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Voluntary Amputation

my story is a bit out of the norm. for 11 years i have been suffering from excruciatingly painful ulcers on my left leg. it started when on nov. 5th 2000, i woke up with a dvt. there was no injury so blood tests were done and it was discovered that i had a factor V leiden mutation. i was prone to clot. things went down hill and ulcers formed quickly. i had my first surgery in january 2001. as the years passed i had more surgeries but they did not help. despite doctors telling me i needed to go on disability i continued working. i needed to take care of my wife, who was already on ssd. i worked for 8 years in unbelievable pain. i had started asking for an amputation because every surgery gave me a small amount of relief at first, but, then the ulcers got worse and so did the pain. finally, one of my doctors said that i was done. he would not let me back to work. he said if i continued, i would lose my leg??? ironic, since thats what i had been asking several (9) doctors for. on march 9th 2009. i went on disibility for good. newyork state social security disability is notorious for turning down deserving people and forcing them to appeal and hire a lawyer. i was surprised to get a quick answer without ever setting foot inside an office. i was approved and after collecting the 6 months of required nys disability, i received my first check in oct. of 2009. all this is important to my story. as i said earlier, my wife was already on disability. we went from doing ok with great credit to bankruptcy. we had to walk away from our house in sept. 2011 and moved into her deceased parents house which was payed off. my wifes health insurance changed and medication that she had been taking for years started costing $500 per month. medication that she needed for depression and anxiety. who can afford that? on jan.11th 2012, my sweet wife commited suicide. i could not stay in the house that she died in any longer. i moved in with my 77 year old father while waiting for my name to come up on a disabled apartment list. over the last 11 years i have gone thru 20 surgeries on my leg. on june 1st 2012 the doctors finally amputated. it was number 21. i convinced one doctor to finally do it. my life had become laying on a bed and crying in pain. i couldn't even walk my dog anymore. while i wait to heal enough for my prosthetic leg, my step son takes care of my dog. she is the one thing that helped me thru the initial shock and grief of my wifes death. i'm back to laying on a bed again but this time it's to heal. my pain is gone and believe it or not, i don't have any phantom pain or sensations whatsoever. i had a temporary setback when i fell in the hospital during pt. i busted open a few stitches and it will take a little longer to heal. i have a question for anyone who may have an answer. how long from amputation to prosthetic? it is a btk amputation. i lost my job, my wife, my home and my leg. one thing i have always said when things get me down is "you gotta be alive to complain". hang in there.
DMD
donaldmyduck donaldmyduck 46-50 8 Responses Jun 23, 2012

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it's been a while since i've been here. thank you all for your comments. i am now wearing my second leg. i use a cane most of the time as i get tired out if i don't. i have my dog again. i can't walk her the way i used to, so i take her to a nearby dog park everyday. one thing i used to do that i missed was deer hunting. i am doing that again. my cousin gets me in the woods with a four wheeler and i get set up. when finished, i get out the same way. the uneven ground gives me a little trouble. i just got back from visiting my brother and his family in arizona. it was a nice distraction as i am still grieving the loss of my wife. with the holidays coming, it gets tough.

Man, thats tough

Your story breaks my heart,my situation doesn't seem so bad anymore,hang in there,things will get better and as you said "you have to be alive to complain".

i lost my lower left leg last xmas and it was 5 months till i got my false one now im walking again so sorry on your loss and feel for you things will get better as time goes by i have no one to tell things too im on my own steve

I too asked for my leg to be ampuauted..it actually is NOT as uncommon as you think. i am a very different case but my answer to your question is this..I was only in the hospital for 5 days after my above knee ampuation, done with pt and ready to go home because I was getting along just fine. I was in my C-leg after only 5 short months, I skipped the temp temp. again because I was ready for it. I debated back and forth about 6 years as to have my leg amputated so once i decided to do it I was mentally and physically ready. However I do believe it takes most (if you are above knee) to get their first leg in about 8 months then another year before you get your permanant leg. I wish you the best but also remeber that you are the only one that can get there faster! It has been only a little over a year and I do everything!! i have been on 9 little vacations this summer alone! Everything I wasn;t able to do before I now emvrace and enjoy every second of it!!

It was four months after amputation for me, but everyone is differerent. I also had factor V, but my amputation was a last ditch attempt to save my life, which probably slowed the process down. It feels like everything will take forever when waiting for wounds to heal and a fitting, but when you get there, its a fantastic feeling to walk again. DMD, you've been through a lot, but youre at the final straight now, so keep being strong and you'll be out with your dog in no time... she'll put you through your paces ;)

Here I sit in awe of your strength of character. I am sorry you have fought through factor V for so long with such painful and dire consequences. My dad, sister and I all have factor V. My sister recently has been fighting a blood clot in her lower leg from this. While about two years ago my father was found to have blood clots from his crotch to his knees in both legs, this from sitting at a computer all day at home! I have been the lucky one in the family since my sister's bloodwork caused my dad and me to have the same type and prevent future problems.<br />
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You are a strong individual. Stay strong. Good luck!

DMD.. time from amputation to prosthetic is different for every one there is no set time fr<x>ame. You will first have to heal and start shaping your stump. That usually won't start until all stitches are removed. Then you will be seen by a prosthesitist (?sp) for me it was a week shy of 2 months. Fore a lady I was in hospital with it was 3 months both bkas. Our physio said due to our reasons for the amputation was the reason. Hers was very much like you. Mine was due to chronic deformity and pain of the foot.<br />
Like you I did not suffer much phantom limb pain just a few electric shocks type pains up into the stump area. That wasn't until about 3 weeks post op. I am almost 3 months post op and I have almost no phantom pain now and am slowly learning to walk on my prosthesis. <br />
I hope this has helped somewhat. Feel free to message me.<br />
AM