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jberna

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Okay, I am going to start this posting.....will not put MY story up here until others agree this needs to be done....or I will look like some kind of show off! I think it would be GREAT to start this posting, have all our regulars, and ANYONE else who wants to, post their story.....how they became an amputee, any hurdles they have overcome, goals they have met. THEN when we get the newbies on here, and they are desperate to read about someone like themselves (which I was at first...) we can refer them to this posting, let them read down thru the stories.....

It seems like we all are having to type out our stories every time, when we are trying to encourage newbies, and it would be great to just have it all already out there. Now, who is going to go first?....

Judy

LBK

Utah

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I'll be the first.....

My name is Brenda I was born 7/02/67 missing my right foot. I got my first prosthesis when I was 9 months old. I have 6 brothers and 3 sisters (both my parents were married before they met so had other kids before me and my younger brothers). I did everything my siblings did and sometimes even did things they wouldn't do. I didn't have many boyfriends growing up. I was married to my first husband for 10 years and we have two daughters together my oldest is Lorraine she is 14 my youngest is Marie she is 10. I am now married to a wonderful man who is my best friend and partner. He is very supportive of me and therefore I was able to undergo revision surgery on 8/01/02. I now wear a hi tech leg with no cover and have a running leg for running long distances. A few of my proudest moments are when I had my two girls. Another one is when I ran the Disney Marathon (26.2 miles) on Jan 11, 2004. You can look in the introduction area and read more about me.

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Hi, great idea.

As a still fairly newby myself ( I am a RBK, aged 41, from UK ) i still have to look thru the forum to see peoples stories, as yet i haven`t found anyone with the same medical history as me.

Its a bit of a long story so bear with me if you can;

Here goes:

at the age of about 29 i found i had problems with the calf muscles in my right leg. At first i put it down to carrying my son on my right hip whenever he wanted picking up ( which was quite frequently as he was only just 2yrs old)When it became so much of a problem that i had to keep stopping when i walked a short distance i decided i had to go to the docs to find out whaT was wrong. As is the way these days i had to make repeated visits to the docs. I was told it could be a variety of things from my age, to the type of shoes i wear. Then on one appointment i saw our old family doc and he realised i had a prob with my circlulation and so i was sent to the hospital for tests.Meantime i suffered a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy, both of which slowed down the progress of the tests. Anyway i was eventually sent for an arteriogram which showed that the main artery in my right leg was blocked from the hip to the knee ( apparently very unusual in someone aged below 50) I was admitted to hospital for an artery transplant, a vein was taken from the bottom of my right leg and grafted in to replace the artery. Bearing in mind this was about 10 yrs ago, the op was awful. I had about 65 metal clips over four scars all the way up my leg, the drain was the worst, the nurse didn`t turn off the pump before removing it so it felt like barbed wire was being dragged out of my leg. When the clips were taken out the wound opened slightly because the two sides had been over lapped when it was close up, the scars healed quickly but were ugly, i eventually had them re-done by a plastic surgeon.

The surgery worked for a good ten years( 5 yrs is the usually the limit, i was told) so i did pretty good, although i was still experiencing some pain if i walked to far and to fast but it was bearable.

Then almost 2 yrs ago i noticed a problem with the toes on my right foot. I ignored it for as long as i could because i knew it had something to do with the artery and i was too scared to go thru the op again. Eventually i had to go back to the docs as gangrene started to set in. I went thru the op again, this time they put in a plastic artery because the old graft had blocked right the way down my leg. Things have come on a long way since my first op. I had no visible stitches or clips and the drain was turned off before being taken out and i also had an epidural, so this time i was fine and i noticed an improvement within 2 days of the op. After a couple of weeks the gangrene cleared completely so i didn`t lose any toes and i could walk for as long as i liked totally pain free.

To my great disapointment within 4-5 months i was in pain again and gangrene started to appear on my big toe. This time i went straight to the docs and was in hospital for another arteriogram within a couple of weeks, it showed that the new graft had failed completly.

I had been warned this could happen and i knew what to expect next. The chances of another op being successful were slim. tho they did offer to try but i had had enough. I chose amputation for 3 reasons, if the op did not work they would have to amputate anyway and even if it had worked i didn`t know how long for, i didn`t want to put myself thru it again and at least this way i woke up knowing the score, I know a lot of amputees don`t have any options at all so i consider myself lucky and lastly i know the pain cannot return.

