I Will Survive

How I coped with losing my leg due to a car accident

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2. COPING AFTER THE HOSPITAL

After coming out of Hospital I went to live with my brother and sister-in- law. I found it very lonely and quiet and mostly difficult to do things for myself, then on February 23 I went to Exeter Limb Fitters to be measured up for my new limb. In March I thought I would do some voluntary work, so I went to the DIAL office at the Albemarle Assembly Rooms and had a look at the set up. I was impressed. So I started to do some voluntary work on the computer and some written work for the Information A to Z, which goes on the computer in order to keep it up to date. I went to Exeter Limb Fitters for my leg to be fitted. When I tried it on and took my first few steps I must say it was a relief as I walked those few steps. Two weeks later they sent me the leg by post. I put it on and used my crutches and I felt great but a bit uncomfortable. By evening I took my leg off and my limb was covered in blood. I washed it off but my stump was painful so I had the day nurse in to put dressings on it. He told me not to wear the leg at all, as the limb rubbing against the stump was what had caused it to bleed. I went to Musgrove Park Hospital for Physiotherapy and after a while my stump got better; I went back to Exeter and they altered the leg, but when I put it on the same thing happened again. In August I moved in to my flat and by using my wheelchair I could cook and clean. At the end of the month I saw the consultant, and he told me that I needed another operation on my stump. He said that I had got to have a further inch removed from my stump. In September I went into Musgrove Park Hospital and had the operation, which went well, but my stump was sore for a few days. I was bed-bound for a week and I was in Hospital for two weeks.

 

Jan 1988 I went for physiotherapy and rehabilitation to get me walking. The first two weeks I used my crutches I found it very tiring, but I felt a lot better when my stump still appeared healthy when I took my leg off. By February I was on walking sticks and I was on them for two weeks, then for a further two weeks I was on one stick. By March I was walking with out sticks. From April 1988 to now I still suffer with bad blisters and pressure points on my stump, with standing up or walking long distances, and it can be very frustrating and very painful. Also when I need to change to different shoes, I have to go back to Exeter Limb Fitters, because each shoe has to be adapted to fit the artificial foot, otherwise you end up wearing odd shoes. I still get phantom pains and a feeling of an itch on my nerve endings as if my toes are itchy, but I can’t scratch it. Unfortunately, I will always have this for the rest of my life.  

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