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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Jim T.

A common Amputation

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Jim, I also wondered where the thread was going. Just felt you had started it for a reason and as it turns out a good one. I can also relate to Lizzie's point, when I had my accident there was no support (I was too old to be a child and too young to be an adult) you were left to get on with it. After my amputation, I started physio. They told me that they were worried about giving me my legs straight away because they knew I would go and just get on with it and not bother going back. My wife agreed with them because that is all I have ever done. As it turned out I couldn't have them anyway.

After my accident, I did push myself too hard some times, well, all the time. That used to cost me time in hospital up to 3 months at a time and that contributed to having my legs amputated now instead of much later in life. I don't regret pushing myself, if I didn't I would have never have known what can be achieved.

I will vote for Roz…to get the next round in and start a wild party. :)

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My thanks to all of you for your contributions here. Cat and Ally started this off with just what I had in mind. A thread of "straight talk" about what we really went through - in generalities of course, without any "sugar coating", or "Rose Colored Glasses". We've had our stories told before in introductions, and on a thread here and there. This pretty much puts them together for a "real",(albeit limited), look at what this was all about. That was the thought that I had in mind when I started this for those that asked.

I was reading Roz's story and thinking about all that she wasn't saying. She had her "game" face on - as we all do. I felt that the "bravery" that people go through everyday with amputations, needed to be spelled out a little clearer. Most of us don't do that on a daily basis, because we don't want to "whine" or "complain". This was meant as an encouragement to do just that.

I couldn't help but think this morning, of those who were born with conditions that later led to their amputation, after years of surgeries and trauma. Then there are those that lived with the effects of accidents and desease. Others, as one pointed out, had their legs snatched out from under them, (literally), at a moments notice after years of taking their leg(s) for granted. Then there are those who elect to have this done for various reasons, but none-the-less, I can picture them saying: No, I can't meet you for lunch Thursday, because I'm going to go have my leg and foot removed. WOW!!. Now that blows my mind.

I read the messages of some here that think that they don't "measure up" to others, because their amputation was not as traumatic. I don't agree. There is no nice and easy way to remove a leg and not live with the emotional scars and challenges as well as the physical ones. If you are anywhere in the phases of an amputation, (before, contemplating, or after), with yourself, or a loved one, - then this is where you belong.

I don't live in the world of "I wish". My leg is gone, so I adjust to what "IS" and move on and adapt, as I've been doing all of my life when I've had to meet other challenges. I told someone that life should be looked at the same as driving a car. We all have a windshield and a rear view mirror. They both should be used in proportion to their size. If we were to spend all of our time looking at the past, then the mirror should be bigger, but they purposefully put the windshield bigger, because that is where we are supposed to put our attention - to the future, and what's ahead of us, and not so much what's behind.

An old saying I picked up some time ago went:

[

i]TO THOSE WHO UNDERSTAND ....... NO EXPLANATION IS NECESSARY

TO THOSE WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND.......NO EXPLANATION WILL SUFFICE[/i]

Here, we have people who immediately understand when we describe something. I don't expect everyone else to. Some, try harder than others though.

Thank you Roz, for providing the impetus to start this. I feel that it has been wothwhile, and will be a benefit to many contemplating - or, finding themselves suddenly thrust into the challenge of an amputation.

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:) Jim, what are you going to run for? You wrote out feelings alot of us just do not know how to do...in fact Cat, Ally, Roz, Karen all said the same things. Hope I didn't miss anyone.

I think everyone on this forum deserves a round of appaluse, don't you? Most of us have been through the wringer- :( - but we made it & are going on with our lives. I think it really helps to be able to tell it like it really was (not a picnic).

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all!!!!

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I think everyone on this forum deserves a round of appaluse, don't you?

Absolutely. Here's mine.

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I have to tell you that I didn't put any where near the thoughts that some have into my amputation. I was told that clots had lodged in my foot during a "routine" vascular operation, gangrene had developed, and it had to come off. After the initial amputation, the doctor came in and told me that he was going to do a revision so that my leg would fit, and asked me if I wanted him to go above the knee - in case the circulation wasn't good enough - or try first for below the knee, and hoped that it was okay. I told him not to take any more off than he absolutely had to. The BK worked.

That's it.

I went home a month later - after pulmonary edema, which almost lost me - and a few other "complications", with a hole in my stump, (that felt like it had a red hot ice pick in it digging around), from the 3 faciotomy's that they performed trying to save the foot. The had taken a patch of skin off of my thigh to use on the one faciotomy that wouldn't heal, but I still had a hole about the size of a U.S. 25 cent piece.