Once i am up and about on my prosthetic leg i can continue to lead a painfree life.

As for my life in general, i have been married to Paul for 16 yrs, we married in Gretna Green, Scotland ( the place where years ago ,runaways eloped to get married if they were under age. ) We have a 14 year old son. I wouldn`t be without any of them. They put up with an awful lot of stick from me but i love them both. I am a part time sales assistant in a stationers, my job is being kept open for me to return whenever i am ready, i am very thankful for this as i like my bit of independance and i have some great work mates.

There you go, thats about it. Those that are snoring, you can wake up now, i am finished. Sorry its a long story, i promise i will read every story posted here as we all have different reasons for being here and it will be very interesting to read about them . Thanks for reading mine.

Bye for now, love Lesley, Chester UK

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Hi there! I think is a great idea.

I'm 43 years old and lost my leg at the age of 35 ( RBK)- so that will be 9 years in December (it was a very hard Christmas). I have two great daughters - 19 and 16.

I lost my leg due to cancer - Synovial cell sarcoma - I was told this cancer is not treatable with chemo or radiation - thus had my leg amputated. I was very fortunate my cancer had not spread. I had a soft tissue tumor on the top of my right foot. In previous years, since I was 13 I had a ganglion on the top of my foot. I had it removed four times, however it has a high reoccurance rate. Apparently these things can turn malignant if they keep returning - I was NEVER told this. When it came back in March 95 I didn't bother addressing it until the fall of the same year - it could have killed me. I thank God every day for the chance to see my family grow up.

I've had some great success in being active - Biking, swimming, walking, skating and playing some ball with my children. I have worked as a dental assistant.I have not been as active these last two years as I've had a lot of problems getting a fit. I go back this month to try again. I've come to this site many times to see if anyone has the same trouble as myself. I really enjoy reading all the posts - the information in so valuable. God Bless ! Wendy

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Yes, a good idea...

my name is Karen, 33 years old and presently living in Germany. I'm British/Dutch and born in Canada. Grew up in many countries and when i was 10 years old was involved in a car accident with my family in Greece.... and here the saga begins....

Having an artificial limb hasn't really stopped me from doing anything i wanted to do (accept for bungee jumping; that could be a little tricky!) I lay ALOT of importance in the cosmetics of the foot i wear. I think i'm the cause of many a sleepless nights for my prothestetists , as i won't rest until it's perfect (well,as perfect as possible, ofcourse) These guys are technicians, sometimes they forget there is a woman, with women's concerns involved in the equation too....

I'm a gypsy at heart and love travelling.

As for sports, : tennis, skiing , windsurfed when i was a teen in Greece. Even won a junior regatta when i was 13... :angry: My mum was so proud!

I believe i have dealt, and am still dealing ,with my situation really well. :D

Whoever would like to chat just drop me a line....always ready to help if i can :)

cheers Karen

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I'm a fourteen year old amputee and I lost my leg last september. I had been on crutches for two years before my op and had had various things done. Thought everthing was going fine until the tumour returned. I chose to have an amputation against an ankle reconstruction becuase I felt it would give mean I could do anything i wanted to do in the future. With the reconstruction I wouldn't have even been able to run! I am now back to walking and am gradually getting back to sports. Today I sprinted up and down the gym at physio for the first time in almost 3 years - it was an amazing feeling! :D

I am also getting my third leg next week which I am very pleased about and I hope to be getting a water leg for the summer, but also one with an adjustable heel height (not the same leg I hasten to add!)

Hopefully by posting my story I can maybe help someone as many of the posts on here have done.

