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lisa

Issues with my weight

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Lisa - you are doing really well and the exercise will help. One thing to bear in mind though is that muscle weighs way heavier than fat and so you may find that you stop losing pounds for a while but that your shape will continue to change for the better. I have only dropped about 7lbs in the last 8-10 months but as I found the other day when sorting my summer clothes, a skirt that would no way meet around the middle last summer - inches apart - now does up albeit a bit tight (I really do need to drop more pounds :D ). So keep up the good work but be aware of that you need to look at the bigger picture.

Sue

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Lisa, is it difficult to do the yoga poses with your prosthesis? I take Pilates and am interested in yoga but figured I couldn't do it. I'd love your input.

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Sue

I am trying to prepare myself for next weeks weigh in. I have tried quite a few different classes this week to see what will suit me better. I really enjoyed yoga and it included all the excercises that the hospital had taught me. I must admit I regularly measure myself just incase I haven't lost weight but possibly inch's. I am getting scared that I will never be happy with how I look and am using my weight as an excuse. I do this alot, for example I say that I accept that my leg has gone but I will never accept what I have been left with. Am I just saying that I accept that my leg has gone because it's over a year since it happened. I always say that if it had been a straight forward amputation and what leg I was left with looked like a leg then I would accept what has happened. Only time and some intense session with my cognitive therapist will tell.

Thanks

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HI

Since I have been back in my wheelchair I have put 4lb on. It might not sound alot but it could take me 2 months to lose that. I am getting really pi**ed off with going without the food I love. I have been binge eating alot as it's all or nothing with me. I haven't been exercising for about 6 weeks, since being back in my wheelchair. I am finding it really difficult at the moment. before the amputation I would eat everything that was bad for you and I never went without.

I tried to make some cakes that were allowed on the plan I am following. They were gross! One of them had cous cous in it and the other had chick peas! They were so disgusting. I did laugh though as the family were queueing up for them as they love my chocolate cake that I made. My brother said it tasted like sausage and my son said they "weren't nice". I gave them to the dog.

Lisa

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Lisa, they sound pretty awful... I hope the dog at least appreciated them!

A couple of things I've found when dealing with "diets":

1. "Dieting" is not good for you. I mean the "sut things out, starve yourself, feel miserable" kind of diet. It's too easy to feel deprived and depressed when "on a diet." It's also too easy to think of it as a temporary thing: "I'll go on this diet, lose weight, and then I can go back to the way I want to eat."

It's better if you can think of it in terms of eating reasonable amounts of a wide variety of foods, rather than making anything "forbiden." Don't totally give up your chocolate cake... just fill up first with a good, healthy meal and finish off with a small portion of really good cake. Just a taste... enough to feel like you've had a special treat, but not enough to pack on the pounds.

2. You CAN adapt recipes to make them more healthful without resorting to couscous and chick peas! In many cases, you can take your normal recipes and cut sugar and fat in half (make up for it with some good, heat-stable artificial sweetener and extra moisture). If something calls for whole eggs, use fewer of them and more egg whites. Substitute a whole-grain flour for part of the white flour. Add spices and extracts to improve the flavor. It can be a game of sorts... and if you're a creative person (and those cakes give proof that you ARE), you can have a lot of fun creating something you can enjoy and not feel too guilty about!

It's so easy to get down on yourself when you're stuck using a wheelchair against your will... but this, too, shall pass.... just hang in there!

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Guest bearlover

Loosing or gaing weight can effect how your socket fits..When I first had my amputation 4 years ago I lost a tin of weight Iam 5"7 and weighed 98 pounds. :huh: I have maintaied my normal weight and picked up the weight I lost from the surgery. Of course having a nasty virous did not help either. So I had a heck of a time getting a fit. Now i seem to be stable in my weight and the socket fits well.

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I am pretty self conscious too. I have all my weight in my stomach. I have been going to curves and eating better and lost 3inches and 4 pounds but thats it. It won't come off. And I can't walk or go to the gym now because of my surgery. All my friends wear bikinis and stuff and I can't. This year its coming off! By next summer I will feel better about myself. I don't want to be a size 0 but like an 8 or 6. I am a 12/14 now and I want to loose more.

