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Thanks Paula,

I love seeing stories from people who take control of their lives :)

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Hi All

Welcome to all the newbies.

Alot of you prob no my story from the diary mum kept but for those who don't. I lost my leg last June as a result of motorbike accident 5 yrs ago now (don't time fly). 46 failed op and huge doses of morphine drove me to amputation and all I can say is I have never looked back. I have found me again and not the drug induced zombie I have been. I now m the proud owner of a sensor knee which is absolutely fab, and will be all the better once i get rid of the belt that holds my leg on at the mo.

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A Tale of Two Feet

In Sept of 2005 dropped a shampoo bottle on my right big toe. The nail got funky and eventualy fell off a few weeks later. There was a new nail that was a bit odd looking but the toe was looking OK. In December while Cristmas shoppng with my husband I suddenly had intense pain in the toe. I looed and the toe was not red or swollen just hurt like h***. I have some muscle and joint problems that I was born with and so I thought I had just overdone it on this foot. The next day I laid around with my fot up- my family all thought I was dying as I rarely sit on the couch much less lie there with my foot in the air- and it still h urt The following AM I went to take a shower and lo and behold my toe was now a lovely shade of eggplant. Went to the ER at a local hospital and they declined to have anything to do with it, called around and the only hospital that returned their cals was Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire. So off we went in an ambulance. A funny- why I asked could I not go in my comfy car? Oh no! Your insurance co will ot pay for you to go somewhere if you don't go in the ambulance and besides you can't go in a car you have TWO IV's hooked up! So---what was the first thing they did after the ambulance pulled up? Disconnected the IV's! And needless to say the ins co never paid anyway!

When we got to NH I was seen b the vascular team and they se me to x-ray. They discovered that I had "gas" pockets and that the toe was gangrene. I was sent off to the OR knowing that depending what they found I could come out of surgery with a toe missing or a leg missing. I was "lucky" that only the toes and part of the forefot was missing when I woke up. I was up and walking an hour after the surgery and ironically I was able to walk BETTER than before, the surgery had released the tension on muscles affected since birth. Ihad a WOUND VAC on this for a few weeks and thanks to my husband who turned out to be an utter whiz with the VAC I was able to have a skin graft to close it up two months to the day after the surgery.

While I was at Dartmouth it was discovered that my blood glucose was (newly) high. We don't know if the fast moving infection- gas gangrene can grow at an inch an hour and can kill you in three hrs- had anything to do with this.

Fast frward to a year ago today. I receive a phone call to tell me my mother has unexpectedly died. While trying to get organized to fly from NY to Arizona I slip on snow in my driveway. I don't feel anything at the time but then sit in cars, planes, airports etc for 23 hours to get to AZ. That evening I notice a smal (dime size) reddish spot on the outside of my toe of my "good"(left) foot, and that my foot is very swollen. After having a private panic attack I ask my host to drive me to an local ER. I carefully write in extra large letters "DIABETIC FOOT" on the intake papers- at this hosp you have to fill out a form and periodically they are collected- if you arrive bleeding I don't know what you do!

I was sen farily promptly and the first thingI asked for was an x-ray-- knowing how important this was the LAST time! I was REFUSED and x-ray as the Dr decided that the foot was infected, due to the tiny closed red mark. I was left in a rom by myself for over 8 hours, never got any antibiotics in that ime, suffered a blood sugar crash, no one I spoke to seemd the slightest bit interested. They sent me up to a room- more money for them- and I finally told them I was leaving if they did not at least deliver the anti-biotics. Over nine hours to get them! I left the hospital walking very gingerly with a cane and was able to at least attend my mothers memorial service. I had my husband make and appointment with my GP at home or the morning after my flight got back. The GP- a diabetic himself!- ALSO refused to x-ray, he was convinced it was a different type of infection- altho there was NO evidence of infection in ANY tests! and gave me a different drug. I hobbled around for another two weeks until I could NOT walk anymore. I told the GP that either he set up an x-ray or I was going to the ER and would make out a complaint against him. He sent me to a local hospital for the x-ray and the tech came out and told me that I should stay as he was worried over what the scan showed and he had asked the head Dr to come and look. I spoke to my Dr after this and discovered that what I was feeling in there was a broken ankle and several broken mid-foot bones. I got a half-cast applied and was sent off to visit an orthopedic DR. Unfortunately the ortho guy I usually see was not available and I was seen by one of his office mates, This guy basically told me that I had a very bad problem and I would never walk again and I should go home sit in a chair and wait to die. Well at the tender age of 48 I was not exactly ready to do that.