I also went home without any pain medicine (because that is what I chose), and "toughed it out" for about 2 months in a cast, (talk about pain!!!!) until everything healed up. I never had any "therapy", ( Thanks to a greedy insurance company), and learned to use my new "leg", terracing a hillside in our backyard with a pick and a shovel so my wife could plant a garden.

In short, what I'm saying is that I didn't have the Rolls Royce stump, or the Dr. Ertl??? (I don't know who he is), treatment, but aside from the vascular problems, (43 operations), the amputation went just fine, and my leg and I get along like two old buddies today.

My stump is about 7 inches long, with three, 4 to 6 inch scars running up and down three sides of my stump - one of them about 1 1/2 to 2 inch's wide that never did heal properly.

My leg is the basic Suprcondulr Suspension, without any flex ankle, or built in piston, and I can do everything that I could before - barring my circulation.

I'm telling you all of this just to say, that when it comes to the body - no matter who the surgeon is, or what equipment you get, it is going to do what it wants to do. My surgeon was the Dean of Vascular Surgery in my County, just north of LA. When I asked him why my graft came loose and clots went to my foot he answered, "I haven't had one come loose in 25 years and I wasn't looking for it." The surgeons that were working on me when my bypasses clotted up and I got the infection that nearly cost me my life 6 different times, and led to the loss of a perfectly good kidney, among a few other things, were from Hollywood, and used to be part of the team that worked on President Ronald Reagan.

We just never know. Stuff Happens

I'm playing the "Devil's Advocate" here. Someone once told me: "It's okay to plan the picnic - just don't plan the weather".

I'm alive, ornery and making the most out of the remains of the leg that I have left. Life is good. They took my lower leg and foot, but they didn't take my a-t-t-i-t-u-d-e. That is the best medicine and surgeon there is.

Oh yes, to make it more fun, my insurance company cancelled my insurance after my third operation, after paying faithfully for 15 years, without a single claim, because they were afraid "that I was going to need more operations". Boy were they right. This cost us our successful Building Contracting business in Southern California, our home, south of Santa Barbara, and my wife and I living in our small camping trailer for a year because the subsequent surgeries bankrupt us.

Thanks for listening. Tonights my night to vent I guess.

I'm alive and well. My wife and I just celebrated our 48th wedding anniversery, and my 70th birthday. I may not be rich, but I am an extremely wealthy man. Like I said - they didn't take my attitude. :D Don't ever let them take yours.

This is my story - in part. I'd like to hear yours if anyone cares to add to this. The reality - without the rose colored glasses.

Jim,

On Sunday I discovered a blister, called the Dr and got antibiotics because I am diabetic. Saw him Mon and Tues It was fine. Wed it was OK. Thursday I got up and it smelled funny - I went in right away only to be told it was gangrene -- off to my primary care who called the orthopedic surgeon who came to his office. When I asked what would have to be done he said I'm cutting it off at 7am. and sent me directly to the hospital. I had lost my husband of 43 yrs 4 months before and this left me numb. I no longer have health insurance and my medications cost more than my income. I came out of the hospital with only the book from my prosthetist and no other information. I decided that things I had thought to be important really weren't. I also decided that I didn't want anyone else to go thru what I did so I am working to get info on the ACA to and HeatherMillsMcCartney forum to every anputee in S.E. Michigan. I have started a support group and would like to do Peer visiting.. It is diffiult to get the doctors to use the service.

I have come up with an invention that I hope will buy me some insurance and well as help anyone who is non weight bearing on one leg for any reason. Would I like to have my leg back.... YES Would I be willing to give up the friends I have made on this forum.....NO.

JudyH

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Well, reading all these I know that though we are all different and live sometimes on the other side of the world from each other we all shall common bonds that unite us. Bonds (sometimes bondage) we don’t want, but have no choice but to deal with.

My story. Sorry so long.

