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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Sunshine

Being Alone

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Hi everyone,

I went to see my prosthetist today but had to go alone (Ambulance transport). This is the first time i have been out alone since my amutation. So last night i could not sleep, i was very nervous and starting panicking, how amd i going to cope alone?, what if i am left somewhere alone?, what if something happens?. :(

Has anyone else ever felt like this? or is it just me being pathetic?

Asides all that i did cope but was very uncomfortable. Any advice please?

Love Yvonne

:blink:

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Yvonne, what you are experiencing is very normal. Since my amputation, I feel especially vulnerable. I've never been afraid of anything, but now find I want the front door locked when it gets dark (didn't feel this way before, I'm out in the country)...

I drove my car for the first time in a year this past Sunday. I have the keys here in case I need to go anywhere while my husband is at work (he works nights). But the idea of using my walker and going to the car and driving off is taking me some time to get used to. Ya know?

I think we need to give ourselves a break when we should. You conquered your fear and went even though you had misgivings. For this, you are brave! Someone once said, "Courage is not the absence of fear, it is facing fear and doing it anyway!". :D Good for you!

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Hi Yvonne ,

No you are not pathetic at all. You have to remember that its all new and very Strange / scary /diffrent thats all.

Myself i felt very uneasy the first time i left the safety of the house in fact i still feel a bit "Vulnerable" when i dont have my leg on . :( but with time and Confidance the feeling will slowley pass. this is comming from a boy who use to throw himself of the hill tops with his hanglider, fear whats that?????. BOY DO I KNOW IT NOW.. WHAT IM TRYING TO SAY WE HAVE ALL FELT LIKE IT AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER.

you go on to say:-...........................................................Asides all that i did cope but was very uncomfortable..... Hey girl you did great stop feeling down and give your self a big pat on the back . YOU DID IT.

Next time it wont be such a daunting trip, soon you will be looking forward to it. :D

i GUSS WHAT IM TRYING TO SAY (AND NOT VERY WELL) IT NORMAL . GIVE YOUR SELF TIME ......TIME IT HELPS & HEALS.

There are many things that still Worry me like ...........SHOPPING !!!!!! :o.

but these nervous feelings will pass it just takes a little time and a little bit of confidance trust in your self. it will work out ok ..............................................................take care mick (lak)

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I had been home a month or two from my amputation and was walking through the house on my crutches, when my cast all of a sudden slipped off, from my stump shrinking.

Yvonne, I stood there at 52 years old, an old army veteran, and in construction for many years, and was never so scared in all my life, (well close any way). I could just picture my whole body flowing out the hole in the bottom of what used to be my leg.

Of course, this wasn't going to happen, but I had never, ever experienced anything like this before and had no idea of what was going to happen.

It is a whole new world to all of us, and we have to learn all over again, and gain confidence in it, just like the first time we rode a bike, or drove a car, or whatever.

Within a week of this, I climbed a ladder, (one foot and one knee at a time,) and scooted up on the roof to check something out. (So I told my wife anyway). Actually, I wanted to face the "demon" and conquer it, (which I'm sure that she knew). I have always done this with fear. Next, I got out on my 50cc Honda scooter, with my stump sticking out, and went for a ride, just to see if I could do it.

My advice to people, is to push your self just as far as you know that you can go - and then go just a little bit further each time. That's just my way of dealing with things.

Today, 18 years later, I do what ever I set my mind to doing - as long as this old body let's me. The leg, (or the lack of it), definitely doesn't hold me back from anything.

You'll get there. Just let it happen, and soon you'll be out there dancing. I was in about a year. Jitterbugging, (fast dance to you young ones), at my high school 35th class reunion, in '89. When some of the other guy's wouldn't dance, the wives would point to my wife and I and say: "Jim's doing it and he only has one leg". Ha - That was worth it.

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Hi Yvonne. Yep, definitely been there. But, just like the others have said, you make it through. And I'd bet that next time, You'll have it just a little easier. And the time after that...well, you get the point. I've also found that having a cell phone on hand just in case is a good idea.

Keep on smilin' Sunshine. You're gonna do well! :) :)

Now get ready....

transmitting....

Good vibes are coming your way from Arkansas! :D

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The first time I had to go to rehab alone I was terrified. I had been going with my parents for years but then all of a sudden I get my licence and mommy won't take me any more. I drove down towards the millers center freaking out because it is semi down town st. john's and i have a bad sence of dirrection. So after getting lost five or six times I got there and then was left in the ladies fitting room alone for what felt like forever.

