DaMaster - Have you had any counseling or physical theraphy after your amputation? My Grandmother was a below the knee amputee in her late 60's or early 70's. Prior to that age, she was walking normal and very active. Once she became an amputee her lifestyle changed. Unfortunately, she didn't have the proper after care she should have had and here's how I found out...
I was fortunate to attend an Amputee Coalition Conference in Reno, Nevada with her. Of course I was the minority in the room, but very blessed to attend with her. While there I was very SAD (and MAD
) at what I learned that my Grandmother had not been privy too. So much information to take in and well worth attending. We met amputees from all over the world. There were many athletes who attended - some were bi-amputee with very "cool" prothetics for running. Another lady we met was a hemi-something amputee - where the first day we met she was wearing a prothesis that came up to her hip walking around and the 2nd day she was on crutches with a "baby sling" carrying her newborn.
Jesterishere brings up a few excellent suggestions and one being a support group! Definately, join one. If you don't find one in your local area, START ONE. Makes no difference where you are in your life as an amputee as to your knowledge of starting a group. The main aspect is being a leader or organizer to start one. Seek speakers (MD's, prothetic labs, wound care, counseling, clothing adaptability, etc.) to possibly attend meetings to help educate members.
One person we met at the conference, was a volunteer in his local area. The hopsitals/doctors/staff knew of this local group and would contact their group to come and meet with new amputees while they were in the hospital after surgery. This support helped patients to have a contact with whom to ask questions or seek advice. Especially when they don't want to "bother" a doctor with a question they believe maybe to bother-some or aren't sure who to ask.
Not sure if this will help you, but I found an Amputee Support Group page online hosted by the American Amputee Organization. In fact, the American Amputee National Foundation happens to be in North Little Rock, Arkansas. In addition, there are three support groups on their list: Springdale, Pine Bluff and Hot Springs. Sounds like a wonderful place for you to start. If any one of these are in your local area, you're set. If not, I'm sure they would love to have you join them and guide you on starting your own group.
As Jesterishere said, "Things happen in life and we can do 1 of 2 things, (let it beat us or we beat it) and I believe you are one that will beat it." Jesterishere is right on here! Think positive, things happen in life and could be much worse. Look at the American Idol contestant who's fiancee was in an accident. What a beautiful person she was and still is, just completely disabled now from an accident (mentally and physically), confind to a wheel chair and will never be the same again. We don't know why these things happen, but I truly believe they may happen for a reason. In my Grandmother's case I believe the reason was to educate our family. My nephew was born with a club foot and has had several surgeries through Shriner's Hopsital since he was an infant. My Grandmother, his Great Grandmother and he shared a special bond. She knew the discomfort he went through and how hard it was for him to walk, find shoes, etc. She understood him and he her. Now 15 years later, my Sister-in-Law's brother is a below the knee amputee at the age of 24 or so. Again, something we know all to well. Information we as a family are able to help him with. His amputee was the result of an dune buggy accident. They tried saving his leg many times with various surgeries. He was always in pain. Honestly, from the beginning the amputation should have happened, but the rest of his family talking him out of it, so they tried many time to save it. Now talking to him, he's PAIN FREE and wished he would have had the amputation from the beginning. His family didn't want to face it in the beginning where we were all aware of how life goes on and you can survive after an amputation continuing with a full-life.
Keep us posted on how you're doing. Are you on FB? If so, send me your name. My Sister-in-Law's brother is too and I would be happy to connect the two of you together online. You're both around the same age and that's great! Maybe you two could even start an ONLINE Virtual SUPPORT Group
- Skype's free!!! Maybe compare notes, etc. My best to you!