My story is not yet complete and goes back many years. In 1985 my wife (ex) was stationed at Scholfield Barracks (Army), Hawaii. I liked to hike in the mountains on post to search for W.W.II bunkers and stuff. On January 20th, Super Bowl Sunday, I was bored so went for another hike by my self. As I explored the area (Koli Koli Pass) in which the Japanese flew through to bomb Pearl Harbor I started to climb back up a different way that I went down. Bad move on my part. A rock I grabbed to lift myself up broke free and I fell backwards, :o turning in the air to land forward and landing on a small ledge. Instinct from my skate boarding days told me to tuck and roll, which I did... 500-700 feet down the mountain. :(

I remember trying to stop myself without success. I just kept tumbling end over end seemly for ever. I suddenly stopped and my head was spinning. All of a sudden my head cleared and something told me to look up the mountain. A piece of W.W.II corrugated sheet metal was heading for my head (neck). I deflected it with my arm and then begun to spin again. Weird. God!? :huh:

As I lay there I see a new joint mid thigh. Yup, I broke my femur. Cool! My first broken bone. :P I heard a voice and then saw a couple at the top of the mountain. A couple just happen to see me fall and was yelling down to see if I was all right. I told then yes but had broken my leg. They ran for help which started the rescue in motion.

The Army sent in a helicopter to fetch me. The medics had to repel from the helicopter and then lift me in a basket. Cool! My first helicopter ride. :P

From there to the hospital, no pain that I remember. No blackouts. Everything okay... well for a day anyway. I was scheduled for surgery until I developed a pulmonary embolism. My lungs said, “Screw this. We quit!” :blink: So I was reenflated (innabated) Then my heart said, “My turn.” :blink: It stopped on three different occasions.

The Red Cross called my mother and told her that if she wants to see her son (she had four spares :D )alive then she needs to get there ASAP. :o After two weeks in ICU I was moved to a ward. A couple days later I had a hard time breathing. Opps, phemothorax. Chest tube time. A day later the other lung joined the first one and collapsed too. So now I have a chest tube in each side of my chest. I looked like something out of a Science Fiction movie. :blink: After seven and ten days (left and right lungs) I finally recovered enough to remove the chest tubes. So there I lie in traction bored out of my mind and missing my family.

After two months in the hospital I told them that this was crazy and that I can lay on my back in traction at home. So I checked myself out and went home to be in traction. They didn’t like my idea but like the saying goes. You don’t have to like it. You just have to do it. :blink:

I got a nick name of the, “Miracle Man” in the hospital because I defiled all the odds. I’m just stubborn sometimes. So now twenty-one years later I’ve had multiple surgeries on my left ankle to fix what they didn’t know I broke at the time of my fall.

So now the surgeon is talking about an ankle replacement but I’m a poor candidate for that because of a lot of criteria I don’t fit. Too young, too active, post traumatic arthritis et., et. This leaves me to present day trying to get something done. :blink:

The end of Chapter one. Chapter two to begin in ? <_<

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Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Couldn't you have just taken a sledge hammer to it and saved everyone a lot of trouble? But then, you never would have gotten that helicopter ride. :lol: :lol:

It sounds too impossible, but If I hadn't been hanging around this forum for awhile and hearing others tell similar stories, I'd be tempted to say "Naw, nobody can go through that"

Good Luck with the next chapter. I do know what you mean. How does your prognosis look for saving the leg? Let's hope that you can pull that one off too. It wouldnt' suprise me?

Thanks for adding to this.

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Mercy, Mercy, Mercy. Couldn't you have just taken a sledge hammer to it and saved everyone a lot of trouble? But then, you never would have gotten that helicopter ride. :lol: :lol:

It sounds too impossible, but If I hadn't been hanging around this forum for awhile and hearing others tell similar stories, I'd be tempted to say "Naw, nobody can go through that"

Good Luck with the next chapter. I do know what you mean. How does your prognosis look for saving the leg? Let's hope that you can pull that one off too. It wouldnt' suprise me?

Thanks for adding to this.

Honesty, I’m tired of trying to save it and it’s pretty much useless at this point. They’ve been trying to save it for years. At what point do I say enough? I think I’m there. :blink:

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Guest bearlover

They tied to "save" my leg since infancy and it was also very useless. I did have a leg but not much of a leg. Finally I had no choice. I developed a major bone infection. After years and years of keeping the leg and operations only to lose it in the long run..Amputation was suggested to my parents as a infant. But they were treeifed of the word..So I was fourced to keep it. But in the long run having it amutated as a child may have been a better choice. :(

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This "save it or lose it" situation is a very tricky one to be in...

After my accident, I was so badly injured that I died whilst undergoing emergency surgery, and after they'd brought me back, all they could do was stabilise me, and I was left like that for 10 days before they even contemplated trying to repair my smashed pelvis and almost-ripped-off foot.

