amputated, amputee, accident
Some pics from the last 4 years
Happy Valentines Day!
Wow, guys. Had a few tears throughout the night while reading comments, & I still have many to go.
Thank you. Just...thank you.
Some pics from the last 4 years
Happy Valentines Day!
Wow, guys. Had a few tears throughout the night while reading comments, & I still have many to go.
Thank you. Just...thank you.
Comments: 4982 • Responses: 24 • Date: 2014-02-15 00:31:44 UTCsource
Spotty_Towel1608 karma2014-02-15 00:52:43 UTC
Can you give us a run down on the costs? The sheer amount of surgery you have had, the amount of times you went back, and the future operations costs are things people usually don't talk about.
I often see people who went through experiences like this talk about operations they have to go back to with a smile, but I can always imagine how much the payments must be. What were covered? What aren't covered by insurance?
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EmRebJac3217 karma2014-02-15 01:48:37 UTC
I don't have a concrete number--I know by the end of the first year I was already over a million in debt. I would guess about 1.5 million total to date (not accounting for future prosthetic costs which will be about $20,000 every 4 years)
I was 22 & medically uninsured at this time, so the only money collected was from the car insurance policies--around $350,000 total. I was denied Medicaid, SSI disability, & Medicare, so the first 2 years most of my non emergency surgeries were the product of my orthopedic surgeon, plastic surgeon, & lawyer working their asses off on my behalf. They put me through charities & reduced or cut their fee. My lawyer got the hospitals to reduce the bill by 90%--and then he surprised me by opening up a Medical Trust Fund & giving me all of his portion for future prosthetic costs. I was lucky enough to have some amazing strangers come into my life & sacrifice their time/money. After a couple years I was finally accepted by Medicare/Medicaid & they have pretty much paid for everything since.
KJones772659 karma2014-02-15 01:55:40 UTC
Fucking US Health Care System.
Murfjr2225 karma2014-02-15 02:01:02 UTC
US healthcare:because waking up without excruciating pain is a privilege,not a right
EmRebJac607 karma2014-02-15 06:45:59 UTC
I know you're kidding, but at the time of my accident this is how Utah insurers saw amputees. They'd pay thousands for a hip replacement, or to save a limb but the second that limb was gone, walking became a 'privilege,' not a need. Some things have been changed since then, but it's still a battle
YouDoNotWantToKnow66 karma2014-02-15 01:51:20 UTC
Geez, sounds like you should have a good answer for this- any tips on finding a good lawyer, doctor, etc?
EmRebJac79 karma2014-02-15 14:12:26 UTC
As amazing as the men are that went above & beyond their job description to help, like some have replied below, I think being a young girl didn't hurt my luck. I mentioned elsewhere that many of my doctors/lawyer/therapists/prosthetician remarked how I reminded them of their daughter, or sister. Men have a soft spot for women with these things.
The51stState1258 karma2014-02-15 02:15:23 UTC
Hey we're leg twins!! Except I got ran over by a train :/
scheide544 karma2014-02-15 02:41:01 UTC
Run over by a train? How did that happen? Story time please.
The51stState1369 karma2014-02-15 02:53:44 UTC
Not sure... I suffered memory loss due to trauma. All I know is I was headed to a park after I dropped a friend off at his place, and then blank I wake up the next day in the hospital. The train conductor said he was coming around a bend and saw me laying unconscious between the tracks, my face was all beat up and bloody, and I actually had a broken back at that time. He blew the horn a few times and hit the emergency brakes, but it wasn't very effective. Anyways, I woke up just in time to crawl almost completely out of the way, but my leg was still over the track when the train caught up to me. Like I said, I don't remember any of that and I sure got some chills hearing that story from the guy at the train company. Sure sucked being woken up and told I no longer had part of my leg though.
EmRebJac1013 karma2014-02-15 05:07:22 UTC
What in the world? Now that is a crazy story. Sorry, leg twin! How long ago?
Solypsys1115 karma2014-02-15 01:13:54 UTC
How liable was the person who crashed into you?
