About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bad Things to Good People

Unfortunately, more often than naught it is rare when somebody is "just an amputee." Between the causes for the initial amputation, the stresses placed on the residual limb through prosthetic use, and the unequal weight distribution through the sound side, many amputees deal with a myriad of health complications throughout their life. Sometimes the issues are simply a bump in the road necessitating intervention but leaving no lasting ill-effect. Far too often, complications occur which drastically change the course of the individual's life.

Today, I have a friend who is transitioning from being a below-the-knee to an above-knee-amputee due to infection. Losing the knee joint is devastating and is a game-changer in the rehabilitation process. My heart breaks as he forfeits his knee in an attempt to save his life. I can't even fathom the frustration, fear, and anger that he must be experiencing as he faces this loss.

In a bittersweet twist of fate, he became an amputee because of the delayed effects of chemotherapy he endured as a teenager. Despite the cancer, he fought valiantly to save his limb and has lived nearly 20 years with his body intact. It became clear that the medications used to save his leg, and his life, ravaged the bones beyond repair. In July he consented to the very surgery he resisted in his youth.

His limb never healed from the amputation, and the open wound became a conduit for infection. For the second time, he is in a battle for his life. Without hesitation, he has chosen to amputate his infected knee. I wish I had the words to make this transition easier for him, but all I can do is stand by his side to support him through this journey. In moments like this, I feel so inadequate!

I have another friend who underwent surgery yesterday on her remaining leg. Several years ago a knee replacement gone awry resulted in her becoming an above knee amputee. Today she is back in the hospital, fighting an infection in her remaining limb. As brutal irony would have it, the infection developed after she underwent a knee replacement on her remaining leg.

A desire to live without pain and a brave leap of faith that lightening would not strike twice compelled her to agree to the recommended knee replacement last February. Since that time, she has been in and out of the hospital and has undergone numerous surgeries to rid her body of the infection. Again, I am helpless to do anything but remind her that she is not alone and try to keep her spirits up during the difficult recovery. Her biggest fear, losing her other leg, echos each time she develops a fever. I have spent many sleepless hours worrying about her.

In August, a below knee friend of mine underwent a "routine" revision surgery. She was supposed to be walking again in three weeks. More than three months later, she is still without her prosthesis, battling an aggravated nerve and a stubborn incision that refuses to completely heal. Through her struggle, I am reminded that there is no such thing as a routine surgery on a residual limb!

Although I'm excited about the holiday tomorrow, my enthusiasm has been tempered because of the struggles being faced by my friends. The complications that they face are life changing at best, life ending in the worst case scenario. I am worried about them all, and I wish that there was something I could do to make this easier. I am tired of bad things happening to good people!

No comments:

Post a Comment