time, so to be very sure you've thought this through at every angle. I didn't have the time to think anything through, there was no choise for me. Also, as Sue said, talk it over with your family, so that perhaps the decision can be made together, but of course, the FINAL decision has to be yours. The pain must be horrible and my heart goes out to you. I know, I got to the point where it was so unbearable, I didn't care what they had to do, just END the pain. As much as I'd like to give you an answer, as to what you should do, I don't feel I can, because there are many different factors to consider and no one knows your situation better than you do yourself. It seems you've been through a lot all ready and I'm sure you'll make the most intellegent decision. Please know, whatever that may be, my thoughts and prayers will be with you. My Best Wishes. :D

.................................................................

Sheila LBK

Southern Maine

Keep Smiling :)

It is better to have failed at the attempt, than to have never tried.

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Hi Lynnieb,

I had 2 major surgeries over 12yrs to my leg before the amputation and i can honestly say the amputation was the most successful, the least traumatic and the least painful of all. The previous 2 operations left me with scars almost the whole length of my leg, the amputation took most of them away. I am already walking a lot further than i have done in the last 12 yrs (not all in one go, i hasten to add lol!!) :)

So basically i reckon amputation was the best thing that could have happened.

There is a but tho, it is your decision. You are doing the right thing by getting information, asking questions etc on the forum, also ask your consultants, Dr's, limb specialists etc. Find out as much info as you can from these people, also look up websites etc, get info on the types of prosthesis that are available.

Most of all think of how much more you will get out of life, after all as they say"life is for living" you need quality of life to enjoy it not constant pain.

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Thank you all so much for your help. It IS a huge decision, and not one I can go back on if I don't like the outcome! The thing is, because I have neurofibromatosis, and therefore other serious medical problems, I can't help thinking, is this just one more problem I could do without?

I have spinal., lung, aortic tumours, as well as hundreds of little ones all over. I also have a curved spine so wearing a sling is hard.

It is just something I'll have to think long and hard about. Thsnks again,

Lynn x

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Gosh Lynnieb, if just Eric were here he probable could talk to you and help you to see the light. Sorry if I repeat this but it is true, you are alone in this baby but whatever you decided, just know we are here for one another. You will fit right into our opened arms. Love and please let us know your decision and how you are feeling..we have large shoulders and backs so we can carry some of your load. :(

Dea

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