Jump to content
Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
punkie sarah

do i like my body?

Recommended Posts

hi

don't know if im being a crybaby, but i had a sort of a bad week .

within the next month they are going to measure and the i wil get fitted with legs.

so, you would say that is a good thing.

but i'm so scared that it will not work.

i had pain this week in the stumps

i looked in the mirror at myself and i cryed,

i don't know if anyone has that to, but how long does it take to be happy with the way you became?

i thought i was ok with it, i'm not sure now.

the doctor said the shape of the stumps were nice and good and all i was thinking was, "shut up the, the size and shape of my legs and arm was good!!, i hate this socalled stumps!"

hope you don't mind this story, but it gives some reliev to typ it down

xx

sarah

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know exactly how you are feeling. I was asked by my nurse how i felt about my body image, I said disgusted, repulsed and every other name I could think of. My stump has shrunk and the only way i can describe it is stupid. My Physio said that it was good because when i have my limb there is a better chance of it being the same thickness as my other leg. Which obviously makes sense. I cannot let go of how I used to look, I not only have this disgusting leg but have also put weight on.

Lisa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a phase every single one of us must go through. I am almost 18 months down the road and it has only just hit me.

Yes it ugly, yes its not pretty and boy does it hurt sometimes. But for me I know it is better than keeping the shrivvled one I had and yes the pain is bad but its still not as bad as what I had before.

I feel in some ways that I am so much better off than people who have lost legs in an accident. I had years of pain before I finally admitted that I needed to remove it.

Remember we are only human. The people we talk to are medical not human. If they allow too much emotions to develop then they cant do their job(not what I think only what I feel).

Rachel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

Yes it's sad & yes we all still have days like that. I love when I go to the prosthetist's office & they put me in the room with the full length mirror on the other side of the room. You're sitting there & waiting for him to come in, so you're kinda forced to stare at yourself. Do I think it's a good look...not necessarily, but nothing I can do about it. I accept it just like any other flaw my body has. Not that there are many. :P What I'm trying to say is, it's not what you would have chosen for yourself, but this is who you are on the outside. Don't let it overcome you. You have to see past it so others will to. :) Not only am I a BK, but my legs are pretty scarred up. That's a bit of an issue for me to handle. Especially if you're unveiling to someone new. :P I mean...it's normal to have that thought wow...look what I'm bringing to the table...surprise! :o But, I have so much more to bring to the table & I am so much more than missing limbs. It doesn't define WHO I am. Make the best of life...you only get one & we have been fortunate enough to have a second chance.

Your legs can be fun to...my kids still say do Dino...(the dinosaur/dog from the Flintstone cartoon). We used to make shadows on the walls at night & we figured out that if I put my leg up with my knee bent, it looked like Dino. Ofcourse I had to add the bark for the full effect. :lol:

Just saying it's normal to feel the way you do. Can't say alot of things I do are normal...but I have been where you are.

Take care...good luck with your fittings. :)

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think most of us have been there. I know I sure have. I've still got about 15 lbs I didn't have before all this happened. The disease that caused me to lose my leg, and almost lose the other one, also nearly killed me. The treatment for it was drugs that suppress the immune system. So I have been hospitalized with shingles, pneumonia and sepsis. It's been a B..ch to say the least. But now that's mostly behind me and I'm happy to be alive, weight and all. Do I like how I look? Not always. But I didn't always like how I looked before <_< .

I'm happy today to be doing things I thought 2 years ago I would never do again. That day will come for you too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you don't like it now, wait until you get older. Parts and pieces begin to sag, energy wanes, teeth fall or are pulled out, (to some), and wrinkles develop and other areas pooch, eyesight fails, hearing goes, and to some, so does the memory.

But, life becomes meaningful, relationships strengthen, new people who will love you are born. You are allowed to teach - and to learn - new things that you never imagined.

I have done it all of my life at 5 foot, eight inches. Not the 6 foot 6 inches that some attain, and yet I have never been hindered. Nobody - and I mean NOBODY - is perfect in every respect. Some think that they are, but that just proves the point even more.

Today "I YAM WHAT I YAM". As my friend Popeye would say.

Be yourself, and everyone else will accept you. When you get older you realize that people are really looking at the you INSIDE, not just the you OUTSIDE. The outside is fleeting, but the inside is forever.

