Edited 30/03/17 to reflect changes in the page from DCO to Diabetes Can’t Stop me.
Previously a number of closed groups on the Social Media platform of Facebook were places where people living with diabetes around the world could receive free support through the DCO service, which is now closed. These groups were supported by Diabetes Educators and a Midwife, a Dietitian, and a Pharmacist, as well as Mental Health Counsellors.
One of our Facebook members wrote of his experiences living with diabetes, in particular, about his loss of a limb; and about the major changes he has since made in his life. With permission, one of the Educators, David Mapletoft, reposted Steve’s story here:
“Let me start by saying SORRY for the lengthy BIO, but every word is important…. please continue to check your blood sugar levels and look for ANY skin cuts scrapes and scratches for infection….
I had a simple blister the size of a dime/5c piece….that turned into staph infection…..
After a 30 day hospital stay….. I lost…..
I LOST my leg to this infection
Learn from my lesson…..it sucks to go thru life with one limb and to be single……
After spending 30 days in the hospital the doctors came to me and explained that the staph infection had migrated into the bone of my heel and I had two choices at that point
My leg or my life….
So, I said to the doctor ……if they are my only choices, then give me the saw and I will do it myself.
It took me 90 days to heal from surgery.
I got fitted with my first (artificial) leg in October and I started physical therapy right away.
My fiancé was amazingly supportive (at the time).
While I was in the hospital I lost my job and lost medical insurance also. I started a ‘go fund me’ account and was able to raise enough funds for my first leg.
My first goal was to walk well enough to escort my fiance down the aisle because we were planning a wedding.
the first goal was met ….we married in Jan of 2014.
Then my next goal was the 5Km run by Jun 2014, my ‘ampuvesary’….again my woman, now my wife, was so amazingly supportive.
During the PT and training for the 5Km there were setbacks….in had hospital stays in May and August….By the way, met my second goal…..did my 5K on June 25th…It felt awesome.
During my last hospital stay in August it all became too much for my wife to handle….
While I was still in the hospital she moved me out…..she told me this when I called her and said, “Honey, you can come pick my up from the hospital! I am being released today.”
Well it wasn’t only the hospital that released me..
My wife did also….she told me I needed to find some place else to live…”Sorry”….
Undaunted, I thought: I have goals to meet and set,and life to live.
I immediately started training for my second 5K in October 2014; and set myself the 150K Bike-a-thon goal.
I am doing my 3rd 5K this coming weekend.
I found out about the basketball league through Physical Therapy. My therapist is one of only 5 in our state that work exclusively with amputees and understand our specialized needs.
I joined. We play at the Disability Empowerment Center in Phoenix AZ, US.
The basketball league is one of several that play high school and college exhibition games for charity. We are organizing around the U.S.A. to challenge and compete against other amputee teams around the country.
My wish for everyone to understand and learn is:
NO MATTER your limitations….you are NOT disabled you ARE DIFFERENTLY abled!!
Get involve with your local disability centers….if you don’t have one, then walk, run, roll…keep moving….join a Gym, just be active. Gentlemen I never even ran to the mailbox to check the mail….so I wasn’t really an athlete before the amputation.
I thought my diabetes wasn’t serious…
I didn’t really worry about diet….didn’t check blood sugars…maybe if I remembered I took my insulin…..
Please, again, take our disease seriously…it’s a killer.
BTW….listen for me in 2015 on the air online radio….I will be hosting a radio world wide broadcast called Different Abled and DISABLED….it has become my passion to share, life doesn’t end it newly begins…..
REFUSE to give up, FIGHT to move on, and CONQUER the MONSTER diabetes “
Everything is Possible
Thanks Steve for sharing your strength, resilience and amazing attitude with us.
David Mapletoft, Diabetes Educator