My lower leg was in a plaster cast, and my foot was blue, but not quite dying, and even though the X-rays were horrendous, with the broken bone ends having punctured out through the back of my leg, I wasn't deteriorating - so they waited.

The pelvic repairs went extremely well, and I still have six stainless steel screws and a plate surrounding my right hip joint, and my hip - thank God! - is still viable. My lower leg was not so good...

My tibia and fibula fractures were very low down, only two inches above my ankle joint. Whilst working on my pelvis, the orthopods had another attempt at getting all the bits to line-up, but they wouldn't stay in position. There wasn't enough bone below the fractures to use an Ilizarov frame, so they put a pin through the top of my tibia and one through my heel and plastered it up once again, and waited...

After two weeks, my foot was not quite as blue, so there was optimism that I could keep it. I kept being told that my ankle needed "a little more work", and a further five times I was taken back to the operating theatre for this to be done.

After seven weeks in hospital, the X-rays of my pelvis looked good, so the traction was taken down, and I could begin to move around the bed I'd been tethered to for so long! I'd befriended a doctor, and he agreed to show me my X-rays - which I hadn't seen at all up to this point - and I was horrified to see how badly-aligned my ankle fractures were. While it had been surrounded in a thick layer of plaster of Paris, I hadn't been able to see how twisted and bent my leg was, but the sight of that X-ray left me in no doubt that my leg would be horribly disfigured and distorted. I found it difficult keeping my crying inaudible on the ward all that night.

Then I was discharged from hospital, into my parents' care, but they both worked, so I faced a multitude of challenges coping during the day in a completely unadapted house! I returned to the fracture clinic for a scheduled appointment, and I saw my leg for the first time. It was absolutely hideous - it looked like a banana with a foot on the end. To my deepening dismay, I also discovered that I couldn't lift my foot - I had foot-drop - but the distortion in the fractures meant that it wouldn't flex downwards anyway. Then the X-rays revealed that the fractures hadn't healed, so I was plastered-up again...

I returned several further times to the fracture clinic, and then I was told that if the fractures hadn't united by the next time, I'd be fitted for callipers. I wasn't having that, so, against advice, I began weight-bearing on my leg. I still had a pin through my knee, and this came loose, which was rather gruesome! However, my plan worked - the fractures united, my knee-pin was pulled out, and I was discharged.

My ankle always ached, infinitely more-so when I put weight on it, not least because the bones had fused into one lump as opposed to a separate tibia and fibula, and the far end of the fibula scraped along the place where it should have hinged, and arthritic degeneration began immediately. I had to develop an enormously high pain-threshhold just to be able to walk, but I was 21, and I had plans to see the world!

Because of the pain, the foot-drop, an inward rotation of 20 degrees, and my leg now being 3/4 of an inch shorter, it took a year to learn to walk unaided on my bad leg, and every step was a teeth-gritting ordeal - but I wanted so badly to seen normal and able once more. It was so painful that I barely noticed the pain from my 5 prolapsed spinal discs, my unstable knee, and clicks and grinding sensations in my hip joint, but I had no choice but to carry on. I actually considered myself lucky, because the morning after my accident, an orthopaedic surgeon had stood beside my hospital bed and coldly told me that I would never walk again, that I'd be in hospital for a year, and that if I ever got out of a wheelchair, I'd need a replacement hip within 5 years. I didn't believe him, or at least I refused to believe him.

Thus began 27 years of limping in mounting agony, never being able to wear heels of any height above 3/4 of an inch, never being able to uncover my hideously-disfigured and deformed leg, and all the time wondering whether I would have been better off if they'd amputated my foot. Of course, I hadn't been given the choice, but I looked enviously at amputees I saw on television who seemed to be able to walk better than I could and with less pain. I periodically saw orthopaedic surgeons to see if my fractures could be revised, but with any outcome being complicated by the foot-drop and the risk that any surgery could compromise the circulation badly enough that I might lose the foot anyway, the outlook was not good. I was told that in the long-term, my only options would be fusing my ankle, or amputation, and they always urged me to keep my foot for as long as possible.

So I was stuck with my awful leg; whilst my mobility was compromised and every day involved an unreasonable amount of pain, I had a life, and I accepted the compromise. I'd absorbed the propaganda that amputation meant failure, but as the pain increased I began to question the validity of the source of this "wisdom". It was one particularly brutal experience while attempting to walk a short distance in a holiday town that brought me to the realisation that I couldn't continue walking with such pain, and that being in a wheelchair would be preferable. Even the least successful amputation couldn't possibly be worse than what I endured, so my research began, and it brought me here, almost a year ago.

