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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
anne.brook

An amputees mum

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This is the first time I've used this forum, so I hope you'll bear with me. I am the mother of a 32 year old woman who, after almost four years and 43 operations, has ended up having to have her right leg amputated above the knee.

She has been incredibly brave, and has seemingly accepted the situation. I, on the other hand, cannot seem to come to terms with it.

The surgeon has agreed to perform the surgery, and has referred us to the prosthetics department of Addenbrookes hospital.

One of the deciding factors for her was thae fact that she is on such high doses of morphine (400mg twice daily), and other medication, that she is like a zombie most of the time.

I have so many questions, that I barely know where to start, but here goes anyway.

Will she ever walk without her crutches? How long after th surgery will she begin to get reduced pain? Will she ever be able to be a normal 32 year old, ie swin party etc.?

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Hi Anne & welcome to the forum. :)

I'm bilateral - AK (above knee) & BK (below knee). I've been an amputee since I was a baby...and I can tell you that it is possible to lead a full and normal life. I'm married (to a great bloke) and I have two (gorgeous :rolleyes:, but then I'm biased) teenaged children...etc.

I had my amps ages ago, but I'm sure some of the others here will be able to help you with your queries.

Take care

Lizzie :)

PS You're not alone...many parents find amputation hard to come to terms with...give it time.

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Thank you Lizzie. I had hope to find someone like you, who is so positive. I'm blubbing like a baby right now, but my daughter is my life.

She too is married with two children, but luckily I have lived close enough to help her with the children.

I just want my fun daughter back. Just 4 years ago she was full of fun, so much so that I would have described her as a wild child.

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Hi Anne and welcome to our little mad house.

I've been an Amp since I was 5 years old and I get around fine. Married with 2 gorgeous kids ( I'm way biased too). I've been succesful in my life and proud of it.

Inside she is still your daughter, the same person she was and maybe when this part is all over and she is back on her feet you will see her again. I'm sure of it. :) Nothing can hold her back from the things she wants to do.

I hope everything goes perfectly for her and your family. You have already passed the first test by caring enough to support her. We have some awesome people here full of wisdom, courage and laughter and I'm sure you will hear from them all soon.

Hope to hear more from you soon.

Cheers from DownUnder,

Cat

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well anne,

i am not that long an amputee. i found out, that live does not end as an amputee...it goes on, just a little different.

if your daughter has the will to walk again, she will do....she needs a well fitted prosthesis and sombody who shows her how to walk. it will take some time and "long walks" have to be defined new ;)

ciao thomas

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Hi Catherine

Thank you for taking the time to read and reply to me.

I can't believe how quickly people from this forum have taken the time to respond to me.

I have felt so alone for the last 4 years, as I wouldn't dream of burdening my daughter with my worries.

My daughter is strong, and I am sure that she will get through her ordeal. I just pray for the strength to hide my thoughts from her.

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Hello Anne

Once a wild child, always a wild child :lol:

I think once she’s off the morphine she will start finding the way to herself again. I believe the 'healthy' spirit can overcome any physical deficit. It just takes time.

The prosthetics available today can allow us to lead very happy and full lives. If she wants to party , she WILL party. There’s no stopping that B)

Good luck!

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Hello Anne - jeez - talk about blubbing - you got me going allright.

I am 39 years old now. I lost my leg when I was 28 years old.

To answer your questions (as I remember them, cause I am not going to scroll back up to see specifically what they are).....

MOST DEFINITELY your kid is going to swim, walk, shop, get trashed and fall down, be attractive and stunning, drive cars, ride bikes, ride horses, earn loads of money in a normal job, sky dive, waterski, jetski, perform on stage, travel the globe, get laid, get pregnant and have babies, and just generally HAVE A LIFE.

I have never really been able to understand what my mother went through with me. You know, she was always positive, always protective, damn chicken soup drove me mad but I love her for it.....I don't think I will ever 'get' her devastation. But I see it through your eyes, and it hurts my heart.

My mom never had a forum like this. I am glad you are here. I hope to meet your daughter one day too.

Much love and respect,

Ally

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Hi Anne. I am so sorry to hear what your daughter and family are going through. I think becoming an amputee as an adult has it's own special challenges. However, I also think that your daughter being a "wild child" will definitely be an advantage in the coming months. I am now 34 and I became a left above knee amputee about 6 months ago after a motorcycle accident. I am not at full speed, but I walk. I play. I have fun. I laugh. And yes, sometimes I cry. Your daughter has alot of challenges ahead of her, but she also has alot of challenges behind her. She will soon be enjoying small victories on a daily basis. Some of these will be great.

Your daughter is a strong person and so are you. We are all delt our hands and folding just simply is not an option. Please, keep your heads up. This life is good. Very soon she will be making lots of progress, so please keep us posted. Here's good vibes coming your way from Arkansas. :D

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Thank you shane for being there.

I never dreamed when I wrote my first entry on this site that I would find so many caring people, who would KNOW what I am feeling.

