When you are coping with the sudden loss of a limb, the physical aspect is challenging enough. Pain, discomfort, and perhaps uncertainty about your health occupy a lot of space in your mind. But, often, it is the emotional and psychological struggle that is even more difficult to deal with. There is a grieving process, and it looks different for everyone. What should you know, and how can you take steps to move through this period?
About 30 percent of people who lose a limb experience depression and/or anxiety. When limb loss is sudden (e.g. the result of trauma), those figures can increase because there is little or no chance to prepare. Suddenly, your life has changed. It is common to experience depression. Symptoms include:
The New Year can bring mixed emotions for a lot of people, and this is doubly true for those who are living with limb loss. Do you feel like you have nothing to be excited for as you adjust to your new normal? Or are you eager to regain hope, control, and take charge of your life? This year can be a happy, fulfilling, and productive one. Here are a few resolutions to help you get started on the right path.
Limb loss is a significant issue no matter what your age. Are children more resilient? Or are they more sensitive? Are they more inquisitive? Or more reserved? More fearful? More frustrated? More apprehensive? It depends on the child, but if we can make one generalization, it is this: they will have questions. It is only natural. Children may be bold and demand answers or they may hang back, afraid of those answers. That does not mean that they don’t have questions weighing on their minds.
There is no wrong way for a child to cope with limb loss. As a parent, guardian, or caregiver, though, there are several right ways to respond. The first step is anticipating what types of questions they may ask.
When you are dealing with an injury, structural defect, or deformity of the lower leg, one of the biggest concerns is, “Will I be able to live a normal, healthy, active life? Will I be able to participate in the activities I love?” The answer: why not? You don’t have to let these issues stop you. While there are often accommodations that must be made (perhaps just in the beginning or perhaps continuing as you recover and gain strength), you can improve mobility with lower leg orthotic devices - and work towards your health, fitness, and lifestyle goals.