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Karen

I'm Back after Ertl and a few setback

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Hi, everyone

Thanks so much for your thoughts and prayers...... I needed them more than I knew!

For those that don't know, I went in for a revision on my AKA amputation. Flew to Oklahoma City on 7/4 and surgery was on 7/6. Surgically, everything went great and Dr. Ertl is very pleased with the outcome and the limb is healing well.

What I didn't expect was some of the complications. :( Just before surgery an epidural was put in for pain control afterwards. Apparently, the needle fell out because I woke up in the recovery room in extreme pain! They quickly figured out the problem and inserted another epidural, but unfortunately....I'm not sure if it was the location of the epidural or WHAT.....but my whole body was paralyzed! I could not even open my eyes or swallow! I heard someone call for a "trach" and a crash cart! A nurse was telling me she was holding my hand and that I was breathing, even though I didn't feel it! Ack! Fortunately, they administered something to counteract the paralyzing medicine and my feeling came back, starting from top to bottom. This was absolutely the most terrifying experience of my life!!!!! I was trapped inside my own body!!! :o Then it was decided to try IV for pain control, and it took a while to get that working.

I left the hospital the next Tuesday, saw Dr. Ertl for a check on Wednesday, and then flew home to Florida with my husband. Then next day, another unexpected complication developed. I awoke on Thursday with severe pain in my lower ribs. My husband took me to the emergency room, and after a CT scan it was determined that I had a blood clot in my lung! I was put on IV heparin and released a week later with an RX for blood thinners which I will be using for the next 3-6 months. Also have fluid in the lungs which I am working hard to get out (doing breathing exercises every day). Right now I'm waiting for the visiting nurse to come and draw my blood. Need to know what level it's at before I take my blood thinner tonight.

I swear, I feel like a broken bird/glass doll! :( What an ordeal!!!!

I'm trying to do my exercises for my leg, so I don't fall behind in that regard. Am fighting depression, but have lots of people here for me. My sister flew in from Michigan to stay for a few weeks, and my husband and children are always available for a hug. Now that I'm getting around a bit better, I can come here to the forum for more love and support. I am trying to hang in there for a few more weeks until I can be fitted with a new prosthesis and hopefully get back to my active life again!

Much love,

Karen

AKA

Orlando, FL

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Hi, Karen, and welcome back... that DOES sound like a terrifying ordeal! I'm glad you came through the revision "OK" in the long run, and I hope they get the blood/respiratory problems settled SOON!

take care... cherylm

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Hi Karen,

omg.... what an ordeal! :(

Being 'awake' in a completely paralyzed body.... can't think of a worse troture.

Anyway, you are over it now. It's still quite recent and you are still shaken by all this but with each passing day, with all the support you are getting too, you will get stronger and back to your normal perky self again.

I remember your past posts and remember thinking 'hm, not much can knock this gal down ' :) Yep, you come accross as an up and at 'em person so i'm sure you'll get back to where you were very,very soon :) All the best !

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Wow, Karen! That sounds very extreme... so glad you are getting put back together!

Ouch, the depression stuff seems to hit when we least need it, but realize it is TEMPORARY! I'm glad you have family around you, that is a huge help.

Keep us posted on your progress and get on here when you need a pick-me-up.

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OMG Karen. That sounds awful. I thought your surgery was for July 10. I'm so sorry that you've had to endure all this horror.

Hope things get better real soon. Keep in touch.

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Well, I'm glad that with your whole ordeal that back. Give yourself enough time before trying to resume "everyday" life. They told me after the accident,that for every day that you are down, it takes two to get back up to speed. As for the clot, I'm sure that you will be off of the heparin as soon as it's possible. I remmeber turning into a purple smuf after mine. Every part of my body that had skin on it turned purple I think...

Please try to keep from falling too far into the depression. Know that we are all here for you and to talk with if needed.

Hang in there.

Higgy

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WOW!

Sorry to hear about your rough goings! I wish you a speedy recovery. I'm going for my Op on the 24th August. Nervous as hell.

Keep up a good spirit and you'll be back in no time!!!

Best regards!

Chris

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Hey Karen it's so nice to have you back with us. :D

Hope things get better for you quickly.

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Karen, I'm so glad you're feeling well enough to pay us a visit. My prayers have been with you and I'm now hoping and praying you'll be up and running real soon.

Love and hugs :)

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I am so sorry things did not go as well as you had hoped.

I hope you feel better soon. I think in many ways when its some one elses fault its much harder to deal with. The lack of control etc.

Get well soon

Rachel

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You poor thing, Karen! :o

Thankfully, I haven't had a clot on my lung, but I have come out of an anaesthetic (during surgery) and been able to move, so I know how you may feel...

However, I think you're doing all the right things, Karen. Keeping doing those exercises...& chatting (talking helps) to friends & relatives.

Take care

Lizzie :)

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Hi Karen,

Well you're a braver girl than me. What a nightmare hon; I really hope it all works out well for you and your back on your feet sooner rather than later.

Well done with the exercises-that must be hard also trying to keep them going-it's a bummer how quickly we loose tone etc.

I wish you a lightening speed recovery.

Mel x x

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hey Karen

Good to see you are well enough to check in here. As you can see we have all been thinking & praying for a speedy recovery.

