Author Topic: another question for everyone  (Read 7856 times)

Offline edinct

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another question for everyone
« on: September 24, 2008, 02:55:17 PM »
Was wondering if anyone feels different from how you used to be before your amputation?
I just don't feel like myself anymore, I feel more withdrawn or something I really can't put a finger on it.
I don't know if its because of my accident or my amputation, but here is why I had my amputation, I was hit by a car while riding my motorcycle, we were both doing 50mph, and the other driver drifted into my lane and drove into my left leg, close to being a head on collision, but thankfully not, I was not wearing a helmet, and could have easily lost my life, but instead lost my lower left leg, no other injuries except a broken femur. The doctors tried to save my leg for 7 months (wish they took it the day of the accident) but it was put in an external fixator which was pure hell, and I had about 25 surgeries in that time frame.
I don't know something just seems different.
Thanks for listening
ED

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2008, 03:46:34 PM »
Well for me I never had the pleasure of having 2 good legs all my life. I was in a leg brace since 8 months old. I also had may operations on my leg since infancy until the amputation 5 years ago. I had no choice as it was badly infected form all the operatins in my late 30's I lost my leg in the long run. Odd since amputation was suggested many times to my parents but they freaked and choose operations. Now do I feel different at times yes at times I tell my husband my spirit was taken along with my leg. I'm more frustrated over it then anything, and even though the leg was badly infected, scared, defourmed and braced. It was better than what I have now. I have more pain now many odd zings, zaps, and stings that I never had before. The constant "feeling" that my toes are still there 24/7 non stop that I never had before I have more pain now too so in many was the amputation made me much worse. BUT I have to live and go on I try to have a "normal" life as much as possible. It not easy to do when your life is a constant struggle. I try not to let my leg dictate my life. But daily struggles remind me all the time from taking a shower to doing my food shopping to holding down a part time job as a teaching assistant. I do have more tings in my life to be happy about my wonderful husband of 13 years, my home, my family and friends. And I always think it could be worse. PLJ is double amputee and I have full respect for him I feel lucky to only be a LBK and that It could indeed be much worse off. At least I do have a life and a wonderful husband. Feeling sorry for my self was not allowed as a child I think that has helped me get through the ruff days. I refuse to let the amputation run my life and gut through it all. hang on better days are ahead and some more down days are too. We are all human and have the same feelings from time to time.
Hugs to you!

Offline Ervin56

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2008, 03:53:50 PM »
You're not the only butt in the boat!! You want a little wierd? My tibia and fibula were broke in a motorcycle accident, and I had to cart my foot around for a year and two months. My original orthopedic surgeon referred to me as "a broken down old biker" in his side of the lawsuit, as he was probably pretty desparate. The University of New Mexico (God bless them through their current negative publicity) tried two operations to save my leg to no avail. It was during that time that I was blessed with the spirit of acceptance. I'm NOT saying "it's all cool", I'm here standing in front of you, pardon the pun, telling you that every God blessed time that I wake up, that what ever I've got, is all there is to work with. I'm not religious, but I am spiritual by nature, and I will pray that God will show you the same peace and love that he's shown me.
The best thing I've found to destress is my bicycle. Haha, from the time I was about twelve years old, if it had two wheels and no motor, it was useless. I'm 52 now, and my Raliegh sleeps in my bedroom just like my panhead used too!! It first started as rehabilitation for my other leg, as I have a torn miniscus in my other knee, and the lack of impact inflicted by crutches, and range of motion made it easy to start riding. MAN!!, it was on then!! I discovered  a WHOLE NEW WORLD!!!!!!! My poor little beat up brain had to reconfigure time and space values. Wow!! I could go quicker, farther, and faster than I had remembered as a child. My bicycle is a pure resource of freedom and quiet peace. Aa s a matter of fact, I don't know a thing about you, and here I am spilling my guts, and I could be out riding right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Later, Erv

Offline ann

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2008, 08:13:09 PM »
'Ed'    Of course you don't feel the same as before.  You're not!  There isn't any of us that are after amputation...we have lost part of our bodies.  You just have to ramble on through until you get to the place where you are comfortable with yourself.

You didn't tell us how long you have been an amputee, did you?  You will find a comfort zone sooner or later.  I will tell you this though, there isn't a day I wouldn't love to have my leg back {if I tell the truth} but still know all the friends I have met on the forum.  Hopefully you will find your comfort zone.