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Hi Shelby

We are obviously going through the same thing. I was always a size 10 (I think that is a size 8 in USA). Mt waist actually went up to a size 20. I have always had issues with my weight even before the accident but getting so big has had a huge impact on the way I feel about myself. I can just about squeeze into a size 10 but my stomach is gross and hangs. I gave myself deadlines and then something would crop up which meant I couldn't meet the deadline making me feel even worse.

Would you be able to do sit -ups? I could do sit ups but I don't. I'm so unmotivated it's unbelieveable. I have a picture of me when I was a size 8 (uk) and I look so happy. It upsets me sometimes to look at it as I can't imagine I could ever be that happy again. I think if I can look like I did then it will help me come to term with losing my leg. I don't recognise myself anymore when I look in the mirror. I know that I'm low because I am back in my wheelchair. I get weighed tomorrow and I will be gutted if I have not lost weight.

Cross your fingers for me.

Lisa

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Good luck Lisa!

I could do sit ups. I have this thing that works the stomach. I will try that. Thanks! I didn't even think of that. It's not even my ampuatation that caused me to gain weight. That happened 14 years ago when I was 2. I eat when I am stressed my school is really hard and causes me to stress, and therefore eat. I used to walk my dogs for an hour every day and now, can't.

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Shelby

I am exactly the same when I am feeling down I eat and then I feel guilty. It's a vicious circle. I am going swimming tomorrow. I don't want to but then again I don't want to look like I do.

Lisa

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I love to swim and its great exercise. Our neighboors just got a hot tub and an inground pool. Looks like we will have to invite them over sometime soon...

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Hi Lisa,

I just wanted to say I hope you made it to the swimming pool and that you feel better today. I always find the hardest thing is motivating myself to actually go and do whatever exercise I have decided to do. Once I am there I immediately start enjoying it and I feel great afterwards.

One of my friends once said to me that whenever she is waivering about getting her arse in gear to do some exercise she asks herself whether she has ever regretted it when she has done some - and the answer is always no - and that always motivates her.

Did you ever get the crutches?

I have just read through this whole thread and feel desperately sad to read Gil's posts.

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Hi

I can't believe I am still in my wheelchair! I am so sick to the back teeth with everything at the minute. My therapy has stopped and my solicitor is trying to organise more sessions. In the meantime my mental and physical state have deteriorate so much that I can barely recognise myself. My son told me the other day that I had changed so much over the last few weeks. I explained that it's because I have no-one to talk through my problems. I don't want to burden my family with how I actually feel as I know they would be devastated. It's better for me to offload my problems onto a counsellor or therapist because they aren't going to be upset with what I have to say. I really upset my brother the other day and he sobbed his heart out and told me I had become a bitter person. I can't help the way I feel about myself and I can't help that I'm unhappy. My brother said he hadn't realised that I felt this way about myself. I just want to look in the mirror and be happy with what I see and I can't see this happening for a long time. I know that once I get my leg back that I will feel more confident about myself. Is there anyone out there who feels like a completely different person without their leg?

Thanks

Lisa

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Is there anyone out there who feels like a completely different person without their leg?

Thanks

Lisa

Yes of course. Without my leg, I am crippled, and can't even carry a cup of coffee across the room. Sooooo......... I sit down on the floor, and scoot the coffee in front of me until I get to where I am going.

My God, if I was to start adding up all of my physical defects, I am not sure that the absence of half a leg would be at the top.

"I yam what I yam", and do the best that I can with it. If I can't do it the old way, then I invent a new way. I play the cards that I am delt. That's it.

One can be crabby, miserable, depressed, angry, or whatever, but it isn't going to change anything for the positive. My leg used to hurt so bad when I first came home - because I refused to have any narcotic medicine in the house - that I could hardly do anything. So, I took up model building, and would sit in front of this table and build models all day. Somehow, this would put the nerves to rest, and I got some respite

My advice - which I try never to give - is to quit thinking about what you used to do and used to have, and concentrate on inventing something - and someone (yourself) new. This amputated leg of yours is going to be with you for a long time, so the sooner you two become friends, the better off you will be.

