Coping with Amputation

Coping with AmputationLosing a limb for any reason is a traumatic, difficult experience. The pain and heartache is only compounded when your amputation is the fault of a reckless driver who must be held accountable. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we put our all into your personal injury case so you can focus on recovery and rest. If you are in Wilmington, Newark, or Seaford, call us today for more information on what we can do for you.

Recovering from an amputation, regardless of the necessity of the operation, can be a long and taxing road with hurdles many people don’t think to consider. With the nature of sudden catastrophic injuries, it’s not likely you have been able to research and prepare yourself for such an event. Medical professionals are trained to assist you through every step of your rehabilitation, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have questions.

What to expect

Following an amputation procedure, you can expect physical therapy. While this may seem obvious, it is important to know exactly what that means and entails for you. Your doctor will refer you to a specific rehabilitation program based on the type of amputation and your overall health almost immediately after the operation. The goal of this therapy is to prepare you as much as possible for your new normal, as well as minimizing as much pain as possible. It isn’t only physical help, either. Your mental and emotional state is just as important and needs to be tended to carefully.

When entering an amputation rehabilitation program, you can expect to encounter activities like:

  • Activities to improve motor function and increase independence
  • Exercise to promote strength and control
  • Patient and family education
  • Use of assistive devices (canes, wheelchairs, etc.)
  • Fitting of prosthetics (if desired or required)
  • Pain management (for both post-op and phantom pain)
  • Standard medical treatments to encourage wound healing and stump care

Mental toll

It is no surprise an operation as extensive and life-changing as amputation impacts your mental health. There is no one single way a person reacts to amputation, but by understanding the general similarities of those who have experienced it, you can, at least, gain a better idea of what to expect.

Anxiety and depression are the most immediate culprits to look for. Patients are usually told they will need to undergo amputation before it actually happens, which can understandably cause quite a bit of anxiety. Most people have heard of phantom pain (referring to the common phenomenon of feeling pain in a removed limb as your brain learns to cope with fewer nerve endings), and no one looks forward to experiencing it. Not only that, but news this sudden and drastic often puts patients through the five stages of grief, mourning the loss of a limb they never expected to lose.

After your operation, these feelings may not go away. Depression and PTSD are not unlikely when the amputation happens after a traumatic event. The suddenness of your accident may contribute to this, along with such a stark change in your appearance. Many amputees unfortunately struggle with body image issues and lowered self-esteem and the social stigma of anyone who looks “different” only compounds these difficulties.

However, as previously stated, everyone is different. The responses to amputation are not always negative. A study found that 48% of amputees found that something good happened as a result of the operation. When a limb is amputated, it is because there is no other option. Frequently, the operation leaves the patient with less pain, fewer financial burdens (since the limb no longer needs treatment or medication), and — according to many — more character. This is important to note. A traumatic experience does not have to ruin your life, even if it changes it. There is always hope.

The best thing you can do is focus on yourself and trying to find healthy coping mechanisms, like counseling and exercises, to help you reintegrate with society and retain as much independence as you are able. With something this serious, you never need to be alone, and you will never be without legal help.

Regardless, the person responsible for the accident that cost you your limb needs to be held accountable. Of course, this is the very last thing you want to deal with when experiencing something like this, and that’s why you need compassionate car accident attorneys on your side. At Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we are here for you in Wilmington, Newark, and Seaford, and we won’t rest until you receive the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form.