Approaching the end of that year, my prospects look very good - I am delighted to be free from the awful grinding arthritic pain I endured for so long, my hideous leg had been replaced with a good stump, and I'm doing well with my first prosthesis. It's certainly difficult being an amputee, particularly when I can't wear my leg due to blisters and I have to get about on my OneCrutch (which, while more convenient than two elbow-crutches, is still very tiring), waiting for blisters to heal up is infuriatingly frustrating, and it looks like I'll always have a wheelchair in my bedroom now, but I'm making good progress and I now have something to look forward to, instead of the inevitability of great pain and fearing declining mobility.

It was Bearlover's comments that prompted me to write all this - amputating sooner rather than later may be preferable - but I would add that there are worse things than amputation - it's possible to have a limb that's far worse for quality of life than an amputated one.

I have experienced two benefits from waiting - one is common-sense, but the other could not have been known: in waiting so long I can benefit from technology and techniques that simply weren't around 27 years ago, and having learned to walk on my badly-compromised old leg helped me learn what I needed to know to walk with a prosthesis. But I have paid dearly for those benefits, by enduring enormous amounts of pain over many years, and, knowing what I know now, I may have reassessed my position a lot sooner.

It is, of course, tragic when complications arise due to amputations and they don't fulful their promise, and in many cases there isn't a choice, but when there is, one can only make the best-informed decision at any one time. I just hope that my story can help inform anyone who has a long-term degenerating situation - yes, I kept my old leg for as long as I could before amputating, but the last 10 years probably gained me very little in terms of prosthetic technology, but cost me dear in terms of the pain and limited mobility I've endured.

For anyone contemplating amputation, you'll have to make the best-informed decision you can, and it's in a forum such as this that that information can be found. Read, read, read, and then read some more - if these stories benefit you, our suffering will have been worth something, and we all wish you the very best of luck.

Roz. :)

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Guest bearlover

Also I would sugget speaking with a certified prosthetist and a vascular surgon not a orthopedist. I think a vascular surgon may do a better job..I learned this after the fact.. :(

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I agree, Bearlover!

I was never advised by an orthopod that things might be better with an amputation - but a prosthetist did say this, and he turned out to be absolutely right.

Who does an amputation is another complex issue; I went for an orthopod because I wanted particular bone work, and then I chose very carefully.

...and complications can still arise - like the nerve in my incision, and my blistering scar!

There are no easy answers, but all this information contributes to an informed decision, where such a drastic decision needs to be made.

Roz. :)

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In 1996, an axillo-fem bypass, (Sub Clavean artery in the shoulder to the femoral artery in the groin), clotted up. In trying to desolve the clot, the catheters pushed the clot into my bicep muscle and my hand literally died. Doctors went "fishing" and found the clot, saving my hand, but there was still trombosis to my leg, and my big toe turned gangrene. We were just starting a vascular unit here in my town, and the one vascular doctor immediately wanted to amputate the whole foot. (I had already lost my right one by then). I told him that I wanted to see a podiatrist.

No - I am not diabetic. I have artereosclrosis - seemingly inherited from a birth family that I never knew

With my toe completely black and seemingly lifeless, the podiatrist said that he wanted to try something that he and his partner had come up with. He had me put vyncomism (sp) on a pad 5 times a day and wrap it on the toe over the spot in the corner of my nail that the ooze was coming from. Within a week it was showing signs of improvement, and today it is as healthy as the rest of my foot. I do have a scar line leading to the inside corner of the nail, and you can see that something once went on there, but it is perfectly fine.

It also acts as a barometer today. Whenever that bypass gets restricted in anyway, my big toe will start to tingle like a bell warning.

P.S. I was on coumiden (twice), when this clotted up. Once, I was justr sitting on the couch and my belt cut the circulation off, allowing it to clot, and the second time I slept on that side and it restricted the flow, causing clotting. A new vascular surgeon at our newly instituted heart clinic, took me off of coumiden and put me on Plavix. I've been on it sine 1996 now, without a single clot. (Don't anyone dare touch my Plavix !!)

