Been a while since I last wrote some of my ponderings down like this. Much has happened and I have learnt a lot over the last few months.
December just gone I went through a revision surgery on my residual limb. There has been some issues with my stump from the start – basically because I fell over on the first day of my amputation 5 1/2 years ago. Over time prosthetic wearing has been more and more uncomfortable and the powers on high in the NHS said NOW was the time to have surgery so we could sort it out! When it came to my first amputation it wasn’t really such a big thing for me because with all the pain I was in it didn’t feel like I had anything to loose by making that choice. This time I was more nervous! Although definitely not perfect, it still felt like I had something to loose. Life had been so limited for so many years before my first amputation and over the last 5 years I have learnt to manage my energy and time I could be on ‘my leg’. Ultimately I was doing and achieving more then my wildest imagination only dared to long for for so long. But I did it, with all my positive expectations on board -13.December I had the surgery done.
It started so well. I was healing and feeling great. I spent Christmas at home in a wheelchair and started rehab just after. Living in a rehab hospital surrounded by amputees and neuro patients is a story for another time. It wasn’t until I got to try my new prosthetic on for the first time that I thought ‘s ***, what have I done!’ Because it was not a happy pairing, something was definitely not right! Suddenly all I had to loose was very much racing through my mind. I gritted my teeth and painfully got on with the training for a week, after which the doctors and nurses decided that I should do some extra check-ups to make sure I had healed as well as we thought. Unfortunately they discovered some burst vessels and internal bruising. The news was -it will just take a bit longer! No one seems to know exactly how long longer is though.
Through the disappointment and frustration, I was reminded of something really important. When we talk about setting goals, we sometimes have a strong and clear image of where we are heading and what we are aiming to achieve. We set out on a journey and plot the path we are aiming to take. It’s a little bit like following a SatNav -the end destination has been selected and the route to get there has been chosen. But what happens when we hit a bump in the road, when something outside our own power sets us back, when an unexpected (or even expected) obstacle comes our way? Do we give up? Even though the SatNav is having problems finding a way to reroute, do we just head back home or do we try to find another way? Is the destination important enough to keep finding solutions and maybe even a long way round to get to where we want to go? I have certainly learnt, and am learning a lot about managing my own expectations as well as working on my own patience (don’t seem to have a lot of that sometimes). I am not where I thought I would be at this very moment in time, but I am not giving up. I am working with my body as it is healing and taking small steps to move in the right direction.
The good news is that I was discharged from hospital last week, so I could do that slow healing and building up tolerance process (mostly) from my own home -there is something to be said for sleeping in your own bed, being around the family and eating great homemade food!