Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The decision to Amputate

March 9 2015, at the Washington County Medical Center Wound Care clinic, is a day that I will not forget any time soon. I had spoken to a couple of people that had amputations and had done a little research on amputation in general. I had been forewarned that amputation was a viable solution to the MRSA infection in my bones and that the bacteria was spreading. What I did not know yet was how serious it was. MRSA kills more people each year than AIDS in the US alone. World wide it is much, much worse. Osteomylitis MRSA has nearly a 70% mortality rate in adults 50 and above. It is an acquired disease, usually found in hospital settings. Had I known all of this before the amputation, I
probably would have moved forward with the decision much earlier.

My doctor was relieved at my decision, but for me, I was a little numb. I cannot even imagine what it was like for my family.  We got settled in and the operation took place on March 11, 2015.  Two days later I was transferred to a rehab hospital for a week.

I was able to return to work part time from the house a week later, and did that for about 2 months until I was fitted for my prosthesis.Working from home was a very good experience for me, as it gave me time to heal yet feel like someone who was contributing to life, my company and friends. Most people do not realize that this is one of the most important parts of recovery. The patient MUST feel like they are worthwhile and have a purpose in life or they will wind up losing motivation to get better. I thank my company J.B. Hunt Transportation for allowing me to work during my recovery.

 I have a Freedom Innovations Kinterra foot and a suction socket presently. I will be looking at other options later as I learn more. One of the great things about this foot is that it does give me great stability. I have had the prosthesis for about a month and a half now, and I can walk fairly normally. Since I have returned to work full time, many people don't even notice that I limp slightly. Usually only when I first stand up. All in all it is a good starter foot for my K3 and early K4 levels. Eventually I may move on to one of their more high end models. I will be writing a review on this foot in the weeks to come and I learn more about how to adjust it.

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