Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
anne.brook

The journey has now begun

Recommended Posts

Anne, you and Victoria may both be amazed at how quickly things start to move now...

Anne, Cherylm is so right. Things will start happening very quickly now. Imagine - physical therapy already on Monday!

This is definitely a new beginning, and each day will hold its own victories, which you will celebrate.

Dammit, now I'm getting all teary eyed. My mother was my rock. Still is in many ways. She still battles to talk about my trauma time in hospital. But that is way past us now. Properly. 11 years down the line, and her worries these days are about me leaping out of planes and off mountains, and getting lost in the bush on a horse. Me being nearly 40 seems to make it somehow worse for her, go figure... :)

Keep on keeping on, my thoughts are with you and your family during this time. This is truely the worst. It gets better from here.

Ally

xxx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sure going to bore you folks with my amazing daughter's progress, but I'm so happy that I want to share it with the world.

I took a sleeping pill last night and slept right through for the first time in months. Then the phone woke me at 9am . You got it, it was Victoria to say "mum can you get up here to get me into the shower". You would also be right to guess that I was out of bed, washed, changed and on the road withi half an hour.

We hadn't told my grandaughter that her mum could be home for the party, just in case the was a snag, but she didn't know whether to cry, hug her mum or do a dance when the wheelchair arrived at the back of the house, in the garden.

Victoria doesn't have any pain at all now. In fact the only unusal thing is that she keeps on feeling that her bad leg is in a certain position. when she knows that the last time it was in that position was prior to the accident. She also has miniscule phantom sensation.

Just looking back at what I've written, I know that I've used the wrong word, as she no longer has a "bad leg", but I wont change it because I know that you will all know what I mean.

I will also bore you by again saying thankyou to all those people who have supported us, both in the forum, and by pm, since those dark days back in March. You know who you are.

We have a really long reprieve and I don't have to have Victoria back to the hospital until 8pm, so I have taken her to her own house so that maybe her husband will have to deal with anything that comes up. I will give them a couple of hours and go back myself.

If today goes well, she will be able to come home again tomorrow for most of the day, and then on Monday she will begin her journey back to reality. The hospital knows us so well, and that everywhere Victoria goes, her mother is bound to follow. But I will be there for as long as she needs me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow!! That is terrific news. And how can you possibly imagine that would be boring? :lol: Good news is always welcome around here.

Keep on keeping us posted. We do care.

P.S. You and your granddaughter are two tough ladies.

As for Victoria's husband's acceptance. I had, (he has passed away now), a brother that could never look at my stump. If I went to change, he would leave the room.

I would go through any of this for myself, but I don't know how I would react seeing something like this happen to my wife. I just think that God built women tougher to handle these things than men. We will fight the wars and topple the trees, but to see a loved one in pain is very disconcerting.

Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

My father could never lookk at my leg when I had it. It was twisted,scared,defourmed,smaller than the othe rleg, endured 15 surgries, When I took my brace off he could not look at it. Thank goodness my mom could. I often wonder how dad would have handled my amputation?? My husband is great about it. rubs my stump and takes care of me. My brother in law can not look at my stump. If we stay over night at his house I will take off my leg when he is not around, Or go to another room close the door and change or add socks... Some people have a hard time looking at aamputees stump :rolleyes: : :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

I was in the hospital for only 4 days with my amputaion. And I was up the next day in PT with crutches, Of course i'm a pro on crutches learned to use them at age 2! They tend to rush a person out of a hospital here in U.S. For insuranaces. I really should have stayed longer. Many people return to the hospital after being released to soon... Any way that will be 3 years July 14th. I have come soooooo far. I'm not doing what I would like to or whear I want to be but have come a long way! Victoria will amaze you in her acomplishments!! Best Wishes! :) ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for keeping us up to date on Vicki's progress. It is NEVER boring. I am very happy that things are progressing well. Hubby will come around in time. Probably sooner rather than later. As JimT said, I really do think sometimes that men have a tougher time coping with these things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anne, thanks so very much for sharing with us your tremendous journey! Bored, no! We are honored that you chose to share this very personal time with us.

I hope that by giving Vicki and her husband some time alone, that he will come to realize that she is still herself and that there is nothing to fear. I have to agree with Jim, I can endure going through this, but I'm not sure how strong I would be if it were my husband going through this. It is such a helpless feeling to watch a loved one go through such a trauma.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

I wish I had this fourm when I had first had my amputation 3 years ago. We just got the computer in October of '05. This had been a great help to me.. Thanks to all!!! ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Only just read this thread and as I read the first post I was planning to reply to say not to worry about the blood loss as I lost about 18 or 19 pints during my amputation (also RAKA) and everything will work out fine but after reading the rest of the thread it's obvious that I don't need to tell you that! It sounds like Vikki is doing so well, hope she continues to do so and that the physio goes well tomorrow! :)

Kev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great news about Vicki, its onwards and upwards now. :)

Please, please take time out for yourself as well as having time for your family.