EmRebJac2911 karma2014-02-15 02:39:24 UTC
He is an amazing, wonderful person. He visits on occasion, & recently flew me out to NYC to visit him. I know he had to go to court for the ticket, but we didn't really talk about the legal side of things. It was an accident, nothing more. He was leaving work & lost control on ice going under 10mph. No lawsuits or anger, just a new friend
garfunkelle1261 karma2014-02-15 02:53:23 UTC
Did he experience a lot of guilt after this? Even though it was clearly an accident, I'd still really struggle to forgive myself. Do you know anything about how he worked through the emotional fallout?
Also, your attitude towards him & the accident in general is amazing and inspiring.
EmRebJac1846 karma2014-02-15 06:15:59 UTC
I would get glimpses of how hard it was for him in the beginning. He would visit me in the hospital & I could feel the sadness dripping off of him, but he wouldn't ever talk about it because he said he felt that what he went through pales in comparison. To be honest, I would much rather be in my shoes than his.
SxeySteve1583 karma2014-02-15 06:21:51 UTC
edit: Just to clarify, not trying to be mean spirited. I imagined this would be the type of thing that could give me a laugh if I lost a leg. But then again, maybe I just have a fucked up sense of humor.
EmRebJac1216 karma2014-02-15 09:44:02 UTC
Oh, sxeysteve, it'll take more than that to offend me.
Amputee joke contest. Go
The_Serious_Account391 karma2014-02-15 11:09:49 UTC
Amputee joke contest. Go
EmRebJac149 karma2014-02-15 16:05:06 UTC
mickyuzi87787 karma2014-02-15 00:45:36 UTC
When it first happened and the doctor told you what needed to be done, what ran through your head? And BTW the amount of smiles I seen through that album made me smile aswell, you're awesome.
EmRebJac796 karma2014-02-15 02:08:53 UTC
I don't remember meeting the doctor when I got to the hospital (they gave me Versed on the life flight), but in the medical records the doctor made note that I grabbed his hand & asked him to 'take good care of my legs.'
I_AM_A_IDIOT_AMA761 karma2014-02-15 01:02:05 UTC
Holy crap. Your recovery is just nothing short of incredible. I honestly can't tell from the last few pictures that you've been amputated at all.
Anyway, as to a question. How do you feel about modern prosthetic legs? Did you get any choice as to what kind of functionality you could get?
I really find the technological end of helping amputees pretty interesting myself, you may have seen prosthetics like these before, or heard of the advancements in bringing 'touch sensation' back in prosthetics, like artificial nerves, and I was wondering what would make or stop someone from choosing a specific sort of prosthetic.
I wish you all the best. Your story is really inspirational, thanks for sharing it with us.
EmRebJac651 karma2014-02-15 01:23:14 UTC
I think I am incredibly lucky to live in the time & place I do. Touch technology is brilliant, especially for hand & arm amputees, but I don't know if that would help me do much more than I can now. I am still on my beginner prosthetic, but soon (Medicare willing), hope to have the finalized one that looks a lot cooler than plastic & a pole. Money is obviously the main factor in what I can & can't have, as insurance companies usually only pay for the basics. My bare bones version was $13,000. A finalized one would be about $20,000 for decent quality (lasts about 4 years)
DubiumGuy81 karma2014-02-15 01:36:18 UTC
Do you still get phantom limb pain and have you had any 'mirror box' therapy?
EmRebJac151 karma2014-02-15 02:27:27 UTC
I wrote more detail about limb pain to another question, but...mirror box therapy! Yes, I have tried it. It kind of worked, but it's more suited for people who were injured for a while before being amputated. It made me feel like I could move my 'toes' more, & some of the electrical buzz decreased, but overall there's a certain type of amputee that works better for.
hardcorelegend43398 karma2014-02-15 01:18:20 UTC
I actually laughed when I read that you fell and broke your femur. Not at your pain, but at the idea of such an anti-climactic event. (Still felt like a dick though)You're a beautiful person, inside & out. I commend your strength and courage to go through this and not give up.
EmRebJac501 karma2014-02-15 03:12:17 UTC
The night I broke it a friend was trying to convince me it 'wasn't possible' while waiting for the Xrays. It was just too perfectly awful. When the doctor came in minutes later & told me it was broken, we just started laughing which quickly turned into crying, & then into a weird mixture of the two.