Liz x

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HI

My name is Clint. I was working in a under ground coal mine. On Sept 11 2003 at 11:00 PM I was ran over by a roof bolter. About an hour latter I finally made it out of the mine. There was a ambulance waiting for me at the elevator shaft and away I went. On the trip to the hospitle They took off my shoe and I could tell by the look on his face somethings not good. Once at the hospitle they look me over and try to clean me up. If you have never been in a coal mine you have no idea how dirty your entire body gets. The doc decided I need a reconstructive plastic surgine. So I get to go on a helicopter ( life-flight ) ride. I arive and they say you have a degloved foot ( ever steped on a grape and all the insides squirt out?) That about the only way I can describe the condition of my foot. Well, I went through three surgeries and they told me that from this point They would need to get some abdomine muscle from my belly and start gettin skin graphs from my hip to go any further and I ws looking at eight monthes in the little room, the best I would be able to walk would be with a cane . Or, we could amputate and I could walk in six weeks? Cut it off I said! I have a buddy thats a amputee that we have hunted, fished, and talked so I had a small clue for what I was in for. On Sept 22 2003 they amputated my left leg below knee. About a week latter I got to go home. Around two week latter I got a cast type leg. BY the way if you are new to all this and reading this dont just go cold turkey in one day and quite taking your pain meds ( WITHDRAWL). Anyhow I just got fit for my final leg today and every thing is good. It was hard but not the end of the world. I was more worried for my little girl, and seven month preganate wife while I was laid up. I am hunting and fishing again so all is good.

See ya

Clint

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HOORAY! This is exactly what I wanted! I LOVE reading thru everyones stories and think they help those just cruising thru this site and trying to learn more. They see that ampuees come from MANY different places and for many different reasons. But overall, that we are just normal people. I am thrilled to see clint refer to the withdrawl thing....I had TWO rough spells with withdrawl....once after a spinal cord surgery and 9 months of pain meds after, then tried to stop cold turkey, on a weekend...NOT a good idea! After my amp. surgery, knowing that history, I had a clue, but it was still rough going for about a week. Just NOW feeling like myself again, so glad meds are all GONE!

Enough rambling, I feel like enough people posted that I can add my story. I am a LBK, 37 year old mom of four kids, ages 3-12. Married for 14 years to the love of my life. A man who sees me thru all this and still makes me laugh all the time. (a good thing, when you have four kids in the house!) I grew up in Missouri, found my husband in SW MO, at college, we moved to NH (where his family is) and then back to MO, for 9 years...then moved to DC right before the sniper shootings and terror warnings...then were blessed to move, for good, to Utah, six months ago.

I was born with spina bifida and was one of the lucky ones. I *only* had a deformed foot, some other neurological problems, but never a wheelchair or hydrochephelus. I was always embarrassed and dragged down by my deformed foot so most of my friends never even really knew about it. I strategically wore high tops, lace up shoes, never sandals, avoided swimming, always had socks on in the dorm...I tried to be active growing up but it is hard to be atheletic when half your feet dont work. I envied amputees, seeing how active they could be, but was told over and over that would be seen as "failure" to my docs. They did countless operations thru my childhood,trying to fix this foot, one thing would make another go wrong and each stint meant six to eight MORE weeks on crutches. Very tiring....

In my third pregnancy I had an alert midwife who saw me as a whole person and encouraged me to go see another ortho guy. I ended up in a brace, AFO, which helped a LOT at first...really added the support I needed to that increasingly weak leg/foot. But after seven years with the brace, and the sores the brace would rub on my foot, which would get infected....bad cycle....it was just not helping anymore. I was growing increasingly weaker, less mobile....missing out on family stuff...gaining weight from sitting around...just NOT the life I WANTED! SO the research began and LONG story short, I had my amputation in january and have been nothing but thrilled with the outcome. I have so much excitement and hope for the future...have a leg that WORKS for the first time in my life....will wear sandals for my FIRST easter ever...just all GOOD. I wake up in the morning and love seeing my leg sitting there...all I see is potential and all the things I have missed out on, are now possible! My box of dreams is now overflowing! I feel like I got to start over, at 37, and I am SO thankful.

That is why my perspective is different than most, and closest to brendas story. Most of you knew "good" legs for part of your life, then got the artificial one. I have known nothing but frustration and being held back, and now I get to click on a great leg every morning, that does all the things my old leg would not do. I have a LONG way to go in rehab, to get muscle back, but it is MY choice now....I get out of it what I put into it....always before I could work my BUTT off and still that leg would not work right....SOMEDAY I will meet brenda, and maybe race a few blocks with her...but for now, baby steps, learning to use this new leg.

Cant wait to read more stories...every one inspires me!

Judy

Utah-USA

LBK and lovin' it!