My husband took quite a while to accept my amputation, (although he didn't show it) not so much the fact that i had the leg taken but that it had to happen at all. I was so relieved to get rid of the pain that i didn't think about what my husband was going through, it was months later that he really opened up, once his fears were out in the open things got a lot better. When i asked why he had taken so long to tell me he said he felt it would have been wrong to say anything at the time of the op and that he would have felt very selfish in doing so. I wished he had as things would not have been so bad for him for so long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all

Victoria had been doing so well, bur she has had a setback today. When she had the original accident, her femur was quite badly smashed. Therefore, a steel rod was inserted to help it re-knit.

Obviously, it had to be removed prior to the amp. That is where her problem lies. She has had another massive blood loss over the last 2 days. She is having 2 or 3 units today, and will possible have to return to theatre tomorrow as it is also bleeding into the stump, this causing quite bad swelling.

She remains quite calm in herself, although she is very tired and not too steady sitting up.

As I said, it is only a setback, and hopefully her physio, whilst a little delayed, will soon happen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi all

Victoria had been doing so well, bur she has had a setback today. When she had the original accident, her femur was quite badly smashed. Therefore, a steel rod was inserted to help it re-knit.

Obviously, it had to be removed prior to the amp. That is where her problem lies. She has had another massive blood loss over the last 2 days. She is having 2 or 3 units today, and will possible have to return to theatre tomorrow as it is also bleeding into the stump, this causing quite bad swelling.

She remains quite calm in herself, although she is very tired and not too steady sitting up.

As I said, it is only a setback, and hopefully her physio, whilst a little delayed, will soon happen.

Dear Anne, you and Vicki remain in my thoughts and prayers.

JudyH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

When I needed my leg amputated 3 years ago to safe my life. The Dr. looked right at my husband and asked "will you leave her when I take her leg off?" :o My husvand was shocked! What my husband asked?? "NO I love my wife. It is just a leg, I'm not that shallow. I love her for who she is is not a body part. Whay do you ask such a thing?"? Did not get a anwser. But that is a true story. My husband has stuck by my side ever since never batting a eye at my stump at all. Treats me the same as ever. With love and respect I always recieved from him. Has never missed a prostheticst appt. or Dr. visit He is a earth angel. What a man! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Bearlover, as you say, "what a man". Victoria asked me to leave the hospital early today, so that she can talk to her husband. I dearly hope he will listen, or there is no hope for them.

I am sitting here teading posts, just waiting for her to phone me. Although I hope and pray that he will come around, I think his real problem are guilt feelings about the accident, and I am afraid that I am to blame there.

But even though At the time I blamed him for the acident, I have honestly tried never to verbalise the fact.

At the moment, Victoria is the only one I care about, and any remaining feelings are for her daughter. Even my husband has allowed me to devote all of my energies to Victoria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bear, your hubby does sound like an angel; I'm glad you have him in your life!

And Anne, I do hope that things will go well with Vicki... both with her husband and with the medical setback. I'd lost blood and was severely anemic prior to my amputation, and they managed to get me back up where I belonged and to keep me there long enough for my body to heal and be able to take it all over on its own... It's amazing what the doctors can do that way, and I hope their plans for Vicki will set her back on track for a full recovery quickly!

I'm going to share something about my mom and dad, just in case it might be similar to what Vicki and her husband are going through. When Mom was in her early 80s, she developed a large, benign brain tumor which required a surgical removal. A strange side-effect of the surgery was that Mom forgot how to chew and swallow food. While she was having therapy to relearn those skills, a feeding tube was inserted directly into her stomach, through the wall of her abdomen. This tube had to be cleaned regularly... the site of the incision where it was inserted needed daily cleaning and dressing... and six times a day, a liquid meal-replacement solution had to be poured down the feeding tube. Because Mom was weak and did not see well, all the rest of the family was trained to do these various activities between doctor visits.

Dad did NOT want to have anything to do with this... but he HAD to, as my sister and I lived five miles away and worked full-time. We simply could not manage to be there every time some "chore" with the feeding tube needed to be done. Although Dad "did it," his reluctance showed clearly, and it hurt Mom deeply... she thought that he found her "repulsive" and began to think of herself that way.

One day, I got Dad cornered in the car and got him talking about how his attitude about the feeding tube was hurting Mom. After a while, the truth came out:

"Will I kill her if I do something wrong? I couldn't bear to hurt her!"

He'd been so very nervous and upset during the training sessions that he wasn't sure he knew what to do... so he tried to do as little as possible! And the results were upsetting to everyone involved. Eventually, Mom got her swallowing reflexes back, the tube came out, and life returned to "normal."

It could be that Vicki's husband (especially if he feels some responsibility for the accident) is so terrified of doing anything else "wrong" that he's pulling away from doing anything at all. It might be his feelings about himself -- NOT about what's happened with Vicki -- at the base of the problem.

Worth thinking about, perhaps...

