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Jim T.

A common Amputation

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Guest bearlover
...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. :)

I agree also..However enen tho I had a leg it was not much of a leg as a child..Always in a brace. The kind Forrest Gump wore, I was very limited more that I would have been if I had a prosthetic. Also in and out of hospitals all my life for opertions on the leg. It was 4" shorter and 4 sizes different in shoe size..It was a totlal mess and not much of a leg..

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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. :)

I appreciate what you have said and I am flattered by the enormous compliment you have paid me, Roz. However, I have to agree with bearlover and Kaz...

...other amps can read about our experiences and they can apply them to themselves, but unless you have lost a limb as a child, you have no idea what it is like...just as we have no idea what it is like for people to suddenly lose limbs as adults. Reading other people's stories gives us insight into the person behind the amputation, but it does not give us an insight into what it is like to stand in that other person's shoes (or to wear gloves, for arm amps).

Particularly in bearlover's and my case, as our amputated limbs weren't 'intact' in the first place...we were missing pieces of bone and/or were missing an entire bone and/or joint...missing muscles/ligaments...missing blood vessels and nerves. Even if our legs weren't amputated as babies or young children, the chances are that our limbs would age faster and so develop arthritis more rapidly at a much younger age...much, much faster than an 'intact' but damaged limb.

Contrary to some people's belief, people who are born with a disability do not need sympathy or pity. Instead they need acknowledgement and acceptance and support...just like every other person. At the end of the day, we all have to get through life with the resources we have...life (for anyone) is wonderful, but it can be hard work at times.

I think we should value each story in this thread, as 'however the limb was lost the battle was won', so to speak...everything is relative to the person who posted their story. This is a thread of testimonies which should be valued individually and not placed against each other.

Lizzie :)

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This is a thread of testimonies which should be valued individually and not placed against each other.

I don't see anyone doing that - I do see what Kaz says - HOPE and COURAGE.

Roz. :)

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This is a thread of testimonies which should be valued individually and not placed against each other.

I don't see anyone doing that - I do see what Kaz says - HOPE and COURAGE.

Roz. :)

I suggest you re-read the thread, Roz.

Lizzie :)

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Guest bearlover
...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. :)

I appreciate what you have said and I am flattered by the enormous compliment you have paid me, Roz. However, I have to agree with bearlover and Kaz...

...other amps can read about our experiences and they can apply them to themselves, but unless you have lost a limb as a child, you have no idea what it is like...just as we have no idea what it is like for people to suddenly lose limbs as adults. Reading other people's stories gives us insight into the person behind the amputation, but it does not give us an insight into what it is like to stand in that other person's shoes (or to wear gloves, for arm amps).

Particularly in bearlover's and my case, as our amputated limbs weren't 'intact' in the first place...we were missing pieces of bone and/or were missing an entire bone and/or joint...missing muscles/ligaments...missing blood vessels and nerves. Even if our legs weren't amputated as babies or young children, the chances are that our limbs would age faster and so develop arthritis more rapidly at a much younger age...much, much faster than an 'intact' but damaged limb.

Contrary to some people's belief, people who are born with a disability do not need sympathy or pity. Instead they need acknowledgement and acceptance and support...just like every other person. At the end of the day, we all have to get through life with the resources we have...life (for anyone) is wonderful, but it can be hard work at times.

I think we should value each story in this thread, as 'however the limb was lost the battle was won', so to speak...everything is relative to the person who posted their story. This is a thread of testimonies which should be valued individually and not placed against each other.

Lizzie :)

Thank you Lizze! Well put thanks so much for understanding..I starred life with a bum leg. First bone graph at only8 months. That's when my hell began!! :blink:

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Somehow, we seem to be venturing off of the track of where this thread started out. I will be the first to recognize that many of us have had a lifetime of dealing with leg problems. Others had it thrust upon us unexpectedly, and without warning. Then others came on somewhere in between. Birth, illnesses, accidents, operations, or just events beyond our control.

My thoughts on starting this thread was a realistic view of the amputation process itself. Sometimes, a little background is necessary and relevant, but mostly my concern was that people contemplating an amputation - those just going through it, or relative newcomers still healing, might get the idea that "hey, this really isn't going to be so bad". Simply because we did not want to be seen as "whiners" or "complainers".

