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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
EdSumner

Hello all.

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The name is Ed. I'm 47 yrs old. Live here on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It all started out with MRSA infection in my right foot. Had surgery to clean it out. Then the next year I was in having another surgery for Osteomyelitis in my right heel bone. Doctor said he got it all cleaned out, but told me it might return, which it did. So I had a 3rd surgery on my right foot to clean the stuff out once again. Now here we are again this past couple of weeks. Had a bone scan done on my foot again. Guess what has came back for another visit in my heel bone? The Osteomyelitis has shown back up and looks worse this time. My doctor told me there was a good chance it would just keep coming back and it has. I have a great doctor here. He has been honest with me right from the start on everything. We sat down and discussed my options on how to deal with the Osteo this time. He told me we could go through all the treatments again or we could do a below the knee amputation and finally be done with the stuff for good. Saw the doctor again Tuesday, and told him I think it's time we just get rid of the foot. So he is going to give me a couple of weeks to get some things done around the house here, then we are going into surgery and cutting it off below the knee. This has sure been a hard choice to make, but I and the doctor think it's going to be for the best in the long run. I can sure use a little support with this right now. All I can say is man this is a hard thing to decide on doing. I just feel like I'm lost right now. One minute I'm glad that the pain and problem in my foot will finally be over with, and the next minute I'm feeling depressed and wanting to cry about it. I guess thats' normal. Anyways hello every one.

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Hey Ed,

Sorry you are having to make this decisions..I know how hard it is. Back in 03 I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma(bone cancer)-at that point I did a HUGE amount of chemo and they did limb salvage surgery(to save my leg)--BUT I had tons of trouble with my knee- had little mobility and TONS of pain and a surgery every year to try and correct what was wrong with it. Anyway was going along with that until March of this year when i found out I had a local recurrence. because I had so much done intially to it there was NO way of just removing the cancer this time around--the only way to save my life and be rid of the cancer(HOPEFULLY FOREVER) was to amputate above knee. I had 2 weeks to "accept" that this was going to happen--haha which I never did...but now I am going on 7 weeks post surgery for above knee amputation. I go back and forth at the drop of a hat in regards to being depressed--being ok with--dealing with it--and hating it so much I just want to go under a rock. I guess the best thing I can say to you-considering I am new to this as well is --it is doable!! You will do what you have to do to make it work for you--in my case once i get my prosthesis and go through all the learnign again it should actually be better for me! I should have more mobility and less or hopefully NO pain--so I am looking very forward to that and that is what i keep my eye on. try to find a positive in it--even if it means no more surgeries(that is a great thing) and use that as a motivator when you need it! You will get through this even though it is INCREDIBLY HARD!! Good Luck to you!!!

Cari

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Hi, Ed, and welcome! I'm another MRSA survivor...lost my left leg, below knee, just over four years ago. Compared to the pain, recurrence, and repeated "salvage surgeries" I went through, the amputation has been a godsend! I now have my life back!

It takes some adjusting, but there's a good chance that you'll ultimately be pleased with your quality of life. Hang in there and do what you need to in order to get yourself healthy again. :smile:

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Hi Ed! Welcome to a great place for support and answers.

We have all different stories but it all comes down to this...We do what it takes to keep moving forward.

You laugh, cry, hate, and love but in the end you'll be better and doing everything that you love to do without the pain.

I am going on over a year with my amp and living life like there is no change, except for the great parking pass... :biggrin:

Talk all you want here and ask all sorts of questions, we here for you.

Take care,

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Hello, Ed!

You have come to a great place for support and answers. I've learned more here than I have from my medical team. You said that you live on the Alabama Gulf Coast. Are you in Mobile or on the Eastern Shore. I live in Mobile. I'm an above knee amputee since 2-6-09. As you can see, I'm very new to this life. My amputation was the result of an accident. If there's anything I can do to help, please let me know. PM me and I'll give you my contact info if you want to talk.

Bryan

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Hello Ed! I have not been around this forum in awhile but every once in awhile I get links like this in my email box. I feel for you, and your decision. I had an 'elective' amputation five years ago. I am now 42 years old, have four active kids and a great supportive husband (a key point in my success on 'one leg') It is a decision like no other you will make and only those of us in the club know how it feels. I have written some about my decision on my blog page. Just click on the option to read only the 'amputee mom' posts and it will sort them out for you. You can find it at justonefoot.blogspot.com

If you have specific questions feel free to ask this group (they are WONDERFUL, and were there for me when I was making my choice) or you can email me personally too. We are all here for each other.

It can be a really good life. A life with minimal pain and a lot of mobility, if you play your cards right. I wish the best for you in the future. :)

Judy

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Hi Ed and welcome to this great forum. I live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Biloxi and am a right below knee amutee for 5 1/2 years now. I really feel for you at this time and the decision you are having to make. I hope all goes well for you and that you will be moving forward very soon. There IS life after amputation.

