Thursday, March 31, 2011

To have surgery or not to have surgery...

.....THAT is the question!!

So, I have alot of skin issusses with my stubi (stump but i don't like that word) and alot of fit issues as a result of that. They fused my heal to the end of my stubi when the amputated my leg for weight bearing purposes, but it affects the way that the leg fits and the way it stays on, etc. It's sort of hard to explain but basically the leg needs to grip or suction very well onto my stubi so it doesn't slide up and down as I walk.

I also had a very ill-fitting leg in my early twenties which caused a roll of skin that makes it even tougher for the leg to stay on well. I've been dealing with these issues for years, and it has started to affect my back and my good leg/knee negatively. I know most people think I get around very well and I definitely do, but I want more for myself. I want to be more active than I am. The leg that was made last year helped me be a big more active and I was able to lose 26 pounds but am sort of at a standstill with that.

So my prosthetist referred me to a surgeon who is really good at what he does. He feels the surgery is necessary for me to have a good fit and get around really well. He is optimistic that it would radically change my mobility and help me achieve my goals. It would involve him removing about 3 or 4 inches off of the end of my stubi (including my heel), remove the roll of skin (called an abductor roll), and remove some fatty tissue that causes alot of issues as well.

The recovery would involve 5 days inpatient for pain control and then 4-6 weeks before we could start working on a new prosthesis and then probably 2 more months before I would be walking normally again. So it's a huge commitment and decision to make. I really want the surgery, but finances are a huge issue. I don't know how long my school insurance is good through and then if it would even cover it so I'm looking into that. And then Dr. Glickman's team is concerned about my lack of having family here because of the recovery period. They've set me up with a social worker to process even some of the loss of part of the leg which sounds weird but I would be losing the heel which I've always liked having.

So I would definitely appreciate all the prayers I can get on 1). if I should get the surgery and 2). the finances for it. If I'm going to do it, this summer would be perfect timing since I'm done with school and don't have a job lined up yet. But then I wouldn't be able to deploy with the Trauma Team to Nicaragua as I was planning, but with the added quality of life I would have, more trips would be in my future which makes me smile. :) If you are still reading.....Thank YOU and please pray with me. And I'm open to any input/suggestions/advice.


  1. Lauri, it sounds really positive!! I'm so excited for you although you still haven't made the decision and there are a lot of obstacles or roadblocks. I so wish I could come and stay with you! :( I am praying for you as you make this huge decision and I KNOW that if you are to have this surgery God will provide the finances and a 'housemate'. :) Love you and am a little giddy thinking about what this could mean for you. <3

  2. Hi Lauri! I have been following your blog. I want you to know that I will be praying for you during this time. You are a pretty awesome person and deserve the best. God always makes away! :)

  3. Of course, nobody but you can make such a difficult decision... nobody knows what would benefit your life better than you do! Either way, I'm praying that you'll be able to make a decision easily and be comfortable with whatever you choose to do! I'm sure God will lead you in the direction he wants for you!

  4. Praying!!! "God perfects that which concerns us"