IF YOU LIKE YOURSELF - SO WILL THEY.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...If you don't like it now, wait until you get older. Parts and pieces begin to sag, energy wanes, teeth fall or are pulled out, (to some), and wrinkles develop and other areas pooch, eyesight fails, hearing goes, and to some, so does the memory...

Oh my Jim! That was supposed to be our secret -- don't be telling the youngsters here about the sagging and baggin'! :lol: As you know, I'm just teasin'

But of course, Jim is right. You lose the physical "beauty" of youth, but are given back a hundredfold in wisdom. I've told anyone who will listen to me that I've earned each and every wrinkle and I wouldn't trade in a wrinkle for one tiny bit of my old age wisdom.

And methinks, that going through a major thang like an amputation just gives us extra heaps of wisdom--no matter the age.

But Punkie, you are quite younger than us. And you have every right to grieve your loss. We all have been there. Just keep it in perspective that you are much more than your body.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Marilyn. I'm afraid that "our" secret is long gone :) There's a whole bunch out there around our age.

Seriously though, you gave me just one more thought.

If I had a choice of the mind I have now (I didn't say brains, I said mind), or the body I used to have, I would take the mind now in a heart beat. No contest.

To the younger ones, we seem to lose so much, but believe me, like Marilyn said, we gain 10 fold. It's amazing.

I'll be 70 this November, and I am actually looking forward to it. I'm glad that I went through the early years of course, but I wouldn't want to go back, now that I know what I know.

NOW, if I could take the mind AND the body........... Oh well!! :D Just kidding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
NOW, if I could take the mind AND the body...........

Ain't it the truth! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Punkie (and Lisa, too), there will be times when nothing at all seems "right." There are times you just want to cry, simply because crying is all that's left to do. Go ahead... you're entitled.

But there will be plenty of days where things go "right," where you feel strong, healthy, and active and you're in love with the whole world... including with YOURSELF. Yes. It will happen.

This is still new enough to me that I can tell you that it DOES get better when your limb(s) arrive and you start training with them. Just being up and active and starting to do some of the "normal" things you did before can lift your spirits immensely. And yes, a stump that shrinks repidly IS a good thing... legs, at least, are pretty bulky, especially if they have to accommodate swelling. A slim stump gives you a well-proportioned leg right from the start... and that's a good thing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hi

don't know if im being a crybaby, but i had a sort of a bad week .

within the next month they are going to measure and the i wil get fitted with legs.

so, you would say that is a good thing.

but i'm so scared that it will not work.

i had pain this week in the stumps

i looked in the mirror at myself and i cryed,

i don't know if anyone has that to, but how long does it take to be happy with the way you became?

i thought i was ok with it, i'm not sure now.

the doctor said the shape of the stumps were nice and good and all i was thinking was, "shut up the, the size and shape of my legs and arm was good!!, i hate this socalled stumps!"

hope you don't mind this story, but it gives some reliev to typ it down

xx

sarah

Sarah,when I first got my legs I was afraid to wear them - I didn't think it woud work. I would wear them for a little while and they hurt and I woud give up. I didn't cry, the hurt went too deep. I had lost my husband 4 months before I lost my leg and life sucked. I am 62 yrs old and and I figured my life was over. I wanted to die. I have told this stoy before but maybe it will help. On my birthdeay I was holding a private pity party ( I was so far down you would have had to dig up to bury me) I decided to splurge and buy myself a present. I called Jewelry Television to order it. Their computers were slow and I swas chatting with the order taker (his name is Freddy). I mentioned being a recent amputee and he said he had been an amputee for 25 years and did I get the publications for the ACA or know about this forum. When I said no he emailed me the info. I claim he gave me back my life. I am a survivor but at that time I didn't want to survive any longer. When I found all the information that the Amputee Coalition of American had and found the wounderful people who open their hearts to you on this forum the permanent grey skies started started to clear and the sun reappeared for the first time in 8 months. All of a sudden it didn't matter what it looked like I was WALKING. I had my independence back, Now I can 't wait until the final skin is on. I am delighted that I can find shoes that do not look orthopedic. I lost 45 lbs, bought new makeup, got out my jewelry and put on nail polish. I care what I look like - if you can see that i am wearing an artificial leg oh well. They do wonderful things now. But I am still me. I am a mother of 4, grandmother of 10 and gre3at grandmother of 1. All who are scattered all over the US.I am also owned by to pussycats. I grabbed my courage and 4 months post amputation signed up to attend the ACA convention. I took the Support group leader and peer visitor training and am starting a support group and will be doing peer visits. The more information you have the less terrifying this whole experience becomes. I only look at the bottom of my stump to check its condition - I hate it. I was a dancer and I loved high heels and dainty shoes - the stump offends me. But it is only a small part of my life. I came out of the hospital terrified and I want to help others avoide that. Good luck. You are the same person - you don't think so but you are. It takes time, feel free to cry on our shoulders, B..ch about the unfairness - then pick up your chin, grab your determination and walk into the rest of your life - one baby step at a time.

