After a severe work injury that results in an amputation, injured workers are left to pick up the pieces. There is a lot of information out there on a person’s physical recovery but not a lot on dealing with the mental and emotional toll that an amputation can take a patient.
I found some great insight from the website www.amputee-coalition.org for injured workers to review and help gauge where they are in the mental recovery process. These topics would be ideal to discuss with your doctor, a family member, or a counselor.
Signs of Recovery from an Amputation:
- A sense of balance in emotions and relationships
- Awareness of abilities and limitations
- Positive self-concept and a sense of accomplishment
- Ability to get around in the environment
- Participation in social, vocational, and/or recreational activities
- Setting priorities
- Recovery is a tall order for anyone, with or without limb loss!
- Whatever recovery means to you
Take time to learn what makes everyone’s recovery different.
- Determine your personal goals.
- Ask for help when you need it.
- There are many issues that affect recovery from amputation.
Four Categories of Amputation Recovery Issues:
1. Issues related to the amputation
- Whether the amputation was sudden or due to a chronic, debilitating illness
- The level of the amputation
- Whether the amputation surgery was successful in stabilizing the condition that caused it
- How the day-to-day ability to function will be affected
2. Individual characteristics
- Age or health status. Obviously, the older you are, the greater the chance that you have other conditions (known as comorbid conditions) that could impact your recovery.
- Current stage of life
- Financial status
- Ethnic background
3. Personality traits
- Coping strategies used before the surgery
- Sense of control over the situation
- Attitudes toward health and sickness
- Self-concept and body image
- Experience coping with other similar losses
4. Characteristics of the physical and social environment
- Availability of a support system, such as family, friends or a support group
- Availability of appropriate medical care
- Accessibility of services in the community
- Living arrangements
- How other people view limb loss