Update: I am doing very good, humour and a positive attitude are my 2 best friends. Incision is healing as expected, stitches are coming out this Friday, I am meeting my rehap/physio Dr. this Thursday to get details on weening off the meds, starting more exercises, getting dates on when the fitting will be for the prosthetic…
Now for the Emotional Update… I have no regrets, I knew this was going to be hard. The pain is mostly under control. Some days it is hard to get comfortable because of the pain in the incision and phantom sensations*. I just want to get to rehab and move on to the next stage. But the healing part is also a learning part. Learning to chill, not stress. Learning to take naps… (not my usual schedule if you know me well)
* phantom sensations of the amputated appendage, are when you have a feeling like your toe is cold, or your heel is itchy. It is also like the feelings in the stump are lower as if in my foot. Some things I am doing are massaging the missing foot while looking at it, or pretend scratching the missing area. The brain has a map of sending feelings via nerves down to the foot which needs to be rebooted. While looking at the empty area and scratching it the brain is slowly re-maping where the nerves send feelings too.
I have been home now for 7 days and I am starting to see the stress I am causing on the home dynamics. Maybe stress isn’t the right word and maybe its me, feeling incompetent to have to ask someone to do something for me. It is very difficult to be sitting in my chair and see something on the ground that I need and then having to ask someone (who may be doing something else) to come and pick this item up for me. Or standing close by as I climb the stairs with my crutch.
I am not handicaped, I am handicapible. I am a fully capable person like everyone else. Once I get my prosthetic I will hike, run and feel free to move and dance, pain free. Before the surgery I WAS handicaped. My handicap was an invisible handicap*. People just saw a normal person who had nothing visible that considered them “handicap”. It wasn’t something I talked about. most people had no idea what I was dealing with for the past 45 years.
People are still asking… “Why did I choose to have a BK Amputation?”
Answer: I had Trauma Induce Osteoarthritis in my right ankle caused by a drunk driver that hit me when I was only 5 years old, their car knocked me down to the ground and then dragged my foot under their tire as they slammed on the breaks. I died at the scene of the accident, my neighbor (Uncle Mike) performed CPR and got my heart going again until the ambulance arrived.
In the hospital, the doctors sewed my foot back together and I spent 3 months in the hospital healing. As I aged the pain increased to the feeling of having a broken leg, but I learned to live with it. My pain level varied depending on what I did during the day.
2017, starting in June, the bones in the ankle started to collaps, the skin graph started to deteriate and leak fluid all day. I was seeing nurses every 2 days to redress the bandages on my foot, due to leakage. I had to place my foot above the heart for at least 30 min. every hour, limiting me to sitting on my ass for most of my day. The foot was done. I was now ready to let it go, after dragging it around for 45 years. I have done everything possible to extend the use of this foot over the past 45 years.
Before this surgery, I spent months researching options, speaking with medical professionals, getting second opinions from different Orthopedic surgeons. Talking with other amputees to see what exactly I was getting into.
This BK amputation is the best gift I could have asked for. My Birthday is coming up… April 15th, I enter into the awesome age of 50. So watch out world I will be the me that has been supressed for so many years. I have been yearning to just dance, jump up and join the parade 🙂 without suffering in pain for days after. My Birthday gift wish is one of these awesome prosthetic covers… Canadian made at Alleles Design Studio in Vancouver. Here are a few pics of what they offer. I will rock this prosthetic, I will own my future!