A year later

Isn’t it crazy how quickly time goes? I can’t believe that today marks a year since my amputation! It’s not been the easiest of journeys so far but it’s one that’s taught me a lot about myself.

So a year ago today I went through with the biggest choice of my life. After being in the amount of pain I was in for so long I didn’t really see any other option so having the amputation wasn’t such a big deal to me. However, looking back now I see what a huge decision it was and I’m proud of myself for making that decision for ME.

I feel very lucky that when it comes down to phantom pains I only suffered for 3 days. I know some people 20-30 years on still suffering with phantom pains so I couldn’t be more grateful with the way it’s turned out for me. Im always getting phantom sensations but those I don’t mind, it’s like I’m always wiggling my toes because I can feel them, even if they’re not there. People find it strange when I tell them that but I honestly love it!

I was able to take home my first prosthetic leg on my 18th Birthday and even go down town with it that same weekend! Although I’ve not been as lucky when it comes down to prosthetic legs I’ve still enjoyed and been thankful for every minute that they have agreed with me! I’ve very briefly been able to go out and do the things I wanted and finally feel that little bit of normality come back to me. I’ve been able to buy my first pair of the same size shoes and for them to fit both feet for once! It’s the little things like that I get happy about.

Obviously the year hasn’t been all so straightforward, in the summer I was unfortunate enough to get an infection in my stump which called for my first time in an ambulance and then a second time and another small operation. I apparently was septic which is life threatening so I was rushed in to drain all the rubbish from my leg. It was just a blur to me, I didn’t realise the seriousness of it until I spoke to mum afterwards. A few months down the line once everything was settled I was hit again with another infection but luckily we caught this one early so it was a case of antibiotics and rest!

After the infections it had kind of ruined my scar tissue in my stump that was protecting my bone, which was now sticking out an awful lot making it impossible to get a prosthetic that wouldn’t cause me pain, so in the December just a couple days before Christmas I had another operation to take off, another, 2cm from my leg and neaten a scar that I had from another surgery. I’m still in recovery from that and I’m hoping tomorrow will be the day I get my prosthetic leg.

I may not be where I had planned to be a year on but you never know what’s going to happen. I am extremely grateful to my friends and family for supporting me everyday I’d honestly be lost without them. I am looking forward to the day that I finally get to where I want to be, being able to walk without support and to be happy!



A New Year A New Chapter.

Hi guys! Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Secondly looking back I haven’t wrote a blog post in a very long time as I was distracted by life(that’s definitely an excuse, I’m just lazy) but I’m back and this time going to try and do regular posts and updates. I think with being and amputee there is only so much you can write before it sounds too repetitive or nothing happens for a while then all at once so I’m hoping I can base my blogs more on the things I do and achieve rather than updates of what’s happening with my leg.

However as it’s been a while this post will be a bit of an update of where I am right now and what’s happening.

So starting where I left off I was recovering from an infection that had made me quite poorly, eventually that went and I was back up on my feet again, only to find out a couple of months later the infection was back and I was back off my feet AGAIN (luckily we caught it earlier this time so it wasn’t as bad!) after the infection had gone I was fitted for a new prosthesis but this time they wanted to try something different, it seemed to work for a bit but at the same time my doctor was wanting to talk about another operation so I think I must have had this leg for about 2/3 weeks before I was back up to my Hospital in Sheffield to talk about another operation. The problem was old scar tissue. After having many operations before, one of my scars had attached itself to my bone which is where I was meant to be taking all of my weight but obviously couldn’t, which meant I was taking all the weight through the bottom of my stump which I shouldn’t have done ,hence the recurring infections and uncomfortable fittings. My appointment was on a Wednesday and by Thursday the next week I was in surgery. They took another 2cm from my stump and sorted out my scar and it seems to be healing nicely! The operation took place the week before Christmas so that was my Christmas partying out the window! I am, however, glad I had it done sooner rather than later, I have a goal to be up by the end of April for my mum and dads wedding so the sooner it was done the longer I would have to recover.