 :) ann

Offline pegleg jack

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2008, 09:43:17 PM »
according to what the doc's have told me i lost both of  my legs below the knee because of smoking. after doing a lot of research i am not sure, but as for feeling differant, yes i do and i almost commited suicide twice and have fougt my way back, and to this day there are days when i hate to even begian to put on my legs, but i know if i dont nothing will get done and i have a list a mile long to finish up.

what makes it so hard for me is i lost my leg just 19 days apart, my left one got so bad from bloot clots that it had to go for i could have bled to death in my sleep i had scatch it in any way and that was on the 5 of march 2002 and three day  later i am home up on crutches and unknow to us i had a partial clot in the thigh of my right leg and broke a pieace lose and it killed my toes, that was on a sat night and by thur i had gangerene in my right foot and so it had to go and they could get me in to surgerory that day and then on friday i got in and that was on the 24 of march 2002. it was bad enough waking up and seeing one set of toes gone but when i came out of the second go around, and seeing both sets of toe missing i came unglued, and even to this day there are days i cannot stand the sight of my bare stumps, it make me feel usless  and like i just want to go into the back room and close the door for good, but i know now that it would not do any good and would only cause more problems for my family and friends,

This is the first time i have even said any thing about this, so please bear with me while a do a little venting, am feeling a little down tonight after coming out of a bad case of ZINGERS, and also coming down off of my pain meds. for when i get the zingers is about the only time i take them. Then i am also having some other medical problems that are affecting me and causing a lot of stress, It has been over 6 years now and as ANN has said you will and dont feel the same. we have to deal with it in our own way each and everyone of us. Some handle it better than other and then thier are some that will have to fight it for the rest of thier lives.

ED, this is one of the very reason we have this FORUM, is so that you can get it off of your chest on just how you feel. I know that is does help in just typing this out for others to read and in a way just might help some else the may be having the same problem.
you-all have a great day.

Offline Annie

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 03:58:24 AM »
Hi Ed

Well I am not surprised you are feeling different, I suspect its probably normal to feel that.  I always feel lucky that I lost my legs when I was young and have grown up with it and don't really remember now what it was like with legs, I do feel that adults who lose their limbs must have a much more difficult time because of already in place responsibilities, work, relationships, etc. etc., things generally get more complicated. Its probably like everything else, it will all become more normal as time goes on.  I am sorry to hear about your accident and the way you lost your leg, however, on the positive side, you are still here, I lost three friends all on motorbikes when I was young, they didn't make it.

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2008, 05:20:52 AM »
Well yes, we are diffetrent, and life's routines are diferent.  But, life does go on, and I realize I'm alot more fortunate than alot of others.

I was in my 60's when I lost my legs (BK) 6 months apart.  So - for 62 years I had a full quota of toes.  Well, Annie, we each have our own perspective.  I feel fortunate I didn't lose limbs until later in life.  Didn't have to deal with it as a kid or teenager.  I got to do alot of things that are difficult or nearly impossible now.

I'm happy to say I've never contemplated suicide - either because of amputations or any other reason.  Also, have had little to no depression, as such.  Life is too interesting and precious - and I'm just not ready to "cash in my chips" just yet.

Yes, I'm frequently frustrated being an amp, especially a double amp, but  that's part of life these days.

Another plus:  I have very little phanton pain - an occasional bout that lasts a few hours, or a day or two.  Couple of rounds of Tylenol usually eases the pain.  Then I can go weeks with no poblems.

I'm blessed to have a loving wife, family, and great friends and colleagues.  After my amps, I was able to continue wotking as a pastor.  Now that I turned 70, I've joined the ranks of the retired.  I keep my hand in the pie with some supply preaching and various meetings, but otherwise taking it easy.

My wife and I are active in a local amputee support group and as peer visitors for new amputees.  Also, 2 or 3 on-line groups like this one.