Then nice old ladies came and we chatted while they knitted, and to top the day off I got a paper bag lunch with butter scotch icecream. Sure I was with out my mom and probably not going to find my way back home...but I had old ladies and ice cream and that made it all better.

I know it is really scary at first but even though you feel alone there are always people around looking out for you. After the first time it's a piece of cake.

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Hey there - I think we have all been through those 1st time panic attacks.

And this probably won't be your last.

You will have to hit escalators at some stage.

The dreaded revolving doors and lifts :blink: - my worst, can you believe it?

You will have to go grocery shopping and push a grocery cart around a store.

You will have to go out and walk over some bumpy terrain and climb a mass of stairs with loads of people all around you.

Oh, there are tons of things that scare us amputees in the beginning.

But get this - if you do something new and scary EVERY DAY, you will be a barrel of confidence in no time at all. Because every time you do that little scary thing, then it's no longer the monster of your dreams. It becomes a physical feat that you've achieved and it's no longer scary.

So, understand that your fear is normal, and take that step forward anyway.

The way I get through most scary things is - ok, what is the WORST that can happen? The very worst? And when you go through the options, it's actually not that bad, because you find out that IF the worst happens, you can handle it anyway.

And the odds of the worst happening are so very very small. They truely are.

And then you take that fear, suck it in, let your pig-headed nature take over, and march straight in through the front door of your fear with your head up.

Won't take long to learn that attitude. And it won't take long to master every LITTLE (cause it is little) fear that threatens to take you hostage.

Love

Ally

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Ally, I was just reading your post, wise and sensible as ever, sitting here nodding in agreement at the things you said.

Then you had to go and spoil it by mentioning the 'S' word.

I'm going to have to lie down now, the very mention of that word is enough to give me a panic attack :lol:

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i made my first steps in a group with other amputees in the clinic. that was good, because everybody had problem with walking and some already could give advice.

later we shared our special tricks and were an always laughing group.

we also went out in the next city...so we became used to "normal" life.

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Oh Yvonne, of course you're not pathetic :blink:

You've been through some massive changes recently, so of course this leaves you feeling much more vulnerable.

But you did remarkably well to go out alone yesterday, so soon after the traumatic events you survived.

It took me almost 2 years to shake my Mum off ... When I lost my legs, I also lost my hearing, so had to rely solely on my lipreading skills. I had all these appointments to go to - where everything was new to me - but I couldn't hear or understand a word anyone was saying (everybody seems to mumble these days <_< ).. so Mum acted as interpreter (don't know why, but I could lipread her the best out of everyone).

I can hear again now though, thanks to a cochlear implant, but even still, out of habit, my Mum comes with me to quite a few of my appointments :blink:

But, my point is, that you will will turn that anxiety into excitement at the thought of doing something on your own. I like to regularly challenge myself by going it alone, whether that be to the supermarket, the park or cinema, etc.. I find that my experiences are totally different when I'm on my own. People are much more friendlier and willing to talk to me.

One time last year, on one of my first solo trips, I was walking upto the park on a busy main road (I was nervous too, but tried not to show it). What happened was very weird.

Several people came up to me and made polite conversation. Which is very weird for London, where people are renowned for being less than friendly. Must have been something in the air that day :blink: (may well have been my chocolate perfume :lol: )

This would never have happened if I was with someone else. But you know what? I got a lot out of these brief encounters (!). It proved to me that I COULD do it alone, and it eased my anxiety. Cheered me up AND it also restored some of my faith in humanity too ;) ... And this was the worst that could have happened!?! (See Ally's post)

You've done the best thing by nipping this fear in the bud, so to speak. You're paving the way to becoming a more confident person, that can deal with any given situation that comes your way. You'll see things more as an opportunity to develop yourself, rather than an opportunity to get nervous ;)

Well done Yvonne :D ;)

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Hi Yvonne,

You're not being pathetic at all. I remember the first couple of times not only going by patient transport but also being shoved in the back of a taxi prior to me getting my leg on my own.

I wasn't so worried about the patient transport cause they look after you but the taxi was really scary and knowing I had to wheel myself around this huge hosptial (which I'd lived in for 3 1/2 months) but never seen the outside of my room was awful. The taxi driver hardly spoke english and he couldn't get the wheelchair to open properly and my good leg had a huge fixature on it-what a mess I was. I was scared, exhausted by the end of it, worried that I wouldn't be able to get a taxi back to rehab and stressed out that some child might run into me.

