Dealing with the shock of amputation

It is traumatic to lose a limb, but there is also hope. Heinrich Grimsehl speaks to a few amputees

Usually, if somebody asks you what is the worst thing that could happen to you, amputation rates among the top three. The idea of giving up part of your body can send shivers down your spine. We cannot downplay the shock of amputation, because yes, it is a traumatic experience that requires intense physical and emotional adjustments.

But, today, I would like to share with you some of the comments from amputees of all ages that have successfully adjusted and rehabilitated to prosthetic users:

Mr Kaminsky (Age 75)

“This is just a flesh wound. I cannot run the Comrades anymore, but I can still spend my retirement comfortably hopping between different game lodges.”

Mr Borego (Age 48)

“During the day, I mostly forget that I am wearing a prosthesis. If I run around the factory floor all day long, I am quite tired in the evening, but the extra effort and exercise puts me to sleep quickly.”

Mrs Herbst (Age 49)

“Amputation was the best decision. I do not have to worry about my painful diabetic smelly foot ulcer anymore and if the prosthetic foot eventually packs up, I will just buy and bolt on a new one. After the amputation, I can also wear my pretty shoes again.”

Mr Loxton (Age 44)

“No problems, thank you. In the morning, Iputashoeonmyleftfootandthe prosthesis on my right limb and off I go. Dressing the normal side is more difficult, because I have to change the dirty sock every day!”

Mr Strout (Age 27)

“If I knew using prosthesis was this easy, I would have amputated a long time ago instead of battling for years with a painful infection, various operations and fractures that did not unite.”

Mrs Brits (Age 42)

“Now we can plan our December holiday!” she said after receiving her final prosthesis in July.”

Mr Dudula (Age 55)

“The problem was in my head. When I sorted out my head, the prosthesis was very easy.”

Mrs Langa (Age 72)

“I thought I was going to die, but now I want to live!”

So, if you are faced with amputation, please take the above into consideration and realise that there is hope and possibly a new life on the other side. Your life is not over yet!

 


ContributorHeinrich Grimsehl is a prosthetist in private practice and a member of the South African Orthotic and Prosthetic Association (SAOPA). email: info@hgprosthetics.co.za

 

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