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Joe H.

Need help!

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Well, I haven't been on here for awhile as I have been dealing with other problems. Let me bring you up to date. LBK amp in July 2007, many battles with infection, heart attack in April 2007 while waiting for amp. More battles with infections and more hospitalizations. Got my first leg in Nov. 2007 then 3 days later back in the hospital because the hardware holding my bones together came through the skin and caused another infection. Another surgery and 10 day hospital stay. After that, everything was going okay, started walking again in March 2008, what a relief. Now it bring me to my current problems. Had a blood clot hit my small intestine in Feb. 2010, almost died as it took them 3 days to find out what was wrong with me. They told my wife I may not make it through the surgery, then told her for the next 4 days I wouldn't make it through the night. Hell on her, I don't remember any of it. I had 2/3 of my small intestine removed because it had died, which left me with an ileostomy. For those of you that don't know, I now have what is left of my small intestine attached to a hole in my stomach with a bag attached to catch my waste. So far I'm not dealing with this well and have basically withdrawn from everyone and everything and have had suicidal thoughts. I working with a pyschiatrist and pychologist and am on lexapro, which doesn't seem to be helping. My pysch told me I needed to talk to someone who nderstands the problems I'm going through to see if I can get some advice on dealing with all this, the first thing I thought of was this site as it helped me through my amp. Now within the last few days I have developed a big lump on my stump, can not wear my leg and feel like I'm back to being helpless and hopless. I can't talk to my wife for some reason, there is something that won't let me do it. I know she would love to be of help, but I don't want to seem weak to her and my kids. Things are going down hill fast and that is why I'm turning to all of you for help. If any of you have dealt with a deep depression and could not talk to anyone about it, let me know how you got through it. I don't want to lose my family. thanks for letting me be so long winded, but even sitting here writing this as eased my pain a little bit.

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Just talking about it helps. We are virtually strangers to you so you feel more comfortable talking with us. Get it off your chest. Don't hold your thoughts in.

We deal with some adversity of some kind everyday. Some more than others. I happen to be out of my leg for a month. This hasn't happened before in the six+ years that I've been an amputee. It's not easy, but I keep looking at that light at the end of the tunnel. I have hopes that my life will be better in the long term. No more infections. No more pain.

You seem to have been through more than your fair share of adversity. You have a good reason to get through this, your family. My family has always been my strength when going through bad times. They've been there for me. My mom is helping us now by preparing meals. Our daughter is doing the laundry. I can do some of these things even on crutches or from the wheelchair, but by the time I work all day and deal with crutches, I'm totally exhausted.

Is there a possibility of them reversing the ileostomy at some point?

You'll have to be more specific about the lump on your stump before we can be of any help there. Is it painful? Where is it located?

You're getting some professional help which is good. The fact that you're still having these feelings is not so good.

I hope you can find some strength to get through this. Keep chatting with us. We can try to be of some help.

Neal

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Well, I haven't ever been in the depths of a depression like you are,but I do live with a loved one that deals with depression, so I can only tell you my thoughts from our point of view..

Of course, your wife is suffering along with you.. and only wants to help you, as you know and have stated. What is stopping you from talking with her? My husband, found me dead, in a ditch after my accident. For years,I didn't mention it to him, because I didn't want to cause him any further pain remembering what he saw and felt.. However, because of my brain injury, and the problems it caused, I had many questions.. One day, I finally asked what I needed to know. It was a conversation that at first was hard on both of us.. However, he did realize that in my not asking and his not talking about it, it was creating problems for me. Those memories aren't near as big now.. and getting things out in the open has helped both of us.. It is very hard to watch the one you love suffer in silence. Are you afraid of the answers that you fear you might hear?

As Neal stated, we all deal with adversity some how. I recently had to have some surgery on my left hand. I'm a left bk.... I was in a cast, and not supposed to be putting any weight on the my wrist.. Trying to don my liner and leg, one handed, isn't easy.. How could I use crutches, wheelchair, or even a walker with out the use of my hand? Butt scootin' on the floor one handed wasn't so easy either.. About 18 months after my accident, I was diagnosed with cancer... suddenly, having a prosthetic leg wasn't so important..So you see, we do get it..

If you can't talk to your wife, or the therapists don't seem to understand, we're here..as you know.. just keep coming back...as often as you need...

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This may be a slightly different take on the "depression" issue....I've dealt with depression off and on throughout my life, but I've never had a serious problem with depression following one of my many odd medical troubles. Even losing my leg did not get me down...neither did the fact that, shortly after my amputation I had a problem which left me temporarily blind. Instead, I find that my depressions set in when I'm dealing with the "lead up" to the medical emergency. It's the feeling of being powerless, of not knowing how we'll be able to "fix me" this time that sends me down. Once there's a plan of action in place, even if it's a radical, serious, life-altering plan of action, my desire to get on with life kicks in and I'm ready to fight.

Reading about your recent round of troubles (which are certainly radical and life-altering!) got me thinking about my mom. She had some serious intestinal issues, and her doctors pressed for an ostomy as a way to improve her quality of life. She refused. She also became terribly depressed about it all, and she eventually started to refuse to go out of the house. The intestinal problem became the entire center of her life...and her horror at what she believed to be life with an ostomy kept her frozen.

