Part 1 dealt with mentally preparing for amputation. This part I am thinking of the physical side ....
Part 2 - Physically
If the operation is planned, and if you are able to, I think it's a good idea to look around your home first and work out how you can cope with little or no mobility. Think along the lines of "If I was on the floor, or a couple of feet off the ground, how would I do this ?"
Can you go to the toilet, wash, make meals, get into bed ? At some point you should be able to get a physio to assess your home and offer you advice on adaptations to do all this. This could be when you are "medically ready for discharge"
Longer term you need to think about stairs, driving and other things people take for granted.
When you check into hospital, make sure your bedspace works for you. You are going to be in bed for at least a couple of days after the op, so it helps to have everything nearby, and keep an eye out for people moving things around and out of reach !. I found a pair of grabbers great for reaching for stuff without having to ask for help.
Here's a list of things I find useful at home as a double BK amputee :-
Handrails at external doors or steps
Frame around toilet (help you push yourself up from toilet)
Adapted bathroom (seat in shower, handrails, low basin)
Bathroom seat (also useful for in the kitchen as they can be cleaned and are quite tall)
Bed frame handle (to help you move around in bed, get in and out of bed safely)
Urinal or bucket in bedroom (for night time emergencies !)
Recliner chair, or footstool
Adapted car (can't drive without feet !)
Walking stick (essential for uneven pavements)
Crutches (backup for a bad leg day)
Wheelchair (backup for a very bad leg day). Note - I think these should be provided for you.
Flexifoot (better ferrule for walking stick or crutches)
Velcro or slip-on shoes
Tegaderm (flexible dressing, great for blisters)
Panic button (lifeline for calling for help if you fall)
Radar key (for when out and about, these keys unlock disabled toilets)
DISCLAIMER - these are just things I use, speak to a physio for guidance
Sepsis is very dangerous because the symptoms can so easily be mistaken for something else. Initially you feel like it's a bad cold, headache, stomach pains. You could easily go back to bed with some paracetamol, and I have heard cases of this happening with very bad outcomes.
The flip side is that you can easily think you have it, but you don't. So you can't scare people into thinking they are severely ill, when it may just be a cold of flu. I have had at least a couple of times since I was ill, where I thought it was happening to me again. I spoke to someone a few days ago who has listened to several of my talks, and she admitted to panicking when she was not well.
Add to this the fact that it's key to get antibiotics into your system as quickly as possible. I was very lucky - I was ill enough that the symptoms were spotted straight away and I was given antibiotics within an hour. If I was less ill then this may have been missed. If I was more ill then I may not be writing this.
That's why Sepsis is so dangerous. It's my mission to help spread awareness. If everyone is aware then it may help save some more people.
Here's some more info from an article in the BBC News :-
Over the last few months I have been invited to attend meetings at a local university, to provide feedback as an ex-patient (service user) into nursing training courses.
It’s a very positive thing that service users are being asked about their experience as a patient, what they would change if they could, and thoughts on what and how students are taught.
I am honoured to be a part of this, to feel that others may benefit either in their careers or by being looked after by someone who has been trained through this process.
I hope that this isn’t just a local thing, and that other universities are doing the same thing.