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Lisa, it is a different feeling when I'm without my prosthesis... which I try my darnedest not to be, BTW! I especially feel vulmerable when I take myself apart to go to bed at night... I don't like the thought of being less-agile at night. It would be difficult for me to have to spend an extended period of time truly one-legged again. That said, though, I think I may hold a different point of view toward my wheelchair... I don't believe that it confines me. I am thankful for it.

My wheelchair is a tool. The same as my prosthesis, my walker, my cane, my shower bench, or my lovely orthopedic shoes. All of those things keep me active and involved in life, in various ways and at various times. I'd rather not have to deal with any of them, but since they are a part of my life, I appreciate the freedom they offer me.

Maybe this harkens back to when I was a kid.... when I was nine, I had an injury to the same leg I wound up losing some 40 years later, and the "treatment" was to put me in a hospital bed and immobilize me for over two months. Now THAT was misery! three times a day, I was briefly "cranked" into a reclining position for meals... the rest of the time, I was flat on my back, my leg splinted and wrapped in layers of hot towels and plastic sheeting (to provide "moist heat"). When I was finally allowed to get out of bed and use a wheelchair, it was HEAVEN. I treasured it because it gave me a sense of mobility again... I still DO.

I'm not going to try and tell you how to feel... we all go through different stages as we adjust to this "new" lifestyle. I can't imagine how I would respond had I lost my leg due to someone else's carelessness... but I hope I'd try to bring myself along through the steps of grieving as best I could and keep looking for the little "hopeful bits" to keep myself moving forward.

It's a fact that you need to make a lifelong commitment to dealing with your situation. A counselor can be a big help... but so can other things. Try journaling... vent away here... talk some to your friends and family (when you're not feeling so bitter that you can't control it). Don't pretend that everythings "fine"... but let some of the "bad stuff" out in manageable amounts. Find a "middle ground" where you can express your frustrations without letting them overpower you. Shoving it all down inside is not healthy, but neither is letting it explode all over, ruling your life.

Find things to focus on that don't center on your leg. You have a real talent with your cake decorating... I'll bet there are other creative activities you can explore. Or try doing something for someone else... simply befriend an elderly neighbor, or read to kids at the library, or... whatever! Let your mind take a break from thinking about you for a while... it can help.

You're not your leg, Lisa. You're not your weight, or your prosthesis, or your wheelchair. You're an entire person with an entire life ahead of you... take a few deep breaths and start looking for ways to live it.

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I must be missing something here but I can't understand the comments "as I'm now in my wheelchair I can't go to the gym", "and I can't go to the gym now because of my surgery". Errr why not?

Most gyms are just as accesible in a chair or if your on crutches, if you want something that bad you'l do it.

Diets are pretty much useless on their own, you always have to excersice as all that will happen is soon as you stop the diet you will put on wieght, if it comes off quick it will go back on quick. I've lost 9kg's(21lbs) over the past year through sensible eating and lots of excersice, I can eat myself stupid now and then and my wieght dosn't budge an inch, this is because the wieghts come off over time and not 3lbs a week.

Your body has a very good memory for what it needs, take water for instance. If you don't drink much your body will store huge amounts of water like a camel as it never knows when the next decent drink will come, if you drink 2-3l of water a day and keep it up your body will know it can expect a constant intake and will shed the excess water over a short period or time.

Also things like pilates/yoga are fantastic for toning but for general fitness and fat/weight loss you need to hit the cardio equipment and for long periods of time 30 mins absolute minimum with your heartrate above 120. If you can't use a bike or treadmill use the cross trainer (which is the best thing ever) if you need to sit use the rowing machine which you can use quite happily with one leg and no tin one on. If you can't use that use the hand cycle, and if you still can't do that grab a large tin of beans in each hand and use those.

So...

