If you’re facing an amputation, it can be scary, and your mind might be full of questions and concerns. If you’re reading this, then already the unknown is about to become a little bit clearer and hopefully we can put some of your worries to rest.
What can FYF do for you?
?We can let you speak to other amputees who can offer honest advice on what to expect.
?We can offer advice on practical matters, such as adaptions, driving and prosthetics.
?We can offer advice on benefits and grant funding.
?Peer to peer connection is what we find is of most benefit to our group, but for those needing a little bit of extra emotional support, we also have that available on the lead up to your amputation.
“As a pre-amputee I have found Finding Your Feet to be invaluable. Without the friends I’ve made & without the information available, I honestly think I would struggle more with the surgery I’m facing…” Tracey.
Below we’ve included some FAQ’s that we get from pre-amputees, and we’ve also included questions that our Troopers (amputees) would have wanted answered before their surgeries too. If you still have questions, please get in touch – no question is too small if it means it eases your mind. Who better to answer your amputation related questions than amputees themselves?
What’s it like to look at your residual limb/stump after surgery?
It can feel a little daunting to see your body for the first time after surgery, particularly if you’ve never seen an amputee before. It’s completely normal to be upset, scared or maybe even angry. But it quickly becomes your new ‘normal’ – What is normal anyway? Just because you’ve lost a limb or limbs, you’re still who you were before. If you’re struggling to accept your body after some time, it’s important to speak out to your peers or seek professional help. There’s no shame in needing a little support in coming to terms with what you’ve been through. We’re all on our own journeys.
How do I manage without hands?
Of course it’s going to be a challenge initially and you might find that you need to rely on others for support in the early days. But you’ll probably surprise yourself with how you quickly learn to adapt. Prosthetics could be an option if this is a road you choose to go down. There are also a huge amount of aids which can help you be independent in your day-to-day. Some favourites from the group are Velcro, Gripping materials and button gadgets!
Will I be able to walk?
This is a hard one to answer as there are so many factors which can affect this. Your medical team will have a lot of chat with you around this, and if you’re not having emergency surgery, it might be worth asking what to expect after your surgery. It all depends on other health conditions you might have or whether your body has the strength to use a prosthesis. Where possible, your medical team will do what they can to give you the quality of life you hope for.
What’s it like to walk in a prosthetic?
Our bodies are all different, so naturally we’ll all have a different experience walking in a prosthetic. There will be days where it doesn’t feel so comfortable – constant discomfort is something that should be discussed with your prosthetist so the problem can be fixed. But likewise, there will be days where you might not even think about the fact you’re wearing one.
How long until I can walk?
Again, this is very dependent on the healing process and the reason for the amputation in the first instance. We’d always remind people that everyone’s journey is different and to just take one ‘step’ at a time!
How do you get to the toilet or shower?
This will vary depending on your level of amputation. If you’re a prosthetic user, there won’t be a lot of difference to how you did things before. You’ll still be able to walk to the toilet and a wheelchair user will be shown how to transfer. You might need a little assistance for showering, whether that’s a stool for in your shower or handrails. If your bathroom/shower isn’t accessible for your needs, you might need to think about finding a grant to have an accessible bathroom installed or possibly even a housing move. Have a chat to your OT. (Occupational Therapist).