We have listed what we feel are some of the most important “action items” for you to consider. Realizing that every situation is different – some of these may not apply to you. We have listed these in order of "urgency"
- Legal: Was your amputation a result of a personal injury? Have you consulted an attorney? We found that the sooner the better. Critical information can be lost with time – most personal injury attorneys will provide a free consultation. Protect yourself and take advantage of this. After interviewing several personal injury attorneys we selected the law firm of Schwebel Goetz and Sieben. Mark Gruesner represented us and can be reached at # 612.377.7777 or www.schwebel.com.They did a fantastic job in our case working diligently to reach a favorable settlement.
- Modifications of your home: Will you be able to return to your home and be able to maneuver within it after your amputation? Connecting with a contractor to discuss modifications is our recommendation, especially for lower extremity amputees. Ramps, Lifts (assistance in getting up stairs) widening of doors, safety bars in restrooms can be considered. It takes time to modify a home. This should be something you begin working on right away. Ideally the home will be ready for you when you are released from the hospital.
- Transportation: Will you be driving? Modification of your vehicle including hand controls or wheel chair ramps / accessible vehicles are available.
- Finance: Including a medical payment plan, Insurance, employment matters (disability), etc.
- Medical Equipment: Wheelchairs, shower chair, portable ramps, stair lift or elevator.
- Therapy: Identify a therapist that has worked with amputees. Try to identify a therapist that knows the capabilties of the prosthetic you are going to be fitted with.
- Prosthetists: Quite often the hospital has teamed with an individual or an organization that they will recommend (prescribe) for your practitioner. Be sure to bring in additional practitioners to interview. Have they worked with patients with a similar amputation as yours? Ask to speak to a patient or two about their experience working with this practitioner. Don't select a practitioner like you would a dentist (out of convenience / close to home).
- Prosthetics: Identify and select the best prosthetic for you. Match the technology and capabilities to the activities you would like to do.