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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
kate

How do I get dressed?!

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Hi All,

I am in need of a bit of advice from any upper limb amputees....

I have a RBK amputation and a transmetatarsal on the left. Whilst I was learning to walk last year I managed to permanently damage both my shoulders (they were very arthritic to begin with) and am now facing replacement surgery on the left one in two weeks time. As the other arm is pretty useless too, I am panicking about managing post-op. How do I dress myself and take care of myself???

Or.... is this really impossible and should I be accepting that I am going to need a LOT of assistance whilst I am recovering? (As you may have gathered, I am a rather independent type). The pain is so horrendous that surgery is my only option but these matters are keeping me awake at night.

All thoughts gratefully received!

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I am not an upper limb amputee but a left BK. I am also a physical therapist and might suggest consulting an occupational therapist prior to your surgery and then following up with them after. They should be able to give you instructions and maybe even adaptive equipment to help you in dressing and other self care activities. Your doctor might also refer you to a rehab center after surgery for this therapy.

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Thank you Kitkat - sound advice as always. At least I know I'm on the right track - I'm using bits and bobs like long-arm reachers etc. to help with dressing and undressing and I'm scouring the internet for other useful gizmos. I do find though that in theory the gadgets are a fab idea but in reality they never quite live up to the expectation. I think you may also be right about needing to go to a rehab centre .I know my family are more than happy to help, but I am going to be so incapacitated for a while I just want to be as prepared as possible beforehand!

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