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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
dreamygirl

New Year Thoughts

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Hello everyone. I have been catching up on the posts for the last couple days, and reflecting on my own feelings and attitude, trying to get a fresh start to the new year. I was released from rehab Sept. 17... they sent me home with a bunch of exercises to do. At first I was thinking ok, I will get to them in a couple days, I am appointmented out. You know what I mean I hope. ( For those that don't know me, my name is holly. I lost my right leg, below the knee June 2, 2008. Had a couple blood clots and they were found too late. )

So here I let a few days go by and am not working the assigned exercises....thinking that I can get to them soon. The season changes and I am getting sad about not being able to walk around outside as much and feeling like cabin fever is gonna hit me bigtime this winter season.

Christmas was interesting for me this year. My dad had hip replacement surgery and is recovering in a nursing home. I like to think that I give him some encouragement with my condition and my recovery. Hes 78 years old and normally him and his wife go down to florida for winter and come back in the spring. This year he has stayed up here. I spent Christmas day with him.

I am still on a medical work leave, and have been trying to get the doctors to fill out the paperwork. I have to have papers signed and filled out every 3 months. Well... having trouble with all that and the nurse of my doctor that ordered my rehab spoke to me and told me that I havent been seen and they couldnt fill out the paperwork. She said I would have to come in for an appointment and I couldnt get in for another month, so that screws up my medical leave paperwork getting in on time. The nurse also said some mean hurtful things to me and I wanna tell her to fk her self and try to live what I am going through and how dare her say that to me. She told me I should be back to work by now and that I needed to move on with my life and get over what happened to me. I have this in the back of my thoughts. :(

Should I be ready to be back to work? I see some of these posts on here and see people doing so many activities so soon after amputation. I feel horrible because I feel like I am not even close to that point yet. I still cant even stand up in the kitchen long enough to make a full meal.

I didnt want to be released from rehab, I didnt feel like I was ready to go back to work yet, and they sent me home anyways.

Now... its been 3 months since I was released. Today I decided to do the exercises... I really screwed up :( I can barely do everything. I feel horrible about neglecting the exercises, and am pissed off that I even have to do this. I hate recovering from this and I wanna scream so loud sometimes. These posts I have been reading have been tearing up and feeling other peoples pains and it helps some... to know that I am not alone. My heart goes out to so many of you and I am so proud of so many of you all, cant even name all the names. I am just glad to be here and I hope that someone can learn from my fk up and make sure you keep doing your exercises :)

I am a hairdresser by trade, and I cant even stand up long enough to do my hair anymore. I feel like im neglecting myself because I cant do things anymore ...

After catching up on few of the posts... and a box of kleenex.... I am going to put more energy into me. I have a wonderful husband that is willing to be my 'therapist' and help me through things. I dont know what I would do without him. I feel very very lucky. I am going to try to do things for him by doing things for me.

To all of you... thank you for sharing and expressing your thoughts and feelings and making me feel comfortable to dump all my emotions out like this to you. Thanks for takin time out to read this. I wish you all the best and hope you all are doing things for yourself too. :)

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Hey there Dreamygirl!

Glad you were able to put down your feelings and express them. That's a big step to making the changes that you see are needed. Just as everything in life, no one's rehab is the same as another's. My recovery was very different from most as I have been told be everyone. You will find your drive and that is what it takes to keep moving forward.

I love the fact that you can say that you want to be better and improve and get back to what it was before. Write that down and put it everywhere for yourself to see and motivate. :biggrin: And a journal is a great motivator to let yourself know how far you are coming along. 1 step today might not seem like much but when you do 2 tomorrow it's easy to see the improvement and it keeps you going for more.

Right now, I am at the point of very small improvements, but now am trying all the crazy stuff to see if I can do it without really hurting myself. :tongue:

Keep going and I look forward to reading all about your accomplishments in the very near future.

Take care!

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Do keep up with your exercises...even if you feel that you "can't" do them now, they will eventually give you back some real mobility.

Coming back after an amp is NOT an easy thing to do, but it really can be done. When I was first sent home, I'd find myself getting really, REALLY excited if I could do something as simple as walking the length of my living room...and then my mood would just "crash and burn" when I realized how pathetic that achievement would seem to a "normal person." It took me a while to figure out that I still WAS a normal person, and that anyone who had to deal with limb loss was starting again with a whole new "normal."