I managed to get him to prescribe a pair of "Space Shoes" that he claimed might make it easier to walk while I waited to die. Due to my insurancecompany claiming that the shoes alone cost $2000and that they saw no need to pay for them I had to wai and wait to get them. In the end I discovered that the shoes actually cost $90 and I bought them myself. Brought them home, wore them for LESS THAN AN HOUR and discovered that they had caused a blister on the rear bottom surface of my left foot. Saw several MD's inc my GP who al thought this was "Superficial" and would be fine. Which it was until it wasn't. Ten days in the hospital having it hacked at, PICC line for home IV. Went off to New HAmpshire on our motorcycle for Bike Week with the foot being wet-to-dry dressed. The last day there it looked a bit funny but since I had an appointment the very next day with the infection Dr Idecided to go home and see him and let him decided what to do. Another ten day stay, another PICC line. Never a germ showed up! Imanaged to convince this hospital that a WOUND VAC was in order- they had heard of them but are still in the stone age as far as technology goes- and one was alegedly ordered for me. Except it wasn't. My husband had had ENOUGH and called the guys we had seen at Dartmouth and after just a phone consult he ordered a WOUND VAC sight unseen as he knew we knew what to do. After hearing from the local idiots sorry doctors that it might take up to a year to get to skin graft on this- and in the meantime they wanted to try a "temporary skin graft of pig skin"---huh????--um no thanks!!!!--- I had it skin grafted at Darmouth a few weeks later. Healed great. Some one came up with the idea of giving me a pataller bearing boot so I could walk again. Got that an was walking all over the place-- SUCH a relief after months of using a Knee Walker!!!! A love-hate relationship there!

Was walking just fine except we had to adjust this boot all the time- seemed I was sinking inside of it. My bootguy and I thought this was due to swelling going down now that I was more active. I developed an rather excruciating pain when I would stand, then after a few steps it would go away. Went to Dartmouth to see the head of the High Risk Fot CLinic who caled my progress "Astonishing" and admitted that he thought I would never get walking with out having an amputation. Which we had discussed. A few weeks later I developed a rub mark on the outside of thefoot. Back to Dartmouth! Thye took another set of x-rays and discovered that the heel bone had fractured in at least three places, the bottom of the tibia had disinterated, and there was no evidence of an ankle joint. Oh and there were stil those mid-foot fractures leaking marrow into my body. There was some mention made of a rod, plates, screws, height loss- but that could be made up with a taller right shoe-- etc etc etc. I agreed to go see a DR closer to home who had been the student of the Dartmouth guy and he basically said the same thing. That was on a Wednesday. He offered me time to think it thru but I HAD thought it thru for almost a year. It is VERY seductive to hear that you could be "Pain free" and beginning to WALK in siz weks when all you have had is pain and frustrtion. So three weeks ago today I wandered off to Albany Med and had it amped. Had two nights in hospital, discovered that I am allergic to Fentynal, lied my a** of yessing the staff to death to get out. My ins co would only pay for a fraction of in-hosp PT and would pay NOTHING for home PT so prety much have learned how to do things on my own. After getting the sutures out this week I am back to the knee walker- love hate again! but I can get around my house now at least most of it. I can't hop due to those old muscle issues so the two weks of wheel chair to walker were dire.

I am pretty much stuck here right now unless we call the rescue squad for help in getting in and out tho. My ins co refuses to pay for buying or rentng ramps and my steps are too steep for me to tackle on the knee walker with the cargo ramps we managed to get, my husband has a bad shoulder and if my house is on fire I guess I wil be toast!

My wonderful leg guy Dave got me started in shrink wrap and will be fitting me for a leg in the next two weks. I am launching a law suit against the DR and hosp in AZ and also the GP I saw here. Seems a high price to pay for their incompetence!!!!!

If there is anyone else with experience of Charcot Foot/Joint I would love to chat with you. Learning more about it every day.

MY goals from here-Walking. Riding our new motorcycle. (Jealous? I MADE my husband go buy it!)

Playing with my grand daughter.

MY husband says he is going to video my first bike ride and send it off to the Dr's that claimed it "Couldn't be done". One Dr told me you COULD NOT DO A BK ON A DIABETIC!!!!!!!!

Love the personalities on this site. Thanks for letting me come on board. judith

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Welcome, Judith... that's quite a story (and in some ways, not unlike my own). It's good to have you here!

