Quick decisions are sometimes bad decisions. In 2006, I was faced with one of those quick decisions and I can say now that it was definitely a good decision. Not all decisions you make have the outcomes totally reliant on yourself though. This was one of those scenarios.
I had only a short time to make the choice to have my first leg amputated. It was my left leg, and having a lived experience of a previous muscle flap, this was something I was unsure if I wanted to endeavor again. It is ‘easier’ to make the choice between two things – muscle flap or amputation – but ‘harder’ in regards to ‘do you go with the known or unknown?’
The fear of the known was so great, that I went for the unknown. The devil you know was not the go in this case!! Squamos Cell Carcinoma had set in yet again and it was so close to the bone it was scary. The trauma of having another piece of muscle cut out of my back, with a graft to my foot was just unbearable to think about. That surgery was not without complications; I suffered from internal bleeding and almost died. The act of breathing was so painful I was on oxygen for a month. It left me with 58 stitches across my back, a 5 month stay in hospital and a recovery which was almost 18 months. Why on earth would I want to do that again?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. The amputation of my left leg was a ‘trial’ by my surgeons, and if only we knew then what we know now. In relying on my surgeons to fulfill the task of the amputation, and not leaving enough ‘padding’ on my left stump has caused me issues over the years – and we are still working on the perfect fit for my prosthetic.
So – the left foot had to go. They say that the left foot is advanced first because it is nearest to the heart and symbolizes intention, while the right foot is supposed to represent intellectual faculty………