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O.K. I'll bite. :P My name is Vince. I left the Post Office to work at the railroad. I left the p.o. because if I didn't the would be 2 dead workers and I would be in jail. Anyhow, I was at the railroad for 9 mos. Fell off a car and was ran over and lost both my legs above the knee. My Guardian Angels, both up in Heaven and on the ground, saved me. I am now in rehab. learning to walk again with 2 c-legs. Have had to have several adjustments, but am progressing. I have 51 yrs. here and plan to see 100.Any questions feel free to e-mail me. :D

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Hi there! I'll add mine. At 15, I was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma in my right leg. This was 20 years ago and part of the treatment to ensure it would not spread was to amputate. So, 4 months after my diagnosis, my right leg was amputated above the knee. It was an adjustment but I feel I'm a better person for it. By that I mean stronger, more compassionate, etc. I try not to let it hold me back from anything I want to do. I have a great family and friends that have been supportive the whole way through. Most people don't even realize I have a prosthetic leg until they see me in shorts or on a day when I'm tired and seem to be limping more than normal. I've been married for 10-1/2 years at this point and have 2 beautiful children. ;)

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Hi, I think this is an excellent idea Judy, I too enjoy reading the post of others, how they cope with being an amputee and able to move on with their lives. There are different level of achievements one can reach as an amputee and to share one's story is so encouraging and very informative, (especially for newbies) letting them know that there is life after an amputation. If you believe it, you can achieve it!!

My name is Sheila, 57 yrs young and getting younger! ;) I've been married to a wonderful guy for 18yrs this coming June. I have a great son, who next month will be 39, WHOW he's catching up with me :lol: a very nice daughter-in-law and two very special grandchildren. So everyone, including other family members and friends have all been very supportive from day one. which is something one definitely needs, especially at this time in their lives.

I started getting cramps in my left leg (calf) causing me to have a limp while walking, but just figured it was from standing so long at work. Then my pinky toe turned black/blue, so I thought maybe I had hit on something. I went to my husband's foot Dr to have it checked and he touched my calf and says,

"does that hurt" Ouch!! it sure did. So he sent me up to the hospital for some test, after the test they sent me to a vascular surgeon. The surgeon wanted me right into the hospital the next day, to see if they could dissolve the clot that was found. They couldn't and whatever they used to do the procedure reacted on me and I almost died. Then they decide to do a fem-pop (by-pass) down the entire leg, 6 1/2 hr surgery to try save my lower leg. That didn't work, couldn't get the blood to flow into the foot. Then came the bad news, they are going to have to amputate and at that point, I just said, "do whatcha gotta do", just get rid of this 'bleep' pain. It was rough going at first, took one hurtle at a time so not to become to overwhelmed, with having so many new changes in my live. I started with baby steps like everyone else. But now here I am eight years later doing what I like best.... shopping!! :D I enjoy going out in our boat and swimming, it makes you feel so free, where your balance is good in the water. I have always loved dancing, said that would be something I'd NEVER give up. So I went to a wedding 5 months after the amputation, decided I was going to get up and dance with everyone else, I did and haven't looked back. My point being, whatever you do, just keep looking forward, going backwards you sometimes end up alone. Believe in yourself and others will believe in you. Good luck to everyone, whatever your future may hold. Always remember, it's not how big or small the goal one sets, it's that the attempt was made to reach for it! Also by keeping a positive attitude, I belive it helps you heal inside and out!! ;)

Sheila, LBK

Maine- USA

Keep Smiling :)

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I was born with a genetic disorder called nerophibromatosis. (spelled right?) this disorder can cause birth defects such as spinabifida, mental retadation, malformities and some others. It can also cause cranial deformations (See the Cher movie "Mask" not to be confused with "The Mask") I have this but fortunatly it's minor and isolated to the back of my head so I can cover it with my hair.

It also causes benine tumor to grow on the insolation of nerons. I developed a tumor inside my tibia that cut off the blood suply to the bone. Part of the bone died and when I was only 18 months old I was dropped about 6 inches onto a carpet. Most babies won't even cry after such a fall but from what my parents told me there was a dry crack and I screamed. My leg simply broke! For the next year and a half they tried to save my leg but to no avail. In January of 1973 my leg was amputated.

I'm doing ok. I grew up with no memory of this tramatic time of my life. I was teased in school a lot growing up but that's normal I guess. After talking to Savanah I can really understand what she's going through!

Today I work as a welder by trade. With my free time I ski, bike, hike, read, and work with disabled children. I want to get involved with promoting sports, especially skiing, to other amputees and disabled people.

