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anne.brook

The journey has now begun

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A little success is all I need to cheer me up. Victoria gained half a kilo this week. It's been a long slog, but I think that the doctor using the word "anorexia" has give her a wake up call. She still has trouble eating, and is only having around 200 calories a day plus 5 build up drinks, but at least she is trying now.

She has gone off to her music festival, and I feel lost already, but it was gone 8am when I woke up this morning. It's the first lie in I have had since the day of her amp on 28th June.

I'm sitting here right next to the phone waiting for her to ring me, but I really hope she has a weekend of fun, and can be a normal 33 year old, just needing a little help from her friends.

Hi, I'm glad Victoria is on the mend. I'm curious of who diagnosed her as Anorexic, was it a Psychologist/Psychiatrist, or just her Orthopedic or General doctor?

The reason I ask is because from the pictures you've posted, she is nowhere near anorexic, and I'm saying this as someone with a degree in Psychology and my wife is a Psychologist. It's is very "normal" to lose weight after a major surgery especially an amputation, I'm normally about 160lbs and 3%-4% body fat, after surgery I was at 123lbs. The drugs she's on and all that's involved with the surgery itself tend to decrease the patient's appetite, and a decline in weight after such an event as an amputation is unlikely due to a suddon onset of anorexia. She may feel depressed or not have much desire to eat, but that doesn't mean she is anorexic. It seems as if the doctor is using the condition for shock value in order to get her to eat more, while a proper high-carb diet will facilitate a more speedy recovery, the use of scare tatics in this case would be quite unethical, especially if given by a doctor without proper knowledge of mental health.

I could be wrong, I haven't personally observed her, but from the photos at least, a diagnosis of anorexia seems highly inaccurate to say the least. Good luck and well wishes for both you and Victoria.

-Sam

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Guest bearlover

:) Once she is socially active again with friends and family's love and support. Iam sure she will pick up her life again. And ;) Sam has given you some real good advice... :)

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Anne I have to agree wholeheartedly with Sam here. Anyone could have called me anorexic with the size I was-but that most certainly was not the case. Like I said before; lying around without really (and I mean really) burning energy just doesn't give anyone in this situation an appetite. Getting better and healing is paramount not food; not immediately anyway.

I used to have a weigh in every Sunday. It was an event and over time gathered a crowd. I would pray for heaps of kilo's (pounds) and some weeks it just didn't happen. Or if I'd put on the weight on we'd celebrate like crazy. At that time I didn't feel like food. The nurses were fantastic 2500 calorie protein drinks ( x 3) and truck loads of milk and milo right before bed time so I couldn't burn it off. Still much of it was in vain. Often after finally putting on a few I'd be off again for surgery and be required to fast. Surgery would be delayed, cancelled and by that time (often 15 hours) I would have lost the minimal I'd put back on.

Regardless-it happened and finally I'm back to the weight I was. Please don't expect that someone should be back to perfect weight after such surgery and in such a short period of time-that is of much concern. It is early days and the need to learn to walk again alone; is more than enough without having additional weight concerns.

Please, just let time take it's course-Victoria looks extremely well ( from the pic's) I would most definately seek a second opinion. I also find it disturbing that a doctor or such at this stage of her recovery would say such a thing. I would have been furious-it's disturbing and shock factors after such surgery are completely unbelievable. It would do nothing but add additional pressure which for a healing professional????? is nothing short of unimaginable. Personally I would never want to see that person again.

In fact Anne if that was my daughter I'd be furious if a doctor said such a thing.

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Guest bearlover

When I lost a lot of wright after my amputation, My General Dr. said it was stress related due to the truma of losing a limb, A cose brother died and my husband lost a job and we had to re locate! This could be stress with victoria also.. ;)

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Thanks all for that advice. It was our family doctor who diagnosed anorexia, but that was because he found high levels of ketones in her water.

Obviously, as her mom, I just want her to get well as quickly as she can. One of the side effects of the huge weight loss is that she is very low on energy. Also the obvious fitting problems are preventing her from walking on her leg without slippage.

She is due to be cast again on 30th August, so yet again there will be a minimal delay until her new socket arrives.

I have just looked at her photos again, and I agree that she doesn't look too underweight.

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Thanks all for that advice. It was our family doctor who diagnosed anorexia, but that was because he found high levels of ketones in her water.

