It’s only been a month!

Although I met a couple of amputees before my surgery I had not met any that had recently had their surgery done, which meant I have had nothing to gauge my progress with. Yesterday was the 10th December and a full month since I had my surgery.  Part of me can’t believe it has gone by that quickly and another part of me feels like I have been out of hospital for ages let alone having the surgery done. I can remember the first thing that everyone kept saying to me was how big the stump was and that most of them had never seen a stump that big before. Apart from feeling like a freak my main concern was that it reduced to what was a more normal, whatever that was, size. Pain wise the day after surgery was just unbelievable, after 13 operations I had never felt anything like this. From day one though I was determined to try and work hard and through the pain to make sure I gave myself the best chance of a good recovery. I knew that if I let the pain dictate what I did then I could end up in hospital for longer than needed and the recovery would be slow, probably not as effective and could even be detrimental to me. The pain specialist was excellent though and she helped me get to a point where the pain was controlled so I could do as much as I was advised to by the physios. Every single person in the whole chain of my healthcare from the moment I went in, to the moment I came out was amazing and did the best they could for me. I owed it to them to do the best I could to help myself and I would like to think I have done that.

The fast referrals to Addenbrooke’s that took place while I was still in Hinchingbrooke (thank you to my Consultant, the Physio and Jan) ensured that there was no break in my rehabilitation. I think this has been a major part in how well I have progressed and it is great to be able to go to amputee specific physio sessions. The biggest thing that was stopping me from doing anything to start with was cramp and spasm, which thankfully I no longer get. Over the past two weeks I have found that I have been pulling the muscle at the front of the stump too easily and this is something I will talk to the physio about tomorrow. I believe my phantom pain is mainly due to the electrical signals from things like the mobile phone, laptop, PC, TV etc. etc. and I think the sock I might be getting on Tuesday will help to prove this. I am coming off the medication well and am hoping to be in a position to drive again in the new year as I am not really getting any pain in the stump itself now (rubs hands together in an excited fashion). So Tuesday will be a big day and the day I get my first leg which is quite incredible. If someone had said to me, while I was sitting there waiting to go for surgery, that in a months time I would be getting my first leg there would have been no way that I would have believed them, and yet I am. On reflection the past month has had a few lows (falling over was probably the biggest), a lot of pain, a few achievements, lots of hard work, goals set and conquered, some new ones written and some friendships made. I think I have changed as a person and even though life like this is hard work I feel that I actually have a life again. Feedback from everyone who has seen me since the surgery has made positive comments so they must see it too.

Wow all that in one month, not bad eh.

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