As you can see. life IS different - but still quite fulfilling. 
Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline edinct

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2008, 09:19:58 AM »
Ann,
to answer your question, I have been an amputee since March 13, 2007, still a newbie.
I know that I am different physically and that really does not bother me at all, I feel as if I have lost that "sparkle" in my eye.
I have a very loving wife and without her I would never have made it this far, she has been by my side always, she lost her job to stay home and take care of me during my fixator days, we are in our 30's and never thought we would go through anything like this. I have a loving family, mom, dad, brother & sister and they have all been there for me also. Iam trying to get back into mountain biking, I love to fish every spare minute that I can, I used to be an avid rock climber, and will be trying that again, maybe I am just still in shock of the whole thing, when I look at my stump, I still can't believe my lower leg is gone.
ED

Offline ann

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2008, 12:01:33 PM »
'Ed'  you are still a newbie...and listen,  it really does deflate you...take the wind out of your sails.  Some of that you may never completely get back.  I know I didn't, but I survived!!  You will also.  You can have a loving family & support of friends, but they do not know what you are going through.  How can they?  They haven't lost a piece of themselves.  That is what is so helpful in talking with others who have been through amputation ~~you will begin to heal mentally.  Enter into your comfort zone and enjoy life again.  Realize as Dick has already said.  Life is so precious.

Offline pin-hi

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2008, 12:08:38 PM »
Boy, I'm sure everyone feels different after their amputation. Those of us who lost our leg(s) as part of an emergency accident type amputation may have had a more difficult time. In my case, going under a freight train while working when I was 20 yrs. old, I remember signing the surgical consent while being rushed into the emergency, and then waking up hours later in recovery and reaching down and feeling the bandages below my knees.

I think I may have been able to cope with it a little better had it been an elective surgery. Also, the surgeon would have been able to plan better the type of amputation to do, ie. ERLT.

As it was, I spent a couple of years feeling sorry for myself and had a hard time coping with it all.

Personally, the coping skills greatly improved when I removed drugs and booze from my life, but I had a pre-existing problem with subtance abuse which delayed my coming to terms with the amputations.

Eventually, for me, I felt gratitude for my surviving the accident. I am truly grateful for the people I've met in my life since the accident, and many of those people I would not have had in my path without the accident. ( ie. all those amputee golfers that are now dear friends)

So, sure some days I feel different, some mornings I still wake up and can't figure out why my legs haven't grown back overnight!

I know everyone is different and acceptance comes to us at different times and for some it never comes.
For the most part, this web site has members who have dealt with it and jumped back onto the world because it doesn't stop turning.

I'm very thankful for all the members of this site and as always grateful to Michael for hosting the site.

Cheers. David in Canada.
pin-hi

Offline Mitchee

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2008, 03:36:40 PM »
Hi ED.  I think that all of us have felt 'different' at some point or another due to the loss of our limb(s).  You will get through this.  Hang in there.
Initial injury:  July 1985
Amputation:  December 2006 - Ertl LBKA

"The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
 -Lao Tzu

Offline herb

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2008, 08:17:32 PM »
Hi Ed - I am an above knee amp due to a motorcycle collision with a semi truck/trailer. My accident was in 1969 and I went through years of numerous surgeries before my amputation. I guess I was lucky to have a disposition to easily adjust to my new situation. I was never depressed and always worked hard at learning ways to get by with my new limitations. After a while you accept it and it becomes normal for you. You mentioned rock climbing. Before my amp I was an avid tree and cliff climber. I still climb but do a lot more rappelling than climbing now. I have been blessed with a good life and am happy as an amp. Good luck Herb

Offline Dick Stevens

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2008, 12:58:30 AM »
David:

Hats off to all you folks who lost limbs in traumatic accidents - it must have been just that - traumatic, to suddenly wake up minus a leg.

As one who lost my legs due to complications of diabetes, I had plenty of time to get used to the idea - to prepare for my amputations.  Yes, I lost my limbs in the comfort of an OR - anesthesia and all that good stuff - by appointment,

We spent months, even years, trying everything under the sun to save my legs, including a fem-pop bypass.  It was dawning on me gradually what the future held for me.  I even had a "foretaste" of amputation by losing a pinky toe first.  Tiny as it was, it prepared me for the real thing. 

Of course, when the gangrene and bone infection set in, we had to move rather quickly.  By then I was ready to go for it.  It was no longer "elective" surgery - as the surgeon said, it was either amputate or plan a nice funeral.  Given those choices, I thought "A" sounded a lot nicer than "B".

So ...... compared to the trauma that some folks have gone thru, my amputation experience has been a "walk in the park".

Dick Stevens, DBKA in PA

Offline ann

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2008, 07:47:31 AM »
'Dick' I disagree with you...wouldn't say your being a double amputee is "a walk in the park". 

snowbear

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Re: another question for everyone
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2008, 08:27:53 AM »
I can not imagine being a double amputee. You guys have my full respect and understanding.