Obviously, as her mom, I just want her to get well as quickly as she can. One of the side effects of the huge weight loss is that she is very low on energy. Also the obvious fitting problems are preventing her from walking on her leg without slippage.

She is due to be cast again on 30th August, so yet again there will be a minimal delay until her new socket arrives.

I have just looked at her photos again, and I agree that she doesn't look too underweight.

I think she'll be fine, just give her time, you actually don't want to put on weight too rapidly as it's bad for the body. I've been putting on about 2lbs every week which is a nice steady pace, I'm still techniquely about 15lbs "underweight" but given time I'll get back up to around a "proper" weight, so will she.

Anorexia isn't something that you can really test for, especially given the physiological and psychological changes she's experiencing, any "test" would be a fall-positive. If you're worried then pay close attention to her behavior patterns. If she's eating large amounts then purging, this would be Bulimia, if she's showing clear signs of hunger but refuses to eat, this could be Anorexia. It was about 3 days post-op before I was really ready for a full meal, I just had absolutely no appitite (not to mention hospital food isn't a far cry from prison food). If she was Anorexic, she'd probably be overlooking the amputation and focusing her attention on her weight. I'm only guessing, but I'd say when she looks in the mirror, she's concerned with the loss of a limb and focused on recovery, and not her dress size. An Anorexic may even seem oblivious and distant to the amputation process and view it as a positive development as it is a definate decrease in weight, and a way to get attention. A true Anorexic has blinders on to any aspects of life which don't have to do with weight, on the issue of weight and body image... they are obsessed.

Everyone copes differently, it might take a while, but she'll bounce back. As long as there aren't any severe negative changes to her core behavioral patterns, then Victoria will be fine.

-Sam

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Guest bearlover

:) Thanaks Ann. Iam sure she will continue to do well, with love and support.

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Anne

Ketones in the urine "ketonuria" has a lot of causes, including post-op recovery. Try a search for that term on : http://www.dogpile.co.uk/

It is a result of the body burning fat to provide energy. Hence the weight loss and decreased appetite.

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Thanks for that Gil. I did the search you suggested and now understand a lot more than I did. One thing that is clear is that ketones in her urine only "might" indicate anorexia. I forget just how clever a tool my computer is for finding information. After all it found me this forum :)

On another note, Victoria rang me last night, to say that their tent was pitched and she was ready to have a fun weekend. I am ashamed to say that I only woke 20 minutes ago. That's the first time in over 2 months that I have slept past 4 am.

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Anne

I think you need to do yourself a favour and 'let go' of your daughter a little bit more often. I know it's hard, but you can get over-involved in other peoples concerns, especially if you love someone very much. She's a big, healthy looking girl - I don't think you'll have many worries there in the long term.

Btw, 'anorexia' is simply a loss of appetite...'anorexia nervosa' is a psychiatric problem...I have a very close friend who has the problem and you could fit four of her into Vicky.

Lizzie :)

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Guest bearlover

Take some time for your self..Even tho you said it is not a chore taking care of her..She needs to gain some indepence. I know being a mom and seeing your daughter go throught this must be hard..But Lizzy2 gave some very good advice... :)

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Take some time for your self..Even tho you said it is not a chore taking care of her..She needs to gain some indepence. I know being a mom and seeing your daughter go throught this must be hard..But Lizzy2 gave some very good advice... :)

I second that. I can't stress it enough. Let her do it herself - if she can. I wound up screaming like a fishwife at one of my best friends who thought she was going to "take care of me"- for life, I think. I told her I wasn't a cripple. I was only missing a piece of my leg. I could get myself a glass of water. I could get the wheel chair out of the car, I could get my mail in. I could clean the litterbox. I could do laundry. I promised her if there was something that I couldn't do she would be the first to know. She didn't want me to take a shower unless she was here in case I fell. If she called the house and I didn't answer two minutes later she let herself in. I finally had to tell her to pretend that she didn't have a key. I was taking a shower and didn't hear the phone. I stepped out of the shower "au natural" only to find her and her husband in my bedroom and that was altogether to much togetherness. Her health is actually worse than mine but she wants to baby me. I am a very independent person. I have owned a business, driven since the day I turned 16 and like to do my own thing. She told me she didn't want me to go out without telling her. I said that she wasn't my mother and if I didn't answer the phone to see if my car was gone. I felt like she was trying to steal my independence and I didn't like it.

