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Dealing with amputation

(6 Posts)
Gem101 Mon 15-Apr-19 23:10:09

Hi all, my poor 82yr old mum is going through it - has dealt with 2 lots of bowel cancer, breast cancer, new hip, pace maker and now her type 2 diabetes has taken hold regarding her feet and legs. It’s looking like that due to a blocked artery in one leg she may need an amputation - hopefully below the knee - if a bypass isn’t possible. We’ll find out in a day or so but it’s not looking like they bypass will be an option.

Any experiences of recovery of an amputation when the person isn’t that steady on their feet in the first place? She lives on her own so she may need to go into residential care - I have no idea where to start with all that as she has full mental capacity (other than bouts of depression and anxiety).
It’s so bloody awful watching people you love age ☹️

Fortysix Tue 16-Apr-19 12:49:02

Two experiences.
One from 30 years ago when my DGran aged 82 had her leg amputated just below the knee. She had emphysema so ended up with epidural instead of ga. I was only family member nearby so I visited her once a week. Her skin healed much more quickly than we imagined and while it took a few months to be prosthetic-ready she did remarkably well. She moved to warden assisted premises immediately after hospital discharge. She was attended by district nurses. I took her out in my car in her wheelchair to the shops once we worked out which shops we could navigate (far fewer malls back then). The emphysema became her bigger challenge and she only survived two years.
Then three years ago, a family friend also had his knee amputated below the knee at 78. He had a very long stay in hospital (five months) and lost a lot of weight. (This turned out to be a major benefit.) He returned to his house, ground floor which needed minimal adaptation but his daughter stayed with him for a further two months. His prosthetic leg was a zillion light years better in design and ease of use than DG's. He attended regular physio classes (twice a week) at a prosthetic centre. where he walked 'laps' in an exercise room with others in same position. ( He was very lucky to be living a taxi away from a world class facility.) He was driving within a year and at 82 is coming over for his tea later this month.
Both had very positive attitudes.

Gem101 Tue 16-Apr-19 16:13:53

Thanks so much for your reply Fortysix, it’s really appreciated. We find out tonight or tomorrow if a amputation is needed. I just can’t imagine her ever going back to her house, but at this stage we just need to wait and see and then take advice I guess. Thanks again! x

Fortysix Tue 16-Apr-19 17:49:41

Fingers crossed for her (and you). She sounds like she's endured a lot already. Medical advances are amazing. I suspect if you posted elsewhere a lot more people may come forward albeit with younger people's experiences. The family friend has widened his friendship circle by staying in touch with those in his rehab club. I know he phones some of them. My key memory of my DG is that her wound healed better and faster than we could have ever imagined. She had been a bit lonely and had been housebound before because of stairs to her living accommodation. Moving to the warden assisted premises was a 'big thing' to her and it really pleased her. She was fussed over and had lots of company so in a way it wasn't such a dreadful outcome as we had thought. But it is tough. flowers

florentina1 Tue 16-Apr-19 18:08:01

My step-father went to a rehabilitation unit to,help him deal with his amputation. It was mocked up like a house and he was taught to use a wheel chair and how to use kitchen equipment while balancing. He was there for 6 weeks, then went home with carers 4 times a day. He had to have a bed downstairs and a commode.

cptartapp Tue 16-Apr-19 18:53:44

District nurses may have gone out 30 years ago, but as an ex district nurse of recent times just be warned, unless there's a wound that needs dressing for example, the service is now designed that social care i.e. washing, bathing, personal care etc, will fall to carers instead which may have to be paid for. The hospital social worker will be able to help.

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