Eric

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Hi,

My name is Sue and I'm 34 - almost 35 (April 10th) and live in Cardiff in Wales, UK. I had an accident on 26th November 2003 when a wall fell on my right foot and leg. Went to hospital and had about 5 hours of surgery to see if they could fix the damage - smashed every bone, total crush injury - severed 2 main arteries into the foot! Had an external fixator (scaffolding) attached to the foot and leg. Moved to Morriston Plastic Surgery Hospital about 1 hour drive away and had more surgery and skin grafting. Then a week later they said that most of the foot had died and wanted to remove 3/4 of it - faced approx 2 years of more reconstructive surgery and possible problems - and with no guarantees of saving the foot even then - so I asked them to take it off and give me back my life. I have 2 small boys aged 7 and 9 and needed to be with them. I'm divorced and bring the boys up on my own - with the help of my family. Had my op on November 5th and just wanted to return to normal life. Got my wheelchair 2 days later and that was it - couldn't keep me in that bed! Went home 10 days after the op - I healed really well and was lucky. Could'nt believe the swelling and the bandages etc - but within weeks this went down. Got my first leg on 17th December andtook it slowly at first - making sure not to overdo it - even though I wanted desperately to walk on my own again. I spent Xmas taking it steady. I went back to work on 6th January 2004 and its been ok since. I try not to overdo things - but that never seems to stop me. I've had a few small falls - nothing major and no damage done - thankfully. I'm now driving again and enjoying being me again. I think that for me, if I had chosen to try and keep the foot / leg then I would have changed as a person - I didn't want that to happen for me and for my children. I'm quite happy go lucky and enjoy a good laugh - so for me the amputation was ok. I just think that I can't change what has happened - the accident - but I can change how I deal with it and move on, and since most of my job is spent motivating, helping, encouraging unemployed adults - then it works for me.

Sue. :angry:

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Hello!

I am a divorced 44 year old mom of 3, ages 21, 20, and 17. Another year and I'll be experiencing the empty nest! I am the Dean of Students at the local school. I missed the first 2 months of school but am back now and enjoying my job more than ever!

10 years ago I was involved in a car accident where a guy ran a stop sign and unfortunately ran into my van. My son and I were fortunate in that we were buckled and not critically injured, but my right ankle was toast. It was crushed and the doctors said they just washed away the bone because it was like sawdust. I had 4 different surgeries over the years, with all types of pins, metal and in the end a big, uncomfortable brace going from my knee to my toes. The pain got so bad that I had to have something done. I kept seeing these commercials on t.v. that showed amputees running, jumping and having a "normal" life. So, about a month before I was to have yet another surgery that was not to be a promise of any improvement, I asked my ortho. surgeon if amputation was an option. I saw 3 specialists, 2 voting in favor and 1 saying he didn't recommend it because I had pink working toes. I didn't agree. So, this past August I decided to go ahead with the amputation. There have been ups and downs but I am very glad I chose this. Before the amputation I was sitting in a chair watching life pass me by. I'm able to walk further now than I did before and I'm just at the beginning stages. The pain is gone and I am confident that I'll be walking longer distances and dancing before long!

This was a good idea and glad so many are participating. Feel free to e-mail if anyone has questions, etc. Take care and keep a positive attitude!

Caroln

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Well here go's,

I had diabetes at the tender age of 29 year old and went down hill from then I suppose lost my HGV and pilots licence and my business,

Gess what Quadruple by-pass took the veins out off my legs and they were knackerd so they had the veins from the back of the mammary glands and because the veins from my legs were not in the best of health, I lost all my toes from my left leg first and then from my right leg exept the big toe on my right foot witch they removed this year and then my leg came off last year and this year my right leg, both bk and thats about it and I'm 59 so I can't grumble or crumble and that is a (JOKE,) O yes last year my very precious gorgeous wife of 37 years of marred life Jenny won't mind if I told you her age she might give me a smack if you told her she's 57 years young she had the big C and had her brest off but we will not let anybody grind us down, so that's about it in a nut shell and yes I'm Very angry but I don't know what at, but I have two great kid's my Daughter is 34 and my Son Dean is 30, O to be 30 again ha, ha, and Donna has two children Jemima who is two and Brodie who is two month's old, so thank you for listening to me sound off I do appreciate it, all the best to all of you