Vascular Surgeons - Podiatrist - Orthopedist. Sometimes I believe that it is all a crap shoot, and the doctors will be the first one to tell you that it boils down to who makes the best educated guess. If they were 100% perfect, I would still have a leg, a kidney, and a few other parts and pieces that are gone now, or don't work.

I believe that they do the best they can - knowing that they do not know everything.

You buy your ticket - and you take your chance

Do your homework, ask as many questions as possible, make YOUR OWN decision - and then pray. Odds are in your favor today more than they were - 27 years ago, but be realistic. I wasn't at the beginning, and treated it like I was going to the dentist - then I came out 45 days later, without a foot, and brought back to life twice. It was definitely time for a Reality Check.

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They tied to "save" my leg since infancy and it was also very useless. I did have a leg but not much of a leg. Finally I had no choice. I developed a major bone infection. After years and years of keeping the leg and operations only to lose it in the long run..Amputation was suggested to my parents as a infant. But they were treeifed of the word..So I was fourced to keep it. But in the long run having it amutated as a child may have been a better choice. :(

I can appreciate your situation, bearlover, as my parents couldn't face agreeing to two amputations when I was a baby. It's a horrible situation to be in as a parent and as a child...you have no control over the situation as a child...

(((((hugs)))))

Lizzie x :)

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They tied to "save" my leg since infancy and it was also very useless. I did have a leg but not much of a leg. Finally I had no choice. I developed a major bone infection. After years and years of keeping the leg and operations only to lose it in the long run..Amputation was suggested to my parents as a infant. But they were treeifed of the word..So I was fourced to keep it. But in the long run having it amutated as a child may have been a better choice. :(

Where’s that time machine when we need it? :D The word amputation always brings up bad thoughts and it is... to a point. Sometimes it is the best and/or only option for a healthy or active life.

I have my good days when I’m putzing around the house and don’t walk on my foot much and it doesn’t feel bad so I think to myself that I’m doing okay. :D Then comes the day when I do a little more like walk my daughter to school which is only a half mile and then I hurt for two days after. :rolleyes: It certainly sticks.

I’m lucky in that I almost lost the leg above the knee because after my femur fracture they could find any pulse below my knee. I got lucky there and they found a faint one.

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Guest bearlover

Thnaks Lizzie!! and when I was 16 I asked dad he said NO God D way!! Oh well!! :(

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They tied to "save" my leg since infancy and it was also very useless. I did have a leg but not much of a leg. Finally I had no choice. I developed a major bone infection. After years and years of keeping the leg and operations only to lose it in the long run..Amputation was suggested to my parents as a infant. But they were treeifed of the word..So I was fourced to keep it. But in the long run having it amutated as a child may have been a better choice. :(

I can appreciate your situation, bearlover, as my parents couldn't face agreeing to two amputations when I was a baby. It's a horrible situation to be in as a parent and as a child...you have no control over the situation as a child...

(((((hugs)))))

Lizzie x :)

In my case, I did have control; my dad couldn't cope with my accident and went back to sea leaving my mother to deal with everything. Our home was nearly 60 miles from the hospital, mum didn't have a car and we didn't have a phone, also she had my younger brother and sisters to look after which meant I only saw her at weekends, either a Saturday or a Sunday. I refused to eat and refused to go to theatre until I got my way. Like mtman I had done everything over the last 41 years to keep my legs.

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Guest bearlover

They tied to "save" my leg since infancy and it was also very useless. I did have a leg but not much of a leg. Finally I had no choice. I developed a major bone infection. After years and years of keeping the leg and operations only to lose it in the long run..Amputation was suggested to my parents as a infant. But they were treeifed of the word..So I was fourced to keep it. But in the long run having it amutated as a child may have been a better choice. :(

Where’s that time machine when we need it? :D The word amputation always brings up bad thoughts and it is... to a point. Sometimes it is the best and/or only option for a healthy or active life.

I have my good days when I’m putzing around the house and don’t walk on my foot much and it doesn’t feel bad so I think to myself that I’m doing okay. :D Then comes the day when I do a little more like walk my daughter to school which is only a half mile and then I hurt for two days after. :rolleyes: It certainly sticks.

I’m lucky in that I almost lost the leg above the knee because after my femur fracture they could find any pulse below my knee. I got lucky there and they found a faint one.