Whatever happens in the near future, I have a feeling that your family will find a way to pull together to get Vicki through this. Thank you for sharing her journey with us all!

take care... cherylm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anne, thanks so very much for sharing with us your tremendous journey! Bored, no! We are honored that you chose to share this very personal time with us.

Can't really improve on that! I look forward to more good news. Please give Vicki my best wishes. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Cherylm

Thank you for sharing that with me. Perhaps you are right, it's certainly woth thinking about. I just wonder if I'm the right person to talk to him about it. He knows how I feel about the accident, and even though I don't say , I thinkj he wants me to rant and rave at him.

I think a lot of my problem is that I am simply exhausted. My day starts at 7 when I styart to get ready to go to the hospital to shower and dress Victoria. I usually doesn't end until I come home in the evenings and fall into bed. I honestly don't mind what I do for her, but I would love to lie in just for one day.

I rang and spoke to Victoria 10 minutes ago, and she was just having her second unit of blood set up. She was tired, but comfortable. I just pray that she doesn't need to return to theatre tomorrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

I truly hope Victoria's hubby comes around. I believe that in true love he will. And I'm sure it is true love!! He may just need a little time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

Another thought that my hubby just said. "if one can't look at it imangine what it is like to live with" Some people don't know what is important in life....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bear

I, too hope that her husband comes round, but if he doesn't, I am sure Victoria will be strong enough to cope. We are a very loving family, and we will all be there for her. My only worry is how it will affect her psycologically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Anne...

My sister and I were caregivers for both our parents during their final years, in addition to working full-time jobs and trying to keep up at home AND occasionally have something resembling lives of our own. I don't think either one of us would have wanted to do anything else... but taking care of an incapacitated loved-one is absolutely the single hardest job I've ever had.

I know how hard it can be, but you truly DO need to find (at least occasional) bits of "down time" for yourself. Even if its nothing more than finding a park near the hospital and slipping out there with a good book and a blanker for a "read" and a "nap."

Especially since Vicki's an adult, you'll find yourself in a place where you have LOTS of responsibility and NO authority... this is a recipe for a stress overload. Since Vicki IS the one with the authority, let her tackle whatever comes up as much as she is able... it may be a little hard, at times, but it will take some of the pressure off you AND it will do wonders for her self-esteem as she begins to realize just how many things she still CAN do in this new phase of her life.

It's hard not to want to jump in and make "everything all right" for a child facing a crisis, and you have an entire family in crisis swirling around you. If you can let them all work through thei emotions, just providing the occasional bit of "guidance" here and there, it may well be to everyone's advantage in the long run.

take care... cherylm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bearlover

I agree Chreylm, Ann is goi ngto need some time for herself. I also tookcare of my sick mother even tho I have 7 brothers and sisters. For some reason it was all put on me. A respit will be well neede for Ann. Ir is the hardest job ever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I agree Chreylm, Ann is goi ngto need some time for herself. I also tookcare of my sick mother even tho I have 7 brothers and sisters. For some reason it was all put on me. A respit will be well neede for Ann. Ir is the hardest job ever.

My husband was diagnosed with cancer May of 2004. He died July 14 2005. He wasn't ill that long but the stress was incredible. He demanded that I go with my "adopted" sister to her family reunion the week after Father's Day last June. I didn't want to go but he insisted. He died 2 weeks later. I think that 4 day break helped me get thru the rest. Make sure you take some time for YOU. Take a book to bed with a drink, a glass of wine, a cup of tea. Take a walk. Go to lunch with a friend ( they are better than shrinks and a lot cheaper). It is something that will give you strength. Be there when she needs you - but don't be there too much. When I lost my leg (5 days from blister to amputation) I needed to get my thoughts together, to figure out who the new me was or, if there was a new me. You will need your strength when your daughter goes home. Get some rest and remember everything looks a lot better when you are reted.

JudyH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Anne,

I hope Vicki comes through this setback soon. Your devotion to her is perfect. I was hospitalized for 113 days and one or both parents were there every day. Vicki's husband needs a good swift kick in the pants or at least a good talking to. It is you and your family's support that will help Vicki to recover more quickly and with more determination to return to her life before her amputation. Once she is back on her feet she will feel better. It was over 8 months before I even could walk for a few minutes on a cast and pylon leg. I used a temporary socket and pylon/hinged leg for 5 months before I got my difinitive leg. Each time I felt better as I could walk longer and with less pain. Now 25 years later prosthetics have improved to help amputees to walk better and with less discomfort. Vicki hopefully will be walking soon and getting her life back. She will find out soon that while not a picnic losing a leg is not the end of the world either. Best wishes to Vicki and her family during her recovery!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your valuable advice. I will take a book with me to the hospital today. I did sleep well last night although I was still awake at 5am.

I too nursed a dying mother in law at home, so I know what you are saying is right, but somehow it is different with my daughter. I think I need to go the extra mile simply because her husband is not there for her.

I decided not to ring the hospital this morning, as even if Victoria is going down to surgery, there is nothing I can do about it until I get there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×