Monday, 2 December 2013

Still waiting for the leg



02/12/13


Hi all


Just got back from a 4 hour session at the Prosthatists, only to be told the fitting still isn't right for my new hydraulic leg.

The suction socket is having problems with my cone shaped injury, and the tighter they make the socket to grip the suction pads its cutting off the circulation to the end of my stump, making it throb and go black, which is not good, and I can't have a belt system with a hydraulic leg because it's too heavy.

So they are going to try a different liner, one that is made of gel, hoping that this will relive the presser lower down. In the mean time I'm having my original socket (on a belt) made to fit me better and the tilting ankle put on it. So I should have one leg to be going on with by the end of January 2014. But that means I may be legless for Christmas (chance would be a fine thing!).

Hope you have a good one, and a happy new year xxx

Anyway keep plodding on!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Recovering


16/11/13
 
 
Hi all
 
Well I have finally had my middle toe top bone with toe nail amputated. I hope once this heals that I should be able to walk further without pain. But boy did it hurt having it done. Not the operation itself but the 6 numbing needles before hand.
The surgeon came into my room with what I can only describe as a horse needle and said this will be done before the op to ensure it is completely numb.
When I had my 4th toe done it was numbed during surgery so this was new.
He then proceeded to inject me on the top of my broken toe down my nail either side.
Then two more either side further down. These he had to push in deep and move around as he said' he had to get through scar tissue'. I was ok at first then when it got to these I nearly screamed and he said 'stop fighting me just relax your foot'!! I could had thumped him.
But after 5 agonising minutes it was over and within a further 10 it was completely numb.
The operation only took 10 minutes, in my last op I could feel the surgeon filing and pulling my skin stitching, but this time I didn't feel anything. Even when I got home there was no pain, which is good.
I'm now 5 days later and apart from it feeling sore like you know you have a cut, It's fine. Apart from the mass of bandage, and the fact that I cant walk on it for a week!

 
I am still waiting for my new suction leg (which I don't think it ever going to happen.) So maybe the rest will do me good, although I am so bored.
 
I also left my job last week, I was trying to get back to my normal routine, hoping it would go back to how it was. But I found as the months went on that it was just adding another stressful thing on my mind.
Worrying about the amount of time I was having off for operations and hospital appointments, and what people would be thinking of me, and panicking about travelling to work and having to sit at the front of the bus because I can't get up fast enough when I press the bell to stop.
Having to deal with employees at work who had returned from sick leave complaining about trivial little things, wanting me to scream at them 'you don't know how lucky you are!'.
So I gave my notice.
 
It still feels like I'm on sick leave with my foot bandaged up, and it's weird realising I don't have to plan for things on a weekend I can do them any day I want.
I'm not stressed anymore, and can finally take time to really heal.
I have my carpel tunnel surgery due in January 2014, and then I'm going to ask my plastic surgeon to file down the over grown bone on my stump. Then that should be it.
 
Time heals all things. x
 

Monday, 21 October 2013

My injuries a year on


Hi all


I thought it would be interesting to post pictures of my injuries each year to see how it heals and changes. Another warning to those easily upset do not scroll down!






2012
 


2013

As you can see in 2012 the leg was tight and it felt hard and was very sensitive, but numb at the same time. On the top part of my thigh where the skin was 'normal' I had no feeling at all.

Now it may look like I have put on weight, but its the inside of the thigh that has changed.
It's no longer tight and hard, its like a flobby bean bag full of squishy stuff.
I can feel the thigh bone under my skin and it's even started to grow out on the top. It doesn't hurt but I think in time the end of my thigh/stump will look and feel like my elbow bone.
I can see and feel now that there wasn't much muscle left to rap around the stump because when I tense it, nothing much moves.
But I have get feeling back, and as you can see from the picture the deep ridge that ran around the edge of the scarred area has now flattened out, and I think with time they will fade and go silvery.
The only pain I get now is on the very end of my stump if I walk too long, and I get a blood bruise on the tip. This is just due to a poor fitting prosthetic leg, and when I finally get my new one this should stop.

