I feel broken

I’ve been really apprehensive about today as it was off to Addenbrooke’s Hospital to see my Rehab Consultant. After a bit of scouting we found a Disabled Parking space and there was the small miracle of me going in on time. I was in the Consultation Room on my own for a while thinking about what I was going to say/ask and what the possible outcomes could be. The Healthcare Assistant came in first and asked me how things were, I have no idea why but I just came over tearful and started to cry. I explained about the swollen ankle and that the stump was OK but still bruised and there was still movement over the bone. She asked me about my medication and I told her I was still on more than I wanted to be. I said that everything had been going so well after the amputation and now it was so pants. The Consultant came in at this point and started scanning the folder. He is a man of few words and I have trouble working him out and what he is thinking. He asked me about the medication, I told him that I was on roughly the same amount as when I came out of Hospital but less Oxynorm. I told him with no guidance I stayed as I was, I didn’t want to come off it in case I started Physio and needed to up the doses again. I thought I should see him today and what he decided was best, then work out where to go with the medication. He asked me if I was seeing anyone from the pain team, which of course I wasn’t. I told him that the Plastic Consultant had told me there was nothing further they could do but the Orthopedics may come up with something. I said that I couldn’t think of anything they could possibly do to stop the tissue moving, the Consultants face told me he agreed. The Healthcare Assistant told me to mention about the ankle, which I did while he scribbled away in his notes. He had a look at the stump and just pressed it to feel the swelling but that was all. Then he just sat there with a really hard thinking expression on his face, there was just silence.  The Healthcare Assistant asked me what I wanted, having regained my composure this question just set me off again. I said that I just wanted to be able to walk again. I said that I was worried about the bursa returning as the tissue movement was still there. Because the stump does all the process of walking it is a lot of strain, force and movement on it. I asked him if there was another leg that would take some of the effort away from the stump, like a microprocessor leg, but assumed they were not available on the NHS. Again there was this long silence and then he said that a different knee might change the way I walk but he didn’t think it would take away from the effort on the stump. They asked me if I had been out much and what I’d been doing. I told them I’d been busy doing bits at home, I’d only been out shopping with Mum and Dad and for appointments. Because of the medication I can’t drive so I don’t get out much at all. They told me this wasn’t good for me but can understand that without the use of the car independence is difficult. The Healthcare Assistant asked me if it would help to talk to someone about things but I said no. She shook her head but I told her that what ever the outcome is that’s what I have to live with, I have to accept it and move on. I told her that if that happened to be in the wheelchair then I can live with that but I just need and want to get to a pint where I know how life will be. The Consultant said there was nothing more that could be done with the stump and felt we should go for a casting and try walking as soon as possible. I said I’m OK with that but I’m scared that it’s just going to cause another bursa. I get the feeling he thinks that we should try walking again, if it does cause a bursa then we know it’s no longer an option as that will keep happening, but at least we will know. He told me that it will probably be really uncomfortable and painful but there is no point in waiting any longer for the stump to settle. I said that was OK with me so lets just get on and start the process. I asked him if he wanted me to do Physio, he told me he did but I cant help but wonder if he would have said anything about it had I not mentioned it! They didn’t know what they wanted to start first, the Physio or the casting, after the Healthcare Assistant asking my Prosthetist they still didn’t know so they will be in touch. To be honest I just couldn’t wait to get out of there. I felt blood awful, angry, upset, demoralized and certainly no better off than I was before I saw him.

I know he can’t give me a definitive answer and tell me how it will work out, whether I will be able to walk again or if I should stay in the chair but it was just this bloody nothingness again. I just don’t want to get all psyched up again, go through all the casting and fitting, work my arse off in Physio to find that it deteriorates again as it did before. At the same time if I have the choice I would obviously rather be able to walk again than spend all my time in the wheelchair. I’ve never felt like this since the amputation, in fact I don’t even think I felt this bad before the amputation! I know I was apprehensive before the surgery but it’s like the surgery has just completely affected me in a way that nothing else ever has. I can’t really explain what I mean by that but it’s not a great feeling, I feel broken somehow. I know there will be people reading this and saying that I’m just a bit run down still, it could work out well and I’ll be walking on my leg and it will be fine. I really, really hope that that is the case but when you have had problems for years and multiple surgery then you get to know your body. You know what feels good, and feels right, just as well as you know when things don’t feel right or could be an issue. There is also a problem with the Job Centre that I’m waiting for a resolve on too, related to the business I want to start. The answer will be the difference between being able to go ahead with it or not, just another issue I’m dealing with at the moment. I think maybe I just need to forget about today, get over the DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) Scan on Wednesday and then try and look at it again.

I Feel Broken

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4 Responses to “I feel broken”

  1. Big, big hugs Helen, so well written I was there with you x

  2. Hey buddy

    I know how positive you were about this meeting after your last consultation. Very sorry it didn’t live up to your hopes. Don’t want to say anything that will come across as patronising or fake. It’s just going to be tough. Maybe you will build up your hopes just for them to be shattered but you won’t know until you try. What can I say, it is shit.

    Chin up mate

    • Thanks Steve

      I know I have to try walking again as I can’t pass up the chance in case it does work. As everyone knows the difference between being able to walk and staying in a wheelchair is vast, as are the things you can do. I’m really not being defeatist here but I just have this nagging going on in my head. Knowing the movement in the stump and the movement it takes to walk it’s just got bursa or problem written all over it. I am going to give it a go though, I have to try.

      Thanks again

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