Why Would I Electively Amputate My Foot?
Before we cover the actual elective amputation day, here is a bit of a backstory. When I was 28 years old, I wrecked my motorcycle resulting in a snapped foot. Since then, I have had 4 surgeries, countless physical therapy hours, and chiropractic visits. I walk on my toes because my bone has healed in a pointed position called “drop foot”.
I have also adopted many holistic remedies and ways of life trying to save my foot from elective amputation. Unfortunately, I am living a poor quality of life and looking for an end to this madness! I have an incredible family that is excited to see the world! Except, as I am, I can’t. Is getting my foot amputated the answer?
The Day Before Elective Amputation
My elective amputation was done in Oklahoma City by Doctor Ertl because his family came up with the bone bridge procedure. I wanted the very best surgeon I was able to get.
My mom flew in to watch my kids the day before my husband and I flew out to Oklahoma City to have the surgery. We needed a sitter that could stay longer than expected in case the surgery did not go as expected.
Once we landed in Oklahoma City, we went to my pre-op appointments. I needed to do blood work and a covid test. the rest of the day was spent walking as much as we could. we went to see fun things and said a proper goodbye to my foot. That evening was spent reminiscing and praying for a smooth amputation and recovery.
The Day Of Amputation
I spent the entire day before and the morning of surgery crying buckets of tears. This is not what I expected to happen in my life. This was not the plan I had set into motion. But here I was, removing my lower leg and forever making my life physically different. Would my life be harder? Will I still be in pain? Would I be worse than before? Am I making the right decision?
I was in such a bad state of panic that Doctor Ertl ordered the nursing team to take me to pre-surgery where the anesthesiologist would give me an IV medication to help ease the gravity of the situation. But because I rarely take medication, it knocked me out cold within 4 seconds.
My husband stated it took a little longer than expected but that Doctor Ertl was in communication with him regularly.
I remember not being able to open my eyes but feeling my husband’s hand. He recalls that when he held my hand there was a strange transfer of electrical energy. almost like he was removing some of the fear and anxiety from me to help me heal. It is incredibly important to have trusted loved ones around when you are going through a traumatic situation.
When I Finally Wake Up
I woke up the next day and was in good spirits. I did not look at my foot that day. Since I had a catheter in I did not need to use the restroom and the bedsheets were arranged in a way that made it look like I still had a foot. I did not have any pain but there was a bit of adjustment that needed to be done for my pain management once my nerve block wore off.
I was able to eat and call my mom with the kids. We celebrated a successful surgery and prayed for the next steps to continue to be a smooth transition.
In the video above, my husband recalls the entire amputation process from his perspective which is helpful because he was the one awake the entire time. He also mentions his first reactions to seeing my amputated leg. “It was shocking.”
Next “Steps” After A Successful Elective Amputation
Before I left the hospital, we had physical therapy come in to help me learn to use equipment properly. We used the walker, and the wheelchair to help me navigate going to the restroom and even going up the stairs. I was surprised by the activity level but I wish I would have known to ask for simple instructions like how to get up from the floor.
Next, we made a post-op follow-up visit with Doctor Ertl 2 days after being released from the hospital. The nursing staff also made a few adjustments to my pain management medication. I was using a muscle relaxor and a narcotic for pain. we had to find the right timing, dosage, and combination that kept me pain-free.
I was released from the hospital, 3 days after my elective amputation and flew home 3 days later.
If you have any questions for me, please leave them in the comments! I would love to help you walk through your elective amputation journey.
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