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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Bassett

Hello All, Basset Here,

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I'm a new amputee, 7 days post-op from a right leg BKA.  I am going through the process of researching the socket system and ankle system that will best fit my daily life.  I'm 35, a high school teacher and football and track coach.  I have not been active for the past 30 months, as I was trying to salvage the right leg from a motorcycle accident.  After 20 + procedures, and my wife coming up pregnant, I finally decided that amputation was my best option.  I am, again, only 7 days out of surgery, but so far I am completely convinced that it was the best path forward for me.  I am FINALLY pain free!  I tend to be active on forums and I will be asking plenty of questions as I progress through the healing and fitting stages.  I'll go ahead and say thanks to all of those that engage with my threads and help me out.

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Hi there,

i cannot offer you much advice with regards to sockets etc as I am an above knee amputee.  However, I had to comment as my story is very similar to yours as in I had a motorbike accident and 47 ops later they FINALLY agreed to amputate.  I can honestly say I haven't looked back since 2 days after the surgery.  Prior to my amputation my family really didn't want me to have it done but when they saw my face 2 days after the op, siting in my wheelchair with the biggest smile on my face they agreed it was the best thing I could've done.   I am now nearly 11 years along the line and still face struggles from time to time but nothing compared to where I was.  You may face some frustrations a long the way but be patient and don't be to hard on yourself.  take each day as it comes and enjoy your new pain free life.

I never used this forum massively but my mum used to come here daily and somewhere there is a three that she posted about my journey before and through my amputation.

Wishing you a speedy recovery.

Vicki

This is the thread my mum posted with regards to my journey from the day I went down to surgery.  Am not sure if this is any help but may help 

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You definitely have the right attitude to move forward and do well.  If you don't have a stump shrinker you should get one as it will help decrease the swelling and help shape the residual leg to make fitting a socket easier.  Researching suspension systems and feet/ankles is the right way to go.  Prosthetists each have their favorites but each amputee is different so learning as much as you can and being your own advocate will give you the best results.  I am a left BKA due to a motorcycle accident (6 years ago) but mine was pretty much amputated at the scene which simplified everything I guess.  My husband also is a left BKA from the same accident but his leg was removed a couple of days later.  We each use different suspension systems and have different feet based on our own preferences and needs.  You should be up on your "feet" soon.  The first year or two is pretty much constant fittings and new sockets as your leg shrinks and changes shape so don't get discouraged.  Eventually it will all calm down.  I am hoping it all goes well for you.

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Thank Kathycmc!

I have the support to 2 prosthetists (one guy is Ryann Fann (paraolympic medal winner in 400m and 4x100m) out of Savannah, GA and the other is Steve Ehretsman (captain of the Boston University basketball team back in the 90s) out of Athens, GA.), both are athletes and both have a similar approach to life in comparison to my own.  They are both aware of the other and I hope we continue on as a team... I know that may seem naive, but so far they have shown nothing but a willingness to give the best care possible.  So, hopefully as a team we can figure out the situation and get the best fit possible.

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Hi Bassett, As one other person said you really do have a great attitude and that will serve you well on your through the amputee journey. Like you I decided to have my right lower leg amputation after three year trying to save it--it was a great decision and I have never regretted it. As you research prosthetic choices I would suggest you come to the Amputation Coalition annual meeting in Louisville in August. Most of the main prosthetic manufactures are there and it is how I am my present prosthesis and it is great and I never would have thought of it. It is an informative meeting, but also great fun. Hope to meet you there. Blessings on your journey.

Peace, Beth Marie Murphy

BC Canada

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Glad to see you're branching out, Bassett...I'm also glad to see more activity here, as this can be such a great resource for folks!

I didn't even really THINK about the Amputee Coalition conference being nearish to you, so thanks Beth Marie!  It is quite a fabulous way to get educated in amp-life, see a huge amount of gear available, do some networking with involved and active amputees and--for just a few days--feel like you're NOT a member of a strange little "minority community."  Suddenly, you're "just a regular guy" again and it can be a nice feeling.  Plus, you'll meet some fantastic people!

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So, I'm a teacher and coach and that conference falls on our first week of school with students.  My admin are great and would not have a problem with me taking wed-fri off to go, so I'm thinking about it.  Plus, what do you really get accomplished in the first week anyhow?  So, while I wish it were a few weeks earlier, I am seriously considering heading up to Louisville is August.  I'm not even in a leg yet and I can see myself really being interested in the newest tech, so this will probably be a great place to go.  But, that being said, are there any international events, maybe in Europe or Australia, that would be a prosthetic tech conference? I'm all about some travel!

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Hi Bassett,

I am glad you are thinking about the conference, but it is tough to have it coincide with the first week of school. I am not sure what you mean when you asked what happened at the beginning of the week. The first few days are mostly for people who want to learn to be peer visitors ( you need to be an amputee for a while and adjusted--great thing to do next year) There is also a meeting for Amputation group leaders, so things don't really get going until later. I think it would be worthwhile for you to come for a couple even just for the prosthetic companies. 

Do you know when the powers that be are planning on fitting you with a leg? I hope you will continue to heal well. Peace, Beth Marie

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Hey Beth Marie,

I'm meeting with Ryan Fann in Savannah, GA on Tuesday. So hopefully we will have a schedule and timeline set for a fitting. I'm in a shrinker sock now and it's really doing it's job. I feel like I can tell a difference in size daily. I'm still looking into making the conference in August. I just hate missing work. I've missed so much over the past 3 years that i really have grown to resist missing unless completely necessary. 

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