As the title says, I need some advice about elective amputation!
A very dodgy knee became even worse after an accident at work shortly after recovering from surgery on the knee, I tried my best to recover using exercise and rest but alas I was in a lot of pain and so I decided to agree to total knee replacement.
I awoke from the surgery and immediately started to try and mobilise the knee, I was determined to get my mobility back and after three days I was allowed home. It was quite obvious early on that I wasn’t going to get my mobility back and my pain was worse than ever, I was seen by the consultant and he dismissed my pain.
I had hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, meds, more meds and even more meds and yet my pain levels were still sky high, what was worse that I was unable to mobilise using crutches and now I am a full time wheelchair user. I have two types of problem, the first is nerve pain and there is not a lot to help but the second is what I call a mechanical pain, my knee clonks and its a big old clonk. I can’t tell when it’s going to happen, it could be when transferring from the toilet to my wheelchair or just moving my leg to get comfortable, it can even happen with the slightest movement of my knee and what is very frustrating is that I can’t make it clonk and neither can the consultant when he examines the knee and so I’m not sure he actually believes me? Imagine that, a consultant not believing a patient!
I have spoken with the consultant and also two other orthopaedic consultants at Southend hospital about amputation, I can see the horror in their faces and quite quickly they do the consultant thing and take control of the appointment and I leave feeling like I haven’t been heard.
I have literally begged, I have even cried when I explain what it’s like to live like I do every minute of every day, I could see the nurse in the room getting upset and she understood but not the consultant. He told me that in the oath he took as a doctor, it says he will cause no harm and yet I believe that eating me as I am is causing harm!
Its now six years post op and I’m due to see him next month, my pain management consultant finally understood at our last meeting and promised he would speak to the orthopaedic consultant.
I am not going into this without understanding what amputation means, the last thing I want is to lose a leg but I can’t keep going like this and so I’m willing to make the sacrifice. I don’t even expect to walk again, that isn’t important, well it is but the main factor is losing that mechanical pain.
I have watched two above the knee amputations, I have watched videos about peoples post op journey and I have watched and read everything I can, I have read about people who have said that the elective amputation was the best decision they have made and I just want the chance to fight.
What I need to know is, what are my rights?
Can I do anything to make him take me seriously and help me?
Please leave a comment if you can help.