Edit: For clarification, on the way home from getting my prosthetic I stopped to get a Redbox. Slipped on ice (yep, ice again), & landed decently hard on my non bendy knee. That's how it broke.
takesyousrsly373 karma2014-02-15 01:12:24 UTC
I was just complaining about my life.. I'm going to go ahead and stop that now.
You brave, brave soul..
DocRude201 karma2014-02-15 01:24:59 UTC
I know right. I'm constantly complaining because I'm always depressed. And here is a woman that lost her leg and is going about life with an attitude that's 1000x better than mine.
Really makes me wonder what the hell is wrong with me haha
Edit: Wow I didn't know so many people were so understanding of the plight of depression. I know it's not my fault I feel the way I feel. And it's easy for me to say "oh she's handling it so well, why do I feel like shit all the time" but I know it's a little more complicated than that. It really is a pain in the ass. Thanks for all the nice comments though. Have a good day and such.
EmRebJac478 karma2014-02-15 03:26:03 UTC
I hear this a lot, & you mentioned depression so I wanted to share my very limited experience with it. I was lucky enough to be born with a brain that releases what it's supposed to when it's supposed to. After the initial surgeries, withdrawing from Dilaudid was excruciating, physically & emotionally. I was in a funk for a couple days that could only be described as Hell. It always went away, but that people suffer with that awful abyss of a feeling on a daily basis boggles my mind. It was one of the hardest things to deal with---It wasn't me. It was chemicals.
Pimpfoot330 karma2014-02-15 06:27:14 UTC
Friend of mine just linked me your AMA with the comment "wow". He knows my story so he figured could appreciate what you went through and I certainly can. I admire your spirit. I wish I would have had more of your strength when I lost my foot.
short version of a long story, I was hit by a car when i was six. Messed up my left foot. I suffered with it for about 28 years, then in 2010 decided to take the foot off. Things have steadily gotten better since. Don't get me wrong, it was rough, the change in body image and the changes to the smallest details of your daily routine are not easy to overcome, but I had a lot of great friends and a ton of help. A few years ago I met a woman who changed my life and recently I married her and now everything is my life is brighter, better and happier. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing your story. You give me inspiration.
EmRebJac173 karma2014-02-15 06:35:06 UTC
Thank you for sharing yours! Your wife is stunning, I'm so glad life is moving along & getting better :)
aflanry325 karma2014-02-15 01:05:25 UTC
Could someone provide the story behind the surgeries for those who don't want to look at gory pictures?
Saffs15379 karma2014-02-15 01:44:26 UTC
I pretty much copied all of the text. Left off some that you have to see the picture to understand though. There's definitely some gore, but if you can stomach it, the pictures definitely make it a better story.
Pic 1: February 9, 2010. On vacation in Boulder, CO. I was getting pants out of the trunk of my friend's car when another car lost control on ice & crushed me in between. I remember thinking 'that wasn't so bad,' but when I looked down my right leg was gone. It was severed & lying underneath the car.
Pic 2: It was a long 20 minutes waiting for an ambulance to get up the canyon. My friends & strangers passing by had tied a tourniquet, then covered me with blankets & jackets. I was on a life flight when these were taken by my friends who were with me.
pic 6: About a week post accident. Efforts were made to reattach, but it was unsuccessful. I was put in a medically induced coma for a week after going into septic shock. It was officially amputated on Valentines Day.
pic 7: First time out of bed, 2 weeks post accident. 10 surgeries by this time, mostly in reconstructing efforts. My surgeons saved a part of my ankle & grafted it below my knee to give me a chance at not having an above knee amputation.
pic 8: I was transferred back to a hospital in Utah for 3 weeks of inpatient rehab. Parts of my leg began to die, so I had to go into a hyperbaric chamber 4 hours a day for a couple weeks. Altogether I was initially in the hospital for 6 weeks straight.
pic 9: Despite treatment,some parts became necrotic, & I was readmitted beginning of April 2010.
pic 10:After the dead parts were cut off, I used a wound vac between bi-weekly debriding surgeries & daily wound care.
