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African holiday Oct 2005 Part 1

African holiday Oct 2005 Part 2

My Accident in 1995

Are new amputees unrealistic?

Finding the CP you want

MAS Socket Diaries

MAS Test Socket Photo's AUGUST 2005

Building a disabled friendly house

What to do when a new amputee comes home

Glossary of Terms

Can a planned amputee take control of their pain?

Lightning Hazard???

Skydiving with an Amputee

Paragliding with an Amputee

Your Responsibility to your Disability

The Phantom of Pain - by Alistair Plint

Lesley's RBK Story

Contact Ally

 

 

LESLEY'S STORY

We are blessed to be able to share Lesley's story with her, written in her own words for this site. She is an inspirational young woman to many of the people who know her. Always ready with a kind word of encouragement for anyone, she has been a blessing to me in the short time I have known her. Lesley also has Dandy Walker Syndrome, which affects perhaps one in 25,000 babies. Lesley was 17 years old when she chose amputation instead of being wheelchair bound for life.

Thanks, Lesley, for sharing your personal experience with us.

Hi, I am Lesley. I am 19 years old, and I am living in the USA. I have been a right below knee amputee since May 28, 2003.

I had a lot of surgeries, and my left foot turned out great. We went to another doctor for my right one, and they moved tendons around to the other side of my foot. They didn’t tell us what they were doing, so when they took the cast off, our jaws dropped. I managed for a long time, but really, I was crippled. I couldn’t even get out of bed. That was my life. I would go to sleep as soon as I got home. I wouldn’t get up until I had to, and even taking a shower was hard. I eventually had special shoes made. During that part of my life, my self-esteem went to zero. I did not feel pretty.

I was at a local church function and we were eating out. I sat down wrong and dislocated my good knee. I couldn’t breathe and I was in so much pain. They called my dad and then the ambulance. They had a hard time getting me on the stretcher, but they finally got me into the ambulance and gave me a shot. I don’t remember much after they got me to a room. I fell asleep while they popped the knee back in. My knee was so sore, and it took a while to heal.

We were then faced with the difficult decision of losing my leg, or me having to spend my life in a wheelchair. My parents came and gave me the option of amputation. I didn’t want to at first, but then I said yes, not knowing what I was in for. Getting up for my surgery was very eerie. I had a very calm feeling. I was very nervous, and I woke up and in a lot of pain. It was to be expected.

I had a lot of people come to visit me in the hospital. The only thing that stuck out in my mind was when they had to take out the drain pump and change my dressing. It made me so mad. I was so drugged out that I told my sister to move my leg on the pillow and I screamed at her!!!! But I had to get up and learn to walk on crutches and into the hallway. Which I hated.

I got to go home after that and didn’t know what to expect. I was in bed for the longest time in my life, and I cried and cried and cried, because I was so alone. I didn’t know where to turn. People would come over and bring gifts. And then they would leave. And I would hurt some more.

But I had to get a grip on life, and since my parents both worked, I had to learn things on my own. Like how to take a shower, and get food, and start moving around, and exercising my stump. I finally found the energy to get onto the internet and online. My parents helped me by getting me in touch with a site called the HMM forum and it changed my life. But I still felt down for a long time.

After about 3 months of recuperating, I finally got my stitches out and got to get my shrinker sock and a test leg. The first man I went to was a quack. After a long time of messing with our minds and taking our money and not listening to us, he said I needed discipline. He made my socket bigger when I was shrinking! So we went to a new doc, and he is so great. He did measurements and talked to me, and asked me what I wanted, and took the time to care. I was so relieved about this.

About the time we found him, we had to make an appointment because my prosthetic foot fell off of my leg while I was sitting down. I was crying so much and I just felt stupid.

After that, I wrote to the doctor who messed me up, and he wrote back and said “I am really sorry this has happened, I hope you are getting better”. It hurt. But I eventually forgave him. I was just so blessed to get a leg and to be able to walk again.

I remember the time I took my first steps. I was using a walker and didn’t want to let go. And then I stepped out. I walked around the house and went to the grocery store for the first time. I was worn out when I got home, but it felt so good.

I also was looking for another amputee to talk to. We got a call one day from a woman named Frieda. She was one of the first people who let me know that everything would be all right, and I wasn’t alone in this. That people all over the world were going through this too.

Here and now, life is great. I am just blessed to be here and walking. I went to school walking and everyone was just so happy for me. I graduated from high school, and am in another year of training.

My motto is to practice what you preach and be the best person you can be. This coming May (2006) it will be 3 years since my amputation and I bought my first pair of skates since the amputation. I used to skate before and it feels great. My extended family is the best support system I have. It has only been 3 days since I started skating again. I am using an aide, and I only fell once. I just feel so incredible.

Some information for new amputees and loved ones, and just people in general: Life is a roller coaster and you will go through bumpy situations, but it’s all worth it in the end. Do not take things for granted. Love who you are inside and out, because GOD made you who you are. In His eyes you are beautiful. Go for your dreams. When you’re an amputee you’re missing limbs, not your ability to think or talk.

I hope you all learned something from me.

I am hoping I did.

Lesley has promised us a picture of her being absolute fabulous on her new roller skates. I won't let her forget....so come back and check in a little while :)

COOL LINKS

Chronic Pain Chronic pain management by Dr Mitchell

To be or not to be Active Living article by Kimberley Barreda

John Callahan Paraplegic humourist - not for the feint hearted

Disability sport in South Africa DISSA

THE ANGRY GIMP Awesome must read site!

Marco Du Plooy My Pretoria based prosthetist

Sleeve Art by Fred's Legs

Employment Guidelines from SA Dept of Labour for PWD's & employers

Amputee Resource - Al Pike CP

MAS Socket - information

Fly SA - Paragliding

Co LeDahu - Personal Website

Jam Ally Entertainment - where Ally works

Eric Morse - Para-sport photographer & friend (Canada)

 

 



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