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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
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A Great big "Hi!" from St. Louis, MO

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Hi! My name is Patti. I'm from the good ol' "Show Me" state. I just recently found this forum, which I'm glad I did. :D I'm am married a a wonderful man, who has help me deal with my illness, but I need to communicate with someone who actually knows what I'm dealing with. Everyone tells me they know what I'm going through, but they don't really.

It's been 2 years ago, since I was rush to the hospital with this unknown desease. My body was shutting down organ at a time. :( I spent 14 days in ICU. During that time, I almost die as the changed respirators. From there they moved me to an extended care hospital. To say the least, I was their youngest patient, at 40 years of age. I spent our 1st holiday season with my husband and my 3 teenage daughters, at home. :D I wanted my girls to have a some what normal Christmas as possible. In January 2004, I started my amputations. I lost both of my legs below the knee. I lost all my fingers except 1 1/2 thumbs. In Feburary 2004, my husband & I celebrated our !st anniversary. It really wasn't the way we planned on celebrating it. At least we were still together!. In May, I had to go back for my 2nd surgery. This is when they did my skin graft on my right leg. By the end of June, I was back for the 3rd time. My left stump got infected. The doctors had to open it up and drain the infection. The they gave me 6 weeks of heavy duty antibotics by IV. :unsure:

In the year of 2005, I have been fitted with my prosthesis for my legs. I walking on them. Boy does the world look different standing on them than it does sitting in a wheelchair! ;) Only problem I have seems to be that my lower back starts to hurt after 10 mins or so. Is this common? I'm still looking for a company that can fit me with prosthesis for my hands. I need them to be functional and cosmeticly correct, if possible. Not having all my fingers, really limits my ability do be independed. I have received a support dog. B) He has a been one of the biggest blessing to me. He helps me with alot of things I can't do for myself.

I have found out that my unknown desease was actually TSS (Toxic Shock Sydrome). :angry: This TSS has change my life totally. I hate the ideal that I have to depend on my family to eat, bath, to get dress, and go anywhere. I'm so used to being the caregiver. Now everything seems so messed up because of this illness. And there is so much I need to relearn to be independed some what like I was. :blink:

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G'day Patti and welcome to our "family", I'm glad you managed to find us.

Sure seems like you have been through a lot of pain and suffering, but you sound strong and up beat and have a wonderful family supporting you.

Ask anything you like. The people here are wonderful (apart from the odd Mucus person

:blink: ) and just about anything you ask someone has an answer.

Pull up a chair and get comfy and join the fun. :D

Big Aussie hugs,

Cat

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Welcome Patti,

You've found the best site for support and advice, we may even make you laugh....a lot :D

People here are great.

Back pain is sort of inevitble as your body adjusts, you could try some core stability exercises to strengthen the back.

Keep smiling.............Lynne

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Hello and Welcome Patti,

I'm sorry for all that have been through, but you seem to be doing ok and you have a positive attitude, which is essential in our recovery.

A little bit about me: My name is Afet and I became a bilateral BK in July 2003. This was the result of an infection (endocarditis ~ infection in or around the heart valves) but at first, they thought that I, too, had TSS. It took them around a week to diagnose me correctly. It turns out that my infection was a form of TSS, in that I was being poisoned from the inside.

Luckily for me, my fingers were spared, though my fingertips had turned black with the septicaemia. I thought they were going to amputate mine too, but was so relieved when the colour started returning to them. I was very lucky. I did lose my hearing though. But I hear now thanks to a cochlear implant, which works wonderfully.

This forum has been a blessing for me! It's thanks to this forum that I have progressed. Nowhere else can you find a group of people that can understand you so well. And members here cover most types of amputation levels.

Make yourself at home, ask any questions you may have and just enjoy it here!

Oh, and to answer your question about back pain. It's very common in amputees. I had some too, right at the beginning. I was shown some core and back exercises, which I did, and the pain just went. Often it's just a case of one particular muscle doing much more work than the others. That's why the exercises you can do can help strengthen the other muscles.

Best wishes. :)

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Hi Patti

Welcome to the forum. :)

Back pain is a common problem in amputees. I usually find that if my back pain gets worse, it's because my leg length isn't equal - it can happen for a number of reasons.

Take care

Lizzie

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Welcome aboard. Take no notice of Cat. The Mucus twins are ok (and I'm always right, Cat ;) )

I'm the Muc'y one by the way. The other ones a cus :)

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Hello Patti_justthumbs:

Very glad you found this forum. There are several entites who, although are not the result of your situation, are very very similar. I also have a personal friend who is very close in build to your present configuration. I have been trying for a long time to get her on board but to date she is very busy with her new family.

She is a result of menningitis or some thing and is truly a most remarkable person.

Hope you stay around.

ED

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Hello Patti, and welcome to the forum. So glad you found us. Sorry to hear about your traumas.....I will never cease to be amazed at the strength some individuals manage to show in the face of adversity. You sound like a wonderful woman.

I'm Ally, right above knee amputee from South Africa. Car accident in 1995.

And you are so right - doesn't the world look groovy from a standing point of view. Prosthetics are a blessing when they aren't annoying us...

Looking forward to hearing lots more from you,

Ally

:)

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:D :D Thanks to all you for your big warm welcome to this forum. I'm very excited to get to everyone!!!

Afet, you said something about core and back exercises that you did to help make the lower back pain go away. What are they? Where can I get a copy of them? I'm willing to try anything to make the pain go away and able to stand longer!

I have had my temp. legs check to make sure that they're adjusted right and level. I was told everything looked great and to hang in there because my permament set will be lighter and more comfortable... :unsure:

I really appreciate everyone's input on this.

