Daily Archives: February 7, 2017

First Post and Recovery After Amputation …

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This video is how I stay motivated

So.. I decided to start this new blog due to an unfortunate life event…

After the amputation, you are faced with emotions that may send you mind in many directions. You must understand that these emotions are real. You body has changed and you must deal with these changes. The most important thing right now is a strong support system. You need the guidance of someone that has been through this process and has come out of it a stronger person.

An amputee who has successfully navigated the pitfalls is the most qualified to give you the guidance you need. Find this person and you are well on your way to recovery. Most amputees have a unique story and have dealt with the amputation in different ways. The main thing is for the new amputee is to return too as normal a life as possible. What is normal? By normal I mean that you are back to normal daily activities. This first thing you will encounter is the pity of your family. You family means well, but they are in no way qualified to really help you through that emotional ride you are on. They try to tell you that everything will be ok. They really do not have a clue.

The amputee you find for help has been there and accomplished what you see as the impossible. He has been on the ride, and knows the pitfalls and rewards of a successful recovery. Not every amputee will recover at the same rate, however, if you are still in the bed after two months, you really need help. The only exception is a medical reason. My organization has the goal for the amputee to be fitted with a temporary prosthetic device before he wakes form the surgery. This helps the amputee in the first stage of recovery by easing the trauma of the loss. Although this is not always medically possible, it is a big help. Just the thought of something replacing the lost limb is emotional uplifting.

As you heal and are fitted for your first prosthetic device, you will find that the residual limb has sensations your body is not recognizing. This is a normal response and you must not let these feelings stop you. You will experience pain. You must be able to learn what this pain is caused by and how to deal with it. Most of the pain you will feel is like putting on a new pair of shoes, or doing some exercises and using some muscles you have not used in a while. The first day of those shoes or exercises, you feel some muscle pain that is not associated with a trauma. In other words, it hurts but will go away in a day or two. If you resist this pain and work on through it everything will be all right in a while. If you do not resist and quit, you will be bound to a wheelchair or bed. This is a choice thing. You must choose.

The pain you feel should not be caused by any trauma. If your residual limb becomes blistered or even real red form chafing, you should go to the person making your device, and have it adjusted. Sometimes these adjustments are required for weeks. Sometime only once will do the job. What ever it takes to get it right, must be done in order for you to resume normal function.

I have had legs that required many adjustments. That is not to say they were not good to start with, it simply means that the stump changed some between the time the leg was made and the time I put it on. Your stump is a funny thing. As your body responds to the changes of an amputation, the stump responds in many different ways. We will look more at that in the next article. Please remember the first and foremost thing in your recovery is to realize that your life really will not change very much. I know this sounds funny to you, however the truth is you will be as normal as you choose to be and will function and overcome the little things.