Also I forgot to take a picture of my foot last year so here it is.






I have lost the tops of the last two toes, and the third toe is bent over.
This is the one I am having the top amputated.The line you see next to it is where they had to cut into the toes, because when the truck ran over the foot it crushed it pushing the 4th toes bones into the 3rd toe. So they had to cut it open, pull out the bits then put them back and stitch it back up.
They appear to have stitched a bit too high but at the time my foot was in a right mess so I will let them off for that.

Also the scar on top of my foot was where the skin was ripped off right to the bone.
There was also a deep hole but this has flattened and faded over a year.
The only other annoying thing is when the truck ran over my foot it flattened it making my foot more broader than before. (I now have a hobbit foot!) I went from a size 3 or 4 to a size 5/6, and I still cant wear any hard leather foot wear as it rubs on that scar.
In time however I will probably be able to wear my Doc Martins again. But as for my size 3 New Rocks I just don't have the heart to give them away. I always used to wear them you see, so I might hang on to them and see how my foot heals.

I hope things are going okay for you, and I will update you with picks of my foot after its operation on 13th November.


                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

A Few More Operations


13.09.13


Hi all
 
Well today i decided to go private to have my middle toe on the right foot. (the real one) :)
cut short. I had been waiting on the NHS list for over 4 months, and had put up with the pain
for long enough.  Private is expensive but at least i now have a date (20th September) and its one operation over and done with.
 
The creepy thing is i was late to the private appointment because my train had to make a detour as, i later found out someone had fallen on to the tracks, had their leg cut off and died.
 
This just reinforced the fact that i am so glad to be alive, and during my accident the right people were there to save me.
 
So no more doom and gloom. The final figure came in from my Ben Nevis trek and you raised 1600!! for Yorkshire Air Ambulance! Brilliant!
 
Also I've decided to make a big decision in my life and quit my job, and go back to university. I leave on 20th December, and start Uni in September 2014. I'm going to take back up my animal care, as its some thing Ive always loved doing. In the gap leading up to Uni, i hope to get all my operations done and have my new leg sorted.
 
Speaking of my new leg that had to be sent back and recast for the 3rd time, as my cone shaped stump just kept slipping out. They are trying different liners, and i will let them try again.
But if it doesn't work this time then I'm going to go private to a company called PACE.
 
So I'm really nervous so much is happening now, my toe op, my future carpel tunnel op. Looking for a new bungalow, finishing my job and starting uni!.
 
 

Saturday, 27 July 2013

The Hobbit took on the Mountain



22.7.13

 
Hi all

Well on 20th July 2013 I attempted to climb Ben Nevis. Unfortunately I only got half way
(2.5 miles) It was in 30 degree heat (trust me to pick the day Scotland has a heat wave!).
It took me 6 hours to get to the half way point, walking (and sometimes being carried) over very rocky roads. I was convinced to turn back as it would have taken us another 6 hours to get to the top and by then we would be coming down in the dark, and we were not equipped for a night walk. Plus out water was running out.

It was very hard going but I am proud that I did it and got as far as I did.
My friends helped me back down, and the next day there wasn’t a part of my body that didn’t ache. The sweat had run down into my socket and pooled at the end of my stump so the next day the skin had rubbed off and it was now raw and pain full. Lucky I took my chair!
 
I just want to thank everyone that supported me, we raised over a Thousand pounds for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance!!! and I hope that I have inspired you to set your own goals, and remember NEVER GIVE UP!


At the start.
From Left Dave, Andy, Martin (orange man), Cliff, Cassie, Me, Gary






video

 

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

No Leg Yet!


17.7.13

Hi all, I went for another fitting on 9th July to sort out the problem with the release button. It kept being pressed by either me crossing my legs or wearing tight jeans, and then my leg would slip off. Which is so embarrassing you’re your getting out of a taxi!

