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Looking for support (for daughter)

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Marion. My daughter, Lauren, who is 19, had both of her arms amputated (DSD) last month as the result of an absolutely horrific car accident. The others in the car suffered relatively minor injuries, thankfully. I know this is an extremely rare level of amputations, and I've struggled to find resources to help us through this all. It's obviously been devastating to our entire family.

Lauren is doing better than I think many would have expected, but naturally is in a total state of shock. From a physical perspective, we've been told rather bluntly that prosthetics are going to be difficult due to the level of her amputations, but it's obviously something that we want to seriously explore when she's in a better place physically. For now, she's basically completely dependent on us, and we've hired a caregiver to assist. I think from her perspective, this is the hardest part, along with the obvious disfigurement to her body.

Is there anyone out there who has been down this road? This is all so new to us and to be honest, we don't even know what we don't know yet, but we all have so many questions and it'd be great to hear from people who have been thru what we're now dealing with.

Best,

Marion

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Hi Marion,

I can only imagine what a difficult time your whole family is going through right now. Although I am not an arm amputee (RBK) I have know some and they are living a good life and are lots of fun to be with. I just want to pass on a great website that I think would help all of you. It is the Amputee Coalition--they are wonderful people eager to respond to question, requests etc. The website is:

http://www.amputee-coalition.org/%C2'> I am not sure where you live, but next summer (2015) the Biannual Conference is being held in Arizona. The conference always has a section devoted to arm amputees and lots of prosthetic makers that are doing remarkable thing in arm prothestics.

I know this is a very hard time for your daughter--all of you. The first year I found the toughest and I wanted to give up at different points. I just kept trudging ahead and that made all the difference in the world. We say we are not "disabled," but differently able--we do things the way it works for us.

I will pray for all of you.

Peace, Beth Marie

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Thank you for this information, Beth Marie. Very helpful! I have checked out the website and there is indeed a wealth of information. There are just so many questions as Lauren starts adapting to her new body. As she said to me the other day, you don't realize how much you use your hands and arms for until you don't have them. Our hope is that there is ultimately a set of prosthetics that will be functional for her... But for now, she is learning to use her feet and even her mouth.... But it is a slow, slow process.

Thanks again for all of the help and words of encouragement.

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Hi, Marion...Wow, that is a major adjustment to have to deal with. BethMarie has made a couple of very good suggestions...since it looks like her link to the Amputee Coalition didn't "take," here it is again for you:

http://www.amputee-coalition.org/

You and Lauren may already have been told that arm amputees are "in the minority" in the amputee world, which is true. However, they are out there and coping quite nicely with their "new normal" lives. I would also highly recommend attending the 2015 Amputee Coalition Conference. Especially for someone "new" to the amputee life, the conference is not only a good way to see new developments in the world of prosthetics and adaptive devices, it's a way to be able to meet others who are coping with the same situation and compare notes on what does or does not work for them. BethMarie's right...we manage to do just about everything we want to do, but we sometimes need to "do it differently."

I'm another leg amputee...we're far more common than upper extremity amputees, so it may be somewhat more difficult for Lauren to get in touch with folks who share her level of limb loss. That's another way the Amputee Coalition may be able to help you. If you live in the U.S., they have trained Peer Visitors and can put you and Lauren in touch with someone who comes close to "matching" her condition. I really can't emphasize enough just how helpful it is to be able to talk with someone who shares your situation and is dealing well with it. It all seems very odd, confusing, and frightening at first...just seeing someone who's been able to get beyond that point can be such a reassurance!

I do know that many arm amputees have problems with wearing prostheses, primarily because they are heavy to support. However, there is also MUCH going on in the world of arm prosthetics...if there is such a thing as a "good time" to be dealing with upper extremity limb loss, now might actually be that "good time." There is so much being done with trying to improve the weight issues, make fitting easier, develop new ways of suspension, attempting to create "bionic" hands.......there is a lot going on for upper extremity amputees. If Lauren can get access to a prosthetist who is tuned in to the newest developments in the field, it would be a tremendous advantage for her.

