Nothing can stop me

Nothing can stop me

It’s been a little while since my last blog post and that’s purely because I’ve been focusing on recovery and getting out and about but I promise to start regular updates again!

In this blog post it’s just going to be a little update on what I’ve been up too and how I’ve coped because quite a bit has happened.

 To begin with I went to a gig/concert I’m not really sure what to call it. Before my operation I had booked these tickets with my best friend Amira to see a band called Mic Lowry. Mum had told me it was silly to book the tickets as we were unsure of the operation date and it would be likely I wouldn’t get to go so would end up wasting my money and being disappointed. Well…I’m bloody glad I went against her on this one because we went and it was amazing! It was one of my main goals to get out of hospital and be in as little pain as possible to I could enjoy this night and I did it! We also bumped into two girls that we had met at the last one which was cute because we didn’t even plan too!

What made that night even better was the fact we got to meet them after the show, wheelchair users obviously got to go first!!!

I also went to my friends 18th birthday party the other day. To me this was a big one, although I didn’t show it. I was going to a house mainly with people I didn’t know and that didn’t know me or about my amputation. Turns out I made good friends with 2 girls from there and everyone was pretty understanding, I didn’t get spoken about or treated differently like I thought I might have and even ended up dancing to Macarena (with the odd occasion of falling down on the sofa and getting back up again) and leaning on Emily who helped me stay up whilst I danced! 
Emily will kill me for using this picture but look how normal we look, you’d never tell I was balancing on one leg!

Those 2 are my biggest achievements so far, other than those I’ve also been shopping with my brother, Amira and mum and dad and even braved getting into the taxi in my wheelchair with my brother! Besides the day trips my physio sessions have been amazing too!

Each session, to me, is better and better. Obviously that’s what you expect, progress, but I never thought that the progress I’ve made so far would happen this quickly. All of my bandages are off, I have just the one covering my wound and that is literally just resting on it not stuck down and has a sock covering and my Juzo. I guess you’re wondering what a Juzo actually is. Well it’s just simply a compression sock, what I find better about this is I can take it off at night and it’s also like a darker skin tone colour to my own so it isn’t massively noticeable. Ever since I’ve had it it’s made my phantom sensations calm down and made no end of difference, I didn’t think I’d like it but I proved myself wrong!  

This is the Juzo, you can see how it compresses everything by the fat at the top of my leg! Please ignore how hairy it is too, I’ve not been able to shave my leg yet!

Today I tried a compression bag, this is what my leg will be in when I learn to put weight through my leg! They only put the pressure to half of what it will be when I’m actually standing but it wasn’t actually that bad, my next session is Monday…so that means Monday they’ll be getting me standing up and testing out my weight bearing, my excitement for this is massive! I was also told today that it may only be 3 weeks until I get casted for my prosthetic leg! Only 8 weeks after my amputation! It’s so exciting because my birthday is round about 6 weeks away so I hope and pray I may have my leg in time all going well! 
Right now I’m in a very good place, I have my odd moments when I feel a tad low or uncomfortable with my leg but they soon pass when I put everything into prospective and realise how far I’ve come in such a little time period. I couldn’t be more proud of myself. Everything is looking up for once!
My next blog will more than likely be Monday evening, hopefully with good news on the physio session! 
Thank you for reading and your constant support
(Ps. My featured photo is from my mirror therapy, although it really does look as though I’ve got 2 normal legs haha!)


