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Amputee On Call
of Pensacola
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What a Shame
I was reading an article the other day and copied the following:
"A survey regarding extremity amputations and mental health issues: The Amputee's View conducted by Ron VanDerNoord, MD of the Frazier Rehab Center in cooperation with the Amputee Coalition of America provides the following insight to amputee rehabilitation.
"75% of amputees said they needed more education than they were given from their medical professionals."
"57% of amputees said they received NO educational materials."
"Of the 43% who did receive materials, only 15-20% of the available materials were considered helpful." "
What a shame and disgrace. The medical profession has seen fit to keep amputees in the dark. This is something I have been fighting for years. Just plain ignorance, that is all it is. The medical profession does not want the peers of the amputee to tell them the facts, facts that will make their life more productive and satisfying. Why? Because, most of the medical profession can not admit that they do not know all. Many of this profession are no willing to give up control; the control over the amputee is of paramount importance to the doctors. And why?
There are men and women out there who are able and willing to give of themselves, and by the way, at no cost to the medical profession, freely to help another amputee. Why can't we? What is wrong with an amputee talking to an amputee? Nothing, absolutely nothing! So, what is the big deal? It seems that the "professionals" would be glad to have the help. NOT SO!
They hold on to the old idea they have the answers. They are by far better trained and educated in the art of removing body parts, however, have no clue to the ramifications of such a procedure.
It is true the doctors and other medical professionals have been through much more training and have a lot more education than the average amputee? Does that alone make them qualified to counsel and amputee? I submit it does not. In fact, they usually do not have a clue in the complete process of amputation. They know how to cut and some one else does physical therapy, then off they go to the prosthetist. Get a leg or arm, or other body parts, and get on with life. Wow, no clue at all, what a bummer for the poor amputee.
What is the answer? INFORMATION! Plain and simple, information that the amputee can understand and a helping hand from some one who has already walked a mile or two in those shoes. There are no magic bullets to perform miracles on those who do not want help, but there are many that want a real life after amputation and do not have the tools. I guess that is what the peer counselor offers, tools, tools to make life better. I was lucky, I found my tools, some I went out and hunted up. Other amputees gave others to me. No doctors or prosthetist gave them, most do not know how. But, the guy with the wooden leg, who was working a 40-hour week and making good money, showed me how. He told me," if I can do it so can you".
The answer is in education, not the formal school house kind, but the kind from the school of hard knocks. If there were a degree form that school, I think I would have a Ph.D. Amputees need to educate the medical profession on the ways that the amputee can benefit form the use of peer counselors. Then and only then, will the medical profession be able to treat the whole amputee. Not just his amputation, but his self worth and self-esteem. So, what do you think? Let me know if you have a story about an amputation, please send it. I want to compile more evidence to back my claim and present it to the medical profession. Maybe then we can help every amputee receive the information needed to adjust to normal life. Contact me at HERE
Copyright© 2000 Michael Van Randen
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