It's definitely been a while. Some of you may or may not know but I had my right leg amputated below the knee on August 2nd due to synovial sarcoma in my right ankle. If you want more info go here: http://www.synovialsarcomasurvivors.org/forum/topics/final-decisions-urgent
Hopefully if there is anyone out there considering amputation this update will be helpful to you, I'll share some tips:
Here I am now 2 months later and to be honest I can confidently say that despite the impact the amputation has had on my life as a whole, I still feel like me. It wasn't a traumatic experience like I thought it was going to be. Being only 14 years old and just entered into highschool it definitely has made me a bit more socially awkward, and to be honest I despise sitting in a wheelchair the majority of the time I am at school, but I know that soon enough I'll be up on my feet again. I was strangely zen the day of my surgery, up until the moment when they were putting me to sleep. I remember crying, a lot. This experience has been terrifying for me, no doubt of that. But I want anyone out there who is afraid of amputation to know that it's okay to feel this way. You don't have to be a tough person. But you do have to be a strong person. And if you don't think you're strong, trust me. You are. Everyone is. We just never realize it until it's the only choice we have. The first few weeks after my amputation was brutal, not going to lie. The phantom pains were very intense and I definitely didn't feel like myself. I had a few pretty bad falls in the beginning, which really sucked, but nothing that I had to recover from. Thankfully the phantom pains toned down after about a month and I was able to start school on time. Now I feel great. I feel normal in my own skin. I barely notice my leg to be honest. I do have phantom limb sensations, and I still have the phantom pains, but definitely not as intense as before. I was on Gabapentin for my phantom pains, and it made a pretty good difference. Now I don't take anything. Trust me, life goes back to normal sooner than you think. Of course it's different than before, but not as drastically as you think. Unfortunately my school is not accessible whatsoever for wheelchairs so I am limited to staying on the main floor for my classes and such. I feel very self concious at school and can't wait to get out of my chair and on my feet, but being patient is difficult. Good news is I should be getting fitted this month! Unfortunately my wound did get infected, and so a small section of it is still not fully healed, but I don't know how that will affect my fitting. I use a walker to get around at home, and a wheelchair almost everywhere else. A very important tip I have to any new amputees out there is don't push yourself too far out of your comfort zone. Don't feel the need to walk with crutches if you feel more stable on a walker. Do whatever you feel safe and comfortable doing. What I'm worried about the most is putting on extra weight. Not having much physical activity has definitely taken a toll on me, and I don't want my weight to be an extra issue when it comes to walking with my prosthesis. Please, if anyone has any tips on how to maintain a healthy weight while still in the early stages of being an amputee, I would GREATLY appreciate it if you would share below. I really don't want to hurt my stump by putting all this extra strain on it, but I have no idea how to exercise in this state. I would really appreciate any tips or advice any amputees out there have, and if anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to share! I would like to thank all the other survivors out there who have helped me come to my decision and prepared me for my surgery. I couldn't have done it without this amazing community!