Keep asking questions and searching for answers...it may be difficult, but we'll do all we can to provide answers and support.

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Hi Marian,

I am not an arm amputee but a RBK. I thought you and your daughter might find the following

you tube channel a useful and inspirational resource: Tisha Unarmed - on You Tube.

Tisha is a 26 year old women who was born without arms and her right leg shorter than the left. Tisha has

posted 52 different videos on her you tube channel demonstrating how she does everyday tasks with her feet

including:

  • Going shopping/Cooking
  • Taking care of her dog
  • Doing her laundry & other tasks
  • Painting her toenails/Putting make up on
  • Many more topics included on her channel documenting her active/independent lifestyle

Kind regards,

Sara

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Thank you all! This is very helpful and inspiring.

There are certainly some amazing things going on in the prosthetic world from what I've seen and read. The issue right now (aside from the fact that her stumps need to heal) is that they weren't able to leave much on either side - So securing the prosthetics is the main concern raised by the doctors. That said, with all of the advancements and new technology, I can't help but think that at some point in the not-so-distant future, Lauren will be able to get prosthetics that will make her so much more functional and independent. She is gradually learning how to do things with her feet, similarly to the videos of Tisha that Sara mentioned. While she can't feed or dress herself yet, she can basically operate the TV remote and pick some things up, etc. She'll get there. We also got her a mouthstick which she uses to operate an iPad that's propped up in front of her - That's been really helpful for her.

It's the psychological side that's the hardest for her. As a 19 year old girl, looks and fashion are obviously top of mind to her, and she is very, very self conscious of how she looks, and of course, people DO stare. Her friends have been amazingly supportive and encouraging, and really are trying to treat her like the Lauren they've known and loved long before the amputations, but it's hard, and I know she's embarrassed when she has to be fed or dressed or helped in the bathroom. I know it will get better over time, but making it thru the present is a challenge.

Thanks again for all the info. It's really nice knowing that there are people out there to help us on this journey.

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Hi Again, Marion...

I'm sure that Lauren is dealing with some serious "image" issues now...19 is still young and "looks" are still very important. It's grand that she's learning how to navigate this new world, and with practice that growing proficiency and independence will help her feel better about the image issues. If she's getting good with the iPad, it may help her if she can start doing some of her own online investigations about her situation. While it's good that she has you to help her on the research front, it can sometimes be really tough for a new amputee to talk about "everything" with a parent...if she can get to the point where she doesn't need to have all her questions "filtered" through you, that will be another boost to her independence.

One more "positive" thing about her situation, however, is that she is still quite young. She's still in the range of being energetic enough and flexible enough that learning the new skills she will need should come more easily to her than they would to someone older and "stiffer." It's one of the great ironies of amputee life that, the younger the amputee, the better they can adapt and adjust...and the more successful they will be at dealing with the challenges that limb loss brings their way.

While I'm sure that Lauren will eventually get to the point where she's comfortable putting "activity" before "image," know that it's also okay if she wants to dress in a way that makes it more difficult for people to notice that there's "someone to stare at." The entire issue of "staring" is one of the big adjustments for a new amputee...in the beginning, you tend to be so aware of your differences that you are hyper-alert to public stares. As you become more comfortable in your body, you become less likely to notice others' responses. And, in reality, most of the people who do stare do so just because they've seen something unexpected and they're curious about the person.

Nick Vujicic is another of those amputees Lauren might want to look up at some point in the future. He was born with what could be considered a truly dreadful level of limb loss...no arms, no legs, only one odd little foot jutting out from his trunk. The amazing thing about Nick is his attitude about his life and how independent he manages to be. He's a motivational speaker and an actor, and a number of his appearances are available on YouTube. While it might be a bit startling to Lauren at this point to see someone dealing with a situation even more extreme than her own, I would suggest that you keep Nick in mind as one of those "inspirational resources" as she begins to adjust more.........