Eat decent food, you don't need to stop altogether this is the worst thing you can do.

Drink a lot of water 2-3l a day

Stop saying and thinking "I can't do it on crutches or in a chair" and get to the gym or even just do a few miles in the wheelchair round the local park.

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[been reading your posting Lisa and wasn't quite sure if you referring to "feeling different" because you had your leg amputated or because you are unable at the moment to wear a prosthesis. If its the latter, I can identify with that somewhat after nearly 40 years of being an amputee. I don't think its surprising really, in my case I am bilateral, so not wearing even one prosthesis just makes things difficult, in the physical sense.Also, I feel that amputees generally are geared towards "walking" as a means of returning to normality, which is fine in general and most of us do return to normality, but if that doesn't happen as quickly as we expect or if, we have got used to wearing limbs and are then unable to, it really does knock you back.

I have read the other comments on here and whilst I would agree with lots they have said, and whilst not meaning to offend anyone, its very different when you are in the position of being the individual going constantly for treatment or fitting appointments and not being able to get a limb made you can walk in, watching other people walk in and out etc. To be honest, just coming home in the evening and leaving your leg off now and again, or using a wheelchair and still wearing a prosthesis, is completely different to not wearing a prosthesis 24/7. Also I think being a woman, (although suspect some of you guys go through similar) in todays society, where there is so much attention on body image etc. can be very difficult, just buying clothing, shoes etc., changing rooms etc. etc. can all, if you are not feeling particularly good, add fuel to those feelings. I think as time goes on we develop a confidence that helps us deal with this but its not always easy to begin with.

When i was in this position a few years ago, I was probably in about the same place you are Lisa, I had to stop working, lost confidence and also put on quite a bit of weight. I think one of my turning points was finding this forum and talking to other people, the other was managing to get to a Prosthetic Rehab. centre and not only speaking to people who "knew their stuff", so to speak but also getting to know other amputee's and seeing how they adapted their lives, what was out there etc. etc. Not saying all this was simple, but I ended up with different perspectives. For me one of the major changes was getting a wheelchair I could use at home and light enough for me to put in the car, my original chair all those years ago had long since been returned, like I said, emphasis was put on walking. Some things took a lot of getting my head around, for my family/friends also, because, even though I was an amputee they were used to me being very mobile. I have also tried to put strategies into place to enable my life to be simpler for those times when I can't wear my limbs,so that I can still maintain my independence.

One of my other things was that I felt like I was wasting time, I always seemed to be waiting, waiting for this or that appointment. So I started planning out my day, trying to get some routine and embarked on some studying, that really changed things for me, gave me something else to focus on, did it mainly from home, and hey, six years on I graduated with a degree. Something I never would have found the time to do previously, but that too has given me different perspectives on life.

Anyway, Hang on in there Lisa, I have probably rambled on far too long but like Cheryl says "we all go through different stages as we adjust to this new lifestyle" look for the positives, and be nice to yourself. You are welcome to PM me anytime.

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HI

What I am trying to say is that I really need my leg back (false leg). My therapy has stopped and I'm unable to cope with how I feel about myself. I've been put on anti depressants but I desperately need someone to help me through this stage I am going through. I'm no longer bitter about what happened as there is little I can do or change. I have started new interests to try and keep me busy. I feel extremely vunerable since being back in the wheelchair fulltime. I know that I will get my leg back at some point but I cannot shift the depression that has crept up on me. Some of the comments I have read are quite insensitive. Maybe it's how I have worded things or maybe it's just that some people on here don't understand depression? At the moment I have really low self esteem. When I spoke to my brother and he got upset I never shouted or cried I just told him how i felt about the stump. He didn't like what I said and got upset about it. I have tried so many times to tell my family and they prefer to stick theirs heads in the sand and pretend all is well. I do find this site helpful but maybe this isn't the kind of topic that you can help me with.

