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I am a below knee amputee. More importantly, I am also Mommy to two boys, a very active 10 year old (Robby) and an mischievous toddler (Timmy). I have learned that being a parent with a disability can create some unusual and sometimes humorous situations. This blogger is available for hire! Let's talk and learn how a blog can expand your business.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Scott's Story

I have a friend who is preparing herself for an impending amputation that is scheduled for later this week. To say that she is terrified is an understatement. I understand what she is feeling.

Scott and I were discussing my friend and her emotions leading up to the surgery. He reminded me that she is not the only individual who is living through a tumultuous wave of anxiety and fear. Her partner is also scared. After all, they are both about to be thrown into a world which is new and full of unknowns- the world of living with limb loss.

Scott asked to write this post for my blog to shed a light on the feelings that the significant other may feel as a couple readies for an impending amputation. He wanted to provide a different perspective on the surgery.

I remember the last few days before Peggy had her amputation. I did my best to act like it was not happening and drive her mind in other directions. It went well for a while, but as the time approached, it felt like I was in a place without walls, where no one could help, and where no one could touch us to save us.

Before I go on, I want to say, this is not about me. To this day, I am not sure I could do what Peggy has endured including her many surgeries before the amputation and her struggles after the procedure.

A few days before the scheduled surgery, I received a phone call from UMH (Union Memorial Hospital) about Peggy's impending surgery. This was about 3 days prior.....and I was brought to tears.... So much so, that the nurse/attendant ( I am not sure to this day) could sense my discomfort, ok, distress. it was easy to tell since I could not stop crying on the phone with her. I am not sure where Peggy was, probably she was out of the house somewhere. This was the call that made everything final to me. This was really going to happen. I was scared and felt helpless.

I will not lie. The last day and hours of the night prior to going to the hospital were difficult. The drive to the hospital was excruciating for the both of us. We could not stop crying in the traffic of the suburbs of Washington DC and then eventually the drive up I-95 to Baltimore. That is all I want to say about that.

As we entered the area for check-in at Baltimore Memorial, we both could not talk. I only remember the very nice lady saying that she knew why Peggy was there and took her off for the obligatory paperwork. Peggy was crying so hard the lady couldn't understand her words. I wasn't able to translate. Thank goodness her Mom was there.

I am not sure where my mind was and that is not important. We both knew that what was going to happen. We just could not say it.

Down to to waiting area.

Pre-surgery was no picnic. There was always to time to call everything off.

Then waiting.

Then calling her back for pre-op.

Then visiting her in pre-op.

Then waiting in the pre-op.

Then the nurses...soon followed by the Anesthesiologist.

This is real. This is happening.

Soon she was on the stretcher, ready to leave. Leave with two feet, coming back with one.

Soon Dr. Schon, her surgeon, checks on us to who make sure everything is ok. Then he writes "yes" and "no" on her legs...... she was shaking. I was shaking.

Peggy's only request is to not see the instruments of her surgery. Dr. Schon, of course, complies.

A few minutes pass and it is time to say goodbye. And off she went......Her--and my--life would never be the same again.

But this in not about me nor should it be. After waiting a few hours, the finality of the situation was realized.

I saw the x-ray. of her now amputated.leg. It happened. It was a reality. If anyone wants to know more...please let me know. I have been in your shoes.


  1. my amputation was a tramatic one. There was no preparations, just a moment of incredible misfortune for me. I guess my family and I are lucky to not have had to decide to amputate and live with all the emotions and fears leading up the the actual amputation, for that I am greatful I don't think I have that kind of strength. But now what's done is done for both me and for Peggy. So Scott, what I'd like to hear more about if you feel comfortable is what it is like after the amputation. Being a source of support and how it felt for you, how it may still feel for you? My husband and I have been together for a long time and has just started a family 5 months before, often I feel like I robbed him of being able to enjoy being a dad to our daughter as he has had to take on so much more due to my time in the hospital and my recovery since. He doesn't always share his feelings with me....How has your's & Peggys situation effected you after the amputation? If you feel comfortable to share, I would love to hear about that. - Thanks Sarah G

  2. Scott, thank you for being willing to share some of your story. You are right that this isn’t about us; however, we too go through a great deal of emotional stress throughout this journey. The biggest thing for me is the feeling of helplessness. You want to do everything in your power to make things easier, right, etc. for our significant other. However, in reality there isn’t much we can do, in a matter of speaking at least emotionally, they have do go through so much of this journey themselves. We can be there with our love and support, but we can’t take away the physical or emotional pain that they must work through.

    For those who want to help their significant other, please tell your family and friends to not forget them. Just having someone ask how they are doing, recognizing they too are dealing with a lot and taking a few minutes to listen to them about their feelings, can mean the world.

    I appreciate you taking the time and opening the door to the world of the significant other. I too would be interested in hearing more from you if you would be willing.


  3. Hi, Scott, Sarah, and Peggy, too. So beautifully written Scott,and brought back many memories. My husband Pat's amputation was traumatic, too, but it saved his life, and in a way, saved mine too. We've come so far as a couple in the four years since it happened.
    Sarah, I'd be happy to write more about what it's been like for me, maybe in the other forum? Of course, I'm offering a wife's perspective...a thought I just had was that you are giving your husband and daughter the opportunity to bond more closely than another dad might and that's a good thing....Families can overcome so much when they work together...