I saw a psychiatrist a few weeks ago, I have been asked by many orthopaedic consultants about seeing a psychiatrist after requesting an amputation!
In case you haven’t read any previous blog posts, I have had many knee surgeries and last was a total knee replacement in 2016. My nerves are playing up and I get a lot of pain constantly and different types of pain, I am unable to walk and my muscles have wasted considerably and this has resulted in the knee clonking. Now this happens with knee replacements but because my nerves are hypersensitive, its agony every time it happens and this has led to me being housebound. I have asked for an amputation not because I believe I will be pain free, but because just being rid of that clonk will enable me to get about without that pain.
So I saw this psychiatrist, I told her that I am 100% okay, that I am happy despite the pain and yet it’s not totally correct. I thought that I needed to convince her that I was making this decision with a clear head so to speak. However maybe I messed up, maybe they need to understand that whilst this is the right decision and I am not asking because of any mental health issue, they need to understand that this has destroyed my life, that I get very down when I think that I might not be helped and that living with this is going to eventually break me or cause me to do something to force the amputation!
I have been told that I have another session with the psychiatrist and so I can say that I maybe wasn’t being totally honest, although she may have already figured that out!
The question is, what do they need? Do I need to prove this is a decision made with a clear head or does the fact that I hate this knee and I can’t carry on like this make the case any more likely to lead to amputation?
I have no expectations of being able to walk again, my other knee and my hips are too painful for that and damage to my shoulders from years of using crutches means I can’t use them any more.
I have seen several cases in the media lately where people have had their request for an amputation taken seriously and they are now free to try to build back the lives they lost because of the problems. The problem is finding a consultant that will agree, I know that when I do find someone who can see its right, I will have to try to find the money to have it done privately as that has been the case with the people who have had the surgery.
So if you are one of those people who have had an elective amputation because of pain, please contact me and tell me who it was that helped you!