Single Dad, Type 1 Diabetic and Recent LBKA.
Hi everyone, my name is Steven. I’m a single dad from New Jersey and I am a lbka (left below knee amputee) as of July 26th, 2023. I am 40 years old and a type 1 diabetic that has dealt with foot problems and wound care for 14 years before my amputation. Sometimes I regret not getting the amputation sooner and getting on with life and waiting 14 years trying to save my leg.
Over the 14 years I’ve dealt with osteomyelitis, MRSA, and sepsis. I’ve done multiple IV antibiotics with PICC lines and ports. I even tried hyperbaric therapy to heal the wounds. I did lose my big toe or gray toe on my right foot so my right foot is compromised. But I feel since I’ve had my left below the knee amputation that I feel much better, like I got a second chance in life and now I can do things with my family and my son. Do the things that I could not do dealing with wound care for the last 14 years and dealing with infections.
I want to be a positive role model and inspiration to other amputees. I want to get back to playing sports like baseball and softball and going out. Before my amputation I was doing 14 to 16,000 steps a day, about three to four miles. I did accomplish something the other day. In one day, I did 3,500 steps over a mile with my one leg since I do not have a prosthetic yet. I went to a Beach concert and made it all the way there and home with my walker. I think if you put your mind to it physically and mentally there is no challenge that you cannot achieve and be successful in or at. Just remember to stay positive and take it one day at a time. And we all know there are going to be good days and bad days and we will learn from our bad days and turn them into good days.
As an amputee, I think, okay well what took 5 minutes now takes 15 or 20 minutes. That’s okay, we must get used to our new lifestyle and adapt to it. There is nothing wrong with that and people must understand that. We use as much energy or more energy now to do the things we used to do. And I tell everyone never to give up. Keep fighting. Keep trying. If you can’t do it that day, try again the next day until you achieve it. Don’t quit. There is no quitting in US.
I had my surgery on July 26th at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, New Jersey. I was in the hospital for only 2 days. I came home on Friday the 28th and started physical therapy on Sunday the 30th. I did three weeks of physical therapy at home. Two and a half weeks after surgery I went and saw my vascular surgeon for my post-op visit to take the 27 staples out. He said it looked very well and I did not need to follow up with him anymore. The following week I went and saw my physical therapy doctor to get a prescription for my first leg. They rated me for a K4 level. The following day I went to my prosthetist and got fitted for my first leg. I want to give a big shout-out to All Care Orthotics and Prosthetics in Red Bank. And a big shout out to my vascular surgeon Dr. Adam Sagarwala they did an amazing job. Ever since I’ve been home, I’ve had great support from my local community and my friends and family. They were there to help me.
So, I just want to say to all our amputee community family out there, keep fighting and show everyone how strong we are. Achieve your goals and dreams. Set your dreams and goals high. There’s nothing we cannot achieve or accomplish.