Welcome to Anne's blog!

If you are new to the blog, you probably want to start at the beginning of the whole sad story. To get there, use the "Blog Archive" tool in the right column of the blog and click on "2009," and then "January 25." From there you can continue to click on each week to see the weekly entries.

I would love to hear from you! If you would like to leave a message, you can reach me at aheetderks@wcsmiami.org!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Howdy, friends! Dad and I took a little drive down to University of Miami again today to visit Dr. Hutson to see how the old "shorter leg" was doing. Turns out the incision site is healed and INFECTION FREE! Never thought those words would be used so often together with the mention of MY body!

I left the office with a stack full of prescriptions to get working on . . .

1) More percocet - Hardly need it.

2) Occupational Therapy for a Driving Evaluation - Hopefully I can get working on this soon so I can start to get myself around town for midnight dancing!

3) Physical Therapy - Since I have been on my scooter for so long, I need to work on strengthening my body so that it is ready to receive a prosthetic. The PT people will teach me how to de-sensitize my residual limb so that the phantom pain will hopefully calm down.

4) TENS unit - This is a nerve stimulator thing that has been proven to be very effective in decreasing phantom pain. The PT people will show me how to attach it to my body and then I will wear it regularly for a month or so (or so some of my amputee friends have told me).

5) Shrinker Sock - Right now, my residual limb looks like someone made a clean cut across my leg (funny--because that's what they did do!!). The shrinker sock will help my resi . . .


OK--apparently it is really bad amputee etiquette to refer to the cut off part of your arm or leg as a "stump." So--you are supposed to call it a "residual limb." That term is way too long to say, and WAY too long to type over and over. I am resisting the idea of naming my st _ _ p because we don't know each other well enough yet. So far, I have been liking it better to refer to my legs as "shorter leg" and "longer leg" but that is getting ridiculous, too. I know that "left leg" and "right leg" will also be useless because even I have to think twice to remember which is which (also--it makes me think of the "left-over" leg and the "right"--as in "correct" leg). I am usually a problem solver but this one has me st _ _ mped. (I didn't even mean to make that joke--it just came right out of me!!!)

Anyway--where were we . . .

. . . dual limb reduce in size and become more rounded in shape. So, tomorrow I have an appointment to get fitted for a shrinker sock. Yea, progress!

Now that my shorter leg doesn't have to be in the knee immobilizer anymore, I am adjusting to life with a bending knee. Visually, I think my new leg was a little easier to look at when it was held out straight and wrapped up in medical gear. When I came home today, we all sat around the dinner table looking (with furrowed brows) at my leg going, "Hmmmmmm . . ." It just seems to be a little more obvious that there is a foot missing when it bends. Whatever--we will get used to it.

On the up side--I get to take a shower now! Hooray for hygiene!

One thing that Dr. Hutson would like for me to work on is staying awake during the day. He said that it is common for people to get their sleep patterns disrupted following amputation. Therefore, he wants me to try to sleep as much at night and then come up with things to do during the day to stay awake. Sounds positively painful.

So, rather than going straight home from my appointment (to take a nap), Dad and I went and shared a plate of stone crabs (first time for both of us!) and a grouper sandwich. What a delight! Tomorrow, Dad and I will stay busy by getting the shrinker sock and dropping my car off at the mechanic. I want to get it tuned up so it is ready to get my left-foot accelerator installed when I get the all-clear. That should keep me awake until at least noon.

I posted some st _ _ p pics in the Great Fall pics section again if you are interested.

Love to you all!


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