My stepfather is possibly weeks away from losing his foot/leg due to an infected diabetic foot ulcer. I’ve done a little bit of reading and the prospects of amputation on someone his age with his poor health does not look good. Even if the doctor recommends it should he go ahead with an amputation, or take his chances on just continuing with antibiotics? Has anyone had a LO deal with an amputation? I’d appreciate your feedback.
We've been dealing with my father's ulcer since April, he had his first amputation in May, Dr. said he needed another one in July. He refused hoping he would die but it's been two months and I'm starting to think he should have just done it because he is really suffering and dying a slow death because of his osteomyelitis.
Surprisingly his first amputation site healed but he was unlucky enough to have a pocket of pus that the Dr. missed.
I would say give it a time limit- a month or so if he isn't getting better or starts getting worse or getting a fever- go for the amputation. Vac therapy helps close the wounds. Good luck and you are going to need help, don't try to do this all on your own.
It's hard for any of us to understand the experience of amputation, so how can someone with dementia know what he's in for? If he were mentally sound, you could have a conversation about this.I wouldn't put him through that ordeal. As it is, his dementia is going to get worse. The risk of adding pain to his decline far outweighs any benefit I can think of. Ask yourself: what might he gain? Then ask: what might he lose? I'm not saying it's easy, but for me, it's about any quality of life that's possible for him (or my mom) once a path is chosen.
Doctors are stuck with the job of fixing a physical problem. Their standards prohibit them from considering the whole person and the quality of their life that will result from the problems they "fix." That's why we caretakers have to advocate for our LOs. You've already said that his prospects don't look good. Your goals for your LO are much greater than the doctor's. Your main question may be this: Is this surgery likely to make his remaining days happier?
Hopefully others can give more insight.