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Hi Cheryl,

You're definitely right - Looks are important to any 19 yr old girl! She's definitely not yet comfortable with her new body, and it's obviously totally understandable. Especially now that the weather here is getting quite warm, she's been wearing short sleeve T-Shirts, which naturally have empty sleeves. She just isn't ready to wear the tank tops and sleeveless shirts that are such a staple of her wardrobe yet. We did learn about some cosmesis options that may be suitable for her, but these would be strictly for appearance purposes, without any real function. She has time for this though, as her amputation sites still need to heal before this can be properly evaluated.

You are definitely right about the fact that if there's ever a good time for this to happen, it's now. Lauren was a cheerleader in high school and also an avid tennis player, spinner, and yoga enthusiast, and she's in great shape. Her flexibility has impressed her therapists thus far, and they're focusing on continuing to improve the range of motion in her feet and legs.

Lauren definitely does want to reach out on her own.... And I've told her about this site. She's still quite slow at using the iPad and computer with her mouthstick, but she's getting better and you'll probably see her here soon!

Thanks again for all of the support!

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Marion, the "cosmetic arm" can be a nice option for upper extremity amputees, even if they aren't truly useful. Arm amps have a concern that those of us who have lost legs don't have to worry about...a missing arm can truly make your clothing hang oddly and will tend to draw more attention than someone who has an empty pants leg or skirt. In situations where you want to look truly well-dressed, a cosmetic arm can be a real confidence-booster.

Before I retired, I wore a cosmetic cover on my leg, solely because it made my amputation a "non issue" in the office. There are other leg amps who would never dream of "covering up" the mechanics of their prosthesis...and still others who would never be seen without their cosmesis. That's something you can reassure Lauren about: whatever she chooses to do, with or without prosthetics, is perfectly all right. The minute I retired, I took the cosmesis off...that was what felt right for me, but it might not be right for others. Even if it's "different looking," your body is your body and you have every right to do anything that makes you feel comfortable.

Another "personal" example: for the first couple of years following my amputation, I was very reluctant to reveal my stump in a swimming pool. Because I do love swimming, though, my solution was to create a "custom" swim suit. I took a pair of leggings, removed the right leg entirely, cut the left leg off just longer than the stump on my left leg, stitched the end of that leg together, and wore my "one-legged legging" underneath my normal swim suit. It made me feel comfortable in a pool until I was confident enough to realize that no-one else gave a hoot about me being one-legged...and that kept me able to take part in an activity I loved.

Let Lauren know that she can be creative...whatever she can come up with to improve her life, confidence, or feelings will be great!

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Agreed that the cosmetic arms would be a huge confidence booster for Lauren when she's out in public. No matter how you slice it, she does look different, and with both arms missing, it's all but impossible to hide it. In the winter, I'd imagine it'd be easier with jacket sleeves and such, but with the temperatures where they are right now, we're a ways off from that! She's been wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts or athletic/yoga pants, so that she can move about as freely as possible, and has also been wearing flip flops or sandals (if she's not barefoot) so that she can easily use her feet. She said to my husband and I the other day that she feels like she just ends at the tops of her shoulders, which is obviously heartbreaking. I know that she'll come to accept herself as a "girl without arms" as opposed to being an "armless girl" over time, but getting thru it now is just so difficult. We actually having a family wedding next week, which I didn't think she'd want to attend, but it turns out that she does, and I am extremely proud of her for that - It will be interesting to see how it goes and how she copes with being in that kind of setting.

It hurts her the most with not being able to do even the most basic of tasks on her own, like getting a drink of water or even brushing her teeth, and naturally no 19 yr old girl wants to have to rely on her family or a caregiver to shower, eat, and get dressed. Our entire family is really trying to be her cheerleader and push her to push herself in therapy so that she can regain some independence by using her feet for the things that right now seem pretty impossible. We've learned to really celebrate the small victories such her being able to pick up a pen with toes and being able to basically operate a TV remote. My younger daughter (who is 16) has been absolutely amazing through it all, and has been such a rock for Lauren as she helps her do her hair, makeup, and just act as a shoulder to cry on. Lauren's friends, too, have been great, and have been over to visit and have taken her out, even though I know she didn't feel 100% comfortable.