We can start another thread if anyone would like, that addresses, who hurt the most. Is it better or worse to be born with this, or to have it thrust upon you later in life after you've gotten used to a lifetime of no problems. Hell, I don't know, and frankly don't care to go there. This isn't a contest.

We all do have one thing in common however, and that is that we either lost one or two legs, with attaching foot/feet, or are contemplating it, or have a loved one who is/has.

What was your amputation experience like? Honestly, without the "Rose Colored Glasses". The truth now - tears, fears, anxieties and all. The good - as well as the bad. Just be realistic. I'm not looking for horror stories.

My amputation hurt, by God and it blew my mind to be 52 years old, disgustingly healthy all my life, and then suddenly be thrust into the world of doctors, nurses, IV's, bedpans and Foley catheters. Others, never knew the health that I enjoyed for all of those years, and that I respect, but I'm not playing "one-up-man-ship" here. I'm just trying to tell my honest story in hopes that it will give a realistic picture to someone else who may be wondering if something is wrong with them for going through so much pain, when all of us describe our events from only the positive side..

BUT..... we all do have one thing in common, and that is we either made the decision, or had it made for us, by fate, events, doctors or others, to have our legs amputated. What was that like for us?????

That's all that this thread is about, and I would rather not hijack it into something else.

I say all of this with the utmost respect for all of the ones who have lived with this for a lifetime - those who have endured hellacious accidents and illnesses, and those who, like me, woke up one morning without a leg.

Our common bond is the amputation itself, and it's aftermath.

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Thanks Jim, for re-focussing us!

I would be the first to admit that my amputation and its aftermath seems artificially "rose-tinted" - but this is only because the background to my amputation was so bad for so long, and my amputation has improved my quality of life.

I needed to explain all that, so as not to give a false impression to newcomers, and I hope my posts in this thread have clarified things somewhat.

I make no comparisons to other people's situations or how much they've hurt, but I profoundly respect their efforts, as seen in their posts, in dealing with their situations, and I thank you all for the information and support you've posted which has helped me.

God bless you all.

Best wishes

Roz. :)

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I am 52 now but lost my leg at 24. It was devastating at the time to go from being athletic to a new existance. I had been suffering from pheblitis, but it was misdiagnosed as tendonitis of the knee. A few months later my left leg blew up like a ballon from the thrombosis in my left illeofemoral vein. Eleven days later they woke me up and explained that amputation was the only option. One hundred days later they sent me home on crutches with an open wound from the fasciodomy and disarticulation. I changed the dressings myself two or three times a day. Apparently, I sucked at it because I developed osteomyelitis and needed a revision several months later to excise the infected femur and close the open wound so I could be fitted with a prosthesis. It took over a year before I was fitted with a difinitive prosthesis. A few months later I had unnecessary plastic surgery to excise a scare that I later learned to heal by using Moleskin and topical antibiotics. The leg did not fit when I tried to wear it so that set me back even further. Then I took solace in alcohol thinking I could drink my sorrows away. We all know the answer to that. Finally I got a new socket and began educational rehabilitation. Off and on it took five years to get back into college working towards a degree and a new career.

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Guest bearlover
Somehow, we seem to be venturing off of the track of where this thread started out. I will be the first to recognize that many of us have had a lifetime of dealing with leg problems. Others had it thrust upon us unexpectedly, and without warning. Then others came on somewhere in between. Birth, illnesses, accidents, operations, or just events beyond our control.

My thoughts on starting this thread was a realistic view of the amputation process itself. Sometimes, a little background is necessary and relevant, but mostly my concern was that people contemplating an amputation - those just going through it, or relative newcomers still healing, might get the idea that "hey, this really isn't going to be so bad". Simply because we did not want to be seen as "whiners" or "complainers".

We can start another thread if anyone would like, that addresses, who hurt the most. Is it better or worse to be born with this, or to have it thrust upon you later in life after you've gotten used to a lifetime of no problems. Hell, I don't know, and frankly don't care to go there. This isn't a contest.