Phantom pain

Phantom pain

Hello guys!
I thought instead of an update I’d talk about phantom pain. I suppose it is an update as the reason I’m writing this is because it’s what I’m experiencing but it’s going to be solely based on my experience with phantom pain.
Before my operation I was told and sort of already had heard about Phantom Pain. For those unsure what phantom pain is its a pain that feels as though it is coming from a body part that is no longer there, strange right? Doctors believed it was a psychological problem until experts recognised that these real sensations originate in the brain or spinal cord, basically meaning for me that my brain is not used to the fact my foot has gone and is still sending signals to my nerves.
I was told that my phantom pain would feel like the pain I experienced when I had my foot. I can tell you now that is a lie. Yes, I do get the odd old pain I used to have but I also have some new ones. For a week after the operation I was lucky as I had only phantom sensations not pains but the past 2 days my heads been so messed about with the fact my foot isn’t there but I can feel it, I can feel the individual sensations in my toes, heel pains, pin pricks in the ball of my foot. It’s felt so real, that is until I’ve looked down and seen that still my foot isn’t there.
I constantly have the sensation of pins and needles so whilst I write this in bed with my leg not in sight, it’s hard to believe my foot isn’t actually there. Many times now I have been on my crutches and gone to put my foot down to then realise it was a mistake. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all bad, some phantom limb sensations are good, it’s oddly still nice to feel my foot now and again as I do miss it sometimes, it’s just the shock pains I get that I don’t expect that then makes me jump out of my seat and makes it look like I have some form of Tourette’s that I don’t particularly enjoy.
So the sorts of sensations I’ve been getting have been shock pains that come unexpectedly. They hurt the most, I can just have one every couple of minutes or hours but I can have an episode of them where I get 4/5 at once. That is when I am broken down into tears because it can be unbearable for someone like me who is no good with pain. Other sensations have felt like the ones I had when I was in my external fixator, I sometimes feel the pin in the back of my heel or the pins and needles I used to get when putting my leg down with the frame on. Toe pains are the weirdest. You can feel the individual toes that hurt, it’s usually my big toe and it feels like someone is pinching it, or sometimes I get a sore little toe like a shoes been rubbing on it for too long.  
What’s frustrating is the fact there is no cure for it, although I’m on medication for it, it’s not helping the way I wish I were. I know it’s doing something slowly but I need the instant relief, which at the moment is sleep. Unless it’s that intense that it wakes me up. That’s when you’ve got to accept the fact it could be a long day/night ahead.
If someone is reading this who is choosing to go for an amputation I do not want this to put you off, all phantom pains are different, the odd intensity of mine might not even happen for someone else. You could even be lucky enough to not have any pain just sensations.
Although I get the odd pains I do not regret my amputation one bit. It’s exciting to think I could go on holiday and get to go sight seeing without complaining my foot hurts, or even when I turn 18 and start going out I can have a dance with my friends and not stand in one place because my foot hurts in the smallest heels. What I keep telling myself is that phantom limb pain does not last forever. Eventually my brain will catch up and go “hey your foot isn’t there, let’s give you a break.” Oh the day!
You can try, I certainly did before the operation, to imagine what phantom limb pain is like, but until you go through it you could never ever imagine exactly what it’s like. I remember nights where I sat and thought to myself what it could be like and whether I could deal with it. Obviously now I have no choice but I’m dealing with it. I’m only in my 2nd week of being an amputee and for saying I should have still been in hospital right now, I think I’m doing a bloody good job if I do say so myself. Self encouragement is what I’m having to work on at the moment, I’m getting support left, right and centre from friends and family and although they can give me encouragement I have to give it to myself 24/7 to get me through my day. 
Hopefully soon I’ll have better ways of dealing with my phantom pains but until then I’m just coping the best way I can.

I’m home!! 

I’m home!! 

Hello guys!
Most of you will already know that I am finally home!! After what was suppose to be a 2 week stay I managed to escape the hospital in 4 days! It’s been less than a week since my amputation and I’m sat in my own bed with teen wolf on as if nothing ever happened! 
Motivation was key. My last couple of stays in hospital I was never motivated because I never wanted the operations in the first place but this amputation was my choice and I was determined to get out, do my Physio and get better! 
On the Thursday I was visited by my bestest friend since birth, Jae and her mum Nicola which was so lovely because although I love my mum and dad to pieces it was nice to see some other faces that I knew and loved! 