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Hi Judith welcome to the forum :D

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Hello all, my name is Cristian, i'm a 24 year old RAK, from Romania. My story is simple, car accident...i wasn't the driver....wrong place at the wrong time. I'm an amputee since nov. 23rd 2007. I started walking for 6 weeks and goes pretty well. Very glad to join this forum and looking forward to meet new people....take care!

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Hi, Christian... welcome to the group! "Wrong place at the wrong time" seems to sum it up for quite a few of us. (Of course, MY "wrong place" was standing in my bedroom, but that's another story!)

It sounds like you're doing well... getting up and walking again certainly helps!

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Hi Cristian, welcome to the family! I'm a rbk since 2003, also from a car accident. Glad you could join us.

Take care.

Carol

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G'day :D

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Welcome to the forum Cristian.

Like you, I am a lbk since 2002 due to an 18 year old, driving (if you want to call it that) while talking on a cell phone. :angry:

Hope you have a long happy stay here, I think you will find an answer from someone on just about any problem you might encounter....

Welcome aboard!

Higgy

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Hi Cristian,

Welcome to a great forum from one who was at the wrong place at the wrong time to another. I hope you will find many answers to your questions and from your own experience ability to help others.

Peace, Beth Marie

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Hello Cristian, Welcome

An Oklahoma Hello to you.

I am a lbk since February 2007 due to complications from cancer radiation treatments.

Guess What? My wife says I walk too fast now.

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[hello my name is joy i am from Ottawa, capital in Canada, I became an amputee on January 1st 2008, the last thing I remember I was attending a family Christmas party on Dec. 23rd, I had had three fem bypasses one in July and two more in August. They were all emergency surgeries as I suddenly created large clots that shut down my legs. I was taken in by ambulance, the second surgery was on the day I came home from hospital recovering from the first bypass. In December I was having pain in my right calf again and waited till after the party to be taken into emergency that was the last I remember till I woke up a few weeks later, my right leg had been amputated. My left leg had been cut up in five different places from harvesting veins, and one was from relieving pressure from a hematomin on the back of my leg, and I was also cut from the front of my abdomen to the back closed by over 50 staples in that area. Anyway, after recovery and rehab stay five months I am at home, I live alone and I have nerve damage and having no sensation in my left leg due to the many surgeries I am confined to an electric wheelchair. I have been going to physio to do upper body strengthening for transferring etc.. I seem to be able to do a lot of things from the chair taking care of myself and household duties mostly. I do want to walk again and have hopes that feeling may return to my leg some day. In the meantime I am trying to figure this out, how to return to life and to get back to my new self. Looking forward to meeting and getting information from this site. Joy font=Impact][/font]

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Welcome to the forum, Joy. I'm glad you're doing so well in spite of everything. You've been through a lot and it sounds like you are a real trooper. There are many knowledgeable and experienced folks here who can answer most any question you have.

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'Joy'

I am glad you have joined us. I can't add much to what mmarie has already said...you are a strong person and will come out of this fine. ;) ann

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G'day Joy :D

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A Tale of Two Feet

In Sept of 2005 dropped a shampoo bottle on my right big toe. The nail got funky and eventualy fell off a few weeks later. There was a new nail that was a bit odd looking but the toe was looking OK. In December while Cristmas shoppng with my husband I suddenly had intense pain in the toe. I looed and the toe was not red or swollen just hurt like h***. I have some muscle and joint problems that I was born with and so I thought I had just overdone it on this foot. The next day I laid around with my fot up- my family all thought I was dying as I rarely sit on the couch much less lie there with my foot in the air- and it still h urt The following AM I went to take a shower and lo and behold my toe was now a lovely shade of eggplant. Went to the ER at a local hospital and they declined to have anything to do with it, called around and the only hospital that returned their cals was Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire. So off we went in an ambulance. A funny- why I asked could I not go in my comfy car? Oh no! Your insurance co will ot pay for you to go somewhere if you don't go in the ambulance and besides you can't go in a car you have TWO IV's hooked up! So---what was the first thing they did after the ambulance pulled up? Disconnected the IV's! And needless to say the ins co never paid anyway!

When we got to NH I was seen b the vascular team and they se me to x-ray. They discovered that I had "gas" pockets and that the toe was gangrene. I was sent off to the OR knowing that depending what they found I could come out of surgery with a toe missing or a leg missing. I was "lucky" that only the toes and part of the forefot was missing when I woke up. I was up and walking an hour after the surgery and ironically I was able to walk BETTER than before, the surgery had released the tension on muscles affected since birth. Ihad a WOUND VAC on this for a few weeks and thanks to my husband who turned out to be an utter whiz with the VAC I was able to have a skin graft to close it up two months to the day after the surgery.