Hang in there.

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:smile:

Ed, welcome...yes you will laugh again & live again after amputation. You will have your not so good days....if you can keep your sense of humor & take it one day at a time, you will be fine.

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Thank all of you. This has really been a lot harder than I thought it was going to be in making the choice finally. But it had to be made. I just couldn't handle all of the treatments they were wanting to do a 4th time, then wonder when the Osteomyelitis was going to show up again next year. I guess my biggest worry is how long I'm going to be down and unable to do anything this time. Last three times I been off my feet for up to 16 weeks. My doctor told me I should be pretty well healed in six weeks and maybe up walking on a new limb. Boy that would be wonderful if true. I guess my next biggest fear is what the pain level of something like this is going to be. Again thank all of you for the support.

mmarie and Bryan I am stuck between the two of you. I'm in Grand Bay, right at the state line above I-10.

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Welcome Ed. I was your age 5 years ago when I lost my leg by choice. I, too, was facing many surgeries to salvage a foot that wasn't going to work anyway. I chose to amputate after a month because of the fear of infections. I was out of the hospital in 2 days and back to work in 4 weeks. Got my first leg in 6 weeks. I'm a hairstylist so that is no easy job to do on one leg. I sat on an adjustable stool til I got my leg and was comfortable with it. It doesn't bother me at all to stand for 8-10 hours per day.

It hasn't all been rosy, but for the most part it hasn't been all that bad. I think everyone here will agree that the first year is the worst. You go through a lot of atrophy in the stump which causes fitting problems with the leg. You have to relearn how to do some of the easiest chores that you have taken for granted for so many years. Everything is possible. It just depends on how badly you want to do something. Don't tell my wife, but when I say "I can't", it really means I don't want to.

It would be great for you to be in Atlanta next week during the ACA's annual conference. You'd be able to meet many, almost 900, amputees who are living life to the fullest. We go there to learn about new technology, laws and other issues that pertain to us as amputees and for just good old-fashioned friendship. I have many friends on this forum that I wouldn't trade to get my leg back.

It's normal to mourn and grieve in your situation. I cried at the least little thing after my accident. Get your depression out of the way now. You won't have time later when you're too busy getting your life back.

Keep us informed on your progress. We're here to help.

Neal

PS. You, Marcia and Bryan can start your own support group.

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mmarie and Bryan I am stuck between the two of you. I'm in Grand Bay, right at the state line above I-10.

Grand Bay is so pretty. The three of us need to get together.

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PS. You, Marcia and Bryan can start your own support group.

I was just thinking the same thing, Neal. Bryan likes to come to Biloxi to the casinos so Ed you come with him and we'll have lunch!

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I'm definately up for it! I'm about ready for a buffet run!

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You guys need to watch Marcia. She can beat you down. She can outlast any other amputee on the dance floor. I guess it's all that shopping she does. LOL :biggrin: It keeps her endurance up.

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:tongue: I think that was all the wine! And we're just talking about lunch. Bryan's a baby - I'm an old lady...sort of.

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:tongue: I think that was all the wine! And we're just talking about lunch. Bryan's a baby - I'm an old lady...sort of.

You don't act like an old lady. The old girl still has a lot of spunk. :happy::smile::tongue::biggrin:

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G'day :biggrin:

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Well thank all of you for making me feel so welcome. I'm trying to get my surgery scheduled for next Thursday or Friday. Met with Johnny Morgan at the ABC prosthetics in Mobile this morning. What a great guy he is. Told me he would get me through this with all the help I needed. Looks like my insurance is going to cover 100% on my leg. Thought for sure I would have to pay at least 20% of it.

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Keep us posted, Ed. Best of luck.

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Welcome and good luck! We'll be thinking of you and keep in touch with us so we know how you are doing..., you'll do great!

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Well tomorrow is the big day. I finally got the phone call from my doctors office on Friday evening, scheduling my surgery. So in the morning at 7, I will be checking into the hospital, and by 8 or so, I should be fast asleep and feeling no pain. Tomorrow morning my foot problems and pain that's always in it come to an end. Having the surgery at the big USA hospital in Mobile. The one on Stanton Road for those of you local. Hopefully all goes well tomorrow and I see all you fine folks again in a few days when I get home. Thanks again all for your wonderful support in this ordeal.

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My thoughts go with you.

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Good luck tomorrow, we'll be thinking of you. Neal is right, that medicine is good stuff. Although as soon as my surgery was over with, the pain was gone...really didn't even need the pain meds.

It will be over with tomorrow...get some rest and check in when you can...

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