Seven Weeks Post-Amputation
The time has flown by! It’s strange to think that only 7 weeks ago, I was in agonising pain but looking forward to a new start with a new prosthetic leg. As I start my 6th week of physical rehabilitation, I can’t help but reflect on the previous weeks and share my excitement for the months and years to come.
The first few days after my amputation were pure bliss! As I still had lots of anaesthetic in my system, my pain levels had gone from 10/10 to 0. Even from day 1, I knew I had made the right decision. On day 2, I started to get up and start the physio exercises and learning how to walk on crutches, given my balance difference. On day 3, I was discharged from the hospital and went home to continue my rehabilitation before going to an amputation-specific inpatient facility. I had agreed with the rehab team that I would be an inpatient to ensure that I recovered and was up on a prosthetic as quick as possible.
After a few days at home, I was admitted into Roehampton just 10 days after my amputation. Unfortunately, my recovery didn’t go as smoothly as I’d have hoped as I caught an infection in my stump had had a 5cm deep wound that had to be dressed every day. Having said that, I could still do my physio and balance exercises as well as attend the gym. After a few weeks in hospital, the physiotherapists were saying how impressed they were at my balance and fitness levels. Once my wound had further healed, I was allowed to go on the PPAM aid- a kind of inflatable device that allows you to get used to walking again, as well as healing and shrinking the stump. After a week-or-so on the PPAM aid, I was finally casted for my prosthetic leg!
My first prosthetic really wasn’t what I expected. It was very light, very tight and really quite uncomfortable. The walking, at first, seemed very robotic but I soon got the hang of it. It took me about a day to learn how to use my knee again, given the device I was using before my amputation. However, despite my prosthetist being fantastic, my socket was very uncomfortable and my stump had done something that nobody could expect – it had grown! The doctors and physiotherapists think that my stump had grown as I was now using muscles that hadn’t been used in many years. Nevertheless, I was casted again for my second prosthetic, after only having my first for a few days.
I am now mid-way through my sixth week at Roehampton. Although the doctors had anticipated that I would be there 4-6 weeks, it’s clear that I will be here for at least 7. I only received my second prosthetic leg today but I can already see a huge difference. Walking is so much easier and more comfortable. Given my new leg, I can really see myself running and training with two legs – a feeling that I never thought would be possible. I am really excited about the future on my prosthetic and I can’t wait to share it with you as I go through this journey.