My story, and in many ways my new life, begins at Ryde Rehabilitation Hospital (RRH) following the below knee amputation of my right leg and 1-2 lumbar fusion operation performed at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH). Although my case is vascular related to diabetes, I had great expectations because I realised that a prosthetic limb would enable me to walk again.
The first time that Ms. Amber Gorman, a Clinical Prosthesist at APC Prosthetics, visited me at RRH I was still weak, but managed to begin what I call the symbiosis with my new limb. Watching Amber working the moulds, castings, bolts and measuring my “foot” for sizing with that professional calmness gave me that vital self-esteem essential for the process of rehabilitation. I was hospitalised for 7 months and I knew it was not going to be easy. Nevertheless, with a bit of sense of humour and even learning to laugh about myself I decided to fight the depression, wave that page and hope for improvement.
Today, 7 months after being discharged from the RRH, I do not need to mobilise with my wheelchair or frame. They were instrumental for rehabilitation, but I now stand on my prosthetic leg. Sometimes I still need to use my stick, however under no circumstances I will give up on my faith to be able to walk without aids. I put it this way because I see my prosthetic limb as my own leg. I am also very keen and proactive in negotiating with the NDIS the option of getting a water leg. From being bedridden to scuba diving down the coast, who knows what I can do with my new prosthetic leg. The sky is the limit.
Most importantly, I owe this rehabilitation to a lot of professionals who masterly enable a patient to sew its life again. Although too many to mention, I will acknowledge in this story my indebtedness to APC Prosthetics for all the past and ongoing treatment of my condition.