pic 17:In the hospital during this time, I had 5 hours of therapy a day. Left leg had severe muscle & nerve damage. I couldn't lift my foot at all, so I wore a boot to help heal it in a way that would allow for me to get use back.
pic 22:My knee froze up from lack of use & scar tissue via trauma. Could only get 85 degrees flexion, and 15 degrees extension at this time.
pic 23: 6 months post accident. A lot of walkers, wheelchairs, & crutches
pic 24: One of the screws had come through the bone & was causing intense pain. The phantom sensations were unbearable at times. It could feel like my toes were breaking, or a screwdriver was going through my heal, or I was standing on hot coals.
pic 25: After a little while I was able to get them removed. Helped a ton with the pain.
pic 28: 9 months post accident. I could finally start wearing a shrinker sock to shape my limb & get ready for a prosthetic.
pic 29: My skin grafts were proving hard to work with, so my plastic surgeon had to remove them & stretch my healthy skin over the wounds.
pic 31: A while later he did a scar revision as well.
pic 33: 10 months post accident. Still healing from the previous surgery. My left leg was now completely healed, although I still have nerve damage & a pretty disfigured scar. When I flex my foot, all the muscle that was pushed down bulges out.
pic 34: Wound wouldn't heal. Discovered I had a hematoma, & had to do 3x a day wound care for a few weeks with iodine ribbon until it healed.
pic 35: A little while later I had to have a scope to determine why I was still having so much pain. My bone was shaved down as well, as it had a protrusion that would make walking in a prosthetic problematic.
pic 36: January 28, 2001. I was FINALLY getting a prosthetic 12 days before my 1 year anniversary.
pic 37: My leg was so weak from a year of not being walked on...a few hours after this picture was taken, I fell & broke my femur.
It was an eventful day
pic 38: Hospitalized for a week.
pic 39: 3 months post femur accident I got the go ahead to start weight bearing.
pic 40: And proceeded to go everywhere I possibly could
pic 43: After a year of not being able to walk, it's all I wanted to do! I was often punished for my enthusiasm.
pic 45: Still had some problem areas. Had a few more surgeries for scar tissue removal/bone shaving.
pic 46: 2 years post accident, had another surgery to remove the hardware from the femur break.
pic 47: Walking in a prosthetic was much better with all the metal out.
pic 48: 2.5 years post accident. Walking was still really painful & especially hard without a cane...
pic 49: or a crutch.
pic 50: Next surgery, anterior knee release to straighten my still frozen knee. We realized I needed it to have a normal gait when walking, & it also would help with the pressure points/pain.
pic 51: I've become hard to stick over the years.
pic 52: Doctor resplinting my freshly cut leg... (Picture of her in pain)
pic 53: ...an hour later with drugs! (picture of her smiling with her mom, I assume.)
pic 54: Hours of daily therapy & stretching.
pic 56: The first anterior knee release worked, but froze pretty quickly with scar tissue. Had to have a redo a couple months later
pic 57: Which made surgery #32
pic 58: Over 3 years post accident--A few months ago I had a posterior knee release to get my knee to bend past 90 degrees
pic 59: CPM machine for 4 hours a day, with wound care & ice pack machine inbetween...
pic 60: And an hour a day with my therapist, torturing me just for fun
pic 62: Had to be re hospitalized for the pain during long therapy. It froze up after the first week, & I went in to have it manipulated--turned into another full surgery. All my thigh muscle was cut off the bone (adhered from scar tissue), and my knee capsule was released.
pic 63: That was surgery #34, and hopefully my last :)
pic 64: In the meantime I stay sane by travelling. And, I am now walking well enough where people can't tell if I'm wearing pants, or thigh highs.
pic 65/66: (pictures of her and friends out and about, with the thigh highs. Can't see the prosetchic at all.)
pic 67: And soon I should be getting my finalized prosthetic! I still wear this one with pride though.
It's been a rough & fun few years :)
Edit: I copied all of this out and everything because it's such an incredible story. I have alotta respect for ya OP, you're pretty awesome. Sorry to see you had such a tough road, but definitely happy to see that you're doing so much better nowadays.
EmRebJac22 karma2014-02-15 05:22:31 UTC
Thanks! Saved me time
JoshWithaQ321 karma2014-02-15 01:02:30 UTC
What do the kids think of your leg?