It is frustrating because I was doing so well and believed by the end of 2017 I would be up with the hard bit over but every amputee is different and some are up sooner than others. I shouldn’t complain because I don’t miss out on a lot either, things can be quite difficult to plan as it’s not so simple doing things with one leg but not all of what I want to do is impossible. I’ve still been able to go out and do different things especially New Years! I was desperate to go out and have a quality night with my friends and I was worried I wouldn’t have been able too. I often feel like a burden because not only does all this affect me but also the people around me, I hate making things difficult for people or them having to change things for me so I didn’t want to ruin their New Years because I couldn’t walk. We made it work though!!

At the moment I’m still waiting for my leg to heal before I can get another prosthetic leg. I’m hoping that within the next 6 weeks I can start to get back up again!

It’s not been easy mentally to deal with all of this. I have my good days but I also have my bad. I know it’s a long process and like I was told the other day, Rome wasn’t built in a day!

In November I finally finished my apprenticeship at Superdrug and was offered a job after it! Sadly I turned this down because I knew it just wasn’t realistic, I was in the dark about where I was with my leg and couldn’t let them down all the time! It was a hard decision to make because I loved my job and the people I worked with but hopefully once I’m back up I can eventually get back to it! At the moment though it’s just all about my recovery!!

It’s a new year and my goal is to be up by the end of it!

Chloe x

The past year.

The past year.

This blog post may be a little different as it’s not solely based on my leg or amputation, although it is still a major part in this, but as a reflection of my life this past year and how things have changed for me because sometimes it’s nice to look back and see how far you’ve come.
This time last year I feel I was at quite a low point in my life, I was close to finishing my first year at sixth form which for those who knew me then was not a place I wanted to be. I had my life planned when I began sixth form, chosen my future career path I wanted to pursue and as the months went on it was clear that it wasn’t the best option for me. I am very much a hands on person, I learn by doing things. Not by revising or studying things but by actually having a go at them, so the subjects I had chosen weren’t right for me. Realising that for myself my motivation for the path I had chosen became none existent and it was obvious to my teachers that I wasn’t going to be getting anywhere. I was walking out of my classes or choosing to not turn up to them, hiding myself in the common room or going to speak to the support teacher about leaving. I made an appointment at the college closest to me but it was too late to start a course and they told me to just stick it out at sixth form. I was determined to get out, I didn’t want to get my mum in trouble by not attending school so I began looking for an apprenticeship or full time job. I was lucky enough to have found an apprenticeship that appealed to me. Good old Superdrug, my favourite place to go for drugstore cosmetics and now my potential workplace! The day after I applied for it I had an email telling me I was put forward for a phone call interview later that day and after the phone call I was invited to go for an interview with the manager in store. I remember being so nervous but it going so so well and her telling me there and then that the apprenticeship was mine if I wanted it. Something was finally looking up for me. I obviously accepted it straight away and having the feeling of a huge weight lifted of my shoulders. I was finally going to be out of the place that made me miserable. I also had a part time job at a garden centre in the restaurant section at the time and remember having a shift after the interview. I gave in my notice the following day and began to focus on my brighter future. Working in retail wasn’t something I ever imagined myself doing or being good at but it was a risk worth taking, it’s just over a year since I started my apprenticeship and I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I like speaking to new people and being that friendly face that they remember and like coming back too! 
Being at Superdrug was a test for my dodgy foot. Walking around on it and being on it longer than usual made it hard for me but I wasn’t going to let it stop me, I’ve never ever wanted my leg/foot to stop me doing anything. A couple of months after starting superdrug the thought of amputation came back to mind. It was always a choice I wanted to make but one I thought I never would. After the first hospital appointment ,beginning the process of it all, I told my manager and the people I work with ,they were all super supportive. That’s another reason I enjoy working where I do, I work with the most loveliest and understanding people! 
After the amputation my motivation was still going strong and my positivity remained but after the first month or so my moods took a turn and it became a lot harder to deal with mentally. From going to speak to hundreds of people a day to 3 or 4 it was hard for me. I started to feel lonely and isolated. However that was nobody else’s fault, I had to remember that everyone else still had a life to carry on with whilst mine was going steady. My friends made the effort to see me when possible and we even had a few outings to get me out the house but it just didn’t seem enough. I felt selfish for being annoyed when everyone had other plans or couldn’t get round to see me but throughout the day I only had myself as company and when all you’re doing is being negative you just need an escape. 

