Today marks exactly 10 months since my life changed forever. This is the 10-month mark of having my left leg amputated below the knee. I have been through a hell of a lot of things during my 46 years on this planet, but this has had to be the worst thing that I have ever had to go through. And I have been to hell and back so many times, or so I thought.
So let’s do a brief recap here. For months leading up to my amputation I had a smallish ulcer on the left side of my left foot. It was something my GP could not get under control no matter the medications we tried, and we tried a lot. On the 25th of May 2022, it was looking like its normal ugly, smelly, weeping wound. Just two days later on the morning of the 27th of May 2022, I did a dressing change and noticed that parts around the outside had started turning black in color. I contacted my GP pretty much straight away and sent her an email of what it was now looking like. She rang me within 20 minutes advising me very strongly that I needed to go to the Emergency Department. My GP knows I avoid hospitals at all costs. But this scared me, caused 1 year prior, nearly to the day I had my little toe on my right foot amputated when the inter toe turned black, again within a 2 days period.
So, I contact my caseworker, and as soon as I told him I need to go to the hospital and now he came picked me up, and stayed with me at the hospital. I was packed and ready to leave in ten minutes flat. The vascular team that I had been under at CCLHD for many years came and saw me and I was admitted. It took a little while to get to the ward as they had to find me a single room, which they did. I was started on IV drugs before even getting to my room in the ward.
But what I didn’t know at the time was what was to come over the next 9 days. The day after admission, on the 28th of May 2022 I was taken into surgery and had my little toe on the left foot amputated. Then, on the 31st of May 2022, I was taken back into surgery and had the next toe removed. This wasn’t the worst of it. The next morning the nurses dressed my two toe amputation wounds, however, it was a lot worse than that, there is a massive slice straight down my foot and you could actually see the infection inside the foot. Yes, I have pictures, but I am not sharing them in this post. My vascular team came and saw me on the morning of the 1st of June 2022 and told me they needed to amputate my leg below the knee cause the infection had spread and there was no chance of saving the leg.
I was angry, I was scared, and I tried holding my emotions in place as I had my Senior Surgeon, his 2 Registars, and also his group of JMOs (Junior Medical Officers – Training Doctors you can call them as CCLHD is a teaching hospital). This didn’t last very long and I burst into tears. The JMOs were asked to leave the room, and not by me. I was comforted by my Senior and 2 Registrars. I asked when they wanted to do it and they said urgently, but they needed to wait several days as my body had already gone through 2 amputation surgeries within a 3 day period. I told them on the spot to give me the paperwork to sign agreeing to the amputation or if they wait til the day I won’t be in the hospital anymore and would take off as I would be constantly thinking about it. They got the paperwork I signed the form and then asked them to leave, where I made several phone calls to get some support to me at the hospital as I really wasn’t coping. Support was there within the hour.
At 7am on the 6th of June 2022 the morning shift nurses came in and said they had to prep me for surgery as I would be going to the operating room in 15 minutes. I began to panic. I said I didn’t, I couldn’t go through with it. They rang my doctor who told them to give me my anxiety medication via injection instead of tablets and to do it through my IV. I calmed a little while the nurse put all this brown stuff over my leg. I burst into tears again realizing this was the last time I was going to see my left leg below the knee.
I spent 19 weeks in CCLHD (Gosford Hospital for short) before being discharged in early October into my forever home, which had to be fully modified for complete wheelchair access.
There have been so many struggles and hurdles since being released from the hospital and some are still occurring to this day. But right now I am taking one day at a time as that is all that I can really do right?
I can not believe that today marks 10 months since the leg was amputated and in 2 months it has been an inter-year. Like where has the time gone? How have I gotten through this long in a wheelchair? I said if this ever happened I would end things as I wouldn’t be able to cope, but here I am coping the best I can.
I haven’t been writing much as I would start writing and also cancel it cause I really didn’t know what to say or how to say it. There are more things I want to say about this journey about how a lot of people have ditched me and how even family have used and abused me, and two people in particular, which I will be going into detail in a further post about, so my darling sister and brother in law, get ready cause this is all about you.
For now, this is where I will leave this and post again real soon. Peace out y’all.