It’s like Russian Roulette

I seemed to have been waiting for yesterday to arrive for ages, in the morning I was off to see the Plastic Surgeon for the first time. 45 minutes late the registrar eventually came in to see me, he was a really nice guy so all is forgiven. It started off same old, same old, with basic history and some prodding and poking of the stump. The MRI showed friction and a nerve growth but the nerve is not giving me any problem. The cause of the pain and issues I’m having is that the soft tissue is moving to freely over the end of the bone. After identifying and clarifying the problem he wanted to get the consultant as he felt this was a slightly complex issue.

He came back with the Consultant who again was a very nice guy. After a brief chat and more prodding and poking he said that he didn’t really know what to do. He told me he didn’t really want to make the bone any shorter as it is a good length, and he didn’t really want to do liposuction to thin the stump as that could just move the pressure point to a different place. He told me the only option he felt available was to open it up again, indicating that the incision will be bigger than before, pull it back and roughen the end of the bone, in the hope that the tissue will stick itself too it and reduce the movement. They have no idea if it will work and they can’t think of anything else to do. I felt pretty pants at this point, as I’m sure you can imagine. I took a moment to think, do I put myself through more major surgery just on the off chance that this ‘could try’ idea will work. I said that had the pain and issues not been gradually getting worse and more frequent then I probably would not have gone through with it. As it stands I agreed to the surgery because at the end of the day I have nothing to loose. Government guidelines are about eleven weeks so we are looking at roughly the end of February for the operation, I told them I’m prepared too be contacted at short notice. I was sent round to photography where they took about 11 or 12 photos of the stump from different angles, standing and sitting, before we went home. The Admission sheet I had to hand into reception had ‘2+ Physicians from the same department’ to do the procedure ticked, I’m guessing by that it’s not going to be as simple as it sounds.

Having the Rehabilitation registrar telling you there is no guarantee that it will work is one thing, there is no guarantee with any surgery and they like to cover their backside. Having the Consultant that is doing the surgery say that he doesn’t know what to do, we could try this but there is no guarantee, is a completely different story. This is pretty major, this could be the difference between me walking again or staying in a wheelchair and it could be some time after the surgery before we know if it works or not. This is especially true as the condition has deteriorated over time and use. I was going to write this post yesterday but I didn’t really know how I felt and thought a night’s sleep would help, it didn’t and I still don’t really know how I feel. The only thing I can say is that I am more apprehensive and have a completely different feeling about this operation than any of the others I have had in the past. After the Consultant left the registrar did say that he felt it was worth the gamble to go through with the surgery. I asked him if this was a common thing for amputees. He told me that he had seen a few operations where they have had the nerve growth, had to locate it and remove it but not really any with the issue I have. I’m positive it’s not that isolated though and sure other amputees must have experienced this. I’m not that confident about it but I suppose I will know one way or another if I will be able to use a prosthetic leg again or not. It wasn’t what I was expecting or prepared for really and the thought of going through all that again is depressing, lets just hope it’s not all for nothing.

Russian Roulette

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