The big question is going to be Lauren's return to school (at University of Miami). She'll likely skip the next semester at least (first of her sophomore year), as she focuses on her rehab and regaining her independence. I haven't yet reached out to the school to discuss accommodations and such for her when she's ready to return, but it's definitely on the radar for us.

The good news for Lauren is that she is a creative gal for sure - So I have no doubts that she'll find creative ways over time to do the things she wants to do!

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Hi again,

I have been thinking about and praying for you, Loren and the rest of her family and friends. Two years ago I went on the Amputee Coalition cruise. I did not have a roommate so I was "assigned" one. She was a bilateral arm amputee from birth. She was an amazing woman in her early 70s. She needed little of my help as she was very independent. I was amazed watching her put on her make up--she did a better job than I do when I occasionally use make-up. I know this does not solve the pain all of you are going through and uncertainity about the future, but some times having a great example you can call to mind when things are really tough may help.

I can't figure out how to add a photo this woman and myself.

Peace, Betlh Marie

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Thank you Beth Marie, I appreciate it. There are definitely many examples of people with similar challenges as Lauren who have done amazing things. I know she'll get there too - It's just going to take a lot of time. As a mother, it pains me to see my daughter struggling, but I am trying to hold it together so that I can be her cheerleader. This is certainly going to be a long journey.

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It will be a long journey, but as long as Lauren is continuing to make progress, it will be a journey well worth taking. One thing to be sure you do is to encourage her to celebrate every single improvement in her abilities, no matter how small they might be. Every tiny advancement will open up the door to many, many more.

When I was first relearning to walk, I went through some wild emotional roller-coaster rides. I was a single woman, living alone, in a brand-new prosthetic leg, with severe vision problems and massively atrophied muscles. Recovery was not an easy exercise for me...the first day I took my new leg home, my entire therapy assignment was to put it on and stand up for five minutes. I did it...and then, because I'd been told NOT to do any more than that, I took it off and sat back down in my wheelchair. Emotional response: I was briefly, joyously thrilled at accomplishing my goal...and then I plummeted into a deep depression at the thought of being someone who was so excited about standing up for five minutes.

Every single step I made along the way followed that pattern: Do the task, elation, black depression at "how pathetic" that task was. And because I was living alone, my family didn't see that pattern. I kept up "a good front," emphasizing the accomplishments and hiding the depression that followed each one. I even started doubting their words when they'd call and I'd go into my "good little amputee" routine for them and they'd say something like, "that's really great" in an unnaturally syrupy voice.

I was probably about six weeks along in my recovery before my facade slipped...accomplishment of the day was to walk the length of my 7-foot long sofa without a cane or other mobility aid. Yeah...walk 84 inches unaided...how thrilling...and how pathetic! And when my sister called that night and I started to do my little act...I just broke down. And she didn't do her "that's really great" act, either...instead she got mad and read me out good!

"For pete's sake, Cheryl, you've been basically crippled for two years, you've had a whole series of major surgeries, you're a middle aged woman who's really out of shape, you've never had to try and learn to use a prosthetic leg before...of course it's going to be long and hard! Look at what you've been able to do so far...focus on that instead of of what you can't do. Eventually you will do it!"

I'm telling you this little tale because you may want to keep an eye peeled and try to notice if Lauren starts slipping into that sort of "this is pathetic...I'm never going to make it...everyone is just pitying me..." mindset. It will take her a long time...she's never had to try to do "hand" things with her feet before...but encourage her to think about "how far she's come" as opposed to "how far she has to go."