JudyH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As the others have said before me, your amputation isn't what inside you. And what is inside you is what counts... I, myself, don't care if a person has 3 good legs, if they aren't a very nice person to begin with..

To this day, I still don't look in the full length mirror in our master bathroom when I don't have my leg on... Hadn't really thought much about it until your post though. I do look when I have my leg on though...

It's all part of dealing with what we have been given, and it doesn't always come easy for any of us. We all go through most of the same stages at some point or another...

The fact that you are alive, and able to post at all it a great gift...So don't let it stop you from living....

As Judy said, pick up your chin, grab some determination, and walk back into the rest of your life...

We are all here to help when you need to talk...

Higgy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't take credit for this...it was someone else's comment. Sums it all up...................

I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent! :D

Accentuate the positves in life...& don't linger on the negatives. Easier said than done at times, but not impossible to do.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thae way that I look at it, is that I had better like it. It's the only one that I have and believe me, after what I've been through with surgeries that were necessary, there is no way that I would opt for surgery just for the sake of Vanity.

My 43 past surgeries have left me with 9 hernias in my belly. I don't like the idea of this bulge on one side of my stomach sticking out in more of a point than a paunch. But, I'll live with it before I will let them do surgery since these are not life threatening.

SURGERY is life threatening

Beside, last year when they went in to take a deseased gall bladder out they decided that as long as they were there, they would fix them. It took them 45 minutes to cut through the scar tissue from past surgeries just to get to the hernias. They fixed them with a cadaver mesh, and I was so elated.

Until one morning about a month later when I leaned up on my elbow in bed to drink my morning coffee that my dear wife had brought to me. (Whomever get's up first brings the coffee.) All of a sudden I had a tremendous pain, which I found later was the screws that they placed the mesh on with, pulling out. Today, the bulge is bigger than before, and one is starting to show on the other side now, plus, I have the screws floating around inside.

I'll take my body just as it is, Thank you.

This was me 20 years ago and how I looked 18 years ago when I lost my leg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is how I look today (two weeks ago), after 43 operations and 20 years.

I'm alive and breathing, and by my age, I have a lot of friends that I have known that are not - and a lot that are in worse shape than me - or you.

Appreciate what you have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah,when I first got my legs I was afraid to wear them - I didn't think it woud work. I would wear them for a little while and they hurt and I woud give up. I didn't cry, the hurt went too deep. I had lost my husband 4 months before I lost my leg and life sucked. I am 62 yrs old and and I figured my life was over. I wanted to die. I have told this stoy before but maybe it will help. On my birthdeay I was holding a private pity party ( I was so far down you would have had to dig up to bury me) I decided to splurge and buy myself a present. I called Jewelry Television to order it. Their computers were slow and I swas chatting with the order taker (his name is Freddy). I mentioned being a recent amputee and he said he had been an amputee for 25 years and did I get the publications for the ACA or know about this forum. When I said no he emailed me the info. I claim he gave me back my life. I am a survivor but at that time I didn't want to survive any longer. When I found all the information that the Amputee Coalition of American had and found the wounderful people who open their hearts to you on this forum the permanent grey skies started started to clear and the sun reappeared for the first time in 8 months. All of a sudden it didn't matter what it looked like I was WALKING. I had my independence back, Now I can 't wait until the final skin is on. I am delighted that I can find shoes that do not look orthopedic. I lost 45 lbs, bought new makeup, got out my jewelry and put on nail polish. I care what I look like - if you can see that i am wearing an artificial leg oh well. They do wonderful things now. But I am still me. I am a mother of 4, grandmother of 10 and gre3at grandmother of 1. All who are scattered all over the US.I am also owned by to pussycats. I grabbed my courage and 4 months post amputation signed up to attend the ACA convention. I took the Support group leader and peer visitor training and am starting a support group and will be doing peer visits. The more information you have the less terrifying this whole experience becomes. I only look at the bottom of my stump to check its condition - I hate it. I was a dancer and I loved high heels and dainty shoes - the stump offends me. But it is only a small part of my life. I came out of the hospital terrified and I want to help others avoide that. Good luck. You are the same person - you don't think so but you are. It takes time, feel free to cry on our shoulders, B..ch about the unfairness - then pick up your chin, grab your determination and walk into the rest of your life - one baby step at a time.