Something I won’t go into too much detail about but will still add in seeing as it’s been a part of my year, I finally cut off ties with my biological dad. There’s a whole other story as to why but it was something I felt strongly about. I was waiting until my 18th for then he no longer had the need to be in my life and I was able to wave him off. I am however blessed to have my step dad that from day 1 filled that position to be my dad.

The month my birthday came around just felt like a race against time to get my prosthetic leg, get walking and get out. I’d always been looking forward to my 18th and finally being legal to go out and enjoy a drink with my friends but looking back now I probably rushed it. On the day of my birthday i was able to take my prosthetic leg home and would have been able to go out the weekend of my birthday like I’d always wanted too. I did really enjoy myself and have done every other time I’ve gone out but probably in a different way than others or not as much as I’d have liked. 
Going out with friends is always a tricky one for me. I fight myself in my own head. It’s like I go out and I get excited to be out and can enjoy myself but at the same time I’m overthinking everything. Is the floor okay for me to walk on? Are people looking? Are they judging? When can I sit down? These things seem so silly when I look back on them because I usually don’t care what people think of me, I am who I am at the end of the day but when I’m out I try so hard to fit in instead of feeling as though I’m sticking out. A lot of people aren’t bothered, as far as they’re concerned I’m just another person but then you’ve got the judgmental people who stare and talk. It’s never got me down to a point where it’s stopped me from going out but it’s always in the back of my mind. You’ve got some people who look at the leg or the walking sticks before they look at me or get to know me and just act differently, I wish that wasn’t the case but I suppose it’s how people are. Outfits are a nightmare to pick out, you want to look nice and wear something you would have usually wore but then the leg just doesn’t work with it and you then end up feeling uncomfortable. The worst thing also is having gorgeous friends, I can go out with the girls and be so proud of them when they end up pulling someone or can joke with them when they’ve pulled and hadn’t wanted too but for once I’d love to be in that position, I feel like my friends are the loveliest main course and I’m that bit of salad at the side that everybody leaves . I’m hoping that in time these feelings and thoughts will go and I’ll eventually be so used to it that it will be my new “normal” until then it’s something I’m putting up with. 

At the moment I’m currently off work again and pausing my life due to an infection I’d been so unlucky to have gotten. I feel as though it had probably been building for some time but then just suddenly came out over night. The positive out of it all though is that after being taken to hospital (in an ambulance, twice! Which was on my bucket list…don’t ask) is that we think it has now gone. I was quite poorly for a couple of days and had to have a small operation to remove the infection but now I’m just on oral antibiotics and resting. It’s boring and frustrating but it’s something that will pass. 
I feel this may have been the longest blog I’ve ever done and I hope, if you’ve managed to finish it, that it didn’t bore you too much! I’ve not done a blog for a while due to just not knowing what to write about but I’m hoping to get back into it again and be a bit more regular with positing again! Thank you for reading this little autobiography of the past year of my life haha! 
Chloe, x

Getting on with it

Getting on with it

I’m not too sure really on how to begin this blog, I feel as though I’ve not wrote in a while just because like the title says I’ve been “getting on with it”. Since taking my prosthetic leg home I’ve just been adapting to what now is my life. 

I am now back at work, on a phase return and couldn’t be happier to have some normality back in my life. The first day was hard, I felt a bag of nerves feeling like it was my first day at a new job but knowing everything I needed to do and I was certainly not a newbie! As it got to the end of my shift I started to feel okay again, I’d had such a long time off not really talking to many new people that I just didn’t feel comfortable to do so, but I did it. Now when I’m at work I feel as though I’ve never been away, my confidence in talking to people is back and like I’ve said before it’s that little bit of normality back in my life that I needed. 
Since turning 18 I’ve also been able to live the life of a normal 18 year old when it comes to going down town with friends. I’ve not really stopped to be honest! When I first had my operation and even before I didn’t think I’d be able to go out so soon but I’m so grateful that things have worked out in my favour and that I’ve been able to go out. My first thoughts on going down town were that I wouldn’t be able to do it or enjoy myself as much as I wanted too, it would be too busy and people wouldn’t understand, I was completely wrong. Although it is a busy environment to be in ,everyone I see is always so lovely to me and no matter how drunk they are, completely understandable. Obviously you get the odd one or two that look at you differently or shove about but it’s expected. I must get at least 5/6 people every time I go out come and ask me what I’ve done to my leg or come and say how they admire me for going out. I like the people who do have it in them to come and speak to me, it’s nice that they can speak to me and judge me on what they know than guess and judge me based on what they can see. 

