They said I had a condition called “venous status” but we found out later on that wasn’t true. No one could figure it out. We discussed all of the options and after meeting with them it seemed that amputation did make the most sense. Christian gave me confidence and courage. He was like a guardian angel in a lot of ways.
Tell us your story, how did you become injured/need a brace/an amputee?
In January of 2015 I had a wound on both ankles that was the size of a ladybug. I thought it was from dancing in my cowboy boots. One night one of them felt funny and I decided to go to the doctor. He sent me to a dermatologist to make sure they were benign, which they were. Over the next year, the wounds grew and grew, even while I was seeing a podiatrist. I had home care come in and doing bandage changes almost daily. I saw a vein specialist, wound care at PSL, Anschutz wound care, Aurora Medical center wound care. We did cat scans, MRIs, blood work, x-rays, any and everything. They said I had a condition called “venous status” but we found out later on that wasn’t true. No one could figure it out. I went to 31 doctors in 2 and a half years.
We tried different medications, steroids. No results. I even tried a laser surgery to remove some abnormal veins behind my calves, after being told that may help. I even tried maggot therapy! All this time the wounds were growing further up and down my ankles and feet. I was in such excruciating pain, even the air touching my wounds during bandage changes was absolutely horrible. They would hemorrhage and bleed and bleed and bleed. I would have to put grocery bags over my feet to go to the hospital and they would be full. I was in the emergency room 13 times in 5 weeks because my feet were bleeding out. At one time they told me I had lost 3 pints of blood. In May 2017, my wound care doctor said there was nothing more we could do and suggested a bilateral amputation. July 28th of 2017 I had my bilateral below knee amputation, both at the same time.
How did you hear about RISE Prosthetics + Orthotics?
I have known Christian all of his life and once I heard the word “amputation” I went in for a consultation. We discussed all of the options and after meeting with them it seemed that amputation did make the most sense, although the word “amputation” hurt me deeply.
What do you feel most proud of accomplishing since you became an amputee?
Standing. Again. Being able to stand upright and move more freely. Spending so much in the wheelchair, makes you really appreciate the freedom of standing. Again.
How do you spend your free time?
When they wheeled me into the operating room I had no fear. I had angels over my shoulders and God was with me. I had no fear. When I woke up from surgery I was scared to sit up and know what happened. Actually I wasn’t necessarily afraid, just more apprehensive about “now what”. Where do I go, what do I do?
Christian gave me confidence and courage. He was like a guardian angel in a lot of ways. He made me feel that it was going to be okay. And now it IS okay. All through this I have tried so hard to hold onto my faith and trust, and my optimism. Sometimes I have bad days but I am happy. So be happy for me because I am happy. Just seeing the sun come up everyday. I could have gotten a bone infection and died. I would have died if we wouldn’t have done anything and I am so grateful I made the choice the live.