Living with an amputation can impose
multiple challenges, whether it be a diabetic-related amputation or not.
Amputations commonly affect the following 6 challenges; bathing, ambulation (walking), toileting,
transferring, eating and dressing. The acronym ‘BATTED’ resembles this. The
day-to-day life of someone with a diabetic amputation is often different to
that of an amputation for another reason. For instance, a diabetic patient
which has had an amputation must still then treat the condition, as
there are remaining limbs to be examined and blood sugar levels to
be managed. Someone who has had an amputation because of another
condition (such as, gangrene), might not need to manage this condition anymore
because it has been cured and removed with the amputation. Living
with a diabetic-related amputation is heavily unique, as, unlike most
conditions, the condition still carries on like nothing happened; diabetes
still has to be managed. For other conditions, the amputation often
cures the condition, and the patient no longer needs treatment. However,
diabetes differs from this, and still seeks medical attention, even after a
limb has been removed.
Amputations generally put a dent in
the independence of the suffering person. One can argue that there is lots
of technology to stop this, however, an amputation merely prevents people from
doing everything they used to. A major amputation of someone’s right leg can
stop them from walking. Although a wheelchair can help them, they lose their
independence when they can’t reach something high because of the
Amputations usually pose challenges on
a societal level as well as individual challenges. On a societal level, an
amputation sufferer might find issues with employment and socialisation.
This challenge remains no matter what type of amputation has been
experienced. Things like relationships, accommodation and simply adapting to
life with an amputation are all challenges imposed when an amputation is
present. One can argue that it’s easy to adapt to such life, however it simply
isn’t, especially when you count in all the factors.
However, diabetes can also bring
several positives to life. For example, a patient with diabetes
mellitus often finds themselves new challenges. Being able to question your own
ability and strive towards a challenge can increase someone’s self-esteem. In
relation to this, reaching for new goals gives the person essential ‘boosts’
when these goals are met. As well as this, it can segregate your real
friends. With something like an amputation, it’s easy to see how much it
filters your friends. Your real friends will stay, and help with the situation.
Others may fade and disappear.
Depending on the lifestyle of the
patient before the amputation, prosthetics can be a good
thing or a pointless thing. Prosthetics are essentially artificial limbs. They
are specially made contraptions placed in the space of an amputated limb to
regain as much of that limbs functionality as possible. On a positive note,
prosthetics can seriously help with replacing a lost limb.
With the help
of physiotherapy, someone who, for example, has had a leg amputated, can
get a prosthetic leg and regain their ability to walk. They can help with
the previously mentioned ADLs (BATTED). In contrary to
this, prosthetics can be unwanted by a lot of amputees. They cost a lot; people
may find that they simply cannot afford them. As well as this, if someone
failed to be active before the amputation, they might feel
that it would be pointless to go through the process of a prosthetic, simply
because of the lack of use. All of these factors are took into account whether
the amputation was diabetes related or not. Someone living without the
condition would still have to implement these factors into the
decision of a prosthetic.
Healthcare systems differ massively
across the world, meaning that diabetes is treated differently around
the world. The UK’s healthcare system is regarded as the NHS (National
Healthcare System). For comparison, Australia’s healthcare system is named Medicare. Both
countries find themselves with masses of diabetes diagnoses and
diabetic-related amputations but without a cure. Australia is statistically
averaging out at about 12 amputations a day, which is high, but less than the
This similarity is having detrimental
effects on diabetic patients. It’s showing that amputations are becoming more
and more common in other countries also. However, both countries’ healthcare is
good enough to merely manage the diabetes mellitus situation. Diabetic
patients are receiving correct treatment in both countries, however,
in LIC countries (low-income countries), this might differ.
Diabetes brings positives and
negatives. It filters your friends and allows you to set goals, but it also
brings the irritation of managing the condition and making sure no
medical complications come along with it. A non-diabetic amputee will still
face the same challenges, however, their negatives will differ. They simply
don’t have to continue managing and treating their condition.
One can say that someone with a
diabetic-related amputation has to account for more in their life, before and after
the amputation, and they’d be right. Living with an amputation due to diabetes
mellitus is unique. It has masses of impact in someone’s day-to-day
life, and this applies to any amputation.
Diabetes is on the rise, and it’s on
the rise in countries other than the UK. Due to this, so are amputations. One
can only hope that in the future, there will be a cure for diabetes. However,
an amputation for anyone is hard to revolve around and needs lots of attention.
The day-to-day life of a diabetic patient alone is unique, yet an amputation
brings more challenges than ever.