While I was at Dartmouth it was discovered that my blood glucose was (newly) high. We don't know if the fast moving infection- gas gangrene can grow at an inch an hour and can kill you in three hrs- had anything to do with this.

Fast frward to a year ago today. I receive a phone call to tell me my mother has unexpectedly died. While trying to get organized to fly from NY to Arizona I slip on snow in my driveway. I don't feel anything at the time but then sit in cars, planes, airports etc for 23 hours to get to AZ. That evening I notice a smal (dime size) reddish spot on the outside of my toe of my "good"(left) foot, and that my foot is very swollen. After having a private panic attack I ask my host to drive me to an local ER. I carefully write in extra large letters "DIABETIC FOOT" on the intake papers- at this hosp you have to fill out a form and periodically they are collected- if you arrive bleeding I don't know what you do!

I was sen farily promptly and the first thingI asked for was an x-ray-- knowing how important this was the LAST time! I was REFUSED and x-ray as the Dr decided that the foot was infected, due to the tiny closed red mark. I was left in a rom by myself for over 8 hours, never got any antibiotics in that ime, suffered a blood sugar crash, no one I spoke to seemd the slightest bit interested. They sent me up to a room- more money for them- and I finally told them I was leaving if they did not at least deliver the anti-biotics. Over nine hours to get them! I left the hospital walking very gingerly with a cane and was able to at least attend my mothers memorial service. I had my husband make and appointment with my GP at home or the morning after my flight got back. The GP- a diabetic himself!- ALSO refused to x-ray, he was convinced it was a different type of infection- altho there was NO evidence of infection in ANY tests! and gave me a different drug. I hobbled around for another two weeks until I could NOT walk anymore. I told the GP that either he set up an x-ray or I was going to the ER and would make out a complaint against him. He sent me to a local hospital for the x-ray and the tech came out and told me that I should stay as he was worried over what the scan showed and he had asked the head Dr to come and look. I spoke to my Dr after this and discovered that what I was feeling in there was a broken ankle and several broken mid-foot bones. I got a half-cast applied and was sent off to visit an orthopedic DR. Unfortunately the ortho guy I usually see was not available and I was seen by one of his office mates, This guy basically told me that I had a very bad problem and I would never walk again and I should go home sit in a chair and wait to die. Well at the tender age of 48 I was not exactly ready to do that.

I managed to get him to prescribe a pair of "Space Shoes" that he claimed might make it easier to walk while I waited to die. Due to my insurancecompany claiming that the shoes alone cost $2000and that they saw no need to pay for them I had to wai and wait to get them. In the end I discovered that the shoes actually cost $90 and I bought them myself. Brought them home, wore them for LESS THAN AN HOUR and discovered that they had caused a blister on the rear bottom surface of my left foot. Saw several MD's inc my GP who al thought this was "Superficial" and would be fine. Which it was until it wasn't. Ten days in the hospital having it hacked at, PICC line for home IV. Went off to New HAmpshire on our motorcycle for Bike Week with the foot being wet-to-dry dressed. The last day there it looked a bit funny but since I had an appointment the very next day with the infection Dr Idecided to go home and see him and let him decided what to do. Another ten day stay, another PICC line. Never a germ showed up! Imanaged to convince this hospital that a WOUND VAC was in order- they had heard of them but are still in the stone age as far as technology goes- and one was alegedly ordered for me. Except it wasn't. My husband had had ENOUGH and called the guys we had seen at Dartmouth and after just a phone consult he ordered a WOUND VAC sight unseen as he knew we knew what to do. After hearing from the local idiots sorry doctors that it might take up to a year to get to skin graft on this- and in the meantime they wanted to try a "temporary skin graft of pig skin"---huh????--um no thanks!!!!--- I had it skin grafted at Darmouth a few weeks later. Healed great. Some one came up with the idea of giving me a pataller bearing boot so I could walk again. Got that an was walking all over the place-- SUCH a relief after months of using a Knee Walker!!!! A love-hate relationship there!

