Circulation Problems

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Wheelchair Bound
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 5/29/2008 7:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I ran into a women in her early fifties while I was waiting to see my doctor yesterday 5/27.  She to was sitting in a wheelchair just as I was in the doctors waiting room.  The doctors were running behind like they sometimes do and we chatted for a while, about our medical problems, what else. As many of you know I had both my legs amputated last December because of diabetes and circulation problems, but post isn't about me. I was just there for a minor ailment.  It's about this women Gail I met at the clinic. She has had diabetes for close to seven years that she knows of. She to lost one of her legs very high near her groin as I lost both of mine.  She has gotten around very well for almost three years since her amputation using a wheelchair most all the time. She told me she had been having further circulation problems the past few months and the doctor was considering another amputation, possibly in just couple of weeks.  I assummed it was her other leg, as I know this to be very common losing the second leg at a later date than the first,  but she said no, her right leg although a bit weak was still doing OK. She went onto say the doctor had told her two weeks ago when she last saw him that her left hand and part of her arm may very well need to be amputated very soon if it didn't improve. The doctor was proposing to amputate her hand and lower arm midway between her hand and her elbow for many of the same problems she'd had with her left leg several years ago. She said she had lost quite a bit of feeling in her hand the past several months and her fingers were always cold and had turned quite black around the ends by her nails. She was quite upset by what the doctors had told her last time and was very upset at the most propable amputation of her hand. I know quite well what she was going through after losing my legs last year.  Neither one of us had ever heard of people losing a hand or arm to diabetes, feet and legs yes many times, but not hands or arms.
 
What she and I want to know is hand or arm amputations really a possibilty for some people just like leg amputations were for me. 
 
I guess neither one of us had ever heard about this possibility and would like to know if it occurs very often, or if hers is a rare case.  Her doctor seemed to let her think it happens all the time. Gail wants to know soon. I also would like to know about this.  I know it's too late to save Gail's hand and lower arm as she called me the next day and told me her doctor had scheduled the amputation of her hand for Tuesday June 2nd. She was very upset and didn't know how she would manage after having this second amputation.
 
Wheelchair Bound

Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 5/30/2008 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   
My heart goes out to this woman. Has her doctor gotten any closer to finding out why her circulation is so bad? Is it just diabetes? I'll pray for her.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Wheelchair Bound
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 5/30/2008 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   

I'm not sure if she has other medical or circulation issues or not.  We only chatted about 15 minutes before I was called in to see the doctor.  When I came out she was gone. I'm going to try to keep in touch with her and see how she is doing.  She told me she'd had diebetes seven years and it has been a battle for her especially since she lost her leg and needs to use a wheelchair most all the time.  I will try to let you guys know how she is doing after her surgery next week.

Wheelchair Bound


Sherrine
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17094
   Posted 6/12/2008 12:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi!  There are specialists that deal with vascular problems.  I had a friend that was told she needed her leg amputated so she went to a specialist. He did a surgery and put in stents, I think, and it opened the flow of blood and she is walking just fine.  I certainly would check something like that out before I let them start amputating my arms and legs.  That should be the last case scenerio IMHO.
 
Sherrine
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
***********************
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7


Wheelchair Bound
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 6/12/2008 6:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Friends,

I talked to Gail just today.  She is doing quite well yeah despite having had her left hand amputated last Monday 6/2.  She came home just Tuesday 6/10. While visiting with her today she told me more about her health issues.  She told me that her leg had been amputated three years ago because of circulation problems that were related to her diabetes. Her other leg is fine, at least for now the doctors say. She said, although it's not quite as strong as it was a few years ago she was still able to get around on it for almost three years using her crutches until her hand went sour on her a few months ago. She did OK after that except she needed to use a wheelchair most of the time, because of her hand.  It would no longer support her weight while using crutches.  She does not like using a wheelchair but has no choice since she lost her hand.   

Her hand was quite another story I found out sad .  At first the doctor thought it might be related to her diabetes until he did some tests.  As it turned out she had a large cancerous tumor growing in her lower arm and wrist sad  .  This had rendered her hand pretty useless.  The doctors decided after looking at their x-rays and scans that the tumor had cut off much of the circulation in her hand.  This is why she needed to have her hand amputated.  It had nothing to do with her diabetes.  The good news is, as grim as it is.  She lost her left hand about four inches above her wrist, but the doctors are sure they got all of the cancer :-) .  Gail is looking forward to getting a prosthethic hand in several months.  She says I'm only 56 years old, and too young to just sit in a wheelchair all the time.  She is not sure if she can use crutches with a prosthetic hand and lower arm but she says she will try. She already is doing most everything with her right hand that she used to do with her  left hand.  Gail was left handed so it was a challenge for her learning to do everthing with her right.  She is doing pretty well considering what she has been through.  I will keep in touch with her and try to keep everyone updated if there are any changes.

Wheelchair Bound


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 6/13/2008 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow! Some people have it really rough. Makes my problems look so small.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa

"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross


Wheelchair Bound
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 7/19/2008 5:58 AM (GMT -7)   

Friends,

I talked to Gail on Thursday evening.  She is doing quite well since having her left hand and part of her arm amputated June 6th.  Her arm and hand were amputated about four inches above her wrist in order to make sure they got all the caner. The doctors did some follow up tests last week and they say they got all her cancer.  The doctor fitted her with a temporary prosthetic hand last Monday when she was in to see them.  It just has a hook on the end that doesn't even open or shut. It dosn't bend or turn at all either.  She told me it was just to help her for a while until she could be fitted with something better after her arm heals a little more.  The doctor told her it would help her get used to having a prosthetic hand and be of some use to her.  She said it does help a bit in getting around.  She can use it to grab onto things a little as well.  She said she tried using it once to pull herself up from her wheelchair to use the bathroom and left it hanging on the grab bar.  Apparently she put to much weight on it and pulled it right off.  Gail needs to go back to the prosthetic lab and have molds made for her permenent hand and lower arm the first week in August.  It will then take the lab two weeks and Gail should have her new arm and hand. Gail said that her permenent hand is still an older model with two hooks that spread apart to pick things up when she moves her arm somehow.  It's a very reliable hand and forearm the doctor told her and one that should work well for her.  Gail said just before hanging up was that she figured she'd always need to use her right hand for everything she did and she'd never be a lefty again, even with the new hand. 

Wheelchair Bound

Linda

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