Me and Jae always have a cuppa and a catch up when we see each other, we don’t get to see each other that often but when we do we’re still as close as ever and the longer we leave it the more we have to tell each other! So when she came up we did just that! It was so nice to have some normality back in my life 

I was then surprised a few hours later by The Emilys! They sound like a duo act but they’re literally just two of my best mates called Emily! They had blocked me on snapchat so they could post pictures of their journey to me without me knowing. I had thought that one of them were coming the week after but the sneaky gits surprised me with flowers and a bag full of food! (The way to my heart)

After seeing my friends it made me more focused on wanting to get out, whilst talking to both the Emilys my Physio session began, she wanted me to start with simple exercises but after doing that I asked if I could stand (this was something I had not yet done due to all the wires and drips in me) I’m so glad she said yes because after I was stood up the rest came naturally. Next day I was up and down the stairs on my bum, hopping on crutches and ready to go home! My mum insisted that I stayed in hospital that night because my morphine drip had only came out that day and she didn’t know how the pain was going to be. 
I cannot believe how lucky I am that since the amputation my pain out of 1-10, 1 being nothing and 10 being OMG I want to die sort of pain, I’ve stayed at 2. I’ve had no pain since the operation which makes me feel confident that I made the right decision. I couldn’t be happier! 
I’m also so so blessed to have the amazing support I’ve had and continue to have from my friends and family and now more people who have read my blog! I didn’t know how far my blog would travel but after looking back I’ve found out its made its way around the world to places such as America, Italy, Chile, Slovakia and even China! I was also lucky enough to be messaged by my local MP Andrew Griffiths who had come across my blog! 
Since being home, things have changed (obviously) but it’s been so easy to adapt too(besides wanting to stand up out of bed and realising I can’t or I’ll fall!) The best change is seeing my mum so happy. I think since we’ve been home I’ve seen her laugh more than ever which makes me happy! 
So overall I am one lucky girl! I hope the rest of my journey is as bright as what it’s been so far!
Thank you, if you’re still reading! 
P.S. I’ve been told to say that Emily is amazing and everyone should love her! 

My Amputation 

My Amputation 

Hello Guys!!
First of I want to apologise for how messy this blog may be. I’m currently starting to write at 7:02am, very tired and a bit drugged up and will be writing at different times in the day due to how much I’m falling asleep recently!
So yesterday 31st of January I came up to Sheffield children’s hospital to have my right leg (below knee) amputated!! Scary stuff , still even when they called my name to take me down to the operation room I was chilled out. I think the only emotional thing was saying bye to my dad John because only one parent can come in to the anaesthetic room and then feeling emotional with my mum just as I fell asleep and telling her I love her after reading my “where’s wally book” and spotting him out like a pro! 
So after a few hours I came round again in the recovery room! I surprisingly woke up in a good mood, usually I’m up swearing at people but this time I behaved!! The first thing that I noticed was that my foot was itching, it confused me a bit because I was like “have they actually taken my leg off?” They had. So I believe this was apart of the phantom limb feeling, I can honestly say it’s the weirdest thing, having an itchy foot when it’s not even there, or just feeling as though your foot is there it’s seriously strange haha! After a couple of minutes I saw my mum and John come to me. Bless mum, I knew it would be tough on her so as expected she came in with tears rolling down her face. I held her hand and told her I was fine and that she shouldn’t cry because it wasn’t like I was dying and I tried to give my banter out to make her smile again! Until I’m a mother myself one day I don’t think I’ll ever understand how hard it has been for my mum to have to go through this with me, however I’m so proud of her she is the one who made me the strong young woman you all say I am!

