30 Sept 2009

Operation Lopitoff complete

Well Operation Lopitoff has been completed and I now have a one legged mumborg.

Waiting, waiting and a bit of waiting.
Although I knew that the operation would most likely be on the Friday just gone, it was not for definite. So on Thursday, the triumvirate finally made the decision that the leg would be lopped off on the Friday. I am nicknaming the three surgeons the 'Triumvirate', because it sounds cool and there are three of them. The gruesome thrusome, didn't quite work or sound evil enough. Even though to all accounts they are all lovely and have just fallen victim to my artistic license.
Anyhoo back on track, things were scheduled to kick off at around 11am on Friday morning. I think waiting around for word from the hospital is quite possibly one of the most difficult things about these types of situations. You are literally helpless. If you have flown recently, you may have noticed the flight tracker thingy on the little screen that lets you know the flight progress, one of those would be great for surgery. Although if things started flashing and suddenly went blank, that may cause some concern...
You try not to let your mind wander 'there', my there is the death type of 'there'.  The thought of the mumborg dying on the operating table is a nightmare of mine. But like every surgery, there is that tricky thing of complications and possibilities, so I would rather be armed with the worst possible outcomes, than blind to them.
After sevenish hours of waiting, we finally heard that she was out of surgery and had ended up straight back on her ward. I was expecting HDU at the very least, maybe even ICU time, but for her to be back on her ward was good news. At first when I heard she was back on her ward, I actually hoped that they hadn't done the operation or had somehow fixed the leg. I went through all those thoughts in my head, because I didn't want any disappointment to show in my face. The dad went to see her first, they needed a moment just for themselves. Then a while later, Heather and I went in.
My eyes went first to the large space where the leg and bits once were, in that moment it seemed like a huge chunk of her was missing. It is hard to put into words how it feels in that moment, because as you are looking, your mind is already adapting. I suppose I would go with 'weird', it just felt weird. Then the mumborg speaks and the weirdness fades a wee bit, because it is still her.

It doesn't grow back

As far as the surgeons are concerned the operation went well, even though they are still upset that it came to this. I think they are relieved that things are healing well and mumborg came through the operation in as good a condition as one could expect.
Where is the leg?
The Mumborg was hoping that they would be able to do something useful with the leg, at least study the epic fail of a limb that it is, but alas no. Due to the very heavy restrictions on all things in regards to infection control, the leg had to go straight to the incinerator. I guess that could be classed as a funeral of sorts, well at least a cremation. Unfortunately we don't get the ashes, so when she does pop her clogs in the far far distant future she will be missing a bit.

One Legged Mumborg
I found a earlier model of the one legged mumborg here - One legged hopper
Once the relief kicks in that the mumborg made it through the operation, the realisation that I have a one legged mumborg sets in. You know it is going to happen, you talk about it happening, but then it actually happens. Quite frankly it is rather shocking, a large part of a person you love is missing. Tis not the outward that makes up the essence of a person, so whilst she is incomplete on the outside, inside in a soul like way she is the same person. Does that make it easier to get your hand around? Yes to some extent it does.

What next?
Let us leave that morbid stuff behind and focus on the positive stuff, which is basically wrapped up in one neat package called 'Mumborg'. The mumborg is already 'up' and about, in regards to being allowed in her electric wheelchair, but that is causing some pain, not that she would admit to it. The wound is dry (no ooze or blood) and she may even be allowed off the antibiotics soon. I thought she would be on IV antibiotics for months, but looks like this wont be happening, which is great.
The next challenge is physiotherapy and the question of will she be able to walk on crutches? Considering that her shoulders dislocate all the time and the other leg is not exactly fantastic, this possibility is still very much up in the air. Although the mumborg is determined to walk again, so who am I to discourage that. If things go really well, then she could be home soon and back to being the pain in my arse, hooray!

Random thoughts
Time flies when you are not having fun! Can't believe it has been nearly two weeks since I wrote anything on here. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, that has left me feeling a bit nauseous and very bloody tired!

If you have only recently joined in on the mumborg adventures just click the 'mum' to find out more.


  1. Claire,

    I can't even tell you how happy I am that your Mumborg made it throught the surgery and my thoughts are with both of you through the recovery process. I love your attitude! The Triumverante (did I spell that right?) seems to have come through for the Mumborg for now. (((hugs))) from across the Atlantic.--ST

  2. It's done, you can start worrying a little (a tiny little) less. I hope mumborg is back at home soon. Loved the doodles! that angelic leg is awesome, jajaaja.

  3. Hope all continues to move in a healing and positive direction for both of you. I admire your bravery, Claire, and your sense of humor and doublefold that for your mom.

  4. Claire, I'm really pleased that the mumborg is okay!

    And now there's such a time of adjustment for you all. But I'm sure you'll all pull through in style, and perhaps you can even doodle up a new replacement limb for the doctors to build? Definitely needs to be very mumborg style, I'm thinking a little Terminator feeling with the robotics?

    Anyway, take it easy on yourself while you get with the adjusting.