Keith :P

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Hi everyone :D

I am a below knee amputtee and I have had a artificial leg since I was two years old, due to a road accident. I fell off the bus and the front wheel went over my leg. I have had a artifical leg of various types now for 43 years. (Guess my age) ;)

My artificial leg as a child was never any problem apart from the many breakages due to being a Tom boy :D

Nice to hear everyones stories for having amputations

Bye for now

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Okay gang...I am putting up a posting here so it will hopefully pop up when people click on "view new posts"....I think we have a lot of newbies here who dont realize this thread is out there. It would be great to get more stories here, for people who are wondering if anyone has a story like their own. Anyone who has not shared yet, feel free! We dont bite! :lol:

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WoW I found a home. I am new to this forum. I have checked out other sites but some of them I did not feel safe and never really posted to anyone and did not feel safe in doing so. I am still a little cautious but I feel this site is safely monitored. Some Amps. can understand that.

I am going to have a revision on May the 28th. Reading this site has helped alot because I know I am not alone. I have a great support team and looking forward to getting rid of the pain. Thank you for this post I will write later about my story so maybe it could help someone else.

Again I say thanks and take care,

Anita LAK :)

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Hello; my name is Shannon Taylor. I was born with a degenerative vein disease in my lower right calf. I did not become aware of this until I reached my teen years. So up until then, I was a-okay and other than a very large port-wine stain on my entire leg and thigh--I didn't really experience any problems what so ever. When I was a freshman in high school, I started having a very cold sensation-which gradually became more like a burning sensation in my right ankle. And this was before over the counter drugs like ibuprofen and alieve. These pain sensations would come and go and the more weight I put on--which is common in teenagers--the more painful it became for me to walk. I went to see a doctor and basically the doctor that I went to see thought that I needed 'psychological' help--because he couldn't see any real evidence of trauma :( I then went to other doctors who couldn't seem to find anything-- :angry: A few months later, I developed a painful burn-like abrasion on my ankle---My next visit to the doctor was halfway helpful--at least in alleviating my pain--but not the illness. To make a long story short-(by the looks of this--it might be too late), the more my body matured the worse the illness became, until my whole lower calf and foot was covered in ulcers. I decided to call it quits on one cold and rainy April day in 1993. I decided to have an amputation :rolleyes: which in my case would liberate me from pain and the hell of sores taking over my leg--and life. I am of the opinion that this was one of the greatest accomplishments and decisions I have made--and besides I belong to a group of phenomenal people--who defy limitations, overcome adversity and declare victory!

SOOOOOOOOO--that's my story--I hope I didn't bore you to peices.

I'm reading everyone else's story--so bear with me--I want to get to know you well--and hopefully, you will get to know me!

(I've got to get my signature right--so the text that you see in place of my signature will be replaced-shortly)

Smooches!

(and thanks for your warm welcomes!!!)

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Shannon,

Thanks for sharing your story maybe it will help someone someday. My name is Brenda and my story is here and also on my own introduction part. Kind of my whole life in general. I know with your experience you'll be a great addition to our forum family. We talk about everything so be prepared and join in when you want. I hope we can get to know each other and look forward to reading your posts.

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Hi, Brenda

Thanks for your welcome message. I read your posting and wow-I'm already inspired!! It sounds like things are going great for you. For a long time, I've been feeling out of the loop in many ways. But joining the forum has really brought about a huge sense of connectivity for me. During this time in my life, I am just beginning to figure out what I want to 'do with my life'. I'm not really working now-so I don't have access to a car. I'm planning on going back to school and getting a M.Ed. But I would also like a significant part to be devoted to getting involved in helping other amputees. This is a great start for me--and I hope there is more out there for me to do.

I enjoy learning about everyone and I thank you for reaching out.

Best,

Shannon

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Hi my name is Marie,

My story is, I was coming home from work and on my way to pick up my children from the sitters, when I was hit head on by a pizza delivery driver (think of this next time you want your pizza in 30 minutes or less) the man was going about 140kmh when he hit my truck.

I had pretty much every bone in my body broken (with the exception on my arms, I am very fortunate to be alive, and I thank God for this every day). My legs were crushed by the engine, the left one nearly severed below the knee just above my ankle. I did the wheelchair thing for 1 1/2 years, and several more years passed and multiple reconstructions, in which proper blood flow was never acheived, therefore the grafted bone never healed and just "died" off. I had finally had enough of sitting on the side lines and sought out a doctor who would help me solve the problem once and for all. If it wasn't for all my kind friends,neighbours and family, I don't think I would've had the strength to complete this journey.

