As it says on the 'Introduction' page of this website... 'Hello, my name's Hugh and I'm about to become an amputee'.
Maybe click on this link to learn more about me and the reasons why I decided to document my journey to the below-the-knee amputation of my right leg, and then I'll see you back at this post in a few?
Up-to-speed? Great, I'll crack on...
So, it's now official, I'm to have a trans-tibial, below-the-knee amputation of my right leg. After an hour of frank, but genuinely collaborative discussion between my orthopedic surgeon, Mary and I last week, then a weekend of conversations with our close family, Sunday night saw me send an email to the hospital, saying 'yes, I'll go ahead with this now'.
Kinda sounds like there was a choice on the table, but there was not. In terms of options, the last month or so has seen what were already slim pickings, evaporate into the definition of 'Hobsons Choice... or in my case, 'Hobbler's Choice'.
The only possible alternative to losing my right leg, right now, was a complex, variable-ridden process, kicked off by 8 weeks of brutal IV antibiotics, administered at home by my wife. This would be followed by a massive surgery offered only to those when the orthopedic equivalent of the rooms in 'Last Chance Motel' are fully booked. Then a minimum of 9 -12 months recovery before, if I was lucky, I attained a level of mobility entirely unsatisfactory to my dog 'Shamrock', let alone my two little daughters. Two little girls who just want their Daddy back and for him to walk them to the park again.
The odds of this marathon being successful? - less than that of guessing right when flipping a coin.
And if it didn't work? - the worst imaginable Groundhog Day scenario, a long, hard year from now and certain amputation.
Like I said, 'Hobbler's Choice'
The 10 year medical history of my right ankle that led me here is in this post. It will focus on my medical and surgical narrative. To that extent, it will be of minimal interest to most, but will hopefully be meaningful to anyone else going through a similar medical situation.
So whether I already know you, or if you've just found these pages becasue you're facing amputation (just as I did many others), welcome to my blog. I'm going to do everything I can to provide the most honest and real account of what it's like to have your life turned upside-down by losing a limb. Like everyone else in the incredible community of amputees that I've now met and am proud too be part of, I'm going share my story just as it happens, with no punches pulled or 'look away now' warnings given. What would be the point in that?
I'll chart my story from now, before my surgery, after my surgery, through my recovery, learning to walk with a prosthetic, becoming fully mobile again and everything else in between. I'll share every last useful, helpful and insightful thing I learn - good or bad.
And I plan to do this until I'm able to publish one final post: a video of my two little girls Lily & Maisie and I, walking to the park as if nothing ever happened.
Because I have every intention of getting there.