Recently I was at a birthday party for some young grand-nieces and -nephews. For once, I was not the only amputee wandering around...there was a young man (well, in his 30s, which made him young to me) who was literally hopping about. I know it's not really a good thing for an amp to do, but I've always been intrigued by amps who are proficient at hopping...so I wandered over and introduced myself and we chatted for a bit. Turns out that he was an HD...and was also living with an ostomy bag as a result of the accident that cost him his leg. He was bright and funny and alive, and he had some good suggestions on modifying cane and crutch tips to make them more stable in wet weather. I really wished that my mom could have met this fellow...........

I'm NOT going to say "just cheer up"...that's useless advice. But try to figure out how to best get on with your life. Work out a plan of action that lets you feel back in control of what's happening to you. And do think about sharing some of your hopes and fears...with your doctors, with your counselors, with us, with other folks dealing with an ileostomy, and, hopefully, with your wife and family members. Don't let your worries about what this situation might mean to your life keep you from living your life.

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Well, first off thanks for the replies. I'm a father of 6 kids, oldest one is a junior in college and the youngest one is in 3rd grade. I, before all of my health issues, was a strong independent person that never had to ask for help to do anything. I never really had to talk about my feelings to anyone and really find it a hard thing to do now. For the last four years, I have kept my feelings to myself, just saying I was fine when someone would ask. I did however have to start asking for help, even with some of the simple things. I was brought up in a family who did not show emotion, I rarely cried growing up. I still only cry or show emotion very little, and never in front of everyone. All I think of now is what is going to happen to me next, not being able to move on past m current issues. I haven't worked most of the past 4 years, on and off as I could. It is hard to be around people, not because of what they think about me, but what I think about myself. I don't like talking to my wife about it because she has already been through enough and I can't move on with my life. Which makes it bad for her and my kids. I would love to sit down with her and let her ask any thing she wants to about what I'm going through righ now, but I don't know how to start.

About the lump on my leg. I have about 3" of leg left below the knee. On the lowest side of the left I developed a lump, kind of soft, and really hurts. Sometimes it is really large about the size of a lemon and other times about the size of a small leg. Went to the doctor about it and he put me on some antiboitocs because of my past history of infections. I think I'm going to go back in tomorrow because it hasn't gotten any better. Don't know what happend, just took my leg off last Thursday and the lump was there, could not put my leg back on for about 3 days because it hurt so bad. Then when I could get my leg back on couldn't walk on it. Give ou an update after I see the doctor.

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Joe, maybe you have a 'bursa' on your leg...it will do what you described; and yes it hurts real bad. Well with 6 children your wife does have her hands full, but not too full to listen to you. Tell her you need to talk, just as you did with us...or sometimes it is better to talk to people you don't know...and on the forum most have a general idea of what you are going through. I also had a bad heart attack & was very depressed...I was told that happens with heart attacks...

Everyone on here has went through some bad times, but the good thing is meeting others who can relate. We are here everyday and all you have to do is come here & talk it out. It will help, honestly it will. :smile:

Glad you went for medical help & here.

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Well, the doctor said it was a bleed. I take comudin and my IR got out of control and reached 10, suppose to be around 2. He said it was from wearing my leg which caused some sort of tramua in my stump and it bleed. He is going to talk to another doctor to find out what we shold do, said there is no surgeon who would toch it as there is not much to do but wait for it to desolve and hopefully it won't scar. so for now I'm wearing a shinker sock under my liner to keep the lump compressed so I can wear my leg and just deal with the pain it causes. Any other suggestions?

As far as talking to my wife and kids about what I'm going through mentally, there has been no progress. I don't know how to say that I have had suicidal thoughts and really don't want them to worry. Going back to talk to my doctor tomorrow because I don't think the meds he put me on help. right now I'm taking Lexapro. Plus I got a letter from my insurance company that they are not going to cover that prescription any longer. Hopefully we can come up with something to help pull me out of this rut I'm in.

Thanks to all of you for listening and replying with your thoughts, they help me alot.

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You need to monitor that INR a little closer. My wife almost died when her INR hit 8. We took her off coumiden when it happened a second time.

I had some minor surgery on Stumpy 3 weeks ago. Lucky me got a hematoma after 2 weeks. It is still draining. It is hard to keep pressure on a conical shaped stump. There is now a hole the size of a dime in my leg. I've been thinking about wearing my liner to help contain all this, but the lack of air would not be good. I go back to the doc tomorrow to see what he's going to do about the hole. I hope it doesn't set me back. I haven't worn my leg in 3 weeks and it is getting old. I feel so disabled.

My wife has moderate to severe depression. We now have her in pretty good shape with a combination of Effexor and Abilify 10mg. There is now a generic for Effexor. I don't know the name right off. The Abilify is extremely expensive. Her insurance covers all but $60 per month. A month supply would cost $455. It works though. I hope her insurance continues to cover it.

Hope you get some help soon.

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