Falling asleep, waking up and everything is just like it was before – the wish of many amputated people. But unfortunately, an amputation is an irrevocable change. Any amputation of a limb means a loss off the body and, consequently the loss of his/her physical integrity. “The loss of a limb is equivalent to the loss of a close relative,” says Dagmar Gail, chairman and founder of the Amputierten-Initiative e.V (Amputees Initiative) in Germany. Even the most sophisticated technology is not able to fully replace the loss that one experiences through amputation. A toe, or a finger. A hand. A foot. Or an arm or leg. Each one is as extreme as the next. Cleanly removed through a planned surgery or ripped from the body by some extreme, unexpected catastrophe. No matter how hard you work on accepting your new body and learning a new set of skills, and no matter how long you have lived without your limb ….
There will always be days when you will wake up and wish like everything was like it was before.
My days often go by very slow. It takes me a long time to do things. And this makes me feel less valuable in this world. I can’t “keep up.”
I grieve. There is very real loss in this. This world’s value system discards those who can’t keep up, can’t produce, can’t be productive, can’t offer anything useful. There is such a great loss.
But I have decided I am good with letting this go. I am okay with this.
And that there is even great relief in this. Because it is my life and I want to be here for it. Just as it is. In reality. Not as I am told it should be, but as it truly is lived.
With all its wounds and rough patches. With the vacuum cleaner that is falling apart and the notebooks that are scattered around most every surface full of hopes and broken dreams and pages of lists full of things I need to do that often get pushed aside when the mood strikes to throw a kitchen party and the volume is set to maximum and me and my dogs dance and sing as if no one is watching.
My days, with these very slow stretches of time through more hours of darkness than light, and the increasing coldness which brings with it a deep, crushing bone pain.
In these times and days when everything can hurt and when the world is freezing and they demand we give everything, it is useful to just breathe. And go slow. One thing at a time. And another. Then another. Slow enough to feel your own heart beating.
Yes, I am slow. I can’t always keep up and I sometimes don’t get things finished in time. I often feel useless and of no value. This is my reality. And I will continue to be here for it, one breath at a time.
I got a feeling that this is gonna be a hard winter. The pain is already setting in my bones and we haven’t even had any snow yet. But the chill is in the air. The frost is covering everything in the early mornings. And my spinal cord has become tight as a result. The back of my head and neck are stiff and pull against the skin when I move. Both of my knee joints feel like they each need a can of WD40 connected to a steady IV drip as they are unable bend properly. Making walking really difficult.
And it’s not even winter yet.
Every time I get the injections in my wrist I have a 48 hour recovery. Where my wrist is pretty much unusable. First there is a day of complete numbness and then there is the next day where everything starts to come back to life and with that comes a lot of burning pain but I must say that this afternoon I have been feeling really good.
But unfortunately my doctor told me that since the last time I saw him there has been some slight nerve damage done in my wrist that is irreversible.
So what then proceeded to happen was an urgent referral was put in for the surgery that I am dreading so very much. He even went and got the surgeon who will be doing it and brought him back to the OR to meet me right then and there. we talked about a lot of things and have agreed that we will wait until the end of the summer to do the surgery because at least that will let me enjoy the summer without having to go through this lay up time. In the meantime that gives me a chance to figure things out and how this surgery and the recovery period is going to work.
There are going to be some major medication changes in the future as well. Medication changes where he actually wants me admitted to the hospital in Grandfalls so that I am there under his care. Currently I take a combination of morphine and Percocet on a daily basis. Those medications over the past year have begun to fail me which means that my chronic pain condition has just been progressively getting worse and just basically ruining me from head to toe. He sat with me for a long time during that appointment and he was very understanding and patient and didn’t seem the least bit thrown off by my crying.
Well I don’t know how much you know about methadone but pretty much all I knew of methadone at first was that it is a liquid that the pharmacy gives to recovering drug addicts and that in order to get it these people had to go to the pharmacy every day where the pharmacist gives them a drink of this methadone liquid and then that is their fix for the day. I was not aware that methadone is also used to treat cases of extreme uncontrollable pain conditions that have otherwise failed to respond to even the strongest of painkillers such as morphine.
So right now my insurance is going through the process of approval and then my doctor wants to admit me to hospital for 3 to 4 nights so that he can take me off the morphine and Percocet and introduce me to the methadone treatments under his care.
I will have to be monitored very closely during the morphine and Percocet withdrawals and also with the methadone introduction so that they can be sure I don’t have any sort of reaction to it. Especially with me being 45 minutes away from the nearest hospital he does not feel comfortable with me doing this at home on my own. I think I feel a little safer going this route. I trust Dr. Cole because he has been overseeing my pain management for several years now and he knows my situation he knows what works and what doesn’t for me especially with my bipolar disorder and overall mental health and I truly do feel like this dr genuinely wants the best for me.
I am also very lucky in another way because he is the only doctor in Newfoundland with a license to prescribe this methadone. He said that there are people on waiting lists that wait months and years to get in for an appointment with him but I am very lucky because I am already connected and when I was leaving he put his arm around me as he walked me out and he laughed and said well I guess we are going to be joined at the hip for quite a while my dear. If you continue on with the methadone, then you’re going to be with me for a long time. I laughed and said I have a feeling that my husband is going to be OK with that because when I’m in a lot of pain he suffers just as much. A woman in pain is never a happy woman and I always remind my husband that a happy wife means a happy life so if it means that in order for me to be happy I have to be joined at the hip with you?
Yeah. I think David will be OK with that. And then Dr Cole walked away laughing his ass off LOL
Ok so I just had to share this. I have severe carpal tunnel syndrome and am facing surgery in the near future. Having only one hand to begin with is causing me a lot of anxiety as I will be completely and utterly helpless for a month at the very least. And yesterday I was telling a friend about it. Then she wrote this.
I gotta hand it to ya (haha, sorry, couldn’t help myself), a few weeks without your hand is gonna suck, yes, but it’s not gonna get my Danielle down, at all! She’s gonna pretend to be a princess, and enjoy the vacation from having to wipe her own butt! She’s gonna read books, and watch movies and sip her blended meals through a big ol’ straw like they’re margaritas all day long. And she’s gonna get pleasured by her handsome prince and they won’t even need fuzzy handcuffs to make things really naughty. And he will feed her chocolates and rub her feet until she peacefully falls asleep until she wakes up one day with her hand perfectly intact again.
End of story!