After a couple of minutes it was time to go to my ward, I was a bit worried that them swapping me on beds was going to hurt but I honestly didn’t feel a thing. I had a bit of pain when I was in recovery but that was it! I had been lucky!! I’m not really sure from there what happened, I know that I tried sleeping a lot and eventually had a deep sleep which mum said she had a video of me because of how funny I was so I can’t wait to see that, hopefully it tops the drunk videos of me that are out there and depending on how I look I might even let her post it on Facebook! (Now it’s a bit later I have seen the video and I am pretty funny, I was also talking about my cat and about work and the star buys, just goes to show how much I really love work haha)
Having time to reflect on all that’s happened has been really good for me. I find it so weird when I look down at my legs and not see my weird little foot but then it’s not a feeling I thought I would feel, I believed that I would see my stump and not like it and feel rubbish and possibly even cry but I honestly don’t (whilst it’s all bandaged up anyway) I have only cried when I saw my mum cry because nobody likes seeing their mum upset. I’ve managed to move it a bit and it’s so so weird(and now I’ve done some Physio which they said I was doing really well which is another positive to the list) I’ve also learnt today that the feeling of your foot moves up so touching the bottom of my stump can help. 

Right now grab your right leg by the top of the knee, keep it stiff and move it side to side with your hands not with actual leg muscles that is how it feels at the moment.
I am lost for words when I want to say thank you for how many people have supported me. I could cry with how happy I am. It’s absolutely amazing to just have a like on a Facebook status, a comment or a text. I never ever thought I would be supported this much and I cannot begin to describe how grateful I am. 
I’ve made friends with a few nurses who I think actually love me because of how funny I’m being and I’ve just had a chat with one nurse (it’s now 6:02pm by the way) and she told me how much of an inspiration I was and how proud she was of me. Just hearing that makes you feel so good. I’ve had so many people tell me I’m their inspiration and it’s the best feeling in the world. 
I know that right now I made the best choice for myself and I cannot wait to get back up on my feet (so to say) and make a start to my new life! 

Thank you list

I just want to individually thank a couple of people here who have really been amazing. Obviously I want to start of with my mum and dad, I could not be prouder of how strong they’ve been. I could not wish for better parents! I also want to thank my mums friend Ann who gave me a huge bag of things to do and for looking after my cat whilst I’m away, you’re fab. To my 3 amazing best friends Amira, Emily and Jae these 3 girls have been constantly messaging me asking how I am and always making me smile! To my cousin Hayley, my auntie Karen and uncle Dave who have been there for so long before the operation supporting myself, mum and John individually and still be amazing to this day, I think I can speak for all 3 of us when I say how amazing you’ve been for us we can’t thank you enough! Also to my mums friend Nicola who has been a massive support to my mum. I know my mums had loads of people supporting her but I know how amazing Nicola has been and stood out texting my mum and keeping her sane. I know I’m missing out a load of people but I honestly feel like I’ve had the entire town support me it’s been amazing. 
Right now I’m just very sleepy and I have barely any pain and I’m still happy and cheerful. That’s all I can write at the minute to keep you updated, I’m sorry how long it’s been! I’ll write another one soon if anything changes ! 

Thank you all! 

Chloe, X

We’ve got a date

We’ve got a date

Hi everyone! I want to begin by saying thank you to everyone and anyone who has had a quick read or even signed up to read my blog. The amount of love and support I received after posting my second post was so unexpected and overwhelming and I am grateful for all of your kind words!! I knew I had some people beside me through this journey but I did not expect as many after the post, so again thank you!
This blog post is probably the one I’ve been wanting to write the most and I didn’t think I’d get to write it this quickly. After months of impatiently waiting I have a date for my operation! 
Yesterday I had a text from my mum telling me to ring her when I was on my lunch break at work. The first thoughts, which are always the same with texts like that from her, were “what have I done?” Anyway to prepare for the trouble I was possibly getting into I decided to go and stuff my face with my friend Emily at McDonald’s as I thought I may be staying in my bedroom for a while. Eventually she rang me and asked me if I was sitting down which confused me because I don’t understand simple things like that! She then told me she’d had a call from the hospital and that we’d got a date, 31st of January. Even now, I don’t think myself and Emily could even describe how happy I was. I must have looked like the biggest weirdo holding onto Emilys hand whilst on the phone nearly in tears that in 11 days I was finally having my amputation. I’m sure anyone around us at the time must have thought we were insane to be laughing and being so genuinely happy that I was having my leg amputated!! I had my pre-op appointment already booked for today (20th January) so was hoping to be told then. Going back to work after lunch and finally being able to tell them all was the best feeling. They’ve all been incredibly supportive. Although I’ve not been there that long and I’m only an apprentice they treat me exactly the same, I also think it was a relief to them to know a date as they are all aware of how desperate I am for this operation and how much I wanted to know a date! I’m going to miss them all whilst I’m recovering but it does mean that I’ll get to stay there a bit longer to do my entire apprenticeship, so sorry girls you’re stuck with me a bit longer! 
I’m currently writing this whilst on my way back from Sheffield, after my pre-op that all went lovely. It’s so weird to think this is my last journey back from Sheffield with 2 of my own legs and that next time it will all be done.