JudyH

Dang, that is one awesome post, Judy. Thanks.

Sarah and Lisa-I know EXACTLY were you are coming from. I still have bad days, but the truth is, well... just what Judy said. There is YOU and then there is YOUR BODY. Really, two different things, I think. You are here and your body is a resource we are given to spend our time. We all make decisions every day on how we will use this resource we are given. It's like, if someone gives you a car and you decide to lock it away and never put any miles on it. Then, one day the car is gone and you wish you had driven it and had fun while it was there.

OK, sometimes I tend to drift out there some...

What I mean to say is, well, what Judy said! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, Shane, you're not "drifting"... that's a VERY valid point! If you spend your time here waiting for some "perfect moment" to start living, well, you're going to have a very quiet and lonely life.

I'm thinking of my mom here: She spent a LOT of her life NOT doing things because the circumstances weren't "perfect." She'd say things like, "I'll go there after I have a nicer wardrobe"... "I'll call them when I have more time to talk"... "I'd be happy to do that, if only this other situation were different"... you get the picture.

Mom spent a lifetime gathering up supplies for "fun" crafts projects she would do "someday" when the time was "perfect" for her to retire. By the time she retired, she was blind. One of the absolute saddest memories I have out of my whole life -- much worse than anything I went through with my amputation -- is the day that I helped Mom clean out her never-used "crafts room"... she was unable to do any of the projects she'd been saving and was donating her supplies to a senior center. She stood in the middle of that room, sighed, and said "I sure was going to have a nice retirement.............."

Mom would most likely have been horrified by my legless, partially-sighted, careening wheelchair-outings following my amputation. I was SO FAR from "perfect" that it wasn't even funny...but I had a GOOD time getting out and doing as much as I could while I waited for my leg to arrive and my vision to return! That's something to remember: How we live is a CHOICE... and it's to our benefit to choose to LIVE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are my thoughts on the matter: I do not like the way I look in the mirror but there is nothing I can do about it. It is quite some time since I had my amputation and over the years the feelings have mellowed. I used to hate the way I looked and now I do not like the way I look. I don't avoid the mirror as I used to and sometimes I can look in the mirror and not think about it.

My wife accepts me as I am as she never knew me with two legs and that has been a big help. I do not think I personally have accepted the fact that I have limitations and constantly strive to achieve things that 'able bodied' people would struggle to achieve.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like your analogy, Shane. And Cheryl I agree with you wholeheartedly. In the beginning I didn't even want to get out. I was embarrassed for people to see me. I had half a leg on one side no prosthetic for 10 months), a huge bandage on the "good" leg and a big green protective boot on the good foot - and I felt like crap most of the time. So if I went anywhere, it was in the wheelchair, being pushed by someone, because I was unable to do it myself. But gradually I started thinking about how I was missing out on so much and if my illness was unable to be controlled or returned with a vengeance, I wasn't going to live to enjoy anything. I chose life and it is GOOD.

Even tho I lost half my big toe and had to have surgery to remove necrotic tissue in the heel of my good foot, I have been blessed with tremendous healing and try to make the most of each and every day because most likely, I am told, the disease will return. Of course, I'm not listening to that. Some days being an amp is aggravating and some days it's just damn hard, but there are so many more good days and I just figure it out as I go.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks people, after all these great posts you really got me crying <_<

but seriously

i really want to thank you for all these encouraging words

they really helped

i sang along with a couple of my most brutal punk songs and i think i can handle it again for a while!

i will keep you posted on how i do and this forum will be a great help thanks to you all here!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Marcia....