It is like the word "amputation" scares people. When some people hear Iam a amputee the look on their face is total fright! it is quite funny at times..Amputation is not the end of the world..It is not grat at all but it is not as bad as some peole may think.. :rolleyes:

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I have my good days when I’m putzing around the house and don’t walk on my foot much and it doesn’t feel bad so I think to myself that I’m doing okay. :D Then comes the day when I do a little more like walk my daughter to school which is only a half mile and then I hurt for two days after. :rolleyes:

That was exactly the situation I found myself in, mtman, and I appreciate your dilemma.

I had to progress things when I couldn't even use my bad foot on my car's accelerator pedal without it aching for a day.

I'm extremely relieved to be free from that pain, and to be doing well with my first prosthesis - my amputation has definitely improved my quality of life. You might also find, as I did, that having walked on a bad ankle for an extended period has been helpful in walking with a prosthesis.

Good luck with your situation.

Best wishes

Roz. :)

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Jim, now that I understand what this thread is about (sorry, but it takes things a while to 'sink in' sometimes) I really appreciate the thought behind it...we are all united by amputation. However, there is one thing I would like to say...

...although we are united by amputation and we can share experiences and offer advice, there are some instances where we can't. For example, losing a limb as a child compared to that of an adult. There are many differences between the two situations and one can not compare them.

As far as my experiences go, there are positive, good things to losing a limb as a child (e.g. you adapt quickly, you learn balance skills and if you have your amp early enough you don't suffer PLP's...etc), but there are also negatives things (e.g. you have to go through more life experiences as an amp, you have to deal with rejection at an early age...often from fellow amps and you have enormous pain to contend with as a baby/young child...etc). One can not compare the two...they are very different. We have totally different 'mind sets' too.

Lizzie :)

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Yes, that's what i was wondering too. Not only can when it happened (child/adult) be compared but also how it happened (elective/trauma/by birth). Like Lizzie says, we are 'united by amputation' itself but 'mind sets' and overall physical strength vary as well as many other factors.

I even think there is a difference if male or female (this is ofcourse post the trauma of losing the limb). For us females, our body image and our phsical 'self' is very important whereas for males it is important but not as important. I can imagine a guy would like the 'terminator look' :lol: on himself (no cosmetics just the pylon) Looks interesting...hmm. For example, a man with an eyepatch could be attractive but a woman with an eyepatch would be a bit odd looking :o . Or scars on the face, : this becomes the singer Seal (male)he looks good with them, but a woman with scars on her face would not look so nice. Unfortunately all this is societies concept of what and what is not attractive. I believe women amputees have the additional stress of accepting their female image let alone having their male friends accept them too as they are. Don't get me wrong guys, it's hard on you too but here i believe there are differences too.

All in all, we are meant to have four limbs and missing one, two, three or four just wasn't nature's plan ! :( But we just have to get on with it.

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But there are at least two comparisons from reading these stories here: HOPE and COURAGE from all the people here. So, thanks Jim for starting it off. :)

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Or scars on the face, : this becomes the singer Seal (male)he looks good with them,

I think you have hit the nail on the head however, no one has said the above to me :D

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...although we are united by amputation and we can share experiences and offer advice, there are some instances where we can't. For example, losing a limb as a child compared to that of an adult. There are many differences between the two situations and one can not compare them.

I agree entirely with you, Lizzie - apart from our being united by amputation, comparisons are completely irrelevant!

...but surely the main reason we all post here is to offer support and volunteer information that may be helpful to to others due to its possible commonality with another situation? You have written much about your adult experiences as an amputee that has been very helpful to me, a newcomer amputee.

But even as a newcomer amputee, I'm still no stranger to trauma, surgery, pain, disability, and disfigurement over many years, experiences common to many long-term amputees.

...and this is the genius of Jim's thread - that a newcomer can see everything, including what's behind the "game face", so they can discover everything that's common to them and their situation.

In my case, when I first joined, I carefully read all the threads written by adult elective trans-tibial amputees, and now I'm looking for advice on wearing a prosthesis with a fragile new scar, and soon I'll be trawling everyone's first-time silicone liner experiences - I don't care where it came from or if 99% of another situation is completely different to mine, since it's the information pertaining to that 1% commonality may help me.

As I've said elsewhere, Lizzie, your breadth of experience is a fabulous asset to any forum, and my heart goes out to you because you underwent so much at such a young age - you hugely deserve everyone's admiration and appreciation.

...and this is a further genius aspect of Jim's thread - that we can read of the depth and the complexity and the anguish and the triumphs of situations different to our own, and so begin to understand them.

Roz. :)

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