TIME TO GET FIRST LEG.
From my own experience, I had my accident in early October and I took delivery of my first arty leg on December 21.
Is this a normal amount of time? I don’t know , I suppose it all depends on how well your body has healed , what the reason for the amputation was ect , I guess that we are all different , all I know was they waited till the wound had healed and the swelling had gone down before I went to the limb centre for the fist time.
SO what happens or what can you expect from the time from leaving hospital to getting to the limb centre.
Again drawing from my own experiences.
The first week I had daily visits from my Gp and what I believe was the district nurse, (they might have new names by now) they checked the stitches, staples and redressed my wounds.
I knew things where getting better when the nurse got a small pair of pliers and started pulling the staples out of my head, to much moaning and whimpering from me ,
A couple of days later the same nurse returned and using the same pliers pulled out the staples out of my stump, (yes I did wimp a lot).and promised myself that I would make sure that I was out of the house the next time she visited .
Again two days after that she returned with reinforcements another nurse to cut out the stitches on my stump, now this hurt, where the wound had bled it scabbed over the cat gut or whatever the medium was and made for some serious resistance as they tried to pull it out. I wimped out big time.
However being the super brave person I was I didn’t quite scream the house down, after wards I can remember moving ever so slowly in case it burst open. (Yes I was frightened that it would burst open and my inside would drop out onto the living room floor.)
By this time I had been down to the local hospital physiotherapy department and met my physio who drew the short straw and got lumbered with me. As luck would have it I had already met her a few months earlier when she was sorting out my shoulder after a rather bad landing on my hand glider.
I won’t say that she was overjoyed to have me as her physio but cheerfully stepped up to the task and started the long process that has got me where I am today.
To start with we exercised my stump, but as luck would have it I was in very good shape just before the accident and took to the rigid routines with relish , I knew even at this early stage the more effort I put in the more I would get out. And I so wanted to get ready for the fitting so I could walk again.
Going off topic a bit even though I was at the height of my fitness at the time of my accident I was getting incredibly knackered very easy at this stage, it wouldn’t be for at least another 6 months before I full recovered my strength (I read some where that it is normal for a body to recover in this time span after a traumatic amputation)
Pleased with my progress my physio introduced me to the Pam aid and for my next few visits had me in the Pam aid stomping with a Zimmer Frame up and down the corridors with my better half yvonne closely following with a wheel chair . This came to a sudden halt when I blew it up mid way down a corridor and was left with a rather limp sad looking aid, who days where sadly over.
A FEW PHOTOS
It was about this time I was getting hit very hard with phantom pains , I was on allsorts of medication but nothing seemed to touch it , and to be honest I couldn’t understand it .At its peak I had gone without sleep for about 4 days which itself makes things worse and to be honest I didn’t know what to do, I was in a shit state so totally physically and mentally knackered and felt myself slipping away and wondering if this new life is worth all the pain, now I am talking about rolling on the floor in agony with nothing I did making any difference.
My physio suggested acupuncture, normally I would have declined (I mean who wants to get pins stuck in them) but I was so desperate I agreed.
Now I am not saying this worked but for the first time that night I got full nights sleep, what a difference that made, I felt as if I could tackle anything.
The Phantom pains still kept hammering away, and I suppose just like every one, you learn to cope, I mean I was drugged up to the eyeballs and didn’t know what day of the week it was half the time, my doctor just kept on upping the dose but it wasn’t working, it got to such a state that I started to see double ……….Time to take charge.
I saw my doctor and she agreed its time to come off all medication , slowly cutting down till I was on nothing , they wasn’t helping so why take them .
I started looking at other methods, distraction, tens machines, hot& cold packs, rubbing but nothing seemed to help.
The other thing I started to take a serious look at is what triggered them. Or should I say what outside events trigger them. Over a time period I recorded all sorts of info, food, drink, amounts of both, weather, stress, tiredness levels you name it I recorded it ..(See section on phantom pain for info)
Then I got that magic letter inviting me to the limb centre.
This was a big day and something that I was looking forward to.
I met up with the consultant who had a quick look at things and then introduced me to my prosthetist. (John)
My leg guy (John who has sadly retired now,) answered all my questions then proceeded to take my first cast.
It took a couple of weeks before I returned to try out what was known as a test socket , a bit of tweaking but every thing seemed alright , but then I was not really sure of what to expect .
Again other weeks wait then I finally got to go in and take possession of it.
Now this is where the real work starts and after weeks of being stuck in a wheel chair or crutching around it was pure joy just to stand up on your own two feet. (You know what I mean).
TO BE CONT ON :-LEGS .....................................LEGS