So when I get to the clinic the Prosthatist tried shaving the button flat so it wouldn’t catch, but then is kept slipping off and the suction wasn’t working properly. The Prosthatist was surprised, and suggested measuring me again.

He found out my stump had gone down another 1cm. It doesn’t seem a lot but that 1cm made me slip further into the new socket and the seal couldn’t stick to the edges because of this small gap.

He asked me to try push into it and put a little cloth sock around the end to try and help with the seal.

I could walk up and down but as soon as I sat down I could feel it slipping off.

He suggested I would need yet another cast, I was really upset because this would be the 3rd socket I have had made.

I asked if we should wait 3-6 months to see if I shrink even further, but he said I don’t have much more skin left on the end to go down any more so booked me in for another re-measure and casting.

The next day at home I noticed the end of my stump was badly bruised, it must have been from trying to walk on the bad fitting limb and because of the high level of pain killers im on I didn’t notice it hurting.

So I’m back on my old leg with two wool sock liners.

Looks like I will be doing my trek in my old leg, it’s going to be like doing a trek with a full leg cast on, but if I do it slowly and take my time I hopefully should ok!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

For Charity & for you


22.6.13

On 20th July 2013 i will be trekking (granny shuffling) up Ben Nevis on behalf of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, just like i promised a year ago.

Even though my 3rd toe is still twisted and painful, and my stump end is becoming thinner, and i have to keep an eye on that for internal bruising. (if this happens i have to have more of my leg cut back!)  I am still going to do this, mainly for you to show you if you put your mind to it you can do anything!

I know you might think i am crazy and it's only been a year, and i still don't have my new flexible leg yet, but i am going to do it. It's going to be very slow, and i will have my two walking sticks with me.  But i also have many friends who are coming to support me.
(so they can carry me back down!)

If you want to sponsor me then please follow the instructions on the poster below. Or why not join me! either way i will be at the top of that mountain (probably high on pain killers) but i will be there, wish me luck, and NEVER GIVE UP!! XXX

Still Legless


27.5.13



Hi all

I am still waiting for my new leg but here's a picture of it.
It has a tilting ankle and a hydrolic calf muscle, so once i get used to it should
give a normal walking gate.

I'm still waiting for the bum seat part to be tweaked as its too far into my groin area.

I will also have to go to Physio again to learn how to walk on it.
It weighs a stone, and it feels like your dragging such a weight around my back really ached only after a few steps.

But as with my current leg i will get used to it, and in time get used to the weight. I thought my current leg was heavy when i first started wearing it, now i know its too light.

I am also having another operation on my 3rd toe this time.
I will be having the top bone taken out and the nail bed, and then
folded over, just like the 4th toe.
I have tried to live with it broken but its causing me too much pain, so its for the best.

This is going to happen August, so back in the wheelchair for a while, but as least i will get meals in bed from mum!. Maybe i should by a little bell for my side table!

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The day that changed my life forever (Take 2)


30.4.13


Hi all

Well it's hard to believe a year has already gone by since my accident. I had booked today off work because even though i was getting a lift in it would mean i would be going down that same road at the same time and that would be too weird.
I thought i would be more emotional, but it arrived like any other day and turned out to be a nice day off work.

I think what helped was that i was back on my old leg and had fully recovered from previous operations, so was able to get around and not on a downer.
I still haven't met up with friends yet, and I'm finding that i am becoming more and more Agoraphobic, and can't wait to get back into the house.

I know why this is, it's because as i am plodding along at granny speed with my two sticks i feel like people are looking at me. I know they are not thinking anything nasty, and i have met loads of nice helpful people. It's just something i would have done, and gone poor girl, and maybe that's what gets me the most that people are feeling sorry for me.
We i will keep putting one foot in front of the other, until i get my new leg. Then i won't have to look down as much. Ho, and another frustration i have found out is since i only have one speed now and that's plod. If there's a bus in your bus bay, you can't run for it, you have to slowly shuffle towards it giving it the evils not to move.