However, now that the worst of it is over, I am ready to start living again!!

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Hello out there!

I'm a below knee amputee (left side) from Germany, 25 years old. Lost my leg two years ago in a motorcycle accident. I was driving myself - a wonderful Harley Sportster from 1968 :P . A car crashed in, the driver was much too fast ... and I decided to drive cars only in the future - better protection :rolleyes:

After 3 months in hospital and many surgeries later I went to rehab and got my first prothesis. They made me train very hard. This fact and the love and support of my family and my boyfriend helped to make me walk again and deal with the situation fast.

Now I wear my definite prothesis with a pin lock system, a truestep foot and an individual silicone cosmesis. And here the problems beginn. The silicone cosmesis is pulled over the protheses like a sock. And under the cosmesis between foot (truestep) and the foam cosmeses of the ankle there's a big wrinkle. My prosthetist did his best and redid the foam cosmeses twice. Two days later the wrinkle was there again. :blink: Now I'm trying for myself - any ideas welcome :D

But that's only the esthetic thing. My protheses works wonderful, cycling, hiking, climbing, running (not yet marathons but I'm training ;) ) - no problem, and I'm going to try skiing in winter.

Beyond that I'm having my exams and going to be a dentist in july (At least I hope so :blink: ).

Daniela

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I'm Carole, 57 yo, married for an eternity (38 years), with 2 adult sons and 2 granddaughters. I've had Crohns Disease for 37 years, which is what took me into the hospital last year for my 2nd bowel resection (the 1st was in 2000). It was also the second time I was given Heparin. 3-5% of all people receiving Heparin have an allergic reation called Heparin Induce Thrombocytopenia. There's no way of knowing who will have such a reaction and it usually occurs 5-10 days after the 1st dose is given. It causes the blood to coagulate ina vein or artery (mine was the vein). Although they performed 3 surgeries on me to remove the clots, they were unable to save my lower right leg. The vascular surgeon had me go through 20 treatments in a hyperbaric chamber to save that much of my leg. At the worst point during these surgeries, it was iffy I would live or lose both legs. Fortunately it turned out just the one. I'm not going to say I've taken this well because I haven't. I'm most angry there wasn't more checking on what I'd had in the past for surgery because I had a long list of medicine allergies when I first went to the surgeon who did the resection. I was also angry God didn't allow me to just die. Life after 2 bowel resections is not a piece of cake and this additional situation makes it even more complicated and difficult. It has also caused me to lose faith and trust in the medical profession to look out for my best interest.

With that said, I am doing my very best to get my life back with my bodily glitches. The worst part for me has been the 24-7 tingling in my nubby and the fighting I've had to do to get a prosthesis. Unbelieveable that in our so-called enlightened age our government does not force insurance companies to cover prosthetics for amputees. Some insurances, such as mine, will only cover 1 for a lifetime of a person who loses their leg to complications of diabetes. As I'm learning from this board, there are an awful lot of medical reasons for loss of a limb, not just diabetes, motor accidents or acts of war.

I was to have gotten my final prosthesis today, but my prosthetist got hung up at a conference at one of the hospitals. Hopefully I will get it this week. It is to be much lighter and more comfortable because of the gel liners. That has me very excited. In July my eldest son is taking me back to my home town to visit family who hasn't seen me since the amputation and I'd like them to see someone who can walk well (no more hoisting the heavy prosthesis) and getting back to being able to dance some. I've always loved to kick up my heels. Then, I'm hoping in September I'll be back to driving and my part time job. I work with young children and I DO NOT want to look freakish to them. Well, at least not my legs and ability to get around; the rest of me may have already been enough of a fright.

Well, that's how I've gotten to this place. There must be some reason I survived all that happened, just as many others who've posted. My goals are to do the best I can with the way things are, find some way to help others who become amputees and to get the word out about Heparin and it's possible ugly side. When I was to become an amputee, there were no organizations or anything else to help me get through the initial phase of it all and I believe there should be a network of amputees in that setting to assist in whatever way they can, if all we can do is let the patient vent their fears and sorrow to us.

Carole

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