Patti

St. Louis, MO

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Hi Patti

Welcome to the forum. I hope you have a great time here, A lot of people from all over the world to talk to, and who understand you. I think thats just what you need. My back used to hurt, but you will get used to it, and then it wont hurt anymore, but if you do, then another fitting might be possible.

I am sorry to hear about your TSS. I hope you know you will get through this. Do not worry about someone taking care of you, its what they want to do, because they love you.

Be strong and smile...if you need to talk I am here. You can contact me in email or PM if you ever need anything.

I am a RBKA, I dont know if I can be of much help here. But alot of people to contact. A great family.

Lesley

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Afet, you said something about core and back exercises that you did to help make the lower back pain go away. What are they? Where can I get a copy of them? I'm willing to try anything to make the pain go away and able to stand longer!

Well, I don't know about getting a copy of them, as I was just shown what to do by my physiotherapist. Do you have access to one? I'm sure they'd show you how to do these if you do have one.

The exercises are basically Pilates type movements. It might be an idea to get a Pilates Video/DVD. That way, you are shown how to do them properly.

I'll explain the exercises here as best I can anyway.

Transverse Abdominus Exercises (these are muscles that are located on the sides of your core region and are essential for daily movement.

These can be done on a mat, a bed or the floor.

- Lay back, with your knees bent and feet as flat as you can get them on the floor/mat/bed. (crunch position).

- Put your hands just above your hip bones, so you can feel the muscles contracting.

- Tilt your pelvis backwards and pull your stomach in.

- Hold it there for about 5 seconds to start, then work it up to 10 seconds each.

- Do this about 20 times.

It's quite important that, when you work any muscle, you then work the opposing muscles. In the case of doing ab work, that means then using your back muscles. This helps keep them balanced, and prevents one muscle from being overly stronger than another. Maybe Cat can explain why this is, better than I can! ;)

Lower Back Exercises

Roll over on your stomach now.

- Lay so your legs are stretched out fully.

- Keep them at hip distance apart.

- Bend your arms so your hands are besides your ears, for balance.

- Then contract your back muscles so you raise your head a little. Don't go too far.

- Concentrate on using your abdominal muscles for this movement.

- Start by doing a few, then upto a set of 20 lifts.

- Repeat as necessary.

There you go. Those are the two exercises I did that helped alleviate the back pains I was having.

I feel the need to have a warning here though. You may want to check with your doctor before you start doing any kind of exercises like this. :unsure:

Best of luck! :)

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:D :D Thanks for the info Afet! It's greatly appreciated! I will try them.

Thanks for the Google Search idea, Dancingfool! I'm going to look there!

Patti

St. Louis, MO

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Welcome to the forum, Patti. I see you have already gotten lots of good information and there's lots more anytime you need it. Sounds like you are doing well. Sometimes it's a struggle but you'll get there in the end. Best of luck.

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Hi Patti, welcome to the forum, with nice friendly people, good wisdom, support and even some laughs from time to time. ;) So please, sit back relax and enjoy yourself, as I'll be looking forward to more of your posting. :D

Sheila lbk

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

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Hi patti:

Thought I would add a comment here:

Only problem I have seems to be that my lower back starts to hurt after 10 mins or so. Is this common?

Reakl common. The reason is simply that your body now has to use muscles your mind is telling it to use.......to do what you no longer have.

Like any muscle you are training, you need to push it a little further each time.

I walk with my ass. My lower back is now bigger than originally. Just keep going.......push it.......don't kill it.

In time these muscle groups will form to what you will need.

ED

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Hi Patti

I'm sorry that I didn't acknowledge your "fellow Missourian" hello earlier. I did remember it though and made a note to say hello back. Thank you. I'm down here in the south west corner in Joplin, (Near the Kansas, Oklahoma borders. Ha, but you knew that.)

I'm ususually a serious minded person and don't just visit very well. My wife keeps telling me to "Lighten up", but after 47 years pretty much accepts me for what I am. (Thank God). But I'm working on it. That is why I thought that this forum would be good. They all seem like a real neat group of people.

Jump in and say hello once in awhile. I'll do the same.

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Hi Patti

I'm sorry that I didn't acknowledge your "fellow Missourian" hello earlier.  I did remember it though and made a note to say hello back.  Thank you.  I'm down here in the south west corner in Joplin, (Near the Kansas, Oklahoma borders.  Ha, but you knew that.)

I'm ususually a serious minded person and don't just visit very well.  My wife keeps telling me to "Lighten up", but after 47 years pretty much accepts me for what I am.  (Thank God).  But I'm working on it.  That is why I thought that this forum would be good.  They all seem like a real neat group of people.

Hey Jim T--

I'm so glad you found our forum. You're in great company! ;) You're right, I do know where Joplin is. We go through every so often when we go to Oklamhoma, (my brother-in-law lives in OK). B)

Take care & I'll talk to you soon!

Patti

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Hi Patti

Welcome. Sorry I took so long. I just wanted to say that I am glad you are doin ok. I had tss about19 years ago. I was very lucky and will always praise the Aussie nation. It was an Aussie doc who knew what I had and if he had not acted as soon as he had I would like you have been hurt really bad. As it is I was among the lucky few survivors of this nasty disease. (I have minor renal failure and small bowl/intestine shrinkage).

Just wanted to say I am thinking of you.

Rachel

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Hi Patti,

Sorry for my late reply I am just so busy all the time, I work full time, take care of two kids and going to school to become a Pilates Instructor. Welcome to the forum family I'm so glad you joined us so pull up a comfy chair and join in when you can. I haven't posted much lately but I do read the posts as often as I can.

Suggestion on the back pain check out Pilates it works on core strength which will help with the back pain.

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