That listening things is sort of like growing up isn't it.......

I refuse........I don't listen when they tell me "I can't"......

I refuse to grow up... and I refuse to listen to them if it means that "I can't"....

I really believe that the mind can accomplish so much if we just let it.....

Hang in there lady!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hi

don't know if im being a crybaby, but i had a sort of a bad week .

sarah

Sarah

My first fitting is in about ten days. I have a very "gnarly" stump (they could only do so much).

You're not a "crybaby", it's tough for all of us. The big thing is that you're alive to have these feelings of frustration.

I am positively petrified about this whole prosthetic thing, partly because it's another unknown and partly because of the shape of my stump. In my case I was in a rather horrendous "crash and burn" auto accident. I had 45% 2nd and 3rd degree burns and was trapped in the wreck for at least 45 minutes. My left foot was tangled up with the pedals. THEN I had an MRSA that required several months to eradicate.

My hero is my wife, who was with me and actually had more severe injuries than I (luckily no burns) and who is recovering with me. I guess it would be easy to just be a "cripple" but I have promised my wife that we would dance on her birthday (late August). Are there dance lessons for amputees?

She's sorta "let me off the hook" by pointing out hat I did not specify a year. I'm still shooting for this year.

The moral of all this is that it will help to air your fears/concerns/anxietys in this forum cause we've all been down the same road.

It will work!

Gil Davis

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gil, if you're in a leg at least a couple of weeks prior to the birthday, you really MIGHT be able to manage a short, slow, "couples" dance this year! It may not feel "perfect" (in fact, I can just about guarantee you that it will feel pretty strange), but it would be a lovely "first step" back into real life, for both of you.

I feel happy whenever I see someone "new" here who found the forum early in their journey... for me, it was seven months after my amputation that I finally started stumbling onto some truly USEFUL places for amps... this site being a BIG one of those! I would have given just about anything to have had a resource like this when it was all brand-new and I was terrified of "what was to come."

I wish you well with your fitting... it truly is amazing to me just how much they can accomplish with legs, and you may well find yourself pleasantly surprised at how well it goes. I certainly hope so!

BTW... I don't know about dance lessons for amps -- although it wouldn't surprise me! -- but I do have a friend whose amputee aunt was a dance INSTRUCTOR, in her old-style wooden leg, with a foot carved to allow her to wear 3" high heels!

take care... cherylm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gil,

Sorry to hear about your accident..I lost my left foot in an accident...sometimes, I think that it is harder for us, because of the trauma when it comes to amputations.. You sound like you are doing great though.. I hope your wife is doing well also..

I'm sure that a good prosthetists will be able to fit you, though... what seems often strange to us, they have saw like it or worse..

As for the dancing,I'm sure that you will do it... My husband and I just danced our first dance together in 4 years recently... I was hurt so badly, that it has taken a very long time to get back to anything that resemebled normal... It will feel "different" definitely. For me, I found that steping first with the prosthetic side worked better for me than it did using the sound foot.. Either way, you will do it. I'm sure... sometimes, it is just a matter of taking a calm look at what is going on, to figure out how to do it.

Good job on getting this far, so soon after the accident....

Higgy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Good job on getting this far, so soon after the accident....

Higgy

Higgy

The accident was 9/27/2005. It was the burns and an MRSA that slowed me down. My amputation was elective although I just recently read the surgeon's report and it turns out that it really wasn't elective after all. It was really a case of do it and live. The head surgeon obviously let it be my choice even though there wasn't a viable alternative.

The "legman" that I've picked is based on others recommendations, especially the acquaintance who completed his career in Law Enforcement wearing a leg. He was able to pass all the physical tests with a RBK so I'm sure I'll do the best I can.

My wife is a real "trooper" and is getting better all the time. She thinks she has enough titanium in her to build a new space shuttle.

Thanks for the tip on putting the "best" foot forward. I think we'll practice a bit before going out in public.

Unfortunately, I'm a "Type A" so I'm always behind where I want to be.

Thanks to you and Cherylm for the good advice and wishes.

\

Gil Davis

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

×