Thanks

Lisa

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HI

What I am trying to say is that I really need my leg back (false leg). My therapy has stopped and I'm unable to cope with how I feel about myself. I've been put on anti depressants but I desperately need someone to help me through this stage I am going through. I'm no longer bitter about what happened as there is little I can do or change. I have started new interests to try and keep me busy. I feel extremely vunerable since being back in the wheelchair fulltime. I know that I will get my leg back at some point but I cannot shift the depression that has crept up on me. Some of the comments I have read are quite insensitive. Maybe it's how I have worded things or maybe it's just that some people on here don't understand depression? At the moment I have really low self esteem. When I spoke to my brother and he got upset I never shouted or cried I just told him how i felt about the stump. He didn't like what I said and got upset about it. I have tried so many times to tell my family and they prefer to stick theirs heads in the sand and pretend all is well. I do find this site helpful but maybe this isn't the kind of topic that you can help me with.

Thanks

Lisa

Sorry if I come over as insensative but a lot of the time a slap and some realism is a lot better than all the hugs in the world. The only person who can truly do things for YOU is YOU. Just get up tomorow morning use your crutches or your chair and go out round the block, down the shops or to the gym, just stop saying I can't and DO.

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Hi Lisa,

I'm sorry you're feeling so down, and that you're self esteem is low right now. Please know that I (and probably many others here) can relate- truly. I broke my residual limb almost 9 months ago, which of course forced me to go without my prosthesis. It was a major adjustment for me- mentally and emotionally, because prior to that I never left my house without my prosthesis on! It was a huge setback and I almost felt like a brand new amputee again.

I can tell you that it does get better, Lisa. But, I do feel that you are in need of some support. Do you have anyone, besides your family, that you can share your feelings with? I know you said your therapy ended, and that you're trying to get more sessions- which I think would be great. But in the mean time we are here for you! The old adage, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps," works for some people, but not all of us. We are each unique individuals and you need to find out what works best for you.

Please feel free to PM me, I'd be happy to correspond with you, if you'd like. Either way, you are in my prayers Lisa- I hope your depression lifts and your days start to feel brighter!

Take good care of yourself,

Cheri

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Guest bearlover

Actually I must be different in my feelings Iam NOT a cripple or nevr will be,,Attitude is the key..Think of peole who are confined to a wheelchair and have nevr walked..I haven't used my wheelchair in 3 years or longer since I got my prosthetic 4 years ago. its in the basement! We ll have something that is different from others. rather it be a amputation, a eye missing, a birth defect that can't bee seen whatever no one is perfect. I nevr felt like a cripple or different its just life and we all have to deal and accept the way we can. No self pity allowerd for me! :)

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HI

What I am trying to say is that I really need my leg back (false leg). My therapy has stopped and I'm unable to cope with how I feel about myself. I've been put on anti depressants but I desperately need someone to help me through this stage I am going through. I'm no longer bitter about what happened as there is little I can do or change. I have started new interests to try and keep me busy. I feel extremely vunerable since being back in the wheelchair fulltime. I know that I will get my leg back at some point but I cannot shift the depression that has crept up on me. Some of the comments I have read are quite insensitive. Maybe it's how I have worded things or maybe it's just that some people on here don't understand depression? At the moment I have really low self esteem. When I spoke to my brother and he got upset I never shouted or cried I just told him how i felt about the stump. He didn't like what I said and got upset about it. I have tried so many times to tell my family and they prefer to stick theirs heads in the sand and pretend all is well. I do find this site helpful but maybe this isn't the kind of topic that you can help me with.

Thanks

Lisa

lLisa, non-amputees deal with depression every day also. The absence of a leg has nothing to do with it. From what I understand, it's similar to an alcholic. They drink because the sun didn't shine - or.... they drink because it did. Whatever the reason. The truth is that they drink too much because they are an alcoholic. The same with depression - some people are prone to it, and other are not. In truth, it has no more to do with the circumstances as whether the sun is shining or not.

I can give you my experience being an amputee, but I don't know a thing about depression. It is a whole different ball game. I have people ask me all the time, what I do for my depression, and I just reply: "what depression?". I've never known it to any degree. (Thank you Lord)

As for the insinsetiveness - perhaps it comes across that way to you, but in another group that I belong to, we call that: "TOUGH LOVE".