EmRebJac1478 karma2014-02-15 01:35:00 UTC
Mostly kids are just curious. They like to ask a lot of questions & touch the prosthetic & say whatever they're thinking. Fun to watch the parents cringe at the adorably politically incorrect things they say
Edit: Someone asked for an example, so this is probably my favorite. A girl, about 5, asked what happened, & after telling her I was hit by a car she looked at me like I was a total idiot & said, "That's why I look both ways before I cross the street," then smugly walked away, all proud of her safety knowledge.
Bkuhl11260 karma2014-02-15 01:07:17 UTC
Could you talk a bit about the phantom limb sensation? Have you gotten used to it or is it still very odd?
EmRebJac522 karma2014-02-15 02:04:51 UTC
On average it feels like I have my leg in wet cement with an electric current. There's always a buzz, & when I try to move my toes it's like I'm moving them through thick mud. When a storm comes through, or I've walked a bit that day the pain can range. The crushing pain is the worst--my bones that aren't there feel like they're being crushed or twisted. Phantom itch can get annoying, haha--I just have to hit & move my limb until I find the spot that makes it go away. Overall, It's kind of cool. I'm glad I can still 'feel' it, I think it would be weirder if I couldn't, but there are some rough days.
Razorblazor148 karma2014-02-15 00:45:26 UTC
What were your first thoughts when you realized that your leg was severed?
EmRebJac265 karma2014-02-15 01:31:58 UTC
It's hard to describe that realization. Panic, fear & shock. There were about 10 seconds of trying to figure out if this was even real...it really did just feel like a dream, which you hear people say often, but that's the easiest way to describe it. When the pain & burning started I had a little panic moment. I snapped out of it pretty quickly & had scared, but calm conversation after that
fiffers60 karma2014-02-15 02:09:17 UTC
Would you mind describing the time between the car coming toward you and the hospital? How long until the ambulance showed up? What was the reaction of those around you?
Also, I'm sorry that that's your memory of Boulder! I'm born and raised, lived there til 23. Hopefully you get the chance to go back and hike up to the Royal Arch or something with your new prosthetic!
EmRebJac438 karma2014-02-15 07:55:42 UTC
It took about 20 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. I wrote this out in detail a while back, so I'll copy some of that here, starting from right after I was hit:
For a second I was dazed and remembered thinking 'that wasn’t so bad'. I tried to sit up to assess my injuries and what I saw was so terrifying no words could give my feeling justice. My left leg was bent under me (I was sitting on it) and my right leg was simply gone. It was gone. I was looking at this gory mess of blood/bone/tissue/muscle/skin in total shock & then saw this tiny piece of flesh trailing to the right. My gaze followed this & at the end was my leg. I saw my leg underneath the car. From impact till this moment was only a few seconds & I was almost trying to discern if this was what really was happening. I had the distinct thought, “cry,” but no tears came.
At that moment the first person I saw come into view was the guy who hit me. I looked up at his face, only to meet a horrified/trembling expression & I realized I wasn’t imagining this. I screamed for L, begging her to tell me this was a nightmare. I looked back down for the last time I would see (in my memory at least) my leg & then collapsed back into the snow. There was so much blood. I was breathing hard & so many random things were rushing through my head. I had a panicking thought process of the gravity of this situation, but quickly realized being calm was vital. L had come behind me and began to hold me & B voiced me needing a tourniquet, grabbed my sweatpants, & started to make one. I feel for the most part my memory of this is pretty intact, but from here on the order of things may not be exactly as occurred.
Around this time I decided that the leg I was sitting on needed to come out from under me, so L helped to hoist me up and grab my leg to pull it out. When I saw it I knew it was broken. It was so morphed, but I still asked L if it was broken and she said yes (we would find out later that it wasn’t). I tried to lay it down, but was afraid to for some reason so I kept my knee in the air and held it up with my foot. It was then I really started to think about dying. You try imagining being in situations like this and unless you’ve been there, it’s impossible to feel or describe this to anyone.