JudyH

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Anne, I'm not even going to "lecture" this time... you already know my thoughts! I'm just going to say that I'm happy to hear that Vicki's enjoying her adventure, and that I'm VERY glad you got a good night's sleep! Keep it up... you need to be just as good to yourself as you want Vicki to be to HERself!

take care... cherylm

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Victoria came back this evening, very tired but glad she went to the music festival. She had a slice of toast when she got in and headed straight off to bed. She was asleep by 7.30 this evening.

She starts her physio again tomorrow, after a break of 5 days, and although she is nervous, is keen to get back on her new leg.

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Hi all

I have just been catching up on whats been written.

I had a fantastic time at the Festival although I was shattered last night.

I have been to physio today and they are going to do a home visit tomorrow so that I can then use my leg around the house and not just at [hysion so things are def progressing in the right direction :D .

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Guest bearlover

:) Hey Vicki! welcome back! So happy your getting your life back in order...Keep on trying thins will get better. I know when people told me that 3 years ago i hated it :rolleyes: But it is very true..Hnang on the best is yet to come ;)

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Hi Vicki,

You have a devoted Mom and you are very lucky! It is good to know you are doing well with your recovery and prosthesis. Your walking ability will improve with practice. Be patient and follow the doctor's orders. Best wishes in your continuing recovery and learning to walk again!

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Today's been an excellent day. The physio and OT came out to do a home visit, and Victoria is now allowed to use the leg outside of the gym.

This is the latest shot:-

Vicsnewlegsfirstouting021Small.jpg

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Hi to Anne and Vicki, both!

WONDERFUL!! That picture and Vicki's weekend at the music festival both do this old gal's heart good... THAT'S the reason for going through such a major surgery... the chance to get back out in the world with a smile on your face!

Vicki, it looks like you're doing a great job... and I WAS thrilled to hear that you'd gone out for the weekend. My first "big trip" out on my own was going about 20 miles, to see a play: it took me 10 hours... with innumerable taxi, bus, train, and subway transfers (Southern California has dreadful mass transit)... and battling with a broken elevator... and learning, on-the-spot, how to ride an escalator on one leg... just to get from home to the theatre, see the show, eat dinner, and then return home. I was exhausted... but I was also thrilled to have pulled off the entire trip on my own! That was the day i KNEW I was going to "make it" in this new, one-legged world.

Anne, thanks so much for posting the pic of your lovely daughter... it's a joy to see her coming along so well!

take care... cherylm

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Today's been an excellent day. The physio and OT came out to do a home visit, and Victoria is now allowed to use the leg outside of the gym.

This is the latest shot:-

Vicsnewlegsfirstouting021Small.jpg

Vicki! That is Fantastic!!!!! You look GREAT on your FEET! (ok, foot, but you get the picture) I am very impressed! I hope you feel as good as you look!?

One of your NEWEST Supporters,

Stumped! ;) :D

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Today's been an excellent day. The physio and OT came out to do a home visit, and Victoria is now allowed to use the leg outside of the gym.

This is the latest shot:-

Vicsnewlegsfirstouting021Small.jpg

Vicky looks sooooo happy. I know the feeling. Congrats!

JudyH

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Times are certainly getting better. Victoria has been walking, just using one stick. I'm not sure the physio's would approve, but she is very careful and only does it indoors.

On another front, she has gained 2 kilos in weight.

So we are hopeful she has turned the corner :D :D :D

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Boy, am I jealous!

You're out there walking around with one stick and I don't have me leg yet.

Seriously, everything is sounding (and looking) good. I'm so glad that you're doing so well. :ph34r:

Now, if I were single and about 30 years younger I'd be on a plane, cause I know how to drive on "the other side" of the road. :blink:

As you become even more active, I'm sure you'll find that walking takes a LOT more energy. As a BK, it takes me a fair bit of extra energy. The other concern is falling. If you've been looking at some of the posts, you'll find that it happens. The best advice I can give you is to learn how to fall so that you only bruise your dignity. The only places that teach that (that I'm aware of) are Karate schools. I've never heard of any Physio's teaching that, although it should be part of our curriculum. So, maybe you could find a cute Karate instructor and get a few tips? :unsure::rolleyes::ph34r:

We are all SOOO proud of you!

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