Was walking just fine except we had to adjust this boot all the time- seemed I was sinking inside of it. My bootguy and I thought this was due to swelling going down now that I was more active. I developed an rather excruciating pain when I would stand, then after a few steps it would go away. Went to Dartmouth to see the head of the High Risk Fot CLinic who caled my progress "Astonishing" and admitted that he thought I would never get walking with out having an amputation. Which we had discussed. A few weeks later I developed a rub mark on the outside of thefoot. Back to Dartmouth! Thye took another set of x-rays and discovered that the heel bone had fractured in at least three places, the bottom of the tibia had disinterated, and there was no evidence of an ankle joint. Oh and there were stil those mid-foot fractures leaking marrow into my body. There was some mention made of a rod, plates, screws, height loss- but that could be made up with a taller right shoe-- etc etc etc. I agreed to go see a DR closer to home who had been the student of the Dartmouth guy and he basically said the same thing. That was on a Wednesday. He offered me time to think it thru but I HAD thought it thru for almost a year. It is VERY seductive to hear that you could be "Pain free" and beginning to WALK in siz weks when all you have had is pain and frustrtion. So three weeks ago today I wandered off to Albany Med and had it amped. Had two nights in hospital, discovered that I am allergic to Fentynal, lied my a** of yessing the staff to death to get out. My ins co would only pay for a fraction of in-hosp PT and would pay NOTHING for home PT so prety much have learned how to do things on my own. After getting the sutures out this week I am back to the knee walker- love hate again! but I can get around my house now at least most of it. I can't hop due to those old muscle issues so the two weks of wheel chair to walker were dire.

I am pretty much stuck here right now unless we call the rescue squad for help in getting in and out tho. My ins co refuses to pay for buying or rentng ramps and my steps are too steep for me to tackle on the knee walker with the cargo ramps we managed to get, my husband has a bad shoulder and if my house is on fire I guess I wil be toast!

My wonderful leg guy Dave got me started in shrink wrap and will be fitting me for a leg in the next two weks. I am launching a law suit against the DR and hosp in AZ and also the GP I saw here. Seems a high price to pay for their incompetence!!!!!

If there is anyone else with experience of Charcot Foot/Joint I would love to chat with you. Learning more about it every day.

MY goals from here-Walking. Riding our new motorcycle. (Jealous? I MADE my husband go buy it!)

Playing with my grand daughter.

MY husband says he is going to video my first bike ride and send it off to the Dr's that claimed it "Couldn't be done". One Dr told me you COULD NOT DO A BK ON A DIABETIC!!!!!!!!

Love the personalities on this site. Thanks for letting me come on board. judith

Judith,

We share several things - a name and Charcot foot. I have somethong I would like to send you that might help. I would like to PM you if I can figure out how it changed>

JudyH

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Hi Judy, I have a similar situation is some respects, I had my right leg amputated above knee after lengthy stay had the vac and home piccs due to infetions, ...but I am confined to a wheelchair due to nerve damage in left leg leaving no movement in it anyway I was so concerned cause I cannot get into my childrens homes to visit my grandkids ect..I finally tried I sat on my butt and pusched with my arms up the steps and when I was at the top I pushed up to a stool then onto my chair, it takes a bit of strength but I am an out of shape 55 year old and where there is a will a way I say...hope you are feeling better it has bee almost 6 months for me take care of you and heal -joy :rolleyes:

A Tale of Two Feet

In Sept of 2005 dropped a shampoo bottle on my right big toe. The nail got funky and eventualy fell off a few weeks later. There was a new nail that was a bit odd looking but the toe was looking OK. In December while Cristmas shoppng with my husband I suddenly had intense pain in the toe. I looed and the toe was not red or swollen just hurt like h***. I have some muscle and joint problems that I was born with and so I thought I had just overdone it on this foot. The next day I laid around with my fot up- my family all thought I was dying as I rarely sit on the couch much less lie there with my foot in the air- and it still h urt The following AM I went to take a shower and lo and behold my toe was now a lovely shade of eggplant. Went to the ER at a local hospital and they declined to have anything to do with it, called around and the only hospital that returned their cals was Dartmouth Hitchcock in New Hampshire. So off we went in an ambulance. A funny- why I asked could I not go in my comfy car? Oh no! Your insurance co will ot pay for you to go somewhere if you don't go in the ambulance and besides you can't go in a car you have TWO IV's hooked up! So---what was the first thing they did after the ambulance pulled up? Disconnected the IV's! And needless to say the ins co never paid anyway!

