*Warning: Graphic content on swiping*
3 weeks ago today I took the biggest health step of my life, now I'm ok but I'm not all right 😉 (don't worry, there are puns afoot) cue the life story:
I was born with a severely clubbed foot which led to multiple surgeries and a fabulous friendship with anaesthesia. At the age of 17 I inquired about an amputation and was told "we don't amputate health tissue". I was then referred off to a new surgeon in Dublin.
This surgeon gave me a surgical option of an Illizarov frame. This was 4kg of metal scaffolding (lovingly named Norbert) attached through the bones of my foot and leg that I lugged around for 9 months, while mm by mm adjusting the angle of my foot.
When Norbert was finally taken off I was left with a foot thats function closely resembled that of a brick. I ended up giving up sports. Most nights I went to bed with an ankle so swollen my calf looked like it just turned into a foot. It was nothing but pain and suffering for 6 years. Pushing through the pain and immobility to try to keep as active as possible (I'll admit that the 20km hike through Mount Doom was not wise). When I finally got back to the surgeon I was asking for anything that would give me as much functionality as possible. I leave her clinic with 4 options and the contact details of 3 surgeons who can give second opinions. My options where:
Fuse the joints
Go back in the frame
When I told the surgeons what I was originally told about amputation I got "This is not healthy tissue. You cannot function with it and the joints are arthritic." So with that in mind I gladly went forward with the amputation.
While seeing a psychologist is not required for amputation, I went to get as mentally prepared as possible. I spent several months doing mental exercises where I imagined myself without the foot, as well as other exercises. I firmly believe that by being as psychologically prepared for the surgery as I was is what helped me end up with minimum phantom limb pain. I am ready and rearing to take on the world now
#amputee #amputation #worldmentalhealthday #amputeegirl #amputeelife #irish #readyandable #sharksuittester