Today we got told a bit more about my operation (the aftercare and the procedure) and had to go through a few questions and that’s it now. All appointments for planning are done! No more waiting around, the next time I’ll be there will be my operation day! I can honestly say it’s the best feeling to have waited for something for so long and it finally be just around the corner! 

I am fully aware that this operation may be no miracle cure and I could land myself in more pain or the same amount of pain I’m in now but it’s a 50/50 chance that I’m willing to take. I have prepared myself for the different outcomes there may be. 
Again, I want to thank everyone who takes time out to read my blog posts and support me as I go through this journey! 

The next post will more than likely be after the operation, maybe before depending on what happens between now and then! 

Chloe, x

A little loss is what I need.

A little loss is what I need.

I’ve decided to do this post very early on after already mentioning my planned amputation in my introduction post. In this post I want to try and simplify my condition so that more people understand what myself and others are going through as its not a massive one that many people talk about. Again, a little disclaimer before I begin, I am not a doctor, I do not know medical terms or reasonings, I only know what my own experience has shown me.

What is Fibular Hemimelia?

This is a birth defect where part or all of the fibular bone is missing, as well as associated limb length discrepancy, foot deformities, and knee deformities. For myself I was born with the condition in my right leg. I had a leg length discrepancy and a deformity in my foot, also meaning I had only 4 toes on my right foot just to add to the mixture! Fibular hemimelia is a very rare disorder, occurring in only 1 in 40,000 births. It is not known to be genetic it is just by a random choice.

Where it began for me.

I began operations at the age of 2, it was always said that my leg/foot would never be “normal” but that my hospital would try their hardest to get it close to that. To cut a long story short, 15/16 years on from then my leg/foot is not even close to normal and the stress of trying to get there has been unreal!

Is it “normal” yet?

Coming up the the age of either 12 or 13 I was soon to be discharged from my hospital as they saw that their job was done and nothing more could be done until I mentioned the pain I was getting in my foot. I should also explain that I had only had operations to lengthen my leg at this point, I had never had an operation to fix my foot. 

From there are I was referred to another doctor who was amazing, I think he saw me as bit of a project, he told me about all the things he could do to my foot and even spoke about adding on an extra toe!

Although my new doctor was amazing I was a little bit gutted that not so long ago I thought it was over with hospital appointments and operations and now I was told about an operation that I desperately needed and how I would be referred to another hospital miles away from home because they had better after care ,with another new doctor because he was the best and he definitely was .I can say now though he’s definitely my favourite. If I could award that man officially for being the best doctor ever I would. This next operation was to include an external fixator, after viewing images online ( because this was something I hadn’t heard of) I just wanted to cry. A young girl entering teenage years having a massive metal frame round her leg with pins going through her bones, stretching the bones and reconstructing her foot was just something that I never imagined myself going through. I did though. 8 months in total it stayed on. 8 months of complete hell I must say and not only for me but for my poor mother who was dealing with the stress of a teenager (which is hard enough already) a full time job and being a single mum and countless other jobs, I took her for granted she did a hell of a lot for me! It brought us a lot closer ,she’s now besides Amira my best mate, we both to this day will never know how we got through it However we were lucky enough to have the friends and family and the support that we had, otherwise I don’t think we would have gotten through it. I also did find someone who was also going through the “frame life” and had experienced every pain and mood that I had, her name was Jordan. She was so so lovely to me and made me feel that little bit more normal knowing how I had felt someone else had as well and that it was okay.