When we got to NH I was seen b the vascular team and they se me to x-ray. They discovered that I had "gas" pockets and that the toe was gangrene. I was sent off to the OR knowing that depending what they found I could come out of surgery with a toe missing or a leg missing. I was "lucky" that only the toes and part of the forefot was missing when I woke up. I was up and walking an hour after the surgery and ironically I was able to walk BETTER than before, the surgery had released the tension on muscles affected since birth. Ihad a WOUND VAC on this for a few weeks and thanks to my husband who turned out to be an utter whiz with the VAC I was able to have a skin graft to close it up two months to the day after the surgery.

While I was at Dartmouth it was discovered that my blood glucose was (newly) high. We don't know if the fast moving infection- gas gangrene can grow at an inch an hour and can kill you in three hrs- had anything to do with this.

Fast frward to a year ago today. I receive a phone call to tell me my mother has unexpectedly died. While trying to get organized to fly from NY to Arizona I slip on snow in my driveway. I don't feel anything at the time but then sit in cars, planes, airports etc for 23 hours to get to AZ. That evening I notice a smal (dime size) reddish spot on the outside of my toe of my "good"(left) foot, and that my foot is very swollen. After having a private panic attack I ask my host to drive me to an local ER. I carefully write in extra large letters "DIABETIC FOOT" on the intake papers- at this hosp you have to fill out a form and periodically they are collected- if you arrive bleeding I don't know what you do!

I was sen farily promptly and the first thingI asked for was an x-ray-- knowing how important this was the LAST time! I was REFUSED and x-ray as the Dr decided that the foot was infected, due to the tiny closed red mark. I was left in a rom by myself for over 8 hours, never got any antibiotics in that ime, suffered a blood sugar crash, no one I spoke to seemd the slightest bit interested. They sent me up to a room- more money for them- and I finally told them I was leaving if they did not at least deliver the anti-biotics. Over nine hours to get them! I left the hospital walking very gingerly with a cane and was able to at least attend my mothers memorial service. I had my husband make and appointment with my GP at home or the morning after my flight got back. The GP- a diabetic himself!- ALSO refused to x-ray, he was convinced it was a different type of infection- altho there was NO evidence of infection in ANY tests! and gave me a different drug. I hobbled around for another two weeks until I could NOT walk anymore. I told the GP that either he set up an x-ray or I was going to the ER and would make out a complaint against him. He sent me to a local hospital for the x-ray and the tech came out and told me that I should stay as he was worried over what the scan showed and he had asked the head Dr to come and look. I spoke to my Dr after this and discovered that what I was feeling in there was a broken ankle and several broken mid-foot bones. I got a half-cast applied and was sent off to visit an orthopedic DR. Unfortunately the ortho guy I usually see was not available and I was seen by one of his office mates, This guy basically told me that I had a very bad problem and I would never walk again and I should go home sit in a chair and wait to die. Well at the tender age of 48 I was not exactly ready to do that.

I managed to get him to prescribe a pair of "Space Shoes" that he claimed might make it easier to walk while I waited to die. Due to my insurancecompany claiming that the shoes alone cost $2000and that they saw no need to pay for them I had to wai and wait to get them. In the end I discovered that the shoes actually cost $90 and I bought them myself. Brought them home, wore them for LESS THAN AN HOUR and discovered that they had caused a blister on the rear bottom surface of my left foot. Saw several MD's inc my GP who al thought this was "Superficial" and would be fine. Which it was until it wasn't. Ten days in the hospital having it hacked at, PICC line for home IV. Went off to New HAmpshire on our motorcycle for Bike Week with the foot being wet-to-dry dressed. The last day there it looked a bit funny but since I had an appointment the very next day with the infection Dr Idecided to go home and see him and let him decided what to do. Another ten day stay, another PICC line. Never a germ showed up! Imanaged to convince this hospital that a WOUND VAC was in order- they had heard of them but are still in the stone age as far as technology goes- and one was alegedly ordered for me. Except it wasn't. My husband had had ENOUGH and called the guys we had seen at Dartmouth and after just a phone consult he ordered a WOUND VAC sight unseen as he knew we knew what to do. After hearing from the local idiots sorry doctors that it might take up to a year to get to skin graft on this- and in the meantime they wanted to try a "temporary skin graft of pig skin"---huh????--um no thanks!!!!--- I had it skin grafted at Darmouth a few weeks later. Healed great. Some one came up with the idea of giving me a pataller bearing boot so I could walk again. Got that an was walking all over the place-- SUCH a relief after months of using a Knee Walker!!!! A love-hate relationship there!