Anyway keep plodding on.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Back on my feet again

07.04.13


Hi all

This has been the first week i have been able to wear my false leg in over two months.
It was quite a scare when i went to have the operation to look at the small weeping hole at the back of my stump, which i thought was another piece of road. only to find out it was a burst cyst!  I was thankful that they had found it and managed to clear it out, but was also worried that there may be others. It took over a month to heal, and i couldn't move because i would split the stitches, which i did at one point.

Then i had that nasty fall badly bruising the end of my stump, which at the time was agony. that added another month onto my recovery time.
I was then able to put my leg on again, and it was like going back to square one.
i was a bit unsteady, and still a bit tender. but as the days went on i found that sores that were there before inside had now gone, and realised it must have been the cyst that was causing me discomfort all this time.

I went to see a specialist and they told me that with my type of injury (a de-glove, and folded over skin graft) it was prone to cysts. This horrified me because i didn't want to be getting better only to be knocked back to square one again months later.
But as we both know us amputees take each day at a time, and today i have no pain when i walk. Appart from the usually Chinese burn feeling when i first stand up and start to walk. (that's just down to my rubber liner gripping my scar tissue and moving it up and down when i walk.)

I also went to PACE for a review and they were very thorough and really informative. i met an above knee amputee who sang their praises, and even though he was 4 years down the line i watched him walk around with a simple leg without sticks!.
So if you can afford to go private i would highly recommend them. Once my claim has finished i will definitely be using them.

I'm still living at my parents, but the evaluator has been to do a report on my old house stating to the other side why i can't live there any more. I really want my own space again now.

I should be getting the final version of my new leg in 2 weeks so will let you know how that feels. PACE advised me to get a completely different type so i will have to see what my Prosthatists at Seacroft has to say.

I'm feeling a lot more positive now i have my leg back on.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Two steps forward three steps back

12.03.13


After having another operation on the back of my stump to remove a burst cyst, i was bed ridden for 7 days. Unable to move my thigh even slightly because it would split my stitches. I found this out the hard way, by doing too much 2 days after my operation and the back of my leg was running with blood.
So after a weeks forced rest, with my mum running around for me, i finally got the confidence to start hopping around on my crutches. Bad mistake.
On Saturday my mum had mopped the bathroom floor and i went straight in unaware, to use the loo. Suddenly my crutches slid away from me and i fell to my left, and instinctively put out my leg to stop my fall. Unfortunately, its my left leg i had lost, and slammed right down on to the end of my stump, onto the hard floor.
I cried out in pain, and all i could do was hold my stump curled up in a ball on the floor rocking for at least ten minutes. Straight away my mum ran to my aid and was hugging me,as through gritted teeth i waited foe the pain to go.
For those of you who haven't had the misfortune of banging your stump, it feels like some one has hit your funny bone with a hammer, then when you think the pain has subsided enough to move it, someone hits you again.
It is now Tuesday and i have black bruising on the tip of my bone/skin, and it still throbs, my stitches remained in tacked but i think i have an infection, so i have an appointment with the hospital tomorrow to get checked out. I hope i haven't chipped anything, and i just need a few antibiotics.
The other frustrating thing is my new leg has had to go back to get tweaked, and because of the tender stump and still weeping wound, i cant wear my old leg, so i am back in my chair. Feels like I've gone back to square one. Ho, and to top off a crappy week i now have hives, thank you god!!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Another Operation


27.2.13
 
 
I have been having a problem since last November with a small leaking sore at the back of my leg. I knew it was another piece of debris working its way to the surface but it was starting to interfere with my prosthetic. I couldn't wear it for long periods because it felt like it was pushing on something. So I went on the list for an operation and had it today.
 
It was under local anaesthetic, at my requested as I didn’t want another adventure in wonderland. He injected me 5 times, and each really hurt.
 
He had to dig deep, saying he was following a hole, and then told me he had found a burst cyst. The debris was tiny and had made the hole, but it was the cyst that was causing the pain and leakage. After an hour of cutting, poking and stitching I was all wrapped up and sent off home.
 