I have encouraged my daughter to join your merry band of people, where I know she will find more support than I could ever offer her.

Although I love her with all my heart, I can only ever view all of the events of the last four years from a mothers eyes, and can never imagine what all of you wonderful people have gone through to come out the other end as such strong people.

You can't imagine how often I chide myself for crying and feeling sorry for myself, but I just want to offload her pain and take it myself. I know that this simply can't be, but I have always been there for my daughter and have tried to shiels her from all forms of danger.

Just 6 weeks before her accident, I had the mother and father of arguments with her, when I begged her not to ride a motorbike in case she got seriously hurt or killed. So much so that whilst the paramedics were working on her at the roadside, it was her boyfriend she called, rather than me.

We have gone long past that now, and I just want the best for her.

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Hello Anne,

I can't really add anything to what everyone else has said, apart from that I really do feel for you and your daughter. But from what you have said it sounds like she has had a horrible four years, and I suppose the only way to think of it is that once the amputation is over and done with the pain WILL go away, and she really will be able to get back to normal life - much more so than at the moment with the morphine and stuff.

I lost my leg in the asian tsunami last year at 27, and would honestly say that I am now pretty much back to where I was before it happened mobility wise.

My mother has taken the whole thing terribly badly, and she has not coped well with it all. One bit of advice I would give you from your daughter's point of view is if you can to please not start thinking in terms of her life being over as a result of her amputation or getting too upset about it (easier said than done I know). Things will be made so much easier for your daughter if you can do this. From my own experience with my mother I wish that she had been able to accept the whole thing more easily than she has, or at all, as it really would have made it easier for me.

What you have to keep in mind is that, from what you have written, the past four years have been horrendous for your daughter - when she has her amputation the first few weeks and months won't be too great either, but things WILL improve - and quickly and before you know it she will be completely back to her old self. Everytime you start to get down about it have a look on this forum - the people are great and themselves are the proof of the pudding - that completely normal life does go on after amputation.

Fiona x

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Hi Anne,

So much has been said already that it is difficult for me to add anything else, other than to say I lost my leg seven months ago, and for a while I thought it was the end of my world.

Now I have such a different outlook, I work full time, I go out socially and do most of the things I did before. I do them differently, but I do them. There is no reason why your daughter cannot do the same. In fact if she feels like raising hell sometime give me a call.

From what you have said in your post Anne, there is also the possibility that ultimately her quality of life may improve, that might be difficult to grasp right now but it is something for you to focus on.

Your strength as a mother (and there is nothing stronger than a mother's love) needs to be channelled towards the future, and all of the positive things that can come out of this.

When the going gets tough you have our support, and a big hug once in a while if you need it.

Keep us posted with her / your progress

Mike x

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Anne,

Welcome to the forum. So much has been said already, here, and you will find lots of support, help and advice, and some laughs too!

I'm a 36 year old below knee amp on my right leg since 2003, so a little different to your daughter, but it does get easier, and in time, new challenges will be overcome.

Good luck.

Sue, Cardiff, UK

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Hi Anne,

You've gotten some wonderful responses here, and I agree with all of them! Your daughter can truly enjoy life again, and return to her beautiful, wonderful self!

I had my leg removed, Above Knee, almost 13 years ago (I was 28). I am married with 2 teenage boys and lead a very "normal" life. The beginning process of being an amputee and getting a prosthesis to fit well is definitely not a bed of roses, but it can't be worse than being on morphine every day, and it definitely gets better and easier each day.

Don't chide yourself too much, Anne. You are a wonderful Mum who obviously loves her daughter beyond words, and of course this is difficult for you! We are all here to support you and your daughter! We all handle things differently, but maybe you just needed some support yourself, so please, lean on us as you need too!

Best wishes to you and your daughter.

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Hi Anne

Welcome to the forum. Have been reading what everyone else has said and agree with them all, I am sure you and your daughter will find lots of information and encouragement here.

I lost both my legs, below the knee, in an accident at the age of 12. Have got to say that I have done most of the normal things of life since that time, like many others on this forum did all the things we take for granted like going to school/college,work, learning to drive, dancing and dating and have been married for nearly 30 years and have 3 children and have a very busy, happy, life.

I am sure that your daughter will do all she wants to do too.

I think it is very hard being a mum as we want to protect our children from anything that might hurt them. As a twelve year old probably didn't appreciate what my mum was feeling however since being a mum myself realize how difficult it must of been for her. What my mum did do, and what I know, as a mum, i would find it very hard to do, is to step back and let me discover that I could be independent and do things for myself but like most mums she has always been there to put me back on track from time to time.

Ann

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I never dreamed when I wrote my first entry on this site that I would find so many caring people, who would KNOW what I am feeling.

Anne, I'm a recent amputee (right below knee) and having found this forum has saved my life! If I didn't know what to expect, I'd be so very depressed right now. If your daughter is up to it, try to have her visit us here. I'm just now learning to walk in my prothesis. It is not easy, but I never could have walked on my leg the way it was...