Was walking just fine except we had to adjust this boot all the time- seemed I was sinking inside of it. My bootguy and I thought this was due to swelling going down now that I was more active. I developed an rather excruciating pain when I would stand, then after a few steps it would go away. Went to Dartmouth to see the head of the High Risk Fot CLinic who caled my progress "Astonishing" and admitted that he thought I would never get walking with out having an amputation. Which we had discussed. A few weeks later I developed a rub mark on the outside of thefoot. Back to Dartmouth! Thye took another set of x-rays and discovered that the heel bone had fractured in at least three places, the bottom of the tibia had disinterated, and there was no evidence of an ankle joint. Oh and there were stil those mid-foot fractures leaking marrow into my body. There was some mention made of a rod, plates, screws, height loss- but that could be made up with a taller right shoe-- etc etc etc. I agreed to go see a DR closer to home who had been the student of the Dartmouth guy and he basically said the same thing. That was on a Wednesday. He offered me time to think it thru but I HAD thought it thru for almost a year. It is VERY seductive to hear that you could be "Pain free" and beginning to WALK in siz weks when all you have had is pain and frustrtion. So three weeks ago today I wandered off to Albany Med and had it amped. Had two nights in hospital, discovered that I am allergic to Fentynal, lied my a** of yessing the staff to death to get out. My ins co would only pay for a fraction of in-hosp PT and would pay NOTHING for home PT so prety much have learned how to do things on my own. After getting the sutures out this week I am back to the knee walker- love hate again! but I can get around my house now at least most of it. I can't hop due to those old muscle issues so the two weks of wheel chair to walker were dire.

I am pretty much stuck here right now unless we call the rescue squad for help in getting in and out tho. My ins co refuses to pay for buying or rentng ramps and my steps are too steep for me to tackle on the knee walker with the cargo ramps we managed to get, my husband has a bad shoulder and if my house is on fire I guess I wil be toast!

My wonderful leg guy Dave got me started in shrink wrap and will be fitting me for a leg in the next two weks. I am launching a law suit against the DR and hosp in AZ and also the GP I saw here. Seems a high price to pay for their incompetence!!!!!

If there is anyone else with experience of Charcot Foot/Joint I would love to chat with you. Learning more about it every day.

MY goals from here-Walking. Riding our new motorcycle. (Jealous? I MADE my husband go buy it!)

Playing with my grand daughter.

MY husband says he is going to video my first bike ride and send it off to the Dr's that claimed it "Couldn't be done". One Dr told me you COULD NOT DO A BK ON A DIABETIC!!!!!!!!

Love the personalities on this site. Thanks for letting me come on board. judith

Judith,

We share several things - a name and Charcot foot. I have somethong I would like to send you that might help. I would like to PM you if I can figure out how it changed>

JudyH

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Hi Joy,

Welcome to the Forum from another Canadian. I live in Saskatoon. It sounds like you have been through a rough journey, but you seem to still have a lot of spunk. For previous orthopaedic problems I was told that post amp the best I could hope for was walking with a cane or more likely crutches. Well at the Amputee Coalition Meeting last month I learned to run!!! So do not let the docs set your future.

Peace. Beth Marie

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Hi Joy,

Welcome to the Forum from another Canadian. I live in Saskatoon. It sounds like you have been through a rough journey, but you seem to still have a lot of spunk. For previous orthopaedic problems I was told that post amp the best I could hope for was walking with a cane or more likely crutches. Well at the Amputee Coalition Meeting last month I learned to run!!! So do not let the docs set your future.

Peace. Beth Marie

Thanks for the words of encouragement Beth Marie I hope to learn alot from reading this forum. -joy

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Hey,

Thank you all for inspiring me with your stories and helping me see the light at the end of the tunnel; I've found its very easy sometimes to get bogged down with the negatives. Thank you all; I think I've found somewhere full of lovely people and in the few days I've been on this forum I've learnt so much.

Cheers!!!

Bex x :-D

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Hi again folks, as promised in my introductory posting, a little more detail on how and when I became an amputee. I apologise if it is long.

I grew up as a farmers son in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and after school I joined the Police, where I became a Patrol Car Driver, then later a Ballistics Examiner (CSI) and a volunter member of the Sub-Aqua section (Police Diver).

In '82 I left the Police and trained as a tobacco auctioneer, working on my Dad's farm when the auctions weren't running.

In '88 I was married, and had a son in '89.

In '91 my Dad sold his farm, and so I bought my own farm, continuing to work at the tobacco auctions seasonally.

