Two years ago, my leg was hurting so I went to the doctor and was diagnosed at age 44 with PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease. I had no clue I was severely anemic and had an AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm) as well as a blood clot. I underwent bypass surgery twice in 10 hours and then an amputation 12 hours later. On July 2, 2015, I became a LBKA (left below-knee amputee). My life and my family’s lives changed in a matter of hours.
I knew nothing about the amputee life, how to take my life forward or even what was in store for me next. After 45 days in rehab and 4 weeks at home I returned to work. The hardest part about this is that you think people look at you differently, but they really don’t.
I am a 44 year-old female that has been in good health all along. Why now? Why me? I am married and have two step sons. My husband and I moved to Michigan six years prior for a job offer I had accepted. Thank God we did! Our medical care in Michigan is wonderful!
I received my first prosthesis in October 2015 after many months in the wheelchair and a very large wound that would not heal. I was walking like a champ for about seven months when I started having pain in my limb. This pain became so severe I could not wear my prosthesis. I was diagnosed with MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) and in October of 2016 I had a revision surgery to remove the infection. Six weeks after surgery I was up and walking again for two weeks until the pain returned.
I was diagnosed with Osteomylitis and underwent six weeks of antibiotics along with hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments. On March 3, 2017, my infection was gone. I was able to get a new leg and start running and working out again! I have begun blogging to inspire others and say and think things others are afraid to do. I have been able to meet people from around the globe through social media and other functions. My Prosthetist and I are starting a local support group for amputees in hopes to keep others active and emotionally healthy. I plan to continue my quest of awareness, inspiration and support to others with life-changing events. I would like to become a mentor to help others and to keep myself grounded and humble.