We forget that, when we were babies, we didn't just hop up and walk...we stood tentatively, we took one step and fell down, we stood back up and took two steps and cracked our heads on the edge of the coffee table, we sat there and cried, and then we stood back up and held onto the coffee table until we got our balance, and then we took THREE steps. That took an amazing amount of courage for a little tiny person...and our new "amp bodies" are just as new and ungainly to us, at least in the beginning. DO keep a journal of your progress and your feelings...you'll be surprised at just how much progress you've been able to make, when you look back on it. Every small step you take is an exercise in courage and determination...be proud of it, and of yourself.

It took me five months, post-amp, to be cleared to go back to work. When I DID go back, I was still using a walker to support me. (I was fortunate that I had a desk job...it probably would have taken me noticeably longer to return to a job doing hair...although we have another hairdresser here who got himself back to work really soon after his amp.)

This "new normal" of ours is different for each and every one of us. Don't compare yourself to anyone else...just work on doing a little bit more every day. That will get you where you need to go in order to get your life back.

Let us know how you're coming along...we're a group that WILL understand just how hard you're working at it!

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Ditto to both of the posts above... I don't think they could of said it any better..

Holly,

We all understand where you are, as we have been there in one form or another..We all started from scratch, just like you have had to do. It wasn't easy, and no one will make light of it, but, unfortunately, is had to be done.. Our motivations have varied greatly, I'm sure. Mine, was being determined to get my fanny to my father's house to see to his care..You would think, that going out the door, getting in a car, driving to next door and then getting out, would of been easy.. Not. So, I would walk the 500 feet from my house to his. It took me 20 minutes at first, but slowly, and eventually, it got easier and quicker. This might all sound easy, but it wasn't. It took me 2 years, after my accident and amputation just to be able to bend over. (I found out, in those 2 years, just how many things I could drop.) One day, walking to my father's house, I walked right out of my first leg it had gotten so loose. Nothing is trivial, it's just being strong and courageous enough to take the next step..

You started the exercises again, now, keep going. If you fall backwards in doing them again, just don't beat yourself up.. Restart what you were doing, and then just go slowly, but do keep trying..

Failure isn't in falling down, it's in failing to get back up and try again. (so the quote goes). You haven't failed yet, cause you are still trying. Keep up your motivation, and just keep trying every day.. You may of had to start all over again, but you have started! You know this time around, what you have to do. It will get easier, and I'm sure when the muscles remember, they will be less sore each day..

Hang in there, and know that we are all here...if you need to talk or vent.

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Are you using a prosthesis, Holly? I remember thinking, in the beginning, what good is this thing? I can't really do much. But day by day it did get better. And I started doing the things I could do and trying to do things I thought I couldn't do. If you fail...well, you fail. Then you get back up and try again. Each time you get stronger and more brave. I am in awe of what some of the people here can do. I will never snow ski or run. But, hey, I wasn't doing that before the amp :biggrin: The thing is, I do live a normal life. I don't miss out on anything. And I'm not afraid to try new things. I never thought that would happen.

Six months down the road, you will be amazed at what you have accomplished. Keeping a journal is an excellent idea. I wish I had.

Hang in there. You can do it!

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Are you using a prosthesis, Holly? I remember thinking, in the beginning, what good is this thing? I can't really do much. But day by day it did get better. And I started doing the things I could do and trying to do things I thought I couldn't do. If you fail...well, you fail. Then you get back up and try again. Each time you get stronger and more brave. I am in awe of what some of the people here can do. I will never snow ski or run. But, hey, I wasn't doing that before the amp :biggrin: The thing is, I do live a normal life. I don't miss out on anything. And I'm not afraid to try new things. I never thought that would happen.

Six months down the road, you will be amazed at what you have accomplished. Keeping a journal is an excellent idea. I wish I had.

Hang in there. You can do it!

Yes I use one. I have been having major problems with this stupid liner. They attached some kind of strap to the leg. It works for the first 5 mins and then after I move around it gets more in the way than helps me... (gets in the way in between my legs at my thighs) I will be going to my doc soon and tell him how I really feel and I wont take no for an answer lol

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Hi Dreamygirl

The first few months after amputation really suck as you experience the emotional and physical insult. I remember 5 years ago (after an RTA) I couldnt bear to return to work before I could walk normally as I just couldnt let people see me that way. I was previously a strong and fit boxer, but after I felt like a shell of my former self and it consumed me.

