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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.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Painful Purple Beast

I spent all day Wednesday playing in the snow with Robby. Thursday was spent at Chuck E. Cheese keeping track of two kids while trying to temper my gambling compulsion. When I checked my limb on Thursday night I noted a little discoloration but nothing of serious concern. I attributed the color change to mild bruising which happens occasionally when I am adjusting to a new socket.

Friday morning I awoke to discover that the sheets were covered in blood. In the middle of the night my leg began to bleed, became swollen, and had mutated into a painful purple beast. After quelling my panic, I snapped a picture of my limb and sent it to my prosthetist. He wrote back within minutes insisting that I come to the office as soon as I dropped off Robby  at school. 

Wearing my leg was painful but not unbearable as I slowly prepared Robby for school. By the time I reached my prosthetist's office the pain had intensified, and I couldn't wait to remove the leg. A pool of blood tinged liquid had accumulated in the bottom of my liner during the brief time I had worn my leg, solidifying my gut feeling that I was in for a long and legless weekend!

It only took a few seconds for me to receive the diagnosis of Verrucous Hyperplasia which I have since learned to be a nasty and potentially dangerous skin condition for amputees. In layman's terms, my limb was becoming stuck within the socket keeping the distal end from reaching the bottom. Because of the lack of contact, my limb was swelling within my socket, cutting off circulation to the lower portion of my leg. It is as if a tourniquet had been tightly tied around the middle of my limb cutting off blood flow to the entire lower region.

The black spots that were starting to develop were indications that the tissue was in the process of dying. Hearing those words terrified me! I was strongly urged to avoid wearing my prosthesis or any shrinkers or liners until the tissue returned to normal. If the situation worsened, I was to call my doctor and go to the hospital.

While I was not pleased to be without my leg for the weekend, the fear of causing further and possibly permanent damage was enough to convince me to follow medical advice. I may push the envelop at times, but I never mess around with the health of my residual limb! I called Scott and resigned myself to a weekend of legless misery.

After keeping my leg off all day Friday, I began to feel tingling in the bottom of my limb early Saturday morning. Although the constant pins and needles became grating, they also served as a reminder of circulation being restored. Over the weekend the deep purple slowly started to lighten and the red areas became less inflamed and less sensitive. I am optimistic that the issue was caught
early, thwarting permanent damage. 

While I'm thankful that I am recovering, I can't help but still feel both frustrated and angry.
I had been so active, feeling no pain and enjoying life. In an instant I was contending with a potentially serious limb issue and my activities were curtailed. Welcome to the reality of life as an amputee. I can be fine one day only to be sidelined by a prosthetic or limb issue the next! I realize that it is not productive, but I must point out the obvious: this really isn't fair!

1 comment:

  1. oh goodness, I had this last year, but wasn't given this diagnosis, to be honest not even given 'a' diagnosis at all, just told to stop wearing the prosthesis. I also had strange blisters along the scar line and it took over a month to heal, I then had to wait for a new socket to be made and was nearly three months out of my leg.