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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
jberna

Long Lost Member and Elective Amputee Book

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Hello! My name is Judy and I was a very frequent visitor here in 2003. I was researching the option of elective amputation and this group was a LIFE SAVER. I met so many caring, encouraging amputees here. I had my surgery in Jan of 2004 and have had a wonderful eight years, doing things I couldn't do with my old, deformed foot.

It is fun to come back here, and see some threads I even started, like the 'Everyone's Story' thread. It was so interesting to see the stories that people posted and see how there are so many routes that get you to this place.

Before my surgery, I was desperate to find a book about another elective amputee, and I never found one. The books about super athlete amputees were great, but I wanted to know about an everyday amputee, and even someone who chose to have it done. In the years since my surgery I've been watching the market, and there were still no books in this category. Since I'm a writer by trade, I thought maybe it was time to get one on the market.

My book, called Just One Foot: How Amputation Cured My Disability, came out a few weeks ago. My goal is to get it to the people who need it the most. That means not only new amputees and people facing amputation, but also their friends and families, who might not understand.

The book's website had helpful links for amputees and their families, before and after pictures of my deformed foot, and an essay called "You've Already Lost It', which I shared here several years ago. It's about how amputation can be the answer, not the problem.

You can find all of this at justonefoot.com

I have mentioned this site in the book, and how it was so helpful to me. I thought some of you old timers might like seeing it.

I'd love it if you'd help me spread the word, so more amputees and their families can find it and know they are not alone. There is a flier you can print off, on the website, and post in your own local prosthetist offices or orthopedic hospital waiting room.

I hope to also talk to the orhtopedic med students at our local medical school, to help them see that sometimes doing dozens of surgeries on a limb, and making a patient live on crutches and pain meds for years is NOT helpful. And that amputation is not failure. It just might be another way to get the patient back to an active life.

Thanks again for all your help through the years. You guys are amazing. I was so moved to see that, after all this time, you are all still here, helping the next round of people who don't know where to turn. This site is incredible. Keep up the great work!!

Very Sincerely,

Judy Berna (or known to you as jberna!)

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Hi, Judy!

I was so glad to read that your book had been published. Haven't read it yet, but I certainly intend to do so! I don't know how many folks I've referred to "You've Already Lost It" over the years, but there have been many...it perfectly described my own decision to amputate in order to get my life back.

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Hi Judy,

As another elective amp for whom it was the best thing I ever did - it looks a great book. I am also delighted to see I can get it through amazon uk, so often US books aren't available over here and I have to wait for a trip to the US. I was lucky in that I didn't have to fight to convinve the doctors it was my regular ortho surgeons suggestion that it would improve my life which it did.

Sue

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Cheryl, thanks for sending people to that You've Already Lost It' essay. I think it sums up what most elective amputees go through and it helps their friends and families understand better. I have it posted on my blog and hope people find it. I'd love to get it published again, to get it out there.

Sue, I'm glad you can get it in the UK. I'm also glad your doc was bright enough to realize when it was time to stop trying to fix things and time to get you back a real life! I think there are more of us out there than docs realize, and my mission is to get the word out to ortho docs that amputation is no longer always considered a failure.

Judy

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Hi Judy,

What a gift your book will be to the amputee community. I like you decided to have my foot amputated after only three years in a wheelchair after an accident--I can't and don't want to imagine what 30 years was like. You are right their is little out their, except this site, on elective amputation. I don't understand why as many people here have asked similar questions. I too have flourished post amputation--I too am not a super athlete and I don't really want to be one. I am mid way through a large renovation project on my home after I moved into a disaster--90% of it I have done. Amputation gave me back my life. Have it on my wish list at Amazon and when I amass enough for free postage will read it.

Good luck with the book--I will pass the word.

Peace. Beth Marie

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