Sunday, March 16, 2014
Yeah, this week has been a rough one. While I was forewarned to expect a year of frustration after my amputation, I did not expect that I would be this frustrated, confused and down about the whole thing. It has been challenging to say the least.
I was really psyched at the beginning of the week to finally be getting my prosthesis....for my "walking day," as it's generally called in the amputee community. While I knew I would encounter some discomfort and mixed feelings, I did NOT know that I would be forced to confront the fallout of my multiple traumatic injuries, as well as how they still impact the way in which my body continues to respond.
One of the symptoms resulting from my pelvic fracture was a peroneal nerve injury. The peroneal nerve originates at the base of the sacoiliac joint (as part of the sciatic nerve) and runs down the outside of the leg, around the edge of the fibula (outer leg bone), and over the foot, where it ends
Earlier this week while my prosthetist and I were trying to work on getting a comfortable fit in my socket, I felt a shooting pain across the outside of my shin. I pointed to a small lump which seemed to be the culprit.....and was informed that what I have is called a neuroma. Neuromas can present quite a challenge when fitting a prosthetic socket, as the pressure put upon them when bearing weight can cause significant pain and cramping. Needless to say, my hopes to be up-and-walking came to a standstill, because at this point the socket is too painful to wear. On Monday we are going to start over with a new check-socket and see if it is possible to make a few adjustments to accommodate the neuroma. If it still continues to be problematic despite multiple attempts at socket corrections, steroid injections can be attempted, as well as surgery to transect and bury the neuroma deeper into the muscle tissue closer to the bone. Obviously, the last thing I want is another surgery.....so fingers are crossed that we find a better solution.
I guess that this is where I am humbled and reminded that the human body has its own logic, and no sheer force of will can change that. I have been pretty concerned and worried....as I've obviously been looking forward to getting my life back. It is sometimes hard to trust when one experiences setback after setback, or to catastrophize and think that I'll never be walking again. So I try to get scrappy and educate myself about all of my options, as well as connect with others who share similar struggles. Still, there are days where it is just plain hard.
Still Searching for "Normal"
I think the most difficult part of this experience is the length of time it is taking to regain some sense of normalcy. I want so much to be in a good head-space for my kids and family, but find myself feeling sad as I sit back and watch them participating in the fun stuff I would love to be doing. I also find that my patience is lacking, as well as the joy I used to feel on a regular basis as a very active person. I guess my energy tank is running on low, and the long hard winter has compounded the arduousness of the journey. Usually at this time of the year we would be making plans to camp, hike and travel....as the snow melts away and we prepare for increased time spent outdoors. Unfortunately at this juncture we are unable to plan with much certainty, which is tough. Luckily, my tough German temperament pushes me onward....as I kick myself in the butt to stay as active as I can be, and surrounded by good people. I try to find joy in the small things, such as richness of conversation with friends, holding my kids on my lap, watching the birds come to our feeder, getting in a good swim, or listening to my cat purr as I scratch him under the chin. (I do this to my husband too sometimes, but he doesn't purr....).
Somewhere in the back of my mind I know that this will not last forever. And I look around to see all that I have been blessed with. I am thankful that through all of this, my children are learning how to be helpful, how to be compassionate, and how to press on through difficulty. Of course, they are also learning new skills, such as how to throw their snow-covered clothes into the dryer and how to empty the dishwasher! I look forward to some exciting goals on the horizon.....and try to embrace the understanding that these things happen in their own time, which may be outside of my
control. (I can be so impatient!)
....and we continue taking things one. day. at. a. time.
Posted by Chris P-M at 8:05 PM