I remember the first hours after I lost my limb. I was lying in my bed and I admit I was frightened. I mean, to be honest, I was scared to death!
There I was looking at a leg that was no longer there. I don’t know if it was a form of shock or just disgust that my life had taken a turn this way. I had been taking great care of myself. I was eating all vegetarian and exercising. I was really doing well until one day I started to feel bad. I started to have chills and fevers and it got worse and worse. But I could not see anything wrong with me. I thought I was coming down with the flue.
Boy, I was wrong…
I was going septic with a flesh-eating bacterium in my left foot. This led me to lose my left leg below the knee.
So, I understand what you are going through with your limb loss. You feel devastated and damaged. You might feel lost and confused. This is normal.
Losing a limb is a real struggle and shock to your life. The key to overcoming is facing your situation head on developing a game plan. A defined plan to handle your life along with your emotions you are experiencing. I know this may sound easier said than done.
And you would be right. Overcoming limb loss will take a lot of hard work. A lot of gut checking and mental checks along the way with physical fortitude and a strong mindset. For me, it was one of the hardest things I never had to go through. The struggle for me is still real today. The vulnerability I feel at times and the constant awareness of obstacles that could make me fall or damage myself are always there.
Getting a gamelan on everything from how to get yourself dressed, moving around your house, going home and even going to the bathroom is now a major necessity. As an amputee, you have to plan. You have to organize your life to make things smoother so you can live a prosperous life.
I see your wheels turning…
How do I do that you ask?
Make a plan of attack.
Let’s dive in…
Going Home Plan-Write out how you will get in and out of your home each day. Strategize ways to move around your home safely. Talk to your family and hospital social worker to learn how to plan the best route and ways you will have when you go home. Having safe access to the entrance of your home along with the ability to leave your home safely is very important.
Home Preparation– Prepare your home by taking precautions to ensure safe mobility in and out. You want to make sure you have ways to go to the bathroom and move around your house. You can install items such as:
- Grab Bars
- Wheelchair Ramps
- Shower/bath rails
- Shower seats
- Shower hoses
HOME PLAN Prep– You want to make sure if you use crutches or a wheelchair that you can get around safely in your home. You can make sure in your home that you examine or remove:
- Loose rugs
- Loose Wires or extension cords
Taking the time now, as you are resting, to plan to go home and define your plan to deal with the loss emotionally is the most important aspect as this stage for you. Use this time wisely and allow yourself to plan. Getting back to a normal life will take doing these things along with you being strong and pushing forward. You can do it. I believe in you.
If you would like to learn more about planning to go home and dealing with your loss you can order my book LIMB LOSS LIFE at LIMBLOSSLIFE.COM. The book is filled to the brim with information that will help you get back to a normal life as a new amputee.
About the author- Jeffrey A. Mangus is CEO of GHOSTWRITING USA and author of LIMB LOSS LIFE-The First Days, Weeks, Months and Years and a new amputee. Jeff writes many books, eBooks, Blogs and Web pages for clients all over the world. Have a book idea? Get in touch with Jeff today.