An amputation is a major life event that will result in some changes in daily living activity.
Talking to the hospital social worker about the issues related to amputation can be very helpful in learning about rehabilitation and reducing anxiety. Where possible it is best to see the social worker prior to having the amputation.
A social worker can provide information on the rehabilitation process, advise you about nonhospital agencies that help amputees and arrange for you to meet an amputee who has been through rehabilitation, if you wish. An amputee who is using a prosthetic limb can provide first hand information on their life after an amputation.
The social worker will provide you and your family with an opportunity to discuss any fears or concerns you have about how the amputation may affect your relationships, sexuality or any other aspects of your life.
It is common to feel a strong sense of loss following an amputation. There is no one right way of reaching a comfortable acceptance of the loss of a limb, however discussing issues with the social worker can be helpful. The issues that are most important vary from one person to another, and can be influenced by many things including age, gender and personality.
Amputees often go through the process with little or no prior knowledge of amputation. The process of amputation will be confusing, distressing and overwhelming for the amputee and their loved ones. The following is a guide to assist you and those close to you with the emotional challenges of being an amputee.