Another thing I never expected so quickly and won’t go too much into is someone being interested in me. I’m still young so the whole dating and talking to boys thing is still something that I’m getting used to. I didn’t think it would be easy to find someone who would be interested whilst I go through this change. Especially at my age, you have to find someone mature to understand and be okay with it. However finding someone who can accept you for who you are and the massive change,you’re still accepting yourself is such a good feeling. I’ve had one person in particular who will more than likely read this and tell me off for mentioning him who has been a real help in keeping my confidence up and making me feel normal in a very bizarre situation. I couldn’t be more grateful and he knows that. 
My family and friends are still major supportive and so patient. Pushing me on to keep going, at the moment it’s felt like I’ve been in a bit of a pit. Just stuck with no more progression or major events to keep me going but after speaking and opening up to them I feel better about getting the motivation back to keep going. 

Also thought I would try and reenact some photos from when I first had my amputation to now, as a bit of a reflection on how far I’ve come 

Chloe x

The next step forward

The next step forward

I’ve been so excited to write this blog post, keeping it until now to share has been hard but the majority of people already know now. I have my prosthetic leg!! 

I went to my physio session on Wednesday 12th April, my 18th birthday and came away with 2 legs instead of 1! The best birthday present to receive! I’ve been working hard in my physio sessions to make sure that I could have it for this week. My goal seemed unrealistic with it being so soon since first trying the leg but it’s home! 
I kept from sharing this news until after I had my party because I wanted to surprise my family and friends. Some friends I couldn’t keep it a secret from and was dying to show them but it was still a nice surprise for the people who came to my party. 
I haven’t quite mastered the dancing with the prosthetic leg so my dancing consisted of standing in one place and just moving my top half but I still had an amazing time. I’m finally getting up and about again! 
In my physio sessions I managed to go from bars to frame to sticks in just one session! Since then I have conquered my fear of walking on uneven surfaces such as grass and gravel. This was something I’d been a bit unsure of. I’ve never been able to walk on uneven surfaces before just because my foot wasn’t able to move to help me stay upright, it was a difficult one. Trying it with my prosthetic leg though was amazing, it felt so easy and normal to not avoid grass and still have a conversation whilst doing so because I didn’t have to concentrate so much.
There’s still a long way to go yet but I’m making progress very quickly and hope that it won’t be too long. I don’t want to rush anything and know that things take time and things have to be paced but it’s still a long way from where I was, as long as I’m moving forward that’s what matters.
I also got to enjoy my first night down town with my friends this weekend which was something I was unsure I’d be able to do so soon and feel so comfortable doing it. A couple of people look which is expected but besides that I just felt like a normal 18 year old enjoying a night out with her friends. It was also nice to see some people I hadn’t seen for a while.
This week has been a good week for me in a long time. I’ve been around all the people I love and had the best present. My family and friends have spoilt me and helped make my week an amazing one, which I couldn’t be more grateful for! 
Chloe x

It’s tough sometimes

It’s tough sometimes

Hi guys!! So finally some of you may already know that I have my prosthetic leg, only problem is it doesn’t exactly fit right…but we’re working on it! I’m hoping that Thursday will be a better day when it comes to my next leg fitting because last weeks disappointment was too much to handle. Although I’d been told that it takes some adjusting until it’s perfect I was hoping it would go as well as everything else had done but it hadn’t. I still agreed to do some physio sessions whilst waiting so I’ve been learning to kick with my prosthetic,stepping and a couple of walks but it’s super uncomfortable at the minute so I’m holding off until my next fitting on Thursday. 

I was really hoping I’d be more confident walking and have my leg close to taking home before my birthday but that doesn’t look likely now which is ,again, disappointing because it’s my 18th but if I rush it, it will affect the rest of my life so I’m going to have to wait a few more weeks before I’m heading out to the clubs! 

