The past 3 months have been a wonderful beginning to rest of my life. I love my prosthetic leg and get better and stronger using it everyday. I use crutches when leaving the house; however I practice using only one crutch and walking without crutches at home - and am progressing nicely. In May I went with my wife and sister-in-law to watch my son and daughter-in-law's graduation in Houston using my wheelchair. I wasn't ready with my prostheses and everything went well. In June I went to watch another son run the 1500m at the Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR (he has the legs of the family) by myself with my prostheses. I made it without incident and gained a boat load of confidence. I had a lot of help along the way making arrangements for a wheelchair at each airport and using available handicap services at Hayward Field. There were many guardian angels along the way that opened doors, carried things for me and made life easier.
There is no way I would have been able to make either trip with my absolutely painful left leg as it was pre amputation. I couldn't even leave my house in the months leading up to my amputation, spending most of my time in a dark room listening to music and praying to get to the next minute, then the next, then the next... I do have phantom pain but not the nasty physical pain of my diseased lower left leg and foot. Before amputation I wasn't able to walk because the pain was so incredibly intense with any pressure on my left foot. I had terribly gripping muscle spasms every minute of every day, now there aren't any.
It has take months of work to get to this point. I began in the hospital with a walker taking only a few steps, then to a wheelchair, advancing to crutches and one leg, then to my prostheses with crutches, soon with only one crutch and hopefully then without any extra support. I am diligent with exercises everyday targeting strength, agility and balance. I'm able to walk 2-3 blocks and getting closer to human speed. The process of donning my leg, daily adjustments, hygiene and confidence are now inherent. I have zero regrets with my amputation and living with a prosthetic leg.
The amputation was done above the knee because the EM was to the top of my calf and base of my knee. There is no indication of EM in my residual limb, aka stump. It has healed nicely and doesn't have any redness or swelling. Hooray! My right lower leg and foot are getting worse, but there aren't any muscle spasms and the pain isn't nearly as crippling as was in my left side. I am not looking for another amputation; right not I enjoy being able to move once again and rejoin the human race outside my home.