Your daughter is so lucky to have you! I am very fortunate in that my mother is a young 71, who takes me to all my physical therapy appointments. Everyone else I know works during the day. My mother is my biggest cheerleader. It is hard for her to watch me go through this, but she always has a smile and cheery words when I need them.

This is a very good place for your daughter to learn what to expect and to gain the hope that she will again take her place in the world doing everything she wants to do!

Much love and peace!

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We are all delt our hands and folding just simply is not an option.

Wow, Shane! Perfect comment! When I first learned they had to amputate, I spent two days really, REALLY pissed at the world. Then I realized I had a choice, I could "fold" (as you say) and be a bitter, nasty woman. OR, I could pick myself up and make the best of this situation.

I still have my moments (told my husband this morning, "OK, I've had enough of this amputee stuff, give me my leg back!").. but for the most part I'm happy and want to move forward and live whatever is left of my life to the best of my ability.

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Hi Anne,

So much has been said already that it is difficult for me to add anything else,

The only thing that I can think to do is to borrow a line from Mike.

I never cease to be impressed with the true empathy and caring by the members of this forum. You are in good hands, so I will just add my best wishes - not just for your daughter, but for yourself also.

My topic once was: "This is a WE thing". My wife went through every bit of this with me. I did the physical part, but she sure had more than her share of the emotional and caregiving - and, without the hospital drugs and sleep aids that I was given.

When you have loved ones around you, this is definitely a "WE".

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Thank you everyone for welcoming me to this forum. Although it's only my first day, I feel as though I have made more "friends" in one day than most people make in a lifetime.

I am fortunate in that I don't work so have been able to accompany my daughter to every consultation, therapy, treatment and everything to do with the accident. Even so until today apart from my husband (who is not my daughter's father) I have never opened up to anybody.

I have spoken to my daughter about this site, and although she has registered, she is having trouble getting accepted. However, when I pick her up in the morning, after the school run, I'll see if I can sort things out for her.

You have all been so honest about both the good and the bad times ahead of her, that althou I am probably old enough to be the mother of most of you, you have proved to be much wiser than me.

My first task is to try to dry my tears, and to be more positive for her. I think that most of you have guaged that although I am now very happily married, my daughter is my life. I will also try to step back and allow her to lead me.

All of this is very difficult, as I am usually a fairly strong character, and all through my daughter's life, she has been content to follow me. I see her virtually every day, as I have to help with her children. Also we ring each other almost avery day.

I know that once we can get her registration sorted out, she will benefit from this forum, and I hope that, in time, she will help others.

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Hi Anne and welcome. I'm another ex biker who came a cropper. Unlike your daughter I didn't have the courage to try to save my leg and opted for an amputation within 2 weeks of my accident. It's funny but my mum was dead against me riding and it was my girfriend who I called at the scene of the accident.

I'm sure your daughter will walk just fine eventually. I met 2 above knee amps at my limb centre today. One was in his mid to late 50's and had lost his leg in a bike accident as a young man. The other chaps leg had been blown off in Tobruk during World War 2. Neither one of these was using the latest in prosthetic technology but both were walking well. The younger of the two didn't even have a noticeable limp.

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When I registered, it took a few days. If I'm not mistaken, they review and process at a weekly meeting.(not sure) Anyway, I'm sure it will taken care of very shortly. :)

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I wanted to add my welcome to you and your daughter, Anne. Everyone has given you some really good advice. Try to take things one day at a time and I know you all will do well. Life can throw us some curves, huh? But somehow we find what we need to get on with it. Best of luck to you and your family.

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I'm yet another who lost his leg after a motocycle accident. Mine took about a year of work to finally get round to the realisation it was to be lost.

My Mum went through hell, and I don't ride a bike now as a result, it would be too cruel. I now have kids and so feel I've got some understanding of what she must have gone through.

It's easier in some ways to deal with for those of us it's actually happening to (or at least different) than it is for our loved ones, but be aware we know that.

I'd say see the amputation as the beginning of her new life. It's onwards and upwards from here. It's difficult to see now, but she will get back to a normal life. She's lucky to have you.

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Hi Ann..I have read and replied to Vicki's post..I just wanted to reassure you..our stories are similar and I do now walk without crutches, canes and do not use my wheelchair at all now. I wear my leg approx 12 to 15 hours a day. I am a RAK. My pain is virtually gone, I took oxycontin and percocet , gabapentin and baclofen. Now I am on a very low dose of gabapentin only. My quality of life has improved so much and I believe Vicki's will too.

My heart goes out to both of you as you start on this journey, but the people here have helped me a lot and you will have loads of support!!!

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Hi Anne.Brook

I want to welcome you to this forum, and your daughter as well. It seems a hard road, but looks like she will be great. I dont know if I can answer your questions but will try. Just let us know if you want to talk, or rant and rave about frustrating things, I am a RBKA.

Lesley

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