That’s an exciting thing though, next week is my birthday! It’s something to look forward too because at the minute I haven’t got much keeping me going. Everyday I do near to nothing because my family are working and my friends are either at college or working so it’s a bit of a bummer really but it’s life and life goes on. It’s difficult on me mentally having to deal with myself 24/7 and I’d be lying if I said it was easy, it isn’t. I’ve never been one to deal well with things like feelings and emotions especially when they’re negative, I end up taking it on the people closest to me and pushing them away which doesn’t help my loneliness, I’m trying my hardest to cope with it in my own way but sometimes it’s not the right way. I’m just trying to tell myself that there’s not long left now. My main goal is to be back at work as soon as possible, I’m so used to interacting with so many different people a day that just having myself makes me feel lonely sometimes. 
On the plus side, we’re closer to the finish than we are from the start. I have to give myself some credit that I’ve already got a prosthetic leg and learning to walk so quickly, I did only have my amputation a little over 2 months ago and so much has happened since then. 
I apologise if this blog post seems a bit of a downer but it’s an update of my journey in my life so not all the time are things smiles and rainbows. I’m lucky really that through it all this is probably my only down moment and hopefully we can come past this and get back on that positive path! 
I’m hoping next weeks blog will be more exciting with it being my birthday week and more will be happening!!

Chloe x

Walking, Feelings and Limbless Association.

Walking, Feelings and Limbless Association.

Hi guys, For saying I literally do nothing all day I’m not very good with keeping this blog up to date! Nearly a week later than when I said I’d post but anywhere here I am!
So in my last blog post I was saying how in my next physio session they’d be getting me up walking! Well I did it! I did my very first steps, not with my own prosthetic leg but with the dummy one. 

It’s a little bit harder to walk with this dummy one than it will be with my own prosthetic leg because it stops my knee from bending so it’s a bit of a weird walk really! To begin with it felt strange, like walking on a dead foot, you know something’s holding you up but you just can’t actually feel that floor for yourself, in some strange way though it was nice. For the first time in my life I stepped my right leg down and didn’t get a pain from my foot/ankle! 
I’ve done 2 walking sessions now and the second one was, to me, absolutely amazing. I didn’t feel the need to hold on as tight to the bars besides me and my confidence in walking reached a new level! However to say this whole thing is going to be easy would be a lie. For as long as I’ve been able to walk and I’ve never walked “normally” and had my own little way of doing so. Having support from sticking my foot off to the side or taking more support through one leg,my hips and my back it’s going to be a difficult habit to break from. 

It’s like your entire life you’ve walked in a way that to you was normal and then suddenly you’ve got to stop it, it’s not normal and you’re being trained to walk an entirely new way that everyone else finds simple, it’s natural. To me not so natural. 

Something I don’t like is change, so everything being different is taking some time to get used too. 
Recently I’ve felt more vulnerable to comments than what I ever have done and stares from people. I’ve never had a problem with being different because it wasn’t really noticeable before, unless you saw me walking. However now, you can visibly see I’m different. I know having one leg doesn’t make me a different person, but it definitely makes me stand out and right now I do not wish to be standing out. I’m not ashamed of being an amputee or regret it one bit, but it does make people treat you differently. I suppose because people have treated me as if I’m vulnerable it’s began to make me feel it? I am trying though, to keep my old self going and embracing this change. Maybe it’s a change that everybody goes through at different points in there life and I’m just noticing mine more?

On a positive note, I’ve been noticing that my blogs are reaching more people, even in different countries! Places I’ve never visited or know anyone from and the people that I do know tell me how they enjoy my blogs and how informative they are. I never expected such a positive reaction from this. I expected to post one and then take it down and keep it private for myself incase nobody was interested, but it turns out quite a few of you are so that’s something that makes me happy. 
Whether this blog helps other people like me going through the same situation or just informs people things they didn’t know so they could help others it’s all for good reason! And on that topic, I recently came across a page called Limbless Association. This page has people who have different missing limbs and volunteers who help amputees like myself. At the moment they’re wanting to widen their exposure I suppose you could call it? Right now the page are needing signatures so that more people can find it. From the last time I checked it only needed a little over 40 more. All it takes is to click on the link that I will post on the end and signing in to either your Facebook or twitter and clicking the red support button. It won’t spam you with anything or hack your social media it’s just letting them know you’ve recognised them and you never know, one day you or someone you know may need them! I know that I get well over 200 views in just the first day of uploading so if only half of you signed that would help out massively. It’s 2 minutes of your time to help others without much effort really and it really will help! 


If you’ve got this far then you’ve reached the end of today’s blog! Thank you for keeping with me!