  5. You seem strong, Claire. I wish you and your family all the best for this big transition in your lives.

  6. Dear Claire,
    The truth is that I don't know what to say and everything I think of saying sounds so freaking trite that I'm not typing it.

    Thank Gawd for mumborg and your family that the emotional rollercoaster ride that led up to the amputation and the hours of waiting for the surgery to be over are done. You must all be emotionally exhausted.

    No ICU, already using her electric wheelchair and commencing physio - amazing! One step at a time mumborg goes on - a champion who is an outstanding courageous excellence.

    All my love and very best wishes to mumborg, Heather, your dad and you. And a big {HUG} too.

  7. It's really too bad that they couldn't have cremated the leg and given your Mum the ashes in a lovely urn so that in the far distant future when she passes over to the next part of the adventure, she'd be whole again - in a manner of speaking. Had she a twisted sense of humor she could have kept the urn with her and told people she did have two legs - one of them was just in the urn! I know, my bad ... sorry!

    I am very glad to hear that things went as well as they did even though I would have preferred they not go in that direction at all. Sounds like your Mum came through the surgery with her spirit and strength intact and that she's not going to take her recovery lying down. Huzzah for her and huzzah for you for facing this ordeal head-on like you have.

    Someday this whole experience is going to come in really handy for your Counseling Practice - mark my words!

  8. Such good news that the surgery -- awful as it was -- is finished and that your mum weathered the experience so well. I, too, would have imagined a turn in the ICU, so the fact that she was able to return directly to the ward is a wonderful sign.

    Hugs to you both.


  9. Good to hear the surgery is done and everything is OK. I'm sending healing thoughts to your mum.

  10. Am so glad that Mumborg is ok, and there is one less thing to worry about. Am thinking of you and your family though as you adapt to the 'new' mumborg. Hugs.

  11. I'm glad to hear the operation went well! Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  12. Hi Claire,
    I'm glad to hear that the Mum is doing well. Maybe you hear this a lot but your positivity is so inspiring as is your unfailing sense of humour. :)

  13. I just discovered your blog via linkage on somebody elses blog, which I discovered by accident (and so on, and so forth).

    Glad I found it - even if my introduction to your writing was this huge life changing event... you write wonderfully btw.

    Will be back. Adding you to Google Reader :)

  14. It's been far too long since I visited your blog Claire. I was not aware of the latest on your mom's condition until today. She must be an amazing woman, as you are yourself. My love, healing thoughts and prayers are beaming across the ocean even as I write. x

  15. I couldn't read this without choking in some emotions.

    It takes me back to a time when a dear aunt was hospitalized & tThe docs decided that her legs had to be removed if she had to live.

    She chose death.

    Your mum is very brave to go through all this. And so are you.

    Lots of love to all !

  16. wow, I'll bet that *IS* a bit much to process mentally and emotionally. I'm glad to hear she's coming along well and that her prognosis is good.

    Hugs to you all!

  17. My mum is about to go under the knife friday.
    Her rod didn't fuse to the bone properly. A year of wheelchairs, then taking her to the pool every day to work on keeping the muscles from atrophying... and now they are going to have to start all over.

    So another year of...

    Triumvirate is a cool word. Very cool.

    Gotta love a pedant. Another cool word. One of my favorites.

  18. My very best wishes to you and all your family- it has been a dreadfull time. So please to hear op went well and that mumborg has done so well. There is still a tough time ahead for you all, but with your strength and attitude i am sure it will go well.

    love and **hugs** as always
    Jackie xxx

  19. I can only imagine how surreal this has all been for you, but you seem to have a very good attitude about it and I suppose the concept of a one-legged mumborg will soon be just a part of everyday life.

    The great news is that she is doing so well.

    Your grim doodles are quite entertaining. You're like the Tim Burton of leg amputation art. :)

  20. Glad to hear the Mumborg is doing well. Lots of love x

  21. congratulations on a successful surgery (i almost wrote 'congraDulations'... but then i remembered neither you nor your mum is graduating from anything...)

    i hope everything keeps going well! thanks so much for all of your wishes as well... good luck that your mum gets home & back to annoying you ASAP!


  22. All these bits of people going in the incinerator! Glad to hear things are well.

  23. Your mumborg is both strong and brave. You are lucky to have her in your life, but then she is reflected in her daughter.

  24. Hey Claire...I wanted you to know I tagged you for an award.
    C'mon by when you get the chance!

  25. Glad things are OK - or as near to OK as circumstances allow.

  26. There is a REAL talent in making the sad, frightening (and sometimes even macabre) feel "witty" - and you have that talent. Identified very closely in just wanting to be allowed to cry. It is no-one's place to tell you to "cheer up" or not to ... tears are a release and one that we all need at times. Another FANTASTIC blog, Claire. I am coming to expect no less! xxxx

  27. I hope mumborg is recovering and adjusting to things well, like timetheif I am unsure really what to say. And I hope you are doing ok too.

  28. Hey...I know I've come very late to this but well done to the both of you for getting through this so positively and whilst of course no-one would wish this on anyone I am so pleased the mumborg is doing so well now :o)