It's not unusual for a new amputee to set "private goals" for themselves. GOALS are a good thing, but I've found that "goals with a strict deadline" can do more harm than good. For us leg amps, it's often something like, "six months from now, I will be able to run two miles." Then, six months down the line, you're not able to run for two miles...maybe you're only able to walk for one mile...or you can do the two miles, but only at a slow jog and with a couple of rests along the way...or...... Whatever the result, if it doesn't fulfill that initial fantasy "goal with a deadline," it can feel like a failure. That's why looking at general progress, rather than whether a specific goal has been achieved can be more useful. Be sure you all celebrate those incremental victories, let Lauren know that you're aware of all her hard work and progress, but do try not to focus on "when" she's likely to reach each goal. Some may come much sooner than expected...some may puzzle her for years...but every single bit of progress is progress!

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Thanks Cheryl. What you're saying is so completely true. Everything is different, and we're really trying to celebrate the accomplishments and the progress. Many of the examples that you posted here are great examples of the fact that things CAN be done... Just in a very different way. Lauren is starting to get some really good range of motion and flexibility in her feet and toes, and I know it will pay off significantly for her down the road. She's always been fiercely competitive and a fighter, and with this she's willing to push herself, which is great. I do think that she's still a long way off from accepting this as her new reality, but that will also come with time, and she is going to counseling to help her cope.

One thing that is an issue is phantom sensation and pain. She describes it as feeling as if her hands are itching and that electricity is running down her arms (which she no longer has obviously). How do you cope with this? She's on gabapentin but it doesn't seem to help all that much to be honest.

Thanks,
Marion

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Ooohh...we're getting into some "tricky" territory here. Phantom sensation can be either a good or a bad thing, depending on a wide range of variables. Phantom pain is another matter entirely. I hope that some of our other members will jump in here with their own experiences, because I have a lot of personal history on the "sensation" front, but almost none with the "pain" part. All "phantoms" seem to be related to nerve endings firing off in search of the limb that they still believe is there. It's not "just in your head"...it is a genuine feeling.

A "good" phantom sensation is feeling like the missing limb still exists in its entirety and is fully and normally mobile. I had that type of phantom sensation for a full year-plus after I lost my leg...and it was a really handy sensation when I was finally able to start walking with my prosthesis. One of the adjustments that a leg amp has to make is learning to trust that their prosthetic leg will truly support them...my lovely little phantom sensation made that easy, because if I didn't look down at the prosthesis, I was able to convince myself that my "real" leg was still down there, supporting me.

A "bad" phantom sensation can feel like a lot of things. It may not be painful, but it can feel as if the missing limb is still present...but that it's "frozen" in some sort of unnatural position...or moving about jerkily...or unusually larger or smaller than expected. And then there's the actual phantom pain, which can range from itching or tingling sensations to "needles and pins" to stabbing pains and the ever-popular electrical "zaps and zingers." I count myself very lucky in that that type of sensation is something I've almost never had to deal with.

A large part of what can influence the types of "phantoms" you experience is your physical state at the time of the amputation. My surgery was basically "elective": we could take some time to prepare for it, get me in as good a state as possible, make sure I went into the OR medicated to the point where I'd been feeling pain-free for a day or two. All of that can help to prevent painful phantoms...and it certainly proved true for me.

Lauren's accident sounds like it was truly traumatic and painful, which can stack the odds against her on the pain front. If all goes well, she may have her pains fade with time and become only an occasional problem. That is a very possible reaction. However, there is also some possibility that actually having to manage ongoing pains could be a concern. There are a lot of different treatments out there...but it can sometimes seem like a very long and difficult time to figure out which of those treatments is the most effective.

Gabapentin is among the meds that can help with pain issues...but it's not a guarantee for everyone. If possible, Lauren should get a referral to a pain specialist, so they can look at a variety of meds, exercises, treatments, and "mind tricks" to see which combinations will yield the best results. My own (admittedly minor and occasional) phantom pains are easy...they respond well to simple Tylenol, heat, massage, and visualizations. (Specifically, if I'm troubled by an itch on the leg that isn't there, I can pantomime scratching that place and think very, very strongly that I'm actually scratching that itch...and it will usually go away.)

