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New Leg, New Love of Life, on Eve of My 66th B/D
I'm having a lot of success with my new prosthetic left leg after amputation Feb. 22nd below the knee at Yale-New Haven. Feeling so much better, with absence of pain.
This is a cross-post of content originally posted earlier today on Facebook.
I’ve been using my new prosthetic leg for nine weeks. It seems as if a much longer time has passed.
The leg, which I named “Lefty,” has become part of my daily routine. I put it on and take it off effortlessly. It is not a problem to keep the neoprene liner and various socks clean. It’s just a part of my life. There is some pain at times in wearing it. I am able to walk with the pain most of the time. Sometimes, I have to rest.
This is my last report on my amputation. It has been a success.
Many of you have followed my path since I encountered another infection in my left foot on Feb. 8th. This occurred while Liz Wachs and I were taking a two-day break in Newport, R.I., to allow time for Liz to recuperate after painful tests on her leg on Feb. 6th in Boston.
Instead of leading Liz to relaxation, I became the patient. Instead of using this time set aside to care for Liz, she was forced to care for me. That’s happened too often. It’s an awful twist. Liz cared for me for months as I got back on my feet.
You may recall that I was hospitalized in Newport and placed on IV antibiotics. Liz had already guided me during the previous summer to a place of choosing amputation below the knee for my left leg to prevent further infections and all the interruptions to our lives. In the Newport hospital, I knew the time had arrived for amputation. It was performed on Feb. 22nd at Yale-New Haven Hospital. I went into a rehabilitation hospital in Fairfield. I had excellent physical therapy and occupational therapy. After weeks of strengthening my legs and my upper body, I was ready for my first prosthetic left leg.
I am now on the third leg. The full name of my current prosthetic is “Lefty The Third.
My journey has gone very well. I took to the prosthetic leg easily. Nine weeks later, it’s just a routine part of my life.
I will never again have an infection in my left foot.
With the support of family and friends — evidenced on Facebook, in personal visits, and in phone calls — I am in a much better place. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
I am grateful to be able to work for hours at a time at my desk or on my laptop, or watch a movie, without the distraction of constant pain in my left foot. The greatest gift is being able to enjoy my work, lead life with joy, and spend time with Liz without fear of another sudden hospitalization. I am able to write notes, emails, and blog posts.
I’ve had a lot of love, support, and encouragement. Liz has by far done the most to guide me to a better place. Our relationship has grown.
Today is June 15th. It is the birthday of my paternal grandfather, Bernard Davidoff M.D., who was born in 1900. Tomorrow is June 16th. It will be my 66th birthday.
When I was a boy, Bernie and I used to celebrate our birthdays together on the evening of June 15th with a cake that had vanilla on one side for him and chocolate on the other side for me. So in my tradition, my birthday celebration begins tonight, even though Bernie has been gone since 1967. Liz and I are going out tonight for ice cream near our Cape Cod vacation home at a favorite hotel on Nantucket Sound beach in Yarmouth, Mass. I should order chocolate and vanilla ice cream!
Thank you all for your encouragement and love. I approach my birthday as a changed man. The amputation has brought improved health, the absence of chronic pain, and a new optimism for a life of love and joy.