Apparently I was lucky that little bit of grit was there because the burst cyst would have continued to leak inside my stump causing massive infection, and god knows what else.
So hopefully within the next 4 weeks I will be able to get back on my prosthetic again.
 
Also my surgeon passed me photographs of my leg before it was amputated, these were in a brown envelope and were for my Solicitors case. I didn't have to look at them, just post them on. But curiosity got the better of me, and it looked like a prop from a horror movie.
 
I won’t post the pictures here that would be too much for you. Let's just say even though I remember everything in detail, looking at those photos was very strange. It was like I was looking at someone else’s leg, I was more fascinated by the damage, and it made me understand better why it had to be cut back.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Dark nights of winter


Hi

Sorry i haven't posted for a while, I've been having more bad days than good of late.
I promised myself that i would be honest with you on this blog and tell you how it really is when you become an amputee.
You have to put a brave face on for family and friends and along with the medication it can be very tiring.

You don't really know much about my background, but i have been a fighter from the moment i was born.
i was born breach and too late to turn came out arse first and blue, i had to be put in an oxygen tank for my first few hours of life.

Then at one year old there was an accident and i got scolded with boiling water badly burning my chest, the scars of which i still have today.

I was also diagnosed with a squint and had to wear a patch during my infant years, which i thought was cool as i looked like a pirate, then came the NHS specs.

Then when i was a teenager i slipped off a canal wall and landed on my feet cracking both the balls of my ankles. My mum took me to the G.P and he said i had sprained them and encouraged her to get me to walk on them!...after a week of pushing myself around on my skate board i was taken to hospital and put in casts for 6 weeks.

Then when i was in my twenty's i became very ill, vomiting, couldn't keep food down got miss diagnosed for 3 years as a stomach bug, when all it took was one blood test and i was diagnosed with Heli-Bacta polori (a nasty bug that hides under your stomach acids) it took two lots of anti-biotics to clear it up but by then i had ruined my stomach/bowels and got IBS and lactose intolerance. Over the years I've slowly built back up the things i could eat, but still can't have ice cream yet.

Then on my 30th year i broke up with my long term partner (12 years) turns out he'd been seeing someone else for the last 3 years. So kicked him out, and two years later i lost my leg. (Just call me Lucky!!)

But through all that i have kept going, if i wanted to i could dwell on how crappy life has been to me but i have had so many good memories, and my dogs to keep me sane.

The only things that have been getting to me at the moment is that I'm stuck at my parents house (back after 7 years away is hell, as you can imagine) until my old house is done up to rent out then I'm going to move into a bungalow.  It keeps snowing so I'm trapped inside, and I've started to put on weight because I'm not cycling to work. (eating junk food isn't helping). Also I've missed a year of socialising, I've kept in touch with friends on face book and i could get back into things if i wanted, but a part of me doesn't want to and i find that i don't like being around people too long. I know once i get my limb sorted and summer comes i will be out again it's just these dark months get you down.

In February I'm due my next leg which has hydraulics and a tilting ankle so i will post picks and tell you how that goes. x

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year New Leg


4.01.13


Happy New Year!


It was a quiet Christmas and New Year and i had to stay in with the parents as i can't drink at the moment partly because of the medication i am on which makes you dizzy and also i need to concentrate on balance even more so when drunk.
 
I am now at the stage where i am ready for the next leg! Today i have had a plaster cast of my stump so that a new top mold can be done. I am then going to get a new rubber lining with a suction part that holds the bottom metal leg on.
Once i have got used to this new leg and it is comfortable then they have talked about new knees and an ankle joint, which I'm really excited about!. They said it will take 2 weeks for the new mold to be done. As soon as i get the new leg i will post photos and tell you how i get on.
 
Also i did go to see a Physiologist and I'm still stubborn in the fact that i think i know myself well enough to get through most things. But it is nice to talk to a stranger about your feelings and to get honest feed back. It may not work for you, I'm seeing how i go and if i really need to talk to someone then i know they are there.