"Distraction" can also be a helpful thing. I know that sounds odd...but if you're truly caught up in concentrating on some sort of activity that engages all your attention, you're much less likely to be aware of the phantoms. So as Lauren becomes more proficient at "doing things" and doesn't have to think so much about her body, she may get good relief from the pains.

Please, anyone out there who has dealt with phantom pains in a major way, check in here and share what does and does not work for you. At the very least, it will provide some suggestions for Lauren to check out.................and it might solve her problem!

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Thanks Cheryl. She definitely seems to have more sensation than she does actual pain (thankfully), but when the pain does come, it is intense. The doctor had mentioned giving the Gabapentin a little while longer, and then possibly switching up to Lyrica. The hardest thing as a parent is watching Lauren scream in intense pain about feeling in her hands that she no longer has. As I said, the actual pain doesn't seem to happen too frequently, but she does definitely "feel" the sensation of her arms and hands quite often throughout the day.

We have an appointment scheduled on Thursday with a prosthetist, which we're very excited about. Though our expectations for Lauren's ability to really use prosthetics are definitely low, we're looking forward to seeing what options do exist for her. I know this will take time, as she still needs to heal, but we figured that it's never too early to at least start the conversation. In the short term, we will probably get her cosmesis to help with her appearance (which she's so self conscious about).

Lauren is continuing to make progress physically, and her feet are getting quite limber - Which is going to be essential for her independence. The therapists said that she'll likely begin to learn how to feed herself within the next 2-3 weeks - Which will be a major step forward for her. Today, she's going out with some friends for lunch and shopping (we live in NYC). She's both excited and nervous, but I know she'll be OK and her friends are ready, willing, and able to be her hands and arms today.

Thanks for all the help,

Marion

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Hi All,

I hope everyone had a nice weekend!

We met with the prosthetist on Thursday. It was very informative, if a bit sobering and exciting, all at the same time. There are some solutions out there for someone with Lauren's level of amputations... But they are quite heavy and clunky, and the prosthetist even told us that most people who get them wind up not using them for these reasons. The future, however, is exciting. He told us about some new lightweight options coming out from Ottobock later this year and next year that could be a really great fit for her. He even showed Lauren a video of a man using bionic arms - I can't believe how cool this technology is! As Cheryl had said earlier, if there's ever a good time to be a bilateral arm amputee, it's now - The technology is really progressing at an amazing rate. I think the visit helped Lauren's spirits considerably, and we really liked this prosthetist. He's going to keep in touch with us, and wants to see her back in 3 months to check her out, measure her stumps, etc. It's exciting to see what the future holds.

Lauren's shopping trip and day out with friends went really well. Her friends helped her with everything, and Lauren even said she almost felt normal,despite all the stares and having to be fed, helped in the bathroom, etc. I think the more we can get her out doing things, the better she will be. The girls even all chipped in to buy her some new short-sleeved and sleeveless outfits which will fit her new body better for the summer, which was just so sweet. Her true friends remain her true friends.

This week, Lauren has a busy schedule of therapy. We are excited to see how she progresses!

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That sounds like a good few days there, Marion! It's good that you're all starting to get yourselves up-to--date on the prosthetics front, and it sounds like you may have found someone who's keeping up-to-date himself, and is willing to level with you about what may or may not be possible for Lauren. It's so very important to feel that you can communicate openly and honestly with a prosthetist...whoever Lauren ends up working with will become a truly MAJOR part of her life for the foreseeable future.

I'm also really happy that Lauren had a good time out with her friends. Just being able to be out and about socializing can be a true comfort..."I'm still me, and I have my good friends with me...it will be all right." I know that, long before I got my first leg, I would periodically heave my wheelchair out the front door and just go "speeding" around the neighborhood...just so that I could feel that I was still a viable part of the world. And I loved it when friends would either bring me a "take-out" lunch or take me out to lunch...it let me focus on something other than myself for a while!

It does sound like Lauren has a great group of friends, and she'll no doubt make many more as she branches out into her new life. It will be a good thing!