It's the age old question: "Which came first, the chicken or the egg". Are you depressed because you are an amputee without a leg - or are you an amputee without a leg that is depressed?

Someone wiser than I will have to answer that one. All I do know is that you are talking to a room full of amputees, most, if not all have gone through at least some of what you have and haven't gotten depressed over it. Like Bearlover there. I've listened to stories of her life and thank heaven that I at least knew 52 years of being whole. But....... she apparantely wasn't saddled with the propensity for being depressed.

I sincerely wish you well in finding your answer, but I suspect that just getting the leg back is the root of the problem. You sound like a real nice lady and I hate to see anyone go through continual reabad days.

BUT....... what do I know? I do know some things - this just isn't one of them.

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Jim, you are very lucky to have never been depressed. Most of us are not that fortunate. I, myself, had a great deal of depression after my illness and amputation - for a long period of time. Medication and therapy helped tremendously. I highly recommend them both!

I learned that depression is actually anger turned inward. Which, to me, makes perfect sense. Going through something as traumatic as an illness or accident ending in amputation tends to make one angry/depressed. The important thing to remember is that it can be overcome.

Lisa, I certainly don't mean to be insensitive. I don't believe anyone on this board does. I think we are simply trying to convey that we understand; most of us have been there, and to pass on to you what has worked for us. Does this mean it will work for you? Not necessarily. We only know what has helped us and we hope in some small way you can benefit from our experiences.

Hang in there, Lisa. I wish you blue skies and rainbows.

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Jim, you are very lucky to have never been depressed. Most of us are not that fortunate.

I learned that depression is actually anger turned inward.

You are abslutely correct Marcia. I didn't say that I haven't had my "issues" in life to deal with - it's just that fortunately for me, depression wasn't one of them.

To put my comments in perspective - I spend anywhere from 1 to 3 hours each day, talking to amputees - and some others - many of whom are depressed, and just want to talk to someone, (off the forum). I am not insinsitive to their plight. However, all of the sympathy in the world is not going to change one who has a propensity for depression. Empathy yes - we all can give that. As you stated correctly, therapy and in some cases medicine, sometimes are the only thing that can have any effect, but must be aggressively sought out.

My comments weren't meant to chastize or to criticize, but to encourage anyone with depression issues to seek help. Talking to depression "amatuers" such as myself, is like putting a bandaid on a major wound.

I may not have this particular issue, but members of my immediate family do - and quite extensively. I am not totally blind to it - but they are seeking help, and benefiting from it.

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Guest bearlover

I get what Jim is saying totally..For me I never had a chance of two good legs. It was always in a brace or cast or I was in the hospital as achild. I was in a big plaster cast for 3 yeras stright at one point as with pseudoarthrosis the bones NEVER form a union and mend. Bascially once it breaks as mine did at 8 months your screwed. :o My leg was placed in a cast to protect it and it broke any way. It even broke later in life with pins and rods in it.. So loosing the leg was actually no major big . It was infected from all the pins I had. I can imagine having two healthy legs all your life and suddenly loosing one or both. See i don't know and you don't miss what u ever had. Like Jim going in for one surgery and waking up to a leg gone :o That was not what he went in for. The thing that I do have us a lot of pain real and phantom. Because the more operations before amputation the more after and I had many over 15 operations on the leg since age 12 months. Depressed about the leg being gone i do not have...Fustrated about the phantom and real pain I do have, But Iam very strong and have delt with a lot since I was baby. Like I said I know no differeent. Sure I would take that old metal brace up to my hip back over this prosthetic, However, Iam living and Iam a survivor! it is the little things that can get under your skin as a amputee. Showering for one. But we all adapt and acept no one said life was fair, I learnrd that years ago no sence is getting all depressd ove it. Sure I do get my days now and then. But I honestly think of people who have 3 or even 4 limbs missing now that is something that I have all the respect and understanding for. Better days are comming beleieve it or not. :)

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