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About BarbaraFaith

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  1. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: greetings   

    Hi, Patrick. Sounds like you are on your way.
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  2. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: My Story -- Stupid Mistake cost me my leg.   

    I am diabetic and had compromised circulation in my left leg, and had put off elective surgery since I wasn't having complications. Then, a co-worker left her suitcase on wheels in a common area. I didn't see it, and I tripped over it. I ended up with a Jones Fracture in my foot in a area where it naturally doesn't get good circulation. I was encouraged to have bypass surgery to improve blood flow in order to help the slow healing fracture heal. Long story short, I ended up with 2 failed bypasses, and a number of complications that led to the amp.
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  3. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: looking for friends   

    I'm not as far along as you are KathyD. I had a prior gait imbalance  prior to my amp, claudication in my left foot which was painful and a little disfigured. Also have/had a hip contracture which has gone from 18 degrees to neutral per my therapist and just a few degrees per my prothestist. My prothestist thinks it will take me 9 months to walk with a cane. My insurance is very generous with the number of physical therapy appointments that they will pay for each year. I'm just wondering if your MD would write an order for you to be seen by PT again. Maybe they can work on you regarding your gait. Also, I would work with the prothestist, and if necessary maybe get a 2nd opinion on your fit. Hang in there.
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  4. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: New leg pain   

    Just wanted to add that rehab is a team approach. Your MD, Pain Specialist, Prothestist and Therapist should be advocating for you.  Pick the best team possible, and don't be afraid to speak your mind and let them  know your goals. I did change therapists because my original one did not have my best interests in mind. Had I stuck with her, I am sure that I would still be walking with the walker.
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  5. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Hi from PA   

    Agree with KathyD that getting the prosthesis will be a big step for you. It won't be long until you are up and walking.
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  6. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Greetings   

    Welcome Brian. Sounds like even with the bumps in the road that you have experienced, you are doing well. With you experience, especially being a Pastor & a Mental Health Therapist, you have a lot to offer us.
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  7. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Hi from east Arkansas USA   

    Hi, Mike. Sounds like you are on your way to the road to recovery. Best of luck to you.
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  8. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Hi, I'm Tom from South Jersey.   

    Hi,Tom. I had my left leg amputated above the knee on 2/19/15, so I am just a little bit farther ahead in this adventure than you are.  Got my prosthesis about 2 months ago. I started out walking with a walker. I have now advanced to walking with crutches. Today, I drove my car for the first time in 4 months. Keep in mind that above the knee amps have a harder time walking and take longer to rehab. I have confidence that you will do well.
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  9. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Thanks for your service   

    First of all, thanks all for your service to our country. I am not a veteran, but I have a brother in law (retired Lt Col), a sister in  law & her husband who both retired as Cols., along with 3 nieces who are career army, and 2 nephews who are in College under ROTC. I am descended from both patriots and loyalists in the American Revolution. We have several close friends who are Chaplains. I understand and respect the sacrifices that your families incur while you perform your duty.
    That said, I am a VA nurse, on leave from the Mpls. VA Hospital due to a work injury that resulted in my amp. I do have prior experience in the private hospitals, and I have to say that the veterans are the best patients to work with. It has been my priveledge to care for those who served our country. The areas that I have worked are units where the veterans may stay for extended periods of time, and that provides an opportunity to really know the person, not just their condition or disease. I have treated active duty wounded warriors  injured in OIF/OEF, who in spite of their brain injuries/amputations just want to get back to their unit, to Vietnam  Vets with physical & PTSD wounds from the war, to WWII vets, including POWS & one I remember specifically who was in the Battan Death March. Their bravery, encouragement, and determination is inspiring. I have to say that my experience with them is the best part of the job, and I looked forward going to work each day. I truly believe that their experiences and determination has helped me navigate through my personal amputation.
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  10. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: What works for your phantom pain   

    Even though I am a nurse, and have worked with amps, nothing prepared me for the phantom pain. For me, and electric shock would go down from my stump into my toes. The pain would then radiating up, mimicking each area of my leg that I ever had pain in. For example, it would start with my big toe, where I had ingrown toe nails, to my pinkie toe where I had an ulcer, to the 5th metatarsil that I had fractured, to my heel where I had another ulcer, to the area on my leg where I had a wound dehiss, to the area where I had a pus pocket surgically removed, to my to arthritic knee. Post surgery, I was taking the max dose of gabapentin, vicodin and or oxy, and amitriptyline. In the hospital in rehab, they had me do mirror therapy. I started talking to my leg, saying "You can't fool me, you're not there, I had you cut off, and you got burned up in the incinerator". I went off anything pain related about a month post surgery, because getting the liner helped. I still get the pain sensations, but I know they're not real, and they are tolerable. When I lay down at night, and I find that if I massage my stump, they go away. I get sensations, like my left foot is touching the floor, or if I lay on my stomach it feels like my lower leg is bent up touching my  butt. Again, rubbing and talking to it helps. Ocassionally, I'll get these sensations even when my prosthesis is on and get relief my even touching/rubbing my socket. I still talk to my residual limb.
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  11. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: learning to drive for right leg amputees.   

    My pharmacist & I are about the same age, and over the years we have developed a friendship. When I told her about my possible amp, she was very supportive, as she is a lbka due to a motorcycle accident. One thing she told me was that I was fortunate in the fact that I would still have my right leg. I haven't driven yet, but hope to with in the week. My knee has a swivel (joint - not sure of the appropriate term) that allows me to move the lower leg portion anywhere from 45 to 180 degrees. Not sure how that will work yet. I am sure looking forward to that first drive.
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  12. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Great tip for leg amputees who can drive.   