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Hi Marion and Lauren,

That is great news that you had a chance to meet what seems like a great prothestist . I remember being told at the beginning of my amputee journey that my relationship with a good prothestist was one of my important relationship to make. Check off step one!! Since Lauren is so young you might be interested to see what they are doing im limb transplant--if you "Google" arm transplants you will find a lot of reference. At the last Amputee Coalition meeting two different teams of groups doing this surgery made presentations. There is lots of exciting things happening. I found the presentations informative, but it is not all roses either. The one real problem I saw was being on anti-rejection meds for the rest of one's life and all the risks that entail. Yet it left me hopeful that the research is there and in Lauren's life time who knows.

Blessings, Beth Marie

PS I apprectiate you updates!

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Thanks Cheryl and Beth Marie! It was a good few days for sure.. The meeting with the prosthetist definitely gives us hope about the future, though it may be close to a year or longer before we can truly evaluate the prosthetic options for Lauren. So for now, the focus is on getting her to be as independent as she can with her feet and other assistive technology that's out there, and getting her to accept that this is her new reality now. It isn't easy, but she's staying as strong as a rock, and her friends really are truly amazing. We do have a family wedding coming up on Saturday evening, and it'll be great to have Lauren come - One more thing that can hopefully get her back to feeling "normal". Hopefully we get Lauren on here soon!

All the best,

Marion

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Marion,

Please contact the Helping Hands Foundation at http://helpinghandsgroup.org/ .

They are a great outreach source where you will find a new family of friends and support.

Best wishes for much success to you and of course to Lauren in her rehabilitation process, as she finds her way on this new journey.

Kind regards,

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Thank you Johnny! We will definitely check out that organization. It's been a struggle to find other arm amputees similar in age to Lauren, let alone someone with the same level of her amputations.

This weekend went surprisingly well. We had a family wedding over the weekend. Originally we didn't think Lauren would want to go, seeing as it was so soon after her accident, but surprisingly, she told us 2 weeks ago that she absolutely wanted to attend. I was absolutely surprised, but in the best way possible - My daughter wasn't going to let amputations stand in the way of having a good time and being with family! Needless to say, the entire family (including my niece, the bride) was overjoyed that Lauren was able to attend. Lauren definitely did well up and cry a bit as we were getting her dressed and when she looked in the mirror, but we were able to pep her up and she got over it. Arms or no arms, she looked absolutely beautiful! I will try to figure out how to post a picture. She did surprisingly well at the wedding, which I know was so tough because there were so many people there who hadn't seen her since she had her amputations. Many of our relatives told me that they couldn't believe how well she seems to be doing. She stayed with us most of the night, and we fed her and took care of her. I know she would have rather been out there on the dance floor, but that will come with time. Overall, I couldn't be more pleased at how it all shook out!

Best,

Marion

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Way to go, Lauren!!! :biggrin:

A very big part of living successfully with amputation is just to decide to get out there and LIVE...looks like Lauren is determined to do just that. Hang in there...it will pay off in the long term!

For everyone who's mentioned wanting to be able to post pics here...the easiest way I've found is to first save your picture on some sort of photo storage site (photobucket, shutterfly, etc.) where the photo is assigned a URL. Then come here and start a "reply." When you want to insert the pic, just use the "link" button to insert the URL for the picture. It will appear as part of your reply.

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Marion,

Nice profile picture !

I have another resource that I would like you and Lauren to review and consider. It's called Footprints and I am on my way to Colorado next week to participate in their adult program. The Young Adult program, which would be perfect for Lauren is August 6th through the 12th. These are the kinds of experiences that can feed that positive energy that Lauren is trying so very hard to create. She will be given an opportunity to meet her peers. I believe that the timing would be perfect for this one. You both will have to decide that. Give Brittany at Footprints a call, tell her that I sent you her way. She will be more than happy to answer your question and make you both feel comfortable with their program. Watch the video on the website first and you will see what I mean.


http://www.footprintsadventures.org/

Kind regards,

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That's mighty cool, Johnny!

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