Yesterday I underwent an osteomyoplastic trans-tibial amputation. With the exception of a potential pregnancy scare (false positive in the urine test) the procedure and recovery was uneventful. Looking back I find that pregnancy scare quite comical....I mean, really? A 45 year old lady in for an amputation...pregnant?!?
How did it feel to wake up and see the leg gone? Surprisingly, very good. The day before was spent meeting w/ Dr. Ertl and the rehab team to discuss my goals and expectations, and they're all of the mindset that amputation is the beginning of an exciting rehabilitation journey. A journey which will hopefully lead to getting me back to doing the things I love.
Through talking with the team, I learned that Dr. Ertl actually developed and fine-tuned his surgical approach in consultation with a fine prosthetist, Jonathan Day. It is important to realize that not many surgeons do that kind of thing. They generally make their decisions through the protocols which they know and are comfortable with. So when a surgeon takes the opportunity to learn from another professional (say....is humble enough to consult), and work collaboratively, good things happen.
Physiatrist, Dr. Carol Dionne is also on the team, and her job is to consider the "whole person" in her approach to recovery. Dr. Dionne has a specialization in spinal injuries, so she was quick to bring up my SI joint fusion, and how this next step will be very beneficial for me to equal out my limb-length discrepancy. The entire team talked about the importance of a good prosthetic leg as it relates to my other orthopedic injuries.
What impressed me the most was the sense of camaraderie among the team, and attitude of excitement for my being active again in ways that I haven't been able to be in over two years.
|Post-op with Dr. Ertl. He left a nice, 10 in below knee residual limb.|
Our hope is to remove the epidural sometime tomorrow and switch to oral, longer lasting pain medication. Fingers are crossed that goes well!
What was particularly cool was the fact that the third doctor I had sent my medical records to (at Georgetown University Hospital), called about a half-an-hour before my pre-op assessment. He was happy to hear that I had moved ahead w/ the BKA, and in fact, was recommending that I have the Ertl amputation procedure. (Said he wants to see pics of me "doing my thing" once I'm in a prosthesis.
Thankfully we were able to Skype with the kiddos and Uncle Matt....so far the house is still standing!
Thanks so much for everyone's support and encouragement! It means SO much!