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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
stevejw

Amputation or not?

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Hi Steve, I'm Ally, AK for the last 12 years.

What a crappy decision to have to make. Lawdy lawd, my heart just aches for you. Like Jim said, listen to everyone, and if you can't make their opinions yours, then go with your own gut.

I really don't know what my decision would be - I am a trauma amp, so I had no choice. Sometimes I would like to think that I would take a real leg (in pain or not) over a prosthetic leg any day.

However, since my amp (I am 40 now), I have done some really fun stuff - like sky diving, river rafting, paragliding, horse riding, and recently quad biking. I have found a really awesome CP who makes the most divine legs and really cares about me and my mobility. All in all, I am a really happy, self sufficient and mobile amputee. Heck, my CP wants me to start running :rolleyes: this year.

Life is not over after amputation. But you can't get your leg back once it is gone.

Do some research into prosthetics, and what you will be able to afford for the rest of your life.

And stay with us for a while here, this is a stunning forum!

Love

Ally

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Guest bearlover

I think you shoud listen to your heat and gut feeling too. As I too am a trauma amputee with no choice it was either my leg or my life like many people here. Best of everything in whatever you decide.

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Hello Steve. I haven't been on the forum for quite a while, but can tell you there are a lot of good people here that will give you support, advice, and just good friendship to help you. My opinion is get as many opinions from doctors, prosthetists, etc. as possible first. Having just one prosthetic will be a challenge at first, but I think after therapy you will find you can get around better, not as good as when your leg wasn't giving you problems, but better than with a leg that was giving you problems. I am a DAK. Lost both my legs above the knees in a work accident with the railroad in 2003. I spent 2 years trying to use prosthetics, but with a very short limb on one side, that was a problem of fit and strength, and going through a lot of stress with working and therapy I decided using a wheelchair was the way for me to go. I'm 54, still working at the railroad and am still adjusting to my new lifestyle. I have seen others that have had both legs below the knee amputated and walking in a month with therapy. I wish you every bit of success if you decide to go with the amputation. What happened to me was traumatic, but having to make a decision is even tougher. I'll pray for you to help you get good advice, to help with your decision, and for recovery with what ever you decide. Hang in there. :)

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Hi Steve, welcome to the forum. I didn't know about these forums or of any other support groups for that matter at the time of my amputation. If I had known, I probably wouldn't have spent the night before my operation sat freezing on a wall in the hospital car park asking myself similar questions to the ones you have asked here. I'm a below knee amp, not much help from that side of things. My recent amp was a result of an accident 40+ yrs ago. I had battled to keep my legs for a long time although I don't regret doing that I can tell you the effects of having the amputation were immediate; I hadn't felt this good in a long time – no pain and not being rundown by constant infections. On the down side, I had to be wheelchair bound for nearly 7 months because of unforeseen problems and I am waiting to have yet another operation to correct those problems with no guarantees that I will be able to use my arty legs again. If all goes well, then I will be able to give Mick a run or canoe race for his money.

I can only reiterate what has been said before, amputation is an irreversible decision, get as many opinions as you can and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages. In the short space of a month I managed to see one plastic surgeon and two vascular surgeons – they all agreed. My elective amputation, doctors gave me a choice, keep my legs long and have a short life, have my legs short and have a longer life.

You have a tough decision and my thoughts are with you.

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Good to hear from you Byteme. Glad you are doing well.

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As usual, LOVE the avatar, Sparky. :)

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Hi Steve,

My decision was pretty easy, lose the legs or lose my Life, however I do have some experience with making the decision. In March of 2005 a year after my amutations my dad stubbed his toe, buty it did't heal. Turns out he had circulation problems. So we did what your doing now, lots of question and second opinions. The first couple of doctors wanted to amputate either his toe or foot, but by doing our research we found that both those choices would be just short term. After all the facts the best decision was to amputate his leg above the knee and it was the best choice. It enabled him to start therapy and get on with his life, he's doing well. Our decision was based on 1/ getting rid of the pain, 2/ preventing the need for going through a number of incremental amputations. and 3/ It allowed him to just get on with his life.

You've got a tough decision, however I think your on the right track by getting as much info as possible.

Good Luck,

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Hi Steve

I had that tough decision to make last April time. I had a motorbike accident 5 yrs ago and lost most of the skin on the lower half of my right leg along with many other injuries to that leg. For this reason my skin was not stable enough to take a knee replacement. The doctors were fantastic and did everyting they could to help eliviate the pain but for me the pain outwayed what i got out of keeping my leg.

It is not an easy decison to make but the way i made my decision was listening to what people had to say then maing a lst of the pros and cons of keeping the leg. Obviously my decision was to get rid of it, it is tough and no-one can tell you what to do. For me it was the best decison I ever made and I can honestly say I have not looked back. I am not saying it was a walk in the park but my quality of life has more than doubled. I feel like me again and not the drug induced zombie i had become existing on morphine and pain.

I wish you all the best in your decision.

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Guest bearlover

I had no choice in the matter. After many years of operations since infancy I developed a major bone infection in my leg. After a life time of braces, cast, pins, rods and you name it I lost it in the long run. It was my leg or my life..But no matter how messed up my leg was I feel there is nothing like the real thing. Its a haard decision I can quess. But I had no choice as many of us did. Whatever you choose best of luck.

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