Moving on after a diabetic amputation may seem like an impossible task. An amputation forces you to confront and overcome new challenges – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s not something you should expect to become accustomed to overnight. You’ll need to give yourself enough time to recover from surgery and adjust to a new normal.
Here are just a few ways we’ve seen countless patients embrace a new way of life after an amputation:
1. Focus on rehab.
Your medical team, including doctors and therapists, will create a rehabilitation plan that’s customized for you. It will likely include physical therapy exercises to help strengthen muscles and occupational therapy activities to help prepare you to navigate everyday life in a whole new way – from getting in and out of bed to loading the dishwasher or doing laundry.
Following that plan and doing exercises on your own is key to helping you adjust and move forward after a diabetic amputation.
2. Prepare your home.
Talk with your team about what you’ll need at home – from short-term needs after surgery to long-term tools and equipment that safely modifies everyday tasks. That could range from a chair that makes it easy to transfer to from a wheelchair, shower rails or bench or other equipment recommended by your care team.
3. Take care of your stump.
The amputation site is an area that needs continual, close attention. Your medical team will once again be an important partner as they teach you how to care and monitor your stump. A few care guidelines may include:
• Keep surface skin clean
• Wash gently at least once a day with a mild soap and dry it thoroughly
• Don’t submerge it in water for long periods of time
• Use a moisturizing cream regularly
• Check regularly for signs of infection including:
◦ Warm, red and tender skin
◦ Fluid or pus
◦ Increased swelling
Adjusting to life after amputation can take time. Embrace your feelings – from the frustration to anger, and despair to acceptance - and know that many others have shared and overcome similar feelings.
At Heartland and ManorCare skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, our dedicated team is here to help. Whether you need a little extra recovery time after surgery, care for your amputation site or rehabilitation services to help you build strength, we’re here for you.
For more information on our services, please contact the center nearest you. http://www.heartland-manorcare.com/locations/