My legs started to burn with this intense electric wave of needles. I told them I was in pain. I was thinking of A. I wanted him to be there holding my hand, telling me everything was going to be ok. I asked L to go get my phone so that I could call him. I wanted to hear his voice so it could wash all my troubles away. She had barely gotten up to get it when I realized I was being selfish. I did not want him to hear me going through this, knowing there was nothing he could do.
Meanwhile the guy who hit me managed to call 911. I later found out that they were panicking because no one’s cell phone was getting reception up the canyon, and after some odd time one phone finally did. He was within ears reach when in response to the dispatchers question he started to respond “One leg is broken and the other is seve…” when L and the others around me hushed him—not wanting me, I assume, to hear my leg was off. And they were right, I knew it was gone, that was just the first time it was said, & it was the last thing I wanted to hear. People had started to gather and a woman, who I still don’t know, had been the one putting pressure on my leg. Throughout the time before the ambulance got there she kept repeating “Where are they?!? Why are they not here yet?!? They need to get here NOW.”
A tarp had been placed under my leg to protect it from the ice/snow. Everyone had put every jacket/blanket/fabric in sight on me, and I was still shivering. By this point, it had been so long I think everyone started to drop their brave face & slowly begin to break down. B knelt by me & kept saying how sorry he was for bringing me up the canyon & how this was all his fault. M came over to hold L as she held me and started bawling. L kept repeating how sorry she was over and over again. The lady pressing on my leg had 5 second intervals between screaming, “where are they?!?,” and I could do nothing but look into the cold, white sky, & pretend that this wasn’t happening.
I was silent & still, prompting questions every 10 seconds about me. What’s your name (Emily), how are you doing (hanging in there), are you in pain (of course), where (my legs) is anything else hurt ( I don’t think so), did I hit my head (I don’t think so), Tell me about your family… All this crying/ despair/ questions got to me. It meant something was wrong. I then turned my head to the right for the first time to see the front grill of the car, decorated with drops of blood & bits of my flesh & bone. I couldn't believe I was looking at what was 10 minutes ago, functioning/alive pieces of my body, now splattered on a car an inch away from my face. Again, for confirmation (I guess?), I asked L if it was pieces of my leg, to which she responded yes and not to look at it, while positioning my head to look at her.
Around this time there was rumbling that there just so happened to be an ER doctor in the area, and someone had been sent to get him. I was losing blood, I could feel it. I was getting weaker, a little light headed, things were becoming hazy. I just kept thinking of my family, A, my best friends. I thought of how awful everyone would feel when they found out, and how at that very moment they were going about their daily lives, while I knew in a few hours that would all change for them. It was then I started really thinking about the guy who hit me, how awful he must feel, and how I needed to talk to him right then. I asked L to bring him over to me. He immediately came over, looking so scared, & I asked him what his name was. I told him my name was Emily, that it was nice to meet him even though the circumstances sucked. I told him not to worry, that everything would be OK, that it was an accident, & I didn’t blame him at all. I just wanted to comfort him & let him know I wasn’t mad—the things I would want to hear were I in his shoes.
Then the doctor got to the scene after about 15 minutes & calmly asked for gloves. No one had any, so he decided to just stay back until EMT's arrived. I started to zone everything out and just look up, I heard no voices, I only saw white & images of everyone I loved rushing through. I thought about everything I could be doing then; cooking dinner with Anna while listening to Lady Gaga, snuggling up with A while watching deadliest catch, being in a warm bed. I wanted to blackout, but I guess I was supposed to remember this.
I then heard the most beautiful sound someone in my situation could hear; ambulance sirens. Finally after what seemed like an eternity, these men started to work on me. I saw sighs of relief from my friends & the helpers who had gathered. I, of course was relieved. I remember the EMT’s faces so vividly. I was searching for some sign of what they thought. One said, “now, how are we going to do this.” & they, in code, plotted out what they were going to do. They looked scared, and that scared me. They started to roll me onto a board so they could lift me onto the stretcher while someone else lifted my leg at the same time & I was dreading this moment—where me +my leg were picked up & I had to feel what was going on. I closed my eyes so very tight, gritted my teeth, and on the count of 3, thousands of needles stabbed away at my body. They lifted me and put me on the stretcher. They began to wheel me over to the ambulance and I asked L to call A & let him know what had happened. She told me she’d be right behind & meet me at the hospital. The lady who had been putting pressure on my leg said, "Good luck sweety," and walked out of sight...