On 22nd of January '92, I was riding a small motorcycle (ER125) on the farm road without any safety gear, when I collided on a blind corner with an employee on another bike. He was OK, but my left leg was "de-gloved" below the knee, with my calf muscle completely torn off by his bike, and the remainder of the limb entangled in my bike. My medic training from the police kicked in, and I was able to doctor myself, at least well enough to stand the trip in the back of a truck 70km to the hospital.

I lost 21kg before the amputation, and was addicted first to morphine, then to pethadine. 17 antibiotics later the infection was killing me, the smell of rotting flesh permeated my nightmares, and the oxygen mask, and in lucid moments, I begged them to cut it off.

I came around from my 5th surgery (in 11 days) feeling much better, and calm - and as a LBK. My appetite was back, and so was my zest for life. I was in hospital for another 3 weeks, and they just about threw me out, they were so happy to see me go - myself, and the bloke in the bed next to me had made it our mission to keep the whole floor of the hospital amused:

After my birthday, in early Feb, I asked one of the orderlies where my leg was. Very embarassed, they called a nurse, who was also unsure of how to answer me (after all, perhaps I had forgotten the events of the last few days?) In due course they called the Matron in charge, who as luck would have it, was the mother of a schoolmate, and I hadn't seen her for years. Very solicitously, she asked why I had been asking for my leg? I responded that I had a few friends coming around for a birthday barbequeue. Of course she didn't immediately see the humour, but the other blokes on the ward were delighted.

After three months I was fitted with a PTB leg and a sach foot, but the poor quality of the skin grafts that had closed my stump meant that each time I tried to walk without crutches, the stump burst open, and took about a month to heal each time. This didn't keep me from the auctioned, and many a time I continued to "walk the line" on crutches without my leg.

After a year, I was referred by a valued family member, to a CP in Durban South Africa (a cool drive of about 2000 km from the farm!), who fitted me with an Iceross socket, and an Ohio Willow CC2 foot. The same day I walked abot a kilometre at the local mall. I stayed with this saintly man for two weeks while he tweaked my leg and made a cosmesis. Within days of getting home I was back to playing tennis.

I visited the CP for a new socket every 5 months for just over 3 years, and then the stump stabilised. That CC2 foot only lasted about a year, as the farm conditions were very hard on it, and I upgraded to a Flexfoot Reflex VSP.

I have had a few small revisions to my stump, after hassles with either skin, bone or nerves. I have had my fair share of ghost pains, and not a few amusing incidents over the years.

My wife barely lasted as long as the first leg - she was repulsed by the thought of contact with a "cripple" and after a year of marriage counselling, she left, taking the children. Once I came to terms with the new domestics arrangement and the wrench of having to take the kids back after each weekend, my life really changed for the better. After a year alone, I met and married a wonderful girl, Sue - my soulmate. She took over as mother of the children (we got custody by default) and things were perfect.

Until a certain mad politician decided that he wanted our farm. We were forced off by "war vets" in 2003, and moved to Cape Town. Having lost our lifes work, we have started all over again in this beautiful place, and after all this time, we are just beginning to feel back to the way things should be. I. still follow the goings on in Zimbabwe with interest, and my heart breaks for the brave people that remain there.

I now work for a commercial diving company as quality manager, and though more sedentary than I would like to be, I have mastered it. I will be 50 next year, and feel the need to change. I still ride a motorbike (a 1700cc Yamaha Roadstar) every day as transport to work, rain or shine. It is such a stress reliever that by the time I get home, the worries of work are gone. if I can put enough by in the next few years, I want to start my own business - a motorcycle touring company.

I am glad to be here, to learn and share.

Regards,

Mark

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Wow! Congrats on the Disney Mararhon. We are going Jan,2010 to watch our daughter run. I am learning to walk on my second prosthesis and I don't see how I would have the endurance to walk the parks in one day. How did you build up your endurance?

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Hello everyone

I have just joined and like so many of you have found comfort inspirational stories on here.

I had bilateral transmetatarsal amputations after e coli sceptecemia. I went into septic shock and developed gangrene-yack. The operations were done as life saving so I suffer with nerve damage pain.

My left heel has ostemyletis (after MRSA) and I'm now waiting for debridement and hopefully reconstruction (from my pelvis). There is a high 70's chance it will be successful but I have somehow to be prepared to lose my leg.

Last year I was told I needed both legs amputating so I'm trying to keep things in perspective.

I'm 47 (I was ill 2 and half years ago) and am married with two beautiful but trying teenage girls.

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