The fact is, you now have to take control of your feelings more than ever before. Sometimes people get back to normal activity as soon as possible and this has the purpose of helping to deal with it, but everyone is individual and you have to co-operate with how your feelings dictate. I do however believe that you need to feel proud of who you are, and when you set yourself goals it helps and gives a sense of accomplishment. You may have become 'different' from the majority of the population, but be proud of what you do in the face of adversity, set yourself goals and respect your difference as if you do, others will look at you with admiration and interest not pity.

The standing/walking discomfort will ease with time (youre putting weight on an area thats not used to it and it has to adapt), and the exercises will get easier if you continue with them - they are designed to maintain strength and range of movement, one problem following amputation is the possibility of muscle contracture, this is where the muscle shrinks if it is not stretched and can leave you with a slightly flexed knee even when you try to straighten it (for BK amps its mainly the gastocnemius and hamstrings prone to contracture for anyone who is interested)

Remember that in time and with determination, you will be able to do any activity you desire

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First and foremost, make sure they get your leggy RIGHT! It shouldn't hurt. If it does something is wrong. I received a copy of "First Step" a few days ago. In case you're not familiar with it, First Step is a publication by the ACA. I sat down last night to read this issue and it was written for you, Holly. How everyone's progress is different, etc. If you don't have this magazine, I recommend you contact the ACA and get one. I think it's just what you need.

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Yes I use one. I have been having major problems with this stupid liner. They attached some kind of strap to the leg. It works for the first 5 mins and then after I move around it gets more in the way than helps me... (gets in the way in between my legs at my thighs) I will be going to my doc soon and tell him how I really feel and I wont take no for an answer lol

Holly,

Have you used a neoprene sleeve yet at any point to help hold your leg on?

If not, you might talk to the CP when you go see him.. If it's Don you see, talk to him about it..

I wore one with my very first leg because the swelling was so massive because of the re-attachment of the foot.. My CP new I would be changing in size throughout the day and every day constantly in the beginning. It does help.

Do you still have the First Step book that I brought to you when I came to your house?

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Hey girl :) I dont know what neoprene is, so I am guessing no on that. I wrote it down on paper so I can ask him about it, no its Romel, not Don. They drilled holes on my leg and attached this strap thing that has a velcro strap for my leg... its ok if I stand up for 8 hours and dont move :)

I am tryin to remember, no I dont remember a book. All I remember is seeing you walking beautufully to and from the house and how incredible it made me feel to see that. It still amazes me and I think of that moment all that time and I try to be strong and walk like that often. :)

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The sleeve that I am referring to is sort of rubbery. Mine is called a DuraSleeve..I should of said that last night. It goes over my leg and top part of the prosthesis.. It wasn't the greatest thing in the world, but it did work, and I wore one at first when I started riding my horse again after my leg accidentally released and came off. (We have sinced moved the locking mechanism to the other side and I no longer have that problem.) I also wore it on my shower leg for a long time.

It sounds to me like you are in the Kiss system. I have seen those in magazines but not on anyone that I had a chance to talk with about them.

Check out this link...this is a DuraSleeve

http://www.amputeesupplies.com/products/du...-bk-sleeve.html

Is Romel triming your liners any lower? If I recall, yours was folded over at the top wasn't it?

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Is Romel triming your liners any lower? If I recall, yours was folded over at the top wasn't it?

......

Nope he isn't. He said it would do something down lower if he takes any off the top, air would get in or something.

The liner I have is iceross tf conical ... from www.ossur.com

Thanks for that link, that was cool. No i dont have anything covering up my beautiful red lightning... i picked dark background with red lightning bolts... lol

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Is Romel triming your liners any lower? If I recall, yours was folded over at the top wasn't it?

......

Nope he isn't. He said it would do something down lower if he takes any off the top, air would get in or something.

The liner I have is iceross tf conical ... from www.ossur.com

Thanks for that link, that was cool. No i dont have anything covering up my beautiful red lightning... i picked dark background with red lightning bolts... lol

Nice............I have a sleeve that's blue with lighter blue lightning on it....

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