With all your family there, you should take advantage girl, lay back and be waited on for a few days.

Looking forward to the next time we share a drink and have a good laugh

Love

Ruth

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Guest bearlover

:) Hi Karen! Hope your feeling better today! Hang in there things will get better soon! :) B) ;)

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Hello Karen, :)

This is Johnny V Karen, ;)

It's so nice to have you back where you belong. :huh:

Your looking swell Karen, we can tell Karen, B)

Your still glowing, your still crowing, your still going strong. :blush:

We feel the forum swaying, and the bands playing,

One of those old favorite songs from way back when. :D

Sooo, golly gee Karen, keep the faith won't you please Karen.

Karen don't you ever go back there,

Karen don't you ever go back there,

Karen don't you ever go back there again.

Oh yeah !

We Love you Karen :wub:

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Please Karen get better soon if only to stop JV singing :huh:

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Hello Karen, :)

This is Johnny V Karen, ;)

It's so nice to have you back where you belong. :huh:

Your looking swell Karen, we can tell Karen, B)

Your still glowing, your still crowing, your still going strong. :blush:

We feel the forum swaying, and the bands playing,

One of those old favorite songs from way back when. :D

Sooo, golly gee Karen, keep the faith won't you please Karen.

Karen don't you ever go back there,

Karen don't you ever go back there,

Karen don't you ever go back there again.

Oh yeah !

We Love you Karen :wub:

Please Karen get better soon if only to stop JV singing :wub:

Yes, please hurry up & get better soon, Karen!

Strangely enough, not because of Johnny's singing, as he seems to have a few fans...

konlang.gif

...but, because we want you fit & well again! :D

Lizzie :)

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Oh I am so sorry Karen. What a horrible ordeal. I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to be paralyzed. Don't let the depression get to you. We are all here for you. You have my love and prayers.

JudyH

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Wow, Karen. I can only imagine how that must've felt :o , waking up paralyzed. You're a tough cookie, Karen. I hope you have a speedy recovery from here on out. I'll be thinking of you and sending all the good vibes I can muster. :D

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Hi Karen:

WOW!! I just can't imagine what you felt, it must of been terrifying. But as long as you keep with "US" on this forum, you doing OK

Your very brave and strong obviously, hang in there. If I can help in anyway please ask. I know depression,

Just keep coming back Luv,

Lynne

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Karen-

I am so sorry you have had all that trouble. I had my amputation done in OK City with Ertl almost two years ago. He is a great surgeon. I too had complications after surgery. NOTHING like yours, I can't imagine being paralized.... and I know how dark it can get before it gets better. I also remeber the depression. NOT fun! I am glad to hear you have support of family and friends who are caring for you. That will get you through. And laying in bed doing leg lifts and other excercises was sometimes the ONLY thing that got me through the day. It is always amazing when I talk on the phone with other people who had the surgery post-op, we all have similar feelings and it helps to know they will pass, that it does get better, that others felt the same way. Just cry when you want, scream if you must and know there are better times ahead. I found comfort in knowing that my amputee friends who were now running around and doing great also went through what I was post-op. So there is hope. Remember, you are very brave to have come through what you have so far. You should be proud of yourself.

You are in my thoughts and prayers,

Debbie

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Wow. Here I sit at 3am reading all your responses to my note with tears running down my face. I am so touched by your kindness. It is such a comfort to hear words of encouragement from people who have really "been here". And Johnny, I absolutely loved the song....it made me giggle right through my tears! I've been having trouble sleeping at night....especially this week as my husband had to go out of town on a business trip.

Tomorrow, I will be 3 weeks post-op and 1 week out of the hospital from the blood clot incident! Although my wound has healed beautifully (thank GOD, I was worried that the blood thinners might affect that), the swelling is still pretty bad. It's so strange to look in the mirror and see that my "new" thigh looks as wide as the one on the other side! I don't remember any of these things from my initial amputation. I was 13 at the time and in total denial......my mom says I wouldn't even look at my leg for almost a month!

I am breathing better every day, and the pain in my chest is pretty much gone. Still get breathless and tired out easily, though. My children think it's so funny that mommy goes to bed before they do these days! My wonderful sister has been here the past week to take care of them...and me! She is due to leave next Thursday, August 3rd. We are playing it by ear, but my mom may fly back to help for a few more weeks while I continue to gain strength and HOPEFULLY can start walking again. I am just desperate to get back on my feet! Although I do get the most lovely comments from people re the chic Zebra crutch covers my sister-friend, Cheri sent me! :)

So I AM getting better....not as fast as I'd like, of course....but the depression has diminished as my healing continues. Reading all the messages on this board is such good medicine! I love that I can log on at this hour of the night and feel the warmth of you all! Maybe I'll try getting back to bed and wrapping myself up with all these good feelings.

Much love, :blink:

Karen

AKA

Orlando, FL

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I'm so glad to hear that things are looking better for you. Hang in there.

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Karen, your last post reminded me of how profoundly weak I was after my last surgery (the amp itself). That's almost a scary feeling. That out of control of your own body...

Just take care of yourself and allow yourself to take naps as you need, eat right and take your meds! (I'm a mom forever! :P )

Write when you can and know that we are here!

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