The EMT's let me know they were going to drive down to a safer spot where the helicopter would be. They were all looking at me with such pity. I asked them if my leg was off. After a few seconds of silence, one of them said, “It’s attached Emily, but by very little.” “Am I going to walk again?” “we don't know sweetheart.” “Will I lose my leg?” “We don’t know…” I asked for the heat to be turned up as I was freezing, mainly my feet. I was afraid that I would remain freezing because there obviously wasn’t blood flow to my right foot. I kept asking for pain medicine and they said it was on the way. They gave me an IV, and then the ambulance stopped. The doors were flung open & the helicopter crew helped bring me over to it. They placed me on board, the EMT’s wished me luck, & they prepared for takeoff. I felt now there was nothing I could do to change anything that was going to happen. I was in their hands now & I could finally rest & allow them to do their jobs. Within minutes I finally felt warm as they told me they were putting drugs in me. My body /mind began to relax, the pain started to ease, & I felt some peace. That was the last thing I remember.
Dabee625124 karma2014-02-15 01:13:51 UTC
Do you know what happened with the bottom of your leg? Did they use any of it in your recovery?
Good luck! Not that you need it, you seem to be kicking ass with your prosthetic. (Pun definitely intended.)
EmRebJac421 karma2014-02-15 01:54:26 UTC
They used part of the ankle bone & grafted it below my knee...the rest, I have no idea. It's something I wonder about on occasion. The option was given to keep it, but I was out & my mom apparently didn't think I'd want it. I think it would have been cool but, oh well. Rip wherever you are, leg.
3AlarmLampscooter55 karma2014-02-15 00:56:25 UTC
Good to hear at least replantation was attempted, that's not too common with lower extremity amputations. For anyone who finds them self with a severed lower limb, definitely request it. It has recently come out as overall a better option than a prosthesis when possible, but is taking a while to become standard practice.
What ultimately lead to losing the replanted limb? Did you undergo any hyperbaric oxygen therapy or other salvage attempts?
I remember seeing a very similar accident in EMT training, although that one did lead to a successful replant.
EmRebJac88 karma2014-02-15 02:14:33 UTC
I went into septic shock, some muscles weren't getting blood flow, toes started to turn black. When I went into surgery they told my family it was just going to be an exploratory one to plot how to reattach the bones (at this time they had only worked on vascular things). The next thing my family knew, it was amputated. There was just too much damage, & I was too sick to withstand much more
ultrachronic50 karma2014-02-15 01:41:23 UTC
You are a freakin' trooper. Those pictures were amazing. Thanks for sharing.
What places have you visited since your accident? Seems to be around Utah / Nevada if I'm not mistaken (which are awesome places to visit).
EmRebJac80 karma2014-02-15 02:20:35 UTC
Quite a few places in the US. I live in Utah, & love all the National & State Parks. Moab is amazing, as well as Zions National. Other places have been Chicago, St. Louis, NYC, Florida, New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Alabama, Mississippi, & Washington DC. The roadtrips make this look more impressive
EndlessOcean11 karma2014-02-15 04:46:57 UTC
Has anyone ever said "thank you for your service" thinking you lost your leg in war?
EmRebJac23 karma2014-02-15 04:55:12 UTC
Yep! In fact that is always the first guess. Maybe it's just American culture, always aligning amputees with soldiers.
JocelynsAlex9 karma2014-02-15 01:31:00 UTC
It seems like a crazy amount of trouble could have been saved if they initially had just amputated above the knee, am I right? Since they didn't, I assume that there is some serious advantages to having a below knee amputation and that's why they tried so hard? Would love to be enlightened, thank you and thumbs up for having so many smiles with so many really serious set backs, time and time again.
EmRebJac22 karma2014-02-15 05:55:49 UTC
In hindsight, it probably would have been easier to just have an AKA. I don't think any of us expected this to go on for so long. It was always "just one more" surgery to save the work of all the other ones. Having a knee is a big benefit, even if it is stiff like mine. I don't know any above knee amputees that have a normal walking gait.
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