We all do have one thing in common however, and that is that we either lost one or two legs, with attaching foot/feet, or are contemplating it, or have a loved one who is/has.

What was your amputation experience like? Honestly, without the "Rose Colored Glasses". The truth now - tears, fears, anxieties and all. The good - as well as the bad. Just be realistic. I'm not looking for horror stories.

My amputation hurt, by God and it blew my mind to be 52 years old, disgustingly healthy all my life, and then suddenly be thrust into the world of doctors, nurses, IV's, bedpans and Foley catheters. Others, never knew the health that I enjoyed for all of those years, and that I respect, but I'm not playing "one-up-man-ship" here. I'm just trying to tell my honest story in hopes that it will give a realistic picture to someone else who may be wondering if something is wrong with them for going through so much pain, when all of us describe our events from only the positive side..

BUT..... we all do have one thing in common, and that is we either made the decision, or had it made for us, by fate, events, doctors or others, to have our legs amputated. What was that like for us?????

That's all that this thread is about, and I would rather not hijack it into something else.

I say all of this with the utmost respect for all of the ones who have lived with this for a lifetime - those who have endured hellacious accidents and illnesses, and those who, like me, woke up one morning without a leg.

Our common bond is the amputation itself, and it's aftermath. Well said Jim! we sure have one ting in common we are all amputees. No matter what the cause ir why..We all share the same thing. Being a amputee.

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Guest bearlover
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.

And remeber it cpuld be worse!!

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Our common bond is the amputation itself, and it's aftermath.

Well said, Jim...

You are right, it doesn't matter if we are purple or green, large or small....it's living with the aftermath of an amputation.

I understand why you started this thread.... boy, how I wished something like that were here 4 years ago, when I found this site in the wee hours of the morning. Sad to say, but it was great at that point in my life to find some place where others were asking and answering questions to the same ones I had..

Life wasn't rosey, but when I found this site, it was letting out a long held breath... or breathing in new life.....

Why is it, that the professionals can never seem to find/hand/give/ or even connect their patients with sites or places like this? Maybe we should all be considering that as well...

Has anyone thought to tell their doctor just how they might of felt after the amputation about needing to talk with someone else about an amputees life experiences.... something for all of us to dwell on maybe..

You have some deep insights my friend.... ;)

Tammie

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The topic of this thread reminds me of something I had long forgotten.....

A few months after my amputation, I came across an incredibly UGLY pair of pink sunglasses. Pink plastic frames, and....you guessed it.....pink lenses. I am sure they were only meant as a party trick (the tipsy kind), but I bought them.

I wore those hideous glasses for nearly 2 years, and every time people would give me that "what are you thinking" look, I would simply say - "I'm looking at life through rose-coloured glasses".

The glasses have long since vanished and until now, I hadn't given them a second thought.

Perhaps I don't need them anymore.....

B)

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Freddy, I can identify completely with you. I was 52 when I lost my leg in 1988, and had not had a drink of alcohol for about 8-9 years at that time. When I came home from the hospital, I refused to take any pain medicine because I had heard all of the stories about people getting addicted. (I had no history whatsoever with drugs, except alcohol, but a drug, is a drug, is a drug - including alcohol.) WOW, I don't know that I would do that again - unless I knew that I had to, but at the time it seemed the right thing to do. It has been 27 years now (1979), since I had a drink, and like you, I like it that way.

You know Tammie, it was 16 years after my operation that I found anyone to talk to about it, outside of my family and my prosthetist - who wasn't there to "hear confessions". When I started my web site, it eventually led me to this forum and all of you. My wife and I were it before, and like in all things, she was/is, my anchor.

And Ally, my father raised me with the admonition not to look at the world through Rose Colored Glasses. You are the first person that I have heard of that actually had a pair. COOL.

I thank all of you that understand what this thread is all about and are coming out and telling your "real" stories. I look forward to hearing more. I'm always amazed how I can come on this forum, and in one form or another, read parts or pieces of my own story from people that I have never met, halfway around the world.

I believe that a realistic view of our experiences are a help to everyone who may think that theirs was somehow different than the rest. Like a house - they all look differently, but they all have the same foundation, walls and roof, doors and windows. We are a lot like that.

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