Not pathetic at all-I was exactly the same :) If so it then makes two of us :rolleyes:

Mel.

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I went to see my prosthetist today but had to go alone (Ambulance transport). This is the first time i have been out alone since my amutation. So last night i could not sleep, i was very nervous and starting panicking, how amd i going to cope alone?, what if i am left somewhere alone?, what if something happens?.

Been there, done that...got the book, the T-shirt & the DVD! B)

Don't worry, it's totally normal...it's your body's way of telling you to stop and think and to listen to it and most importantly, to take care of it! The feelings gradually subside as you recover from your op and successfully manage new situations. :) Try aromatherapy and/or meditation for the panic attacks, if they become a bit of a problem.

Take care

Lizzie :)

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Yvonne--not much to add except that you did great girl! And as others have said, each time you face that fear you grow. And before you know it, you are doing things that a couple of months ago you never thought you could.

When you need some extra strength, think of us. We're right there with you!

Carol

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Wow, what can i say but thank you so much for your inspirational comments.

I managed to read a few this morning before going to physio but did not have time to write. I kept grinning from ear to ear and my husband kept saying whats up with you, i said a cannot believe it i got more useful help and advice from people i do not know than anyone in the health industry.

Afet, what an inspiration you are, i will think of you everytime i take on a challenge.

Thohom, where i go to physio it is just me, it is good in one way because i get one to one but bad because i do not get to see other amoutees. I think it is a great idea what you did, and very helpful i bet.

Ally, yes, i think what i have to do is try something new every day even the samllest of things are big, thanks for your advice.

Mick and Jim, you are amazing guys

I think this site is better than sliced bread!!!!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU and THANK YOU again.

Love Yvonne

:wub:

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Hi Yvonne, first I'd like to say, along with the others, that NO you most certainly are not being pathetic. Those feelings/emotions are very normal and especially at the beginning. I think you've done very well and each time you do a little more, eventually the easier it'll become for you, so that those feelings won't seem quite so overwhelming. I guess you could say, it's the fear of the unknown that gets to us all, but once we get our confidence built back up and it WILL happen, but remember everything takes time, k? :D

Sheila lbk

Maine USA

Keep Smiling :)

post-17-1143849629.gif

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You are NOT pathetic. The first time is particularly scarey. After all, you're going out with less parts than you used to have and I think that makes you feel very vulnerable. I know I did. Before you know it, it'll be second nature.

Yesterday I got up and starting cleaning house (it was pretty bad), then I cleaned myself up and went to an appointment with my therapist. After that, I went grocery shopping. Whew! By the time I got home I had pretty much had it but I was thinking that I had had a day just like most normal people.....except maybe for the therapist! :P

You're doing great.

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hi yvonne,

I remember the first time i drove the car without anyone beside me, I got round the corner and had to pull over whilst i bawled my eyes out! :rolleyes: i was soooooo :D happy. what a milestone! independence, after that i kept going to the local supermarket in the car for the least little thing..... just because i COULD.

hazel x

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Hi Yvonne,

As all the others have said before me, no, you are not pathetic...It's very normal..

For me, it wasn't being alone in the immediate future, but looking down the road to when I got older that freaked me out..

I had suffered with a case of post traumatic stress when I first came home from the hospital..

As Marilyn said ------"who me, I wasn't afraid of anything". I live in the country also...I would jump at the least sound, any movement from the side...(being that I got hit, t-boned, by car) would just get me doing a scarred cat routine when in the car... Me, the person who would tackle the rankest horses, ticked off cows, without a second thought. Then one day, I took my father to have a radiation treatment and he wanted to make a trip down town, in the state capitol no less.. The street we were on was a one way street with LOTS of cross streets... I either had to drive or pull over and hope he was well enough! Didn't really have a choice there because I knew he wasn't up to it.... After a white knucked trip home, I knew I had licked the worst of that one... Still don't plan too far in the future, I settled for taking it one day at a time with a mildly settled plan for the what if's..... what if I was alone, what if I'm snowed in, what if what if what if...

We can let it eat us up if we want to, or conquer it...

Moral of the story is, take it one day, one step,(pardon the pun) at a time... with each accomplishment, you will look back at some point and think, "hey, I remember when....."....

Just hang in there.....

Higgy

PS, sometimes, a good back pack works with dealing with carrying all the stuff that we often think we need, or have to pick up...

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