The day I met the lovely Jordan

It’s been the most difficult thing I’ve had to face in my life so far.

Apology for the vile image, but here it is!

After the frame was removed I had believed then there would be no more operations and that was it! My new life could begin! 

Always had to have clothes to match my cast colours!

Oh how wrong I was. After only a few months of everything being off, my frame the cast the supports , my foot decided to go back to how it had been before. At first the pain was something I could deal with, eventually it got worse. I was told of exercises I could do to help and take painkillers but what the doctors and nurses and whoever else I ever saw were not understanding was that no amount of exercises or painkillers we’re going to change the fact that my foot was very very deformed and becoming more impossible to walk on everyday. My right foot turns inwards and only parts of it actually touch the floor so walking anywhere is an absolute mission. 

So finally after so much rambling (you were warned) we’ve reached amputation. For years I have always asked for amputation but because of how young ,I was ,I was never taken seriously. However, after trying absolutely every operation,painkiller and exercise possible it came to my surgeons attention that I was not joking and that to me this was my last option. He then finally put me through the steps of making sure it’s what I wanted for example 

  • Pain assessment team– to see if there were anymore things they could try
  • Psychologists– making sure they knew what I was putting myself through
  • Specialised surgeons and physiotherapists– telling me the process and the after care of it all
  • Wheelchair specialists- preparing me for a wheelchair afterwards

After all of these appointments my mind had not changed, I was still as ready for the operation as I was before, if not more ready! Now it’s just a waiting game to get on that waiting list. I think sometimes people think I’m strange that I’m excited to have my leg amputated but until you’ve gone through all the physical pain and the mental and emotional challenges that I’ve been put through you would never truly understand. What is even better is that I have 100% support from friends,family,work colleagues and internet friends, although some may not understand they’re still willing to be apart of my new journey and help me to where I want to be and for that I wil be forever grateful. 

I apologise for how long this is, I have tried to cut it down a lot! If people have questions no matter how silly I don’t mind answering them. If you don’t want to comment I have a Twitter account 


Thank you again for reading if you’ve made it this far! 

Chloe, x

The journey to a new life.

The journey to a new life.

I firstly want to start off by saying that I am no expert when it comes to English literature and that I will get things wrong a few times. Please just bare with me.   Anyway, Hello! My name is Chloe, I’m assuming whoever reads this to start off with will know because I will have told them to read this, but incase someone new sees, hi! This first post may be a tad long but I am a rambler and like to get EVERYTHING across!! For so long now I have wanted to start a blog but have never really known how (I’m not good with technology) I am not even sure this will work but let’s see! 

One of the reasons I’ve wanted to start a blog is because I’m an open person, I will talk about anything and everything, that sometimes not everyone wants to hear, so in that case this is here for whoever does! I have no idea how many times I will post a week to begin with, I’m just seeing how it goes. 

Another main reason I wanted to start a blog is because of the title “The journey to a new life” I am soon to become an amputee of the right leg (below knee) due to my own choice and wanted to blog my experience. I found it difficult to find someone who has gone through it step by step and was open enough to share their story, so I’ve decided to be that person for any of those who in future needed some guidance like I did. I will explain the whole situation about my amputation in the next post as its a rather long story! 

Hopefully my entire blog won’t just be about my leg but life in general and I’m excited to see where this leads! 

If you’re still reading this now, well done you’ve made it through the first post, lucky for you its finishing. Thank you for reading!

Chloe, x