    Bob, I am so envious of you being able to shop regularly at Publix. I fell in love with the selection & customer service provided by Publix when we spend a week or two in St. Pete, FL. I absolutely love their Key Lime Pie and their deli fried chicken. They certainly put the grocers here in MN to shame. I tease my husband about my driving my restored '82 Chrysler LeBaron Convertible down Gulf Boulevard to the St. Pete store.
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  13. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Great tip for leg amputees who can drive.   

    Great idea, and thanks for sharing. Since my foot fracture in August, I have been getting groceries from a local supermarket, Coburns Delivers that allows me to order on the internet, and they bring the groceries inside to my kitchen. They have been a lifesaver. We live in a 99 unit handicapped accessible/55+ apartment, and there are grocery carts in the basement garage for tenant use. I am not driving yet, but hope to be soon, and planned on using those. I've read on other sites where a grocery cart is a good thing to practice walking with, so hopefully I can get out shopping again. The laundry room is next to the apartment, and currently I am using my electric scooter, and an Ikea bag to transport laundry, detergent, and softener back and forth. I currently place the bag on my lap, and have to have one of the cloth handles in my teeth to keep it from falling. When I'm crutch walking, or eventually use a cane I will need to get some sort of a cart. There is a gentleman in the building san an arm, and he uses one of the grocery carts for this purpose. I am open to any ideas.
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  14. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: What a stupid long road its been   

    In November, 2012, I was getting cramps in my left calf that was inhibiting my ability to walk long distances. It was discovered that my left popliteal & iliac arteries were blocked. I spent 5 days in the hospital getting lytic therapy and undergoing angioplasty. A year later, it was discovered that my popliteal artery was blocked again, and was given the option of elective surgery to unblock it, via leg bypass surgery. Since I had very little symptoms, I didn't have it done right away. Then starting Christmas Day, 2013,  my husband underwent 6 months of health issues, including having a spinal cord injury leaving him a quadriplegic. So I spent 6 months advocating and fighting for him, along with working full time, and maintaining things at home. To this point, I had little complications from the blockage, except for some claudiation pain in my left foot. In order for him to come home & continue to rehab, we moved to a handicap accessible apartment in late June. Then on Aug 8th, 2014, one of my co-workers left her work bag, a suitcase on wheels in the nursing station, and I tripped over it and broke my 5th metatarsal in my left foot. After the break, I started losing toe nails, and developed ulcers on 3 toes and my heel. The break was in an area that naturally doesn't get a lot of circulation, and with my already compromised circulation in my left leg, both my podiatrist & my vascular surgeon encouraged me to have the  leg bypass to improve circulation so my fracture would heal. So I had a bypass in late September, and a month later, it was found to have failed. So I underwent a 2nd bypass, this time with a cadevear graft, and that failed too. After the 2nd bypass, I had several surgical wounds dehiss, had a puss pocket develop in my left leg, along with other infections and complications. The pus pocket was surgically removed, and a wound vac was installed. I came home from the hospital feeling so beat up, and a week and a half later, I went to the ER because I just wasn't feeling better, and it was discovered that I had a large blood clot in my heart, that was removed by angioplasty and stents. Unfortunately, when I was hospitalized for that while changing the wound vac the adhesive covering for the vac pulled skin off my left shin & I developed a pseunomisis (sp) infection. I was undergoing wound care, and the day after Valentines day, my left knee locked up & I went to the ER. The next day, I was to have started the hyperbariac chamber for wound healing, but I never made it. The ER doc didn't want to admit me, but I insisted he contact my Vascular Surgeon, who ordered that I be admitted. I stayed at the hospital and on Wednesday it was determined that the infection was so close to my shin bone that I was at risk for osteomyelitis and that the amp should occur. So on 2/19/15 I had a laka. I had spent 6 months of being sick, and in a lot of pain, especially at night, that I had been preparing myself for that  moment. I spent 10 days in acute rehab, in order to function at home. For the first month, I had been having a great deal of phantom pain, but once I got my liner, the pain subsided to the point where I decided to go cold turkey on all of my amp related meds. A day or 2 later, I started going through withdrawl symptoms, which was related to going off gabapentin. It took about 2 weeks for the withdrawal symptoms to subside. I am almost 4 months out from the surgery, and am medically stable. I am undergoing PT and gait training, and looking forward to more independence.
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  15. BarbaraFaith added a post in a topic: Great new drug for Type II's   

    I have been a type 2 diabetic for about 25 years. Both my parents and their grandfathers were also type 2. I take pretty good doses of both short (lispro) and long acting (lantus) insulins, counting carbs for my short acting. It's just a way of life for me. In the past, I have trialed several of the older injectables but developed GI & pancreatic side effects, so I am leary of trying any thing new.
    A while ago, there was a 10 year study being conducted to study the effects of tight control. One group was under really tight control, while the other was getting placebos. After a few years the study was stopped, because the group that was getting the tighter control was dying of diabetes related issues at a higher rate than those with poorer control.
    Over the past year, not intentionally, but due to stress, health issues